Tag Archives: fantasy

My brain takes me here…

They say that the books you love to read, the movies you love to watch and the things that stick with you the most can be seen in your own writing. 

What you love is often reflected in your writing and once you know yourself well enough you write better.  Once you throw yourself into all of your passions and are writing things based on your passions or similar to your passions unashamedly, you will develop your style and you will therefore come across as unique and fresh in the genres you write.

As long as you stay true only to yourself, do not write for the market, write for you!

I hope this is true.  If it is, then you can more or less guess from my likes and dislikes what could end up being in my novels.

I don’t like to be predictable though, but it is true that there is a little of what I love in everything that I do

Below is a list of stories, books or movies in which I mentally visit and live in a lot, for some reason or another, I am dragged back there to relive scenes or add new ones in my mind.  However, I never write those reimagining’s down through fear of becoming a fraud!  Though I have sometimes thought about doing fanfiction!

1922 By Stephen king – this story in particular has actually influenced a horror I am writing, which is based around a well in a garden too, funnily enough.  But the story concept is poles apart besides the setting of a well. 

Spider By Hanns Heinz Ewers – Every time I see a spider I remember the story.  Every time I see a woman working at a loom or spinning yarn, I think of this story.  You would think that wouldn’t be very often then, but I know a lot of prepper, homesteading type ladies who do this regularly.  I have wanted to do this myself; I have always wanted to make my own felt too. 

The complete collection of The Wizard of Oz By Frank L Baum – So many imaginative things in all the stories, living china dolls, servant monkeys, it’s absolute joy!  The landscape descriptions, oh my word, they are divine, I just can’t help but bring myself back to those scenes. 

Smoke and Mirrors By Neil Gaiman – So many lovely stories and poems in this book, I presume they are poems in any case?  I see them as such, I love the prose, I just love the way he writes!  It is very soulful writing. 

The man in the picture By Susan Hill – This is the only book in my entire reading history, of such length, that I have read and could not put down even for a toilet break!  It is just so gripping and I loved it, it had a similar air to Dorian Grey, but in my opinion much better executed.  I love Venice, never been, but still, always wanted to, love with a passion masquerades and carnival life. 

Matilda By Roald Dahl – Ever since I was little, since Victoria Wood read this on TV I have loved this story and nagged my mum in buying me the book, but she never did.  I must have borrowed this book a hundred times from the library before I became an adult and bought it as part of a trilogy compilation.  How I wished that my soul got angry enough with the people in my life that I could play with the supernatural like she did!  It may have solved a lot of my childhood problems, or created worse ones, who knows? 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Very alike to Wizard of Oz, the scenes are great, but I also like crazy characters, madness or at least the descent into it ideas.  I love kooky takes on animal and plant life and this was such a joy to behold.  The artwork etc, I love everything about Alice in Wonderland and I have an addiction to collecting Alice in Wonderland novelties.  There were times I pranced around in life hoping I fell down a hole where things were very different too. 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – If you can actually manage to read the whole book and get past the awful main scene, you will actually find this book very deep on an emotional level that is not just traumatic, but beautiful too.  If you read deeply, push past the horrible stuff, it is very meaningful.  How the dead view the living, how the living cannot move on until the dead does, what dead children do in the heavens.  Living out their wildest imaginations; yes, a lot of it is weird and sickening, but I urge you to try and edit those horrible bits out of your mind and read it without those bits.  It takes strong stuff to do that, I know!  But honestly, it is a lovely book besides. Try to skim the nasties.   

Confessions of an ugly step-sister by Gregory Maguire – I love Cinderella anyway, but this plot was good and more to the way that I thought it was behind the scenes.  I love how I learned real history in this book too, the bit about the tulips in Holland.  By the way, that’s another addiction I have – tulips.

I.T By Stephen King – I used to be scared of clowns, big time, before I even learned about Pennywise, but it is funny to actually say that I loved the character Pennywise so much it lessened my fear of them.  Weird I know!  In the past two years in particular, I have lost my fear of clowns entirely and now enjoy them, in fact, they are becoming the main projects for my art!  I just hate the scene of little Georgie.

The Mad Max Movies – I have a thing for life on the road, roguish living, post-apocalyptic tribal societies and the general chaos of survival as whole societies descend into madness.  For this reason too, I think I like the next movie;

Reign of fire movie – I love subterranean settings and when you throw in dragons in a post-apocalyptic world I am in my element. 

Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins is another subterranean setting I love, full of gothic elements such as bats, rats, roaches and gore with an edge of the apocalypse feel to it. 

The Blue Bird starring Shirley Temple – this has been in my mind since I was a very small child, a lot of things about this movie can be seen in small snippets of some of my work.  I have mentioned Old father time and I have cats and dogs which can take on a human form, children trapped in dream time in a couple of my stories to date so far.  No Spoilers, because they were just passing things in the plot, not the actual plot at all.

The Karnstein Trilogy – I love this much more than Dracula, I love the movies and the books they were based on.  I loved it so much that I had been heavily influenced by this trilogy my whole life; I have had to be careful when writing my vampires in fear of coming off as a plagiarist.  You may see what I mean with what I mentioned in “The Blue Bird” paragraph.  I have had to learn to chop up everything I love and move them around genres and different stories, like some experimental stir fries. 

I shall write about the tropes and scenes and types of characters I like in future posts – keep eye out for those!

Happy reading! 

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Favourite genres to read

Reading is something I do often, but in more recent years I have noticed a decrease in reading fiction for non-fiction and I am starting to miss reading fiction as a whole.  I am trying to increase the fiction that I read, but a lust for research usually gets in the way of it.

I miss fiction a lot and I want to share with you the genres or types of books that I enjoy the most;

I obviously enjoy vampires, but they seem to have a broad genre rather than just slotted into one and ironically they don’t often get found where you expect at libraries and bookshops.  I expect to find them at the horror section, but oftentimes they are found in the YA section or even romance!

My favourite genres are fantasy, horror, YA, dystopia and graphic novels.  I love anthologies too and tend to read more short stories than full length novels and I love novellas too.

I dislike romance or having too much romance in the stories that I do read, I tend to skim past scenes like this a lot, and I am not at all a romantic person!  I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother consumed fifteen mills and boon a week as I was growing up!  If there is one thing I can say about my mother, is that she read faster than I ever could!

For a small time during my youth I did kind of get into some of her romance books, but the naughtier ones which made her laugh a bit but also side glanced me in concern as I was becoming more and more an adult; the silhouette, blaze and historical/regency ones I liked best.  But there are only so many gooey eyes and passionate forays in the bedroom you can read before you need to get a grip on your hormones and stop reading that sort of thing for sanities sake!

So for mental health reasons I avoid romance, not because I am a prude, far from it, but there comes a time when one gets tired of a constant sense of nonfulfillment, as it were.

Right anyway, enough of that!

Bitter about a misspent youth of being such a good girl and obeying her mother and never dating anyone until she was twenty purely because of the fear of the scene that would unfold just because I suggested that maybe I am old enough to go out on my own now mum?  Is it obvious?  Well… of course… it wasn’t normal back then and it isn’t normal now… well… Covid19 might have made that sort of thing normal now, but generally it isn’t normal is it?

But yes, I love horror and fantasy and I love humour too!  Those are my genres I love to read and even write.  Christopher Moore, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Ransom Riggs, Roald Dhal, David Walliams, Frank L Baum, George McDonald, Edgar Allen Poe, Max Brook, Anne Rice, Brian Froud to name but a few of my favourites.

There will be more in depth posts in future about what I like and even why.

Happy reading all!

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Ideas and the life of them

Having lots of story ideas is an author’s dream, well I guess I have the dream creative life then, because I have more ideas than I can handle!

But it is not nice to be like this, having more ideas than I can reasonably write!  How do I manage being like this?  I have noticed there is not much literature on people who are overloaded with ideas, but there is plenty literature on how to try and get them! 

For me personally, I have learned that I can’t write enough to get every idea down on paper, even writing more than one paragraph about the idea is a challenge at times! 

How I manage the best ideas;

I keep a bullet point journal about the general ideas; usually just one sentence per idea as a trigger to remembering, so that later on in the day, usually just before I go to sleep, I write a further paragraph or two in an ideas folder.

I have to say, I am often brutal with my ideas, ideas come and go quite quickly for me and not all of them are worthy of note!  Weirdly enough most of the ideas come when I am on the toilet, in the bath or at a busy café!

I have ideas that are not even for my favourite genres to write, many times I discard ideas because I feel that their plots are too complicated for me or requires much more research than I am willing to do on a new subject I know nothing about!  Believe me, I am not in any need for further research material, I read mostly non-fiction these days as it is!

