So I have officially completed my PTLLS course! I finished off all my outstanding assignments a few days ago and sent it off. It’s a good feeling, knowing that I have that qualification under my belt. It will definitely open up a few new possibilities for me. I don’t mind sharing my theory assignments on this website, if people are interested – I could add them to the shiny new ‘Free Resources‘ page.
In other news, I am trying to re-established some sort of momentum for my novel. I have been watching Jeremy Paxman’s series The Victorians: Their Story in Pictures on DVD, which has been incredibly interesting and inspiring. I definitely respond more to filmic non-fiction resources than written resources when it comes to finding inspiration for my novel. Some interesting facts:
- London was considered ‘broken’. It was the largest city on earth, but completely divided: the East End was known as the ‘Land of Endless Night’. It was the only major city that wasn’t improving its slums; Glasgow tour down its slums and rebuilt them.
- Labour was seen as ‘heroic’ and there was a great ‘moral dignity’ in work. The rich were seen as idle. The Victorians were all about improvement, and self-improvement. It was considered that if you were poor, it was your own fault.
- In London, there was 1 prostitute for every 25 men!
- Many people sold their babies due to poverty, thinking that they would be placed for adoption. Instead, most of these babies ended up drowned in the river.
- In the 1880s, Victorian women began to rebel against the uncomfortable clothing fashions of the time (The Dress Reform Movement).
Just look how atmospheric that painting is by John Atkinson Grimshaw (above). You could almost step right into it. The warmth of the lamplight is made sinister by the mass of indistinguishable dark figures roaming the damp streets. The buildings stand tall and proud against an ominious sky. I want my writing to be as vivid as this painting.
So my aim is to make more time for my writing, and just get some more words down. I was reminiscing with one of my MA friends last night about how I miss the structure of our workshopping sessions, and the propultion it gave to my writing. In reponse to this, she made me promise that I send her 4,000 words by 1st May.