>Sun … Ashes … Robin

>The sun’s baking Nottingham today, I’m still tingling from last night’s stunning final episode of Ashes to Ashes, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new Robin Hood movie next week.

Robin’s at the front of my mind at the moment. I’m reading Angus Donald’s superb Outlaw. I’m also pondering a couple of outlines of my own for novels about England’s greatest folk hero.

The first of these I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s a fantasy, playing fast and loose with the legend (archery fans will appreciate the aptness of that metaphor). As whole it doesn’t really hang together, but I like the way it brings the mythology to the fore. Totally different to Mr Donald’s take, which is all about rooting the legend in reality. It needs a lot of work if it’s ever to see the light of day, but as a back-burner project it still has my interest.

The second outline’s totally different – still pretty broad but more naturalistic. It’s told from the point of view of one of the Sheriff’s men (I’ve a particular angle on this but for now I’ll keep that to myself). I’ll let you know if it develops into anything worth blogging about seriously.

Suffice it to say I feel I have to write about Robin sooner or later. I’m not a native of Nottingham, but I’ve made camp here for enough years to feel some serious affinity for the legend. But it’s a tricky business. Robin really does have a life of his own, you see, and if you write him wrong he soon lets you know about it. I’ve tried, and not yet succeeded, so I know what I’m talking about.

But if you do get it right, you get to play bows-and-arrows for a while with someone who is, arguably, the only true English hero. And that’s too tempting for words.

What do you think?

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