This past week alone I have had six entirely new ideas come and so far, only two have survived further summaries.  Those two were of the genre I write, three of the others were not of my genre and one other was way too technological – as we all know technology is not my strong point!

The ideas that remained were another dragon story and a comedy vampire story. 

The ideas I discarded were an Italian romance story, a story based on the life of a rabbit, a story that seemed too similar to the plot of a recent book review I watched on YouTube and the complicated story was a space opera.

You can’t hoard all these ideas if you are sure you are not going to write them!

I firmly believe in Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea in Big Magic; ideas are alive, they have souls, they are like ghosts of stories that want to exist, they flow from person to person seeing who’d write them and if they decide not to write them, they flow onto people they know who might.

This doesn’t mean that a person steals another person’s idea; most of the time people don’t even know that those ideas are in people’s heads – because a lot of creative people are closely guarded by what they merely think about.  Especially if they do not know that they are not going use those ideas. 

But it is strange how many times a person has claimed that a story their friend has wrote, was weirdly an idea that they had had for a long time but didn’t take the plunge.  I too, have found this! 

In fact the more creative friends I make, the more ideas I seem to get and it is not because of a feedback of ideas they talk about (because most of them don’t), it is usually about the ones they don’t talk about!  Elizabeth Gilbert explains this phenomenon in Big Magic, if you haven’t read the book I strongly recommend it!

Because of this book, I have learned not to get so uppity and upset when people write things I wanted to write, but didn’t – it’s not copyright theft if they really genuinely didn’t know that you thought of it first – the ideas just got fed up waiting on you as an agent for their life!

However in the past I have got upset over this, purely because ideas were shared with trusted members of the family and they were literally sold to the highest bidder – usually for a crate of wine or a new computer and then I get to see my books on film after all a couple of years later.  Missing out all of the time, Bitter?  Of course, because it happened a lot through that relative!  Some of those ideas were actually near the point of being sent to agents, it was the last draft when I discovered the damage that happened yet again.

Thankfully those people are out of my life, but unfortunately it has made me afraid to share too much with anyone.  I say only vaguely what my stories are about, but I am not inclined to go to writers clubs anymore, in case strangers do the same thing.  I can’t lose my hard work again and again, it is soul destroying!

My ideas folder is thicker than a dictionary. 

I get ideas flooding me at intervals that happen as frequent as every six months on average, they come for two or three weeks completely disrupting my life like some violent storm and they can come at first in around five the first week and blow up to be as many as twenty near the end of their flow, generally totalling around forty to fifty ideas by the end of the event. 

How many of those ideas do I actually write? 

I write towards approximately six to ten stories a season, but finish them entirely, usually not… I tend to pause for a year or two at chapter seventeen; there is something about chapter seventeen that seems to do that to me.  Because my pauses are lengthy, most stories take an average of three years to write, because pauses like that are necessary for me. 

There was one very rare occasion, I think it was 2017 – 2018 NaNoWriMo, I can’t remember which, where I was approximately five chapters away from finishing a novel in a month, that for me, was record timing!

It is a habit I am trying to get into, have been trying to get into since 2016.  I want to write all of my novels in one month, they need life.

I feel like some sort of literary Dr Frankenstein, these books must have life, life you hear!  LIFE!

I haven’t recounted my unfinished works since 2017, back then my unfinished works were seventy six with a further two hundred un-started, synopsis stage other works.

At present there are four near to finished works and two finished works that are pending an extensive review and potential rewrite. 

I am far more organised than I used to be and funnily enough, I believe that I am becoming a faster writer when I do write. 

I haven’t written much lately because I am beginning to get apathetic about everything regarding life as there are some serious health problems cropping up where I am unsure of my future at present.

I am determined to do NaNoWriMo this year for my sanities sake, but I can’t tell what will happen until those emergency hospital appointments are done and dusted and another health problem is confirmed or denied… hopefully denied, or else, well… let’s just say; I won’t have much of a career in writing if it’s confirmed.

Happy reading everyone!

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NaNoWriMo fresh idea

I had planned to write towards the giant story 1 for NaNoWriMo but something has occurred in my mind to change that; Instead I have decided to write an a new idea with a remastered old idea combined to make a very different story, which will be called Dragon story 2.

