Book Title: What We Didn’t Say
Author: Rory Dunlop
Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction
I read this in eBook format.
Hello, and welcome to my first ever blog tour. I’m slightly nervous but mostly very excited! I was approached by the lovely Carmen to read and review this incredible book by Rory Dunlop and also be part of the blog tour for it.
What We Didn’t Say is the story of Jack and Laura who have separated. They both blame each other so Jack writes to Laura to put across his point.
This book is incredibly moving. It’s captivating. It’s use of emails and letters is different and interesting and it really held me on throughout, not once did I want to put it down due to boredom.
You’ll like this. You’ll really like this.
As part of this tour, Rory shared his insight on how he writes his wonderful stories to share with you all. Here is what he had to say about the process…
“I’ve written in my holidays for the last 8 years. If you’re going to write literary fiction, you’re probably going to need a day job. I’m not one of those people who can write in the mornings or evenings, before or after work. The cases I’m involved in tend to absorb all my thoughts and what little time I have to spare I want to spend with my family. So the only way to do it was to take a lot of holidays and write then. I’m very lucky because, as a barrister, I’m self-employed. That means, with a certain amount of indulgence from my clerks, I can take off as much holiday as I want. Of course, the more time I take off the less I earn but I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was a child so it was worth it. It helps that my wife has been so supportive. I think she’d rather tell her friends she’s married to a novelist than a lawyer!
For me, I’ve found the best way of making myself write is to type whatever comes into my head without stopping to wonder whether it’s any good. If I were to critique each sentence or paragraph, just after it was written, I’d delete almost everything and never get anywhere. Often I found that after I’d written pages and pages of stuff I knew wasn’t very good, I’d have some ideas I did like. It was only after I’d written ten thousand words or more that I’d go back and review what I’d written. I could then cut the parts I didn’t like and still be left with something and a feeling I was getting somewhere.
I’m also not one to plan everything in advance. I tried writing chapter synopses in advance but it felt cold and mechanical. I prefer not to know what’s coming myself. It makes it more fun and more natural. At the end of each chapter you have a problem for yourself, to which you need to work out a solution – what would the characters do now, and where can I take it next that will surprise the reader but also be believable?
The downside of not planning everything in advance is that you have to do a lot of drafts. I wrote around four formal drafts but even in writing those four, I was constantly redrafting parts. I found, as I reviewed it, that some of the early chapters didn’t fit with the later ones and I needed to change them. It became harder and harder to spot these inconsistencies because, the more times I read a draft, the more difficult it was to see it as an outsider would. It’s painful to accept that a chapter you worked hard on and felt proud of has to go because it doesn’t fit with the overall structure of the novel.”
Rory Dunlop studied Classics at Oxford and worked as a teacher and journalist before being called to the Bar. He spent a year in Strasbourg, writing judgments for the European Court of Human Rights, failing to learn French and falling in love with Lika. They now have two daughters and live in London. He’s written a text book on immigration law and several book reviews for the Spectator and, very occasionally, people read his tweets.
What We Didn’t Say is out now and can be brought here
I give it a strong 4 out of 5 stars, I really, really liked this book.