The Weight of Waiting

I’m on a roll at the moment with it looking likely that I’ll finish the next book, on Hades and Persephone perhaps even by the end of this month. Then comes the long wait and all those crossed fingers that someone will take it on and publish it. The writing is always the best bit. The editing and checking is also quite fun but the waiting for answers from agents and publishers – well, that’s just terrible. The only answer is to crack on with the next project.

So next will be to finish the play version of The Courage Game. I’ve made a start and written a couple of scenes but it needs to be done in time to send out well before that important anniversary – 2028, the centenary of full suffrage for women.

Writing a play is very different from writing prose. Most differences you can work out for yourselves but things you may not have considered is the balance of characters, each of whom must have their own presence and credibility. In the novel, Gladys relates the entire story in the first person. In play form, she is simply another character – one who is the main role, for sure, but the other characters cannot be just ciphers.

Another important factor is the fact that theatre companies are struggling at the moment and there is not enough money to have a cast of thousands. The book DOES have a cast of, well not thousands, but certainly heading for the hundred mark, I guess. More if you consider all the crowd scenes in it. I need to write the play version for production in this country with a cast of about six, who will have to double, even triple or more, with less important characters.

But I have been asked to do a version for schools too and, for them, a large cast is a bonus. So perhaps I will write two versions – one for the schools and perhaps amateur theatre groups, who enjoy involving as many as possible, one for the cash-strapped professionals. Phew! You see the problem!

So, back briefly, to the Greek gods. Usually a title for the book is not a problem for me, but this one is. It’s working title is The Weight of Loneliness, but that’s rather off-putting and doesn’t tell a prospective reader what it’s about. I’ve always felt that Hades must have been the loneliest of the gods. Before he steals Persephone he has lived alone, except for the dead, for centuries. I don’t imagine the dead are very good company! Next thought The Lonely God. Any comments or ideas?