In the old story I wrote as a short story around fifteen years ago, a young farm girl finds a baby flying unicorn and flies off into the clouds into a new magical world at night.  This time it is not going to be a flying unicorn, the story will still exist in how I originally wrote it untouched/undeleted; but this time the farm girl will find a baby dragon and an entirely different story takes place, where the girl this time will not be adventuring alone!

This will be a family fantasy, whether or not there will be funny moments in this story or not, remains to be seen at the present time.  I am in planning mode right now and intend to fully write this story throughout NaNoWriMo simply because it’s very fresh and I do better with fresh new projects than old stale ones.

When doing NaNoWriMo, I force myself to forget all other projects except for the one I am counting words towards for the event. I become completely absorbed in that story alone, so it is vital I choose correctly!

Happy Reading!

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Preparing for NaNoWriMo

For the past two weeks I am getting used to typing on my laptop on my adjustable table, it is slower than I would usually be however, but it is at least getting things done again.

Paul is not coping very well with shingles, so the move around of the rooms won’t be happening for a few weeks.  He has said come what may by my Birthday, which is the 3rd October, he had hoped to have done the living room at least – but I am not happy that he wants to try and push himself to do that, when he can barely do basic other things.

I may allow him to move things around his own birthday, if he is better, which is six weeks later – the 11th November.

I am planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I may have to tolerate doing most of it on the laptop or by hand.

I have new ideas, which I really didn’t need, but they are dominating my thoughts at a huge scale lately. A subject too, which I ordinarily wouldn’t do… aliens.

The alien story is a comedy and it will be focused as such, as I have said before, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and embrace the humour that’s within me.

This alien story has now made a total work in process of eleven stories, which will be called these things when referring to them on my blog…

Alien story

Giant story 1

Balloon story

Vampire story 1

Dragon story 1

Cat story

Boat story 1

Ship story 1

Historical fantasy 1

Warrior 1

Apocalypse 1

There are only four stories though that is being worked on more than the others.  Why did I add 1 to the story names?  Because in actuality I have ideas which far exceed the number eleven and many of them have those things as a main theme or character.  I sometimes think that I should name the stories for you; the name of the main character, but that won’t tell you much on the potential theme.

My main passions from the above are the Dragon story 1 – Apocalypse 1 – Warrior 1 and Vampire story 1.

Apocalypse 1 is the main reason for my religious studies. 

Warrior 1 makes me nervous to write when Henry is around because it is based on a character that does wrestling for a living in a war torn kind of world and he often wants to chip in and have more fight scenes than I can cope with!  He also doesn’t like the fact that the main character is female because of course; this story must be based on Henry!  But no, I don’t want to do that.

Dragon story 1 is currently going through its approximate thirtieth draft since it was first thought of in 2003!  Also around twenty original characters have been scrapped since the start of the project entirely and the whole story line has been completely remastered at least six times. 

In this current draft I have completed seventeen chapters and I am near the climax of the story, which I am sort of happy with so far, but the first three chapters may well get remastered again to suit the rest.

Vampire story 1 is the oldest project I have ever had!  This has only been remastered three times and I am struggling to decide if some major cultural aspect is doable or not and have been thinking for the first time in my history as a writer, in looking for beta readers… but not yet!  This idea has been with me since the 90s!

Which story will be the one I choose to focus on in NaNoWriMo this year?  Potentially Giant 1, this story has never got out of the extensive planning stage, so it would be good to give it a proper first draft.  As I am now embracing humour, this will be a fantasy comedy and to be honest, the humour will work well with the landscapes planned.  My main problem with the story is, should I write specifically for everyone and be family friendly?  Or should I have a no holds barred attitude on it? 

Happy reading and let me know your thoughts!

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Funny VS Serious

Something has changed in me regarding my creative pursuits. 

I have for many years wanted to write horror as my main genre, focusing primarily on supernatural beings such as vampires with a very serious stance on the subject.  I then wanted to write fantasy as well but for the adult market; However, I have been battling with these ideas for the past five years as I have become more humorous in my writings and more emotional and I have found myself writing much less serious horror and more family oriented fantasy.  The horror I do write is becoming increasingly comedic and I don’t really know why, but I enjoy it.

I have fought against putting in comedy in my books, but I can’t help it, I wanted to write in a manner that depicts the darkness of human nature in a very serious way.

