POSTCARD FROM A NOISY MARBELLA

It’s hot.

Too bloody hot.

Sweltering unproductively beneath the Marbella sun

It’s so hot in fact that my forearms are sticking to my wicker-edged writing table, thus making the finger connection between my brain and screen an even more sluggish process than usual.

And another thing: I’m suffering from two ailments today, an upset tummy and Writer’s Block.

But how can this be, I hear you ask? Didn’t you recently write an article claiming that there is no such thing as Writer’s Block?

I did. And should you wish to take another look at it, here it is.

So today I’m taking my own advice, part of which is to write. To write anything … to write a blog … yet another blog, I hear you say? Yep.

You see, I’m stuck on Saving Dave, and here’s why. The Dave bit – his narrative told in the first person – is fine. And so are the voices of the parents – the mother told through her diary entries and the father through a third person narrator who may, or may not be a little too ‘in your face’. We shall see.

Saving Dave

The narrative line is developing nicely and I have a pretty good idea where things are headed.

It’s just the characterization of the twins – Dave’s siblings – that I’m having trouble with.

I’m going to be honest here and admit that I’m not that good at creating characters when writing in the third person, and I’m really finding this to be a trial.

The problem is that the twins – boys aged twelve, ginger, bored and generally left to their own devices, except when forced to spend time with Dave (who they detest) – are thoroughly obnoxious. Not a likeable bone in their combined bodies.

And this means that each and every one of my characters, expect for Dave, is intrinsically unlikeable – although the narrative opens with Dave describing his own understandable and perhaps excusable paranoid, sociopathic and vindictive character traits … traits which, over time, will gradually mellow and morph him into a likeable human being.

Now, I know it’s not a good thing to make all of your characters unlikeable because, dear reader, if you cannot like any of my characters, then you’re almost certainly not going to like my book … no matter how brilliantly written it is.

So it’s equally as challenging to equip the twins (Axel and Boris) with sufficient weaponry to despise Dave and make his life more of a hell than it already is at every opportunity, as it is for Dave to ultimately consider granting them forgiveness.

Little darlings … or little bar stewards?

It would be interesting to hear what you think, so please do leave a comment.

Of course, this has famously been done before; all of the characters in Gillian Flynn’s brilliant Gone Girl are unreliable, self-fixated and utterly loathsome.

Another reason why the words aren’t flying onto the page is partly self-induced.

A few months ago, I had a decent offer on my rental apartment, which is just across the corridor, and decided to sell.

The purchaser, Fritz (not his real name) is German, some sort of doctor who you consult when your pee turns a funny colour, and came across as a decent sort of fellow; there was even talk of sharing a beer at some point.

Not any more there ain’t.

Fritz decided to have the place refurbished right in the middle of the summer and in the most haphazard way possible. So far there have been (to my certain knowledge) at least three different sets of builders. Maybe he fires them or perhaps in German tradition, he takes them out and has them shot when they get things wrong. The noise and mess is unbelievable. The floor of the lift resembles the bottom of a gerbil’s cage and for six hours a day I cannot hear myself think.

And so, my euphoria at persuading Fritz to part with a sum of euro that was well in excess of my expectations has diminished somewhat.

It would appear that the refurbishment is being carried out entirely with a hammer and nails and – not only that – demolition of the previous interior has still not been completed, and this, even with my limited understanding of construction methods, does not seen right.

Add to all of this my stomach problems – which could possibly be a virus as I’ve been left feeling washed out for the entire day – and I’m just going to have to concede that this is a day wherein I will achieve little.

Lords – where Ireland are giving England a bit of a lesson … at the moment

The twins will be left inside my head, from where they will fight another day.

But even this cloud has the proverbial silver lining: I’ve just turned on my telly to find that Ireland are humiliating England at the home of cricket, where apparently it’s even hotter than here.

So that’s me for the rest of the day, chic@s.

Hasta pronto, amigos!

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