Blog for budding Sheikhspeares entering National Novel Writing Month 2006

November 20, 2006

Steam-railwaying along

Tonight I found myself researching mineral ores (geologists will just have to not read this book I'm afraid, I need a McGuffin so it's going to be sperrylite buried deep in the Hajjars, even if it is more geologically feasible that moonrock is made of pink cheese). Total is 2,143 with the running total 38,053. I also found myself writing a completely irrelevant dialogue about expat railway enthusiast societies. It will almost certainly be deleted from the final novel, seeing as it's utterly dull and pointless, but for now it's word count and there is nothing more precious.

"Because of the Mountain Railway Club," Ted told him. "Now sadly defunct, but it had over one hundred members in its day." Mark marvelled at how tedious expat life must have been in previous years to create so many railway enthusiasts. "The great split came over the funicular project. Some of the older members were more purist in their views, and they took the opinion that it wasn't a proper railway, in the conventional sense. I was rather more ambivalent myself, but of course once the divisions start, there's no going back. The Funicular Society became an independent entity for a while, but it folded after a few months."

"Were there actually any trains?"

"Oh no. But we had big plans. We wanted to establish a small tourist railway from Abu Wadi to Hatta. That's where Maurice comes in, he was president at the time, did all the negotiations with Sheikh Shakir's people. But then some members started saying that a funicular to Abu Wadi made better sense, as the road was always getting blocked with landslides, it was narrower in those days and not tarred, just a gravel track, and that's when it all started to come apart."

"The road?"

"The society. It was too big a schism."


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