Members’ Area: ‘How to Write a Novel’ with Novelist, Graeme Macrae Burnet – 18 November 2020





The wonderful, deliberately-simple, first paragraphs of Graeme’s three novels:


The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau

It was an evening like any other at the Restaurant de la Cloche. Behind the counter, the proprietor, Pasteur, had poured himself a pastis, an indication that no more meals would be served and that any further service would be provided by his wife, Marie, and the waitress, Adèle. It was nine o’clock.


His Bloody Project

I am writing this at the behest of my advocate, Mr Andrew Sinclair, who since my incarceration here in Inverness has treated me with a degree of civility I in no way deserve. My life has been short and of little consequence, and I have no wish to absolve myself of responsibility for the deeds which I have lately committed. It is thus for no other reason than to repay my advocate’s kindness towards me that I commit these words to paper.


The Accident on the A35

There did not appear to be anything remarkable about the accident on the A35. It occurred on a perfectly ordinary stretch of the trunk road that runs between Strasbourg and Saint-Louis. A dark green Mercedes saloon left the southbound carriageway, careered down a slope and collided with a tree on the edge of a copse. The vehicle was not immediately visible from the road, so although it was spotted by a passer-by at around 10:45pm, it was not possible to say with any certainty when the crash had occurred. In any case, when the car was discovered, the sole occupant was dead.



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