I have learned as I am getting older, I am finding humour in the most unusual of things and I am writing in a light hearted way increasingly.  My books were originally going to be of the seriousness of Anne Rice, Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but as I am developing as a writer I am becoming much more like Christopher Moore, Ransom Riggs and the writers of the league of gentlemen television series.

I have a couple of writer friends who saw this happening to me long before I did!  They often said to me “Tina, you really are a funny woman, you should write comedy it will really take off” but I shunned it moodily and said that I am not really that type of author and I was worried to take such a stance creatively because once you are renown for being funny, isn’t there always a pressure to maintain this personality to everyone?

Well I sought to push out the comedy that was in me, every time I wrote a funny scene I edited it out, until the scenes started getting funnier and the stories were becoming more and more demanding that they should be humorous in form. 

I have to admit I have avoided comedy entirely in my blog because I am scared of it to be honest!  My sense of humour is rather unique I feel and somewhat dark.  I am scared that people will start to think that my humour reflects me as a person, to me; humour and people’s acceptance of different types of humour can be a very touchy subject and should always be stepped into with caution.

Along with all of this, there is also the problem that I am one of these people who are constantly afraid of offending people, I always like to remain as polite as possible and sometimes people can consider humour as impolite or downright rude!

I am terrified of doing this, but I am going to try and get out of my safe comfort zone and attempt to write the humour on my blog occasionally – now please remember, the idea of showing people the funny side of me scares me!  I usually keep my sense of humour to very close friends and family and in general I am looked upon by those who are not close to me as a deadpan sort of woman!

My sense of humour I would describe as sarcastic, ironic, dark, tongue in cheek, warped and very corny.  Sensitive people would call some of my sense of humour as just simply sick and over the top!

Most of the fiction I gravitate towards reading are very dark horror or humour.

Most of the television shows I watch are comedies, costume dramas, horror or fantasy; but looking at my DVD collection it is mostly two thirds comedy!  People who know me, but are not close to me are often puzzled when they look upon my DVD collection; they look back and forth from me to the collection in sheer wonder.  I am not very public about my humour and I am not entirely sure why!

Part of the redefining myself is to bring out the real me in all its raw details to everybody, so this means I have to start getting comfortable being me in public as well as private.  This means people will start to see a new me, those who are not close that is and it may confound them.

My vampires had a lot of corny jokes in their books, but I deleted some of them in the past thinking that humour had no right in being in a serious vampire novel.  

I felt that people would not appreciate a corny joke in a book about vampires unless it was consistent throughout the book and was specifically marketed as a comedy – I felt that my stance in writing a humorous sentence only once every twenty pages or so wasn’t enough and would perhaps irritate hard-core readers of the genre.  Then I found Christopher Moore’s “Bite Me”, though I admit his comedy is very consistent throughout the book, unlike mine.

I will talk also about how my art is affected too in another post as I am also fighting with what I want to do VS what I seem to do most and enjoy!

As stupid as it sounds, this post was meant to be a post about how people need to focus on their natural talent rather than fight against it – instead it is just basically me telling you all how I am struggling to come across as a serious person, but I fail miserably and try to hide my sense of humour from the world!

Hopefully some of you will have read it how it really is – that I am not confident to be myself wholly and that I am trying my best to be so.

Thing is, I don’t want to be funny in everything – some of my work in this blog has proven that I do think very deeply about a lot of things and I can come across as deadly serious in many subjects!  Can an author be appreciated for the two very different takes in their works?  I hope so, but doubt it somewhat.

Happy reading!

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Imagination from the shadows

The shadow world surrounds me and inspires my heart

Stories to tell and wondrous art

Fantasy, horror, I love them all

They dance in my head in their raucous ball

I sit and I write about courageous fights and dragons protecting their nest

I write about angels betraying God and I think I like those the best

But the thing I love more than all of these things

Is the fantasy that someday I may inspiration bring

To other writers and artists like me

To help and set their imagination free

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Stephen King’s Dark Tower Multiverse?

I am planning a long reading project specifically focusing on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series; however, there is more to the Dark Tower series than meets the eye, so it seems.

When it comes to Stephen King I am a slow reader, because I find his books very long most of the time, it takes me an average of 3 to 6 weeks to finish a King novel, yet here I am, planning to read approximately 19, could be more!

