Of The Times

I hope you had a good long weekend. Over that weekend at the in-laws’ down in London, I found something one of them had been reading. It was on the guestroom bookshelf:

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen my hint late yesterday at this post. 🙂

I skimmed various parts of the books. They are unlike early 1900s-set Downton Abbey, for which he is most famous as its creator and screenwriter. Both of these tales are “modern.”

He is working now reportedly on creating a new TV series set in late 1800s New York: The Gilded Age. Indeed his CV is not primarily that of a novelist. He was first an actor and later a director and screenwriter; and he has become most famous probably for the last. He also wrote several novels under a female pseudonym in the 1970s, and delved into novel-writing under his own male name only relatively recently:

Now Lord Fellowes, he opens those two novels rather similarly:

As we see he likes to use the first-person. “I came, I saw, I conquered,” so to speak. Moreover it’s also said the unnamed male narrator in Snobs (top) appears “to bear more than a passing resemblance” to Fellowes himself.

Which, as we know by now, is the sort of place from where “fiction” often comes.

We see also, as here (in Past Imperfect), he produces lots of what might be considered nowadays to be longish and complicated paragraphs:

Every writer will invariably develop a personal style. Like fingerprints, it’s unique to you. It sets you apart from everyone else.

Turning their pages, and remembering his Downton Abbey also, I recalled how one simply cannot write the same way in all circumstances either. Naturally I thought of what I attempt to do. For example, writing of “1997” may come out of me in this way:

[Excerpt from Distances: Atlantic Lives, 1996-1997. On Kindle for iPad. Click to expand.]

In comparison, “1787” is often brought back “to life” like this:

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. On Kindle for iPad. Click to expand.]

Yes, and as the writer you hope readers will also like both. They are certainly different in tone and approach. Yet as I look at those two excerpts here again, they do have similar touchpoints in their style – which is, I guess, a “me” I cannot fully erase whether I like it or not.

Have a good day, wherever you are. Myself? Currently, I’m back to “1797”… which sounds a lot more like “1787” than, uh, “1997.” 🙂

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.

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