Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Royal Charter

And so the editing continues, slowly. He who shakes the spear keeps snatching my attention. I'm currently reading Othello and The Winter's Tale.  

Yesterday was the Royal Charter Event at my college. It's been sixty years since the Queen visited St Anne's and transformed it into a full college of the university. 

Oxford is split into thirty-nine colleges, each of which has its own governing body and funding. St Anne's College is a fairly little-known establishment, located in north Oxford (or Mordor, as I like to call it). Sometimes tour bus announcers will sail right past our modest cluster of buildings without mentioning them, possibly because we have no "dreaming spires". We do, however, have a vibrant student population. 

St Anne's was established in 1879 as a place where young women could be educated at Oxford. Back then it was known as the Society of Oxford Home-Students. I had a chat with some alumni at lunch, most of whom attended the college during the forties and sixties. One lady told me that when she was a student, many lectures  mainly for the sciences  were labelled "for men only". On one occasion, she said, only women turned up to a lecture. The lecturer walked into the room, said "I see there is no-one to whom I can lecture", and walked right back out again! Despite all that, St Anne's was established as a women's-only college in 1952. Since then it's become co-ed; it's now one of the biggest colleges in the university, with the second-largest library. Very good for me.   

I'm very proud to be a member of St Anne's. Even if it doesn't have the rich history of many of the other colleges here, it has fought long and hard to be where it is now.

Back to The Bone Season. I've done about four pages of edits. Last night I was making a few tweaks to the introduction of Jaxon Hall, my narrator's employer. Jaxon has been with me since the beginning; he was one of the 'core characters' that lasted from the start of The Bone Season to the end. He was never renamed, cut or added: he was always just there. I had so much fun adding the intro scene, my 'early night' idea went straight out of the window. In retrospect it was a slightly overambitious plan, considering my current workload. I think I hit the pillow at about 3:30AM, riddled with caffeine. Still, it was worth it. Jaxon is an enormously fun character to write. Possibly my favourite character in the series.  

I've spotted people betting on a possible love triangle between Paige, Jaxon and Warden, as the name 'Jaxon Hall' apparently has a bit of a bad boy vibe. No comment on the exact relationships in the novel, but I've never been too hot on love triangles.

I'll leave you with a recording of me on Sunrise, floating in front of the London Eye. And no, I'll admit it: my elaborate wavy hair in the last interview was not my natural hairstyle.

Samantha



7 comments:

  1. Jaxon, eh? Intriguing.

    What's in a name? Quite a lot of character trait, I propose.

    Jaxon. Claxon? Anglo-Saxon? Jeremy Paxton?

    Your innate, intuitive, long-term, pre-launch, baiting instincts are strong. Bodes well.

    Mac aka @Moustachology

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  2. I like both hairstyles :)

    Congratulations on hitting Sunrise! It's our highest rating morning show :)

    I'm loving your character names, especially Jaxon. Happy editing!

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  3. Did you put forethought into Jaxon's name? I mean in terms of etymology of the name. Or was it simply something that sounded right for the character?

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    1. It definitely sounded right for the character. I suppose the etymology is fairly appropriate now I think about it, but I don't like to choose my characters' names based on what they mean. I think it's a bit too predictable.

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  4. Hello, I have a suggestion, is it possible for you do do posts on fiction books that you read? I think it would be interesting :)
    And I have a question too: Was it hard for you to start writing your novel? Not the idea but having to choose the right words? I'm writing one and I have an idea and everything but I'm struggling to think of words to tell my story. Any advice please? x

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