Because I know my attention span is almost non-existent in almost every context of my life, I know that this reading project will probably span over 5yrs for me – that is realistic, because knowing me, as I do, I know that I will not just focus 100% on these books, there will be other books thrown into it as well as I have a heavy penchant for non-fiction and anthologies and my goodreads current reading list has 13 books in it, some are non-fiction reference books I started two years ago.

There is a YouTube video I watched the other day which tells you in order to better understand the Dark Tower series you should really do further reading between books of the series to understand the novel more; why?  Because a lot of the characters and things within the Dark Tower books can be found in other non-Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  What I find strange is in my opinion this is not a comprehensive list, because according to the YouTuber they mention that “The Shining” is mentioned in these books as well as Carrie White, yet these books are not part of the list he gave.

Here is the video if you are interested… https://youtu.be/4pmxpfPfzOw

Now before I jump in and read his recommended list I will be researching other people’s suggestions as well before making my decision where I will start.  No doubts at the end of this project I will have created my own list of recommendations because personally I think I know Stephen King novels like the back of my hand, I have been watching most of his movies and reading his stuff since I was 8yrs old, I have just got slow with reading altogether since 2006.

Also I was extremely hasty in 2009 when I wanted to run away from my parents’ house, I gave away half of my unread Stephen King collection to charity, because I was downsizing to the point I could take almost everything with me if needed.  However, I never had to do that and if I had known that before I gave away the 200 books I had from other people as well, I would never have truly given them up willingly and the DVDs too for that matter!

This memory makes me extremely sad because I had almost completed the collection for the Green Mile at the time too!

Anyway the above list was shown as this, to be read in this order;

  1. Salem’s Lot (seen the movie)
  2. The Stand (owned read to page 40 on average before weirdly getting the flu, this happened on 4 separate occasions I read the book – spooky!)
  3. Dark Tower – gunslinger (owned never read)
  4. Dark Tower – Drawing of the 3 (owned never read)
  5. Eyes of the dragon
  6. The Talisman
  7. Black House
  8. Everything’s eventual (not the title story yet but everything else)
  9. Dark Tower Wastelands
  10. The Dark Tower Wizard of Glass (owned never read)
  11. Insomnia (owned never read)
  12. Bag of bones
  13. Dark Tower wind through the keyhole
  14. Dark Tower the wolves of calla
  15. Dark Tower song of Susannah
  16. Everything’s eventual (the title story)
  17. Hearts in Atlantis (the 1st story)
  18. I.t (owned, read halfway before mastoid surgery made me forger to finish it, seen the movie too)
  19. Dark Tower

As you can see there are at least three books missing from this list if we were to include other mentioned characters from the Dark Tower.  There is no recommendation to read Carrie, The Shining or Doctor Sleep.  So those who are not au fait with Stephen King but want to read this epic fantasy series, really would not get the idea behind the mention of “The Shining” or Carrie White, how much more has this YouTuber left out I wonder?

So until I have watched a few more videos and viewed a few more blogs based on other reader recommendations, I will have to keep this project on hold, because I don’t like to miss a trick wherever possible and no, I don’t like spoilers!

Happy Reading!

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Learn to improvise tried and tested themes

There is one thing I dislike about reading stories and that is, I get confused about whether it was a movie or a book years later.  Sometimes there is a movie and a book out and I get confused because the actors are different to when I visualised it when reading. 

I also have the same problem about my own novels I write; were those my ideas or did I see the movie somewhere before?   Sometimes I have to actually make notes about where I have seen other things that I am imagining for my own stories, because I am paranoid about coming across as a copycat, I often google even characters and fantasy creatures, just to be sure.

Funnily enough, doing this has shown me how unoriginal many seemingly original stories are by other people.  At least I have learned how not to be cliché.  For example, I had an idea about a giant spider in a forest for one of my dragon novels, but then this has been done many times before, not just Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! 

Let me tell you the others;

Conan the barbarian – the tower of the elephant

Arachne in Greek mythology

Arachnos from Dr Who

The Cthulu mythos

The wonderful wizard of Oz

Arachnophobia

There is a whole lot more – in fact giant spiders are overdone in three genres, horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

It is reasonable to think that it would be a popular choice along with rats, wasps, snakes, being buried alive because all of these are mankind’s greatest fears, so it can be a useful if overdone tool for creative writing.

But does that mean that you can’t include these overworked themes in your own writing?  Maybe not, but no one is going to write it like you, you can put a unique stance to the story, something that certainly hasn’t been done.  Maybe instead your spiders are friendly, vegan, mages, aquatic, who knows the options are many!

For your information, there is such a thing as aquatic arachnids, spiders that can live both on the land and in water, they can breathe under water, now your nightmares can really begin to grow!  What will you do with it?

So, although it is good for me to be paranoid about originality, originality in fact does not exist.  Only your stance of what already exists can feel unique to those who may never have come across something like that before and the likelihood of finding people like that is at least 33%, well I am not mathematician, so I wouldn’t really know, but the chances are, people will like your perspective on the subject or theme.  So get at it, but always be aware that you are not as original as you think – this shouldn’t stunt you, in fact, it should help teach you to think outside the box, improvise or innovate, you know?

Happy reading!

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Reflections of consequence

Upon reflecting at my notes for new stories, I realise that around a third of everything I plan to write is vampire based.  So this is a revelation because I thought I wrote vampires more than any other subject, but no, it is second to fantasy.  Horror is actually not within the top three subjects I write about but is actually fourth, behind dystopia. 

The poetry I write is really just a means to fulfil the frustrated composer and song writer in me.  Poetry is a way in keeping me sane from the loss of composing music via Cubase, I no longer have Cubase and there is a void in my heart because of it.  I can’t read and write music properly but I have been trying to learn recently, so I can try and learn to cope without Cubase, as I miss it a lot.  I have no desire whatsoever to be a singer though; I just love making music and writing lyrics.

I think about music as much as I think about my stories, but I have learned to give up music for various reasons.  Occasionally ignoring it can make me go literally insane enough that I have to blurt out poetry just to shut the thoughts up in my mind, but it is starting to get quite loud in my mind lately.  Not sure how long I have before I will give in and sell stuff just to get another type of music software to help me.  I bought a glockenspiel last year hoping to sate my need for music and around once every eighteen months I notice I buy a new instrument just to try and sate the musician in me, but I think my brain is getting wise to these distractions.

I do believe that if you are creative and you have many outlets, to ignore any one of those outlets for too long can both make you go nuts, but also seep into your other creative works and make you resent the attention you give them, because you are ignoring the other.  All creative outlets are both food and poison for the other ones, depends on whether or not they feel neglected or not, a bit like a polygamous lover, you know?

I am an Artist, Gardener, Musician, Writer; I do sing and I used to like acting in drama classes at college, I do voices too.  It is strange that since I totally gave up practising my voices, that I have been getting a lot of illnesses that affect the throat, some spiritual healers tell me they are not surprised, because it is the throat chakras way in responding to this creative neglect.  I suppose too then, that when I don’t write for a while, the migraines I get in my head are to do with the stories having a civil war in my mind too?

I’m very spiritual, so to me, everything happens for a reason and I believe that sickness can be caused because you are neglecting a spiritual or creative part of you.  I think love and freedom has a lot to do with a person’s overall health and I suppose that it is this reason that I am ill.  I don’t have much love and I never had much freedom, I don’t mean to sound whiny but it is true and therefore, it is unsurprising that I have autoimmunity issues.

I am very unsurprised that a vast majority of my illnesses are ear, throat and stomach related.  Because throughout my life I have heard things I do not like to hear, I have never spoken about what has happened to me and I hold back when trying to stand up for myself verbally, I also ate things I never wanted to.  So when you reflect on things like this, you can plainly see how it can all make you ill in those parts of you.

I find myself a lot, saying to people I don’t want to hear this, it is not kind, I don’t want to hear this, it is too negative.  I am such a sensitive person, I don’t like hearing negative things spoken all the time, I don’t like hearing another person’s distress.  I lost my hearing when I was a teenager in my right ear, because I kept hearing things I didn’t like, now I still hear things I don’t like and gradually I am losing hearing in the left ear too.

I either have to become harder and more tolerant to what I hear, or completely isolate myself from society altogether, lol.  If I chose the latter, it will surely affect the health of my heart due to a lack of connection and love?  So I will have to learn to harden up and become tolerant to the negativity around me, I don’t know how I will do that, but it needs to start happening soon, or I won’t be able to hear music anymore, let alone play it.

Anyway, happy reading and I will post again tomorrow, thank you for being here!

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