Tag Archives: write

Rewrites and steampunk animals

I am eager to get my desk up and stuff put into organised areas again, because I am desperate to get a start on writing towards six projects.

The idea of doing NaNoWriMo may go out of the window because I am working on remastering an old project to go into an entirely different direction altogether. 

My old project is known as Dragon 1 to some and Maud to others; so I will start calling it Maud here, because that’s the title I give it, even though I feel the title will change with the rewrite.

Why am I completely remastering the story? 

I have learned that my characters seem to lack soul, vibe, if you get what I mean?  They are bland in my opinion, well most of them, and only around six seem to have any real spirit for the storyline.  I learned that my main character is someone I do not know as well as her mentor.

Therefore the stance of the story is changing to not focus too much on her (Maud that is) but to concentrate on events unfolding and the mentor’s journey with Maud.  Because this story is about a teenager who is being mentored into understanding a certain culture and to prepare her for integration in that culture; this story is a fantasy setting where dragons and witches are a huge part of their cultural heritage.  I like to think of my story as a mix of Princess Diaries and Lord of the Rings, but the few people I have shared the old parts of the story with, believe I am not being fair to my story as in their opinion it is nothing like it, but certainly moreish!

The story has comedy elements which were slightly supressed, but now I am more confident in adding humour into my fantasy stories, the comedy scenes will be less choked as it were.

I never wrote the story from a first person narrative, which will make the rewrite easier; this story is written in a third person narrative – I rarely write in first person.

Originally the story was focused on what Maud could see and hear and what she immediately interacted with but within the confines of a third person narrative.  Now it is not like that, it is more chopped, flowing to and from characters, building atmosphere, tension and mysteries which weren’t present in the old manuscripts. 

I know it is an unpopular idea, but it is crucial to the plot that there will be two chapters or large scenes of flash-backs, because there was a murder in the plot – so, saying that, it is understandable, especially as the murder does not happen in the story, but is part of the past of the story, if that makes sense?

So this is the project I am writing towards as soon as my desktop computer is set up on my new desk.  This story has nearly been sent to publishers twice since starting it and I am so glad I held back until now; because I have put the story away for a year without reading it and went back to it with fresh eyes and saw zombie like characters and characters who personally should no longer exist in the rewrite because they did nothing but follow Maud around like lost puppies and the only exciting thing those characters did was sacrifice their lives to save the group!

“Kill your darlings” as Stephen King says, I think it was him anyway…

The second project is something I will be working on long-term and it has interest already from some comic fans I personally know.  This is going to be a long-winded project because I am trying to hone in on my art skills, which are still in the baby stages if I am honest.  So not only am I writing the series of stories this will become, I am trying my best to do anthropomorphic steam punk art that goes with it!

Yes you read right, anthropomorphic steam punk art – exciting stuff, eh?

In fact it is this second projects fault, that I have not published anywhere online at all any new inktober art for this year!  I am focusing too much on practising art for this project that I haven’t really practised much else.

Being the overprotective little creator that I am, I am scared to share my current artwork with anyone online, in case it gives too much away to the plot as a whole!

But there are steam punk anthropomorphic animals, running around a dystopian horror world, that’s all I am going to say!

Happy reading everyone, hope you are as excited to see what I am doing as I am!

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A writer’s embarrassment

Coming back to the discussion of what is a trope?  I have learned that a trope is a new take on a cliché, but my friends still disagree, what is with all this snobbery?

It must be snobbery because they get very awkward when the word “cliché” is mentioned – I understand clichés are to be avoided in writing; I always endeavour to avoid a cliché myself, but to merely mