Progress Report — August 2023

The monthly update and reflection on my creative projects…

It’s been a busy few weeks since my last progress report. So much so that I’ve had to place a couple of projects on the back burner, where they’ll sit until I have time to give them my full attention. But this leaves the question – how have I been getting on with the projects I prioritised?

The Dale Hurst Writing Show – Season 3

The big one for this month, of course, is the launch of the third season of my podcast, The Dale Hurst Writing Show. Having learned from previous mistakes, I started production on this back in April. Including interviewing my first guest of the series, the novelist Awais Khan. For a couple of episodes, at least, I’ve gone for a more serious vibe; discussing how to research and write more challenging themes like knife crime and honour killings. That episode kicked the season off on Thursday 3 August. Listen now if you haven’t already.

As always, I’ve loved producing the show; not least because I get to meet such interesting creative people. Whether that’s brilliant young screenwriters, experienced novelists and academics, or actors in an Italian theatre company.

You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic

While the podcast had to take precedence, I still made time to work on my ongoing first draft of You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic. For any new visitors, this is my third novel, a World War II thriller set in a Berlin hotel. In my last progress report, I mentioned that my protagonists had hit pivotal points in their arcs. My hotelier Heinrich is now making plans for a dangerous escape from the city; meanwhile his deputy manager Cordelia mourns a fallen comrade and hopes for a chance of redemption after her failures put everyone at greater risk. The stage I’m at now, is when the net is closing in.

I’ve also taken the occasion to inject a bit of true history into the storyline. I only do this sparingly in my historical works. The history should be for backdrop primarily; I would only ever use specifics when relevant to character or plot development. And so I’m including the real-life bombing of the Hotel Kaiserhof in November 1943 to advance character traits, mainly in Heinrich.

Find out more about You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic.

Other projects

As I said, I’ve had to put pins in the other work I had going on. I’m on course to finish a draft of the third book by December. But I am hoping to work on short pieces in between.

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