Page one

Welcome to this site, and more specifically, to this blog. It’s by a writer, it’s about reading and writing, and it’s for anyone who takes pleasure in either activity.

Since this is brand new, and since I retain a childish delight in pictures of sunrises and sunsets (we are talking entire albums, as a child, filled with indistinguishable photos of roseate skies), here is dawn in Cornwall to get us started:

dawn in cornwall


Now: when I bid you that welcome above, I did so with a touch of wariness alongside the most sincere sense of hospitality. Here’s why. A writer – it has often been observed – has two mortal enemies. One, the blank sheet of paper. Two, the necessity of accepting that a piece of work is ever finished. I read of one nameless author who agonised over his son’s off-games note. How to begin? How in the world to finish? Meanwhile son hops from foot to foot. Dad, come on

So, two enemies, and a blog combines them both. It is a sheet of paper that doesn’t even have the decency to have a bottom margin to give a sense of accomplishment; and it has lots of little posts, each one of which – each single one! – needs to be finished. The possibilities for catastrophe are limitless…

However, I intend to avoid that dire fate in two ways. One, I shall plunge headlong into each entry, conquering my addiction to revision. I’ll ignore the siren song of synonyms. To give you an example: that word wariness above. Really? Are you sure, William? How about caution? Reserve? Trepidation? Tentativeness? Tentativity? Besides, can wariness be expressed in fractions? Wouldn’t soupcon be the right word? Surely if there is ever an opportunity to use the word soupcon it is your duty to take it… etc, etc. You get the idea.

Two: I shall seek no homogeneity of tone, apply no polish, fiddle with no bedknobs and faff with no… whatever it is you faff with. Instead, I will write without reserve or caveat about the following. Should any of it appeal, then please do read on after today, and into the glistening array of pristine potential offered by a giddy succession of tomorrows.

This blog will, on a weekly(ish) basis:

- Pry into the nature of the creative process. As a first-time novelist, I’ll offer such thoughts as occur on how small ideas spawn the massy weight of a full novel. I’ll share alternative openings to books, and discuss rejected endings. I’ll talk about characters that made it, and those that died on their way to the page. In essence: all manner of things that may be of interest if you like the sound of the book I’ve written, like thinking about books in general, or write yourself.

- Provide insights into the odd business of publication: what it’s like to wander round bookshops feeling up wibalin (that will be explained); how to conduct the perfect argument with an editor over the reverence due to the semi-colon; and so forth.

[An aside: I’d promise a humorous account of this process, but since I regard people who promise written humour with the narrow-eyed suspicion I also reserve for people who call me in the evenings, offering some ludicrous product that they insist will enhance my earthly existence (a facial expression wasted on them, as they are on the other end of a phone and can’t even see it) – since that is the case, I’ll promise instead a vague awareness of the ultimate absurdity of existence, and leave it at that.]

- Meander amiably through the groves of general matters literary.


Those promises bring this first instalment to an end. If you feel inclined, please do get in touch. Comments will be warmly embraced, unless they are mean or generated by what Chris Addision so splendidly refers to as porny spambots. In the case of the former, I shall maintain a dignified silence; in the case of the latter, I shall tut reprovingly while being unable to help a momentary mental image of a future populated by actual porny spambots.

Please do also visit again. Having written all my life, it’s only now that I have a novel coming out that I’ve laid claim to the title of writer. It’s quite a claim to lay, because writer implies reader; and the favour a writer asks of readers, to give precious hours of the only life they’ll ever have to his story, is quite a favour. A blog maybe asks for minutes, not hours, but minutes don’t grow on trees, and the gift of them is hugely appreciated. So in conclusion, and until the next time: thank you!


This blog will be published weekly or thereabouts. Explore the links above for more about Will le Fleming and his writing.


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Will le Fleming is a novelist. His debut, Central Reservation, is published by Xelsion and available now. Read more...

On a grey Thursday morning Holly lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and wished her sister would die. Five hours later her wish came true. Read more...

About this blog
The first post explains all - find it here.