I am D W Carver, English, married with three sons and live in East London. I have been writing ever since I learned how but have only worked on novels in the last twelve years. My writing process tends to fall into the same pattern regardless of how I promise myself I am going to plan a book.
I have a basic plot idea; add a character with a history he (or more often she) would like to forget and I bring them together. It’s a bit like free-flow modelling with clay – get a lump, soften it give it a twist and a tweak and then inspect it from all angles and see if it is telling you what it wants to be. That doesn’t work for you? Well maybe it’s just me then.
Of course my background: years working in community mental health has a big impact on how situations are processed in my head. I have sat on underground (metro) trains and watched people have anxiety attacks that I know from long experience would have been feeling like an earthquake to them, but went unnoticed by those around them, except for me. That sometimes sets me thinking about plot ideas rather than offering to help. Something else I know from experience – people are almost invariably ashamed of their perceived ‘weakness’ suffering in this way and can feel totally humiliated when they realise some stranger has noticed. So I stay away and just keep an eye out in case this person does something that could be misconstrued by other passengers.
I recall one young man I worked with – six four, three hundred pounds and when he felt as if anxiety was going to explode his body he had to walk close to the nearest person if he was on the street. If that person was female and it was night time, he could be and once was, in serious trouble but it ended well – the police were understanding, his details were circulated and knowing he wasn’t going to be bundled into a police car if it happened again (at his size good luck with that) he found walking alone much easier.
So readers will understand that when I see some street event, I am likely to interpret it in a far broader range than most people and the possibilities are grist to any writer’s mill.
My novel ‘Nightmares and Other Therapy’ involves a young man who has to make his obsessive compulsive behaviour look normal or as close as he can get, if he is to have any life at all and the one time that went wrong was in exactly the worst place. This book has been labelled a horror by some, much to my surprise, but I will admit it is dark. Maybe you would like to make up your own mind?