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I’m using the newly launched website, Write-Track, to set and track writing goals. I haven’t encountered anything quite like it before and I’m uncertain how it’s going to work (but hopeful). Having recently finished my Open University Creative Writing modules, I felt the need for an online mechanism to set deadlines and share progress. I’m going to track the development of a short story I’m writing for the October Telegraph Writing Group Competition. The month’s topic is ‘Life Change’.

The early life of Voltaire is a long standing interest of mine (i.e. novel idea that was shelved), and his imprisonment in the Bastille at the age of 22 years was, for him, a life-changing event. He went in as Arouet, a frivolous, immature dilettante, and came out as Voltaire, a philosophe, a literary poet, and a playwright.

I’m going to start with his arrest and imprisonment, integrate flashbacks to his earlier life and end as he commits to his career in the belles-lettres.

Today I’ve translated, roughly, from the French the account in ‘Archives de la Bastille’ of his arrest and initial interrogation, as well as a love letter he had in his pocket when he was arrested, and which wound up in the Bastille’s records. I’ve made a blob diagram of some of the elements of the story on my whiteboard (a present from my husband). I’ve also drafted the first scene, Arouet’s initial arrest.Whiteboard

Wine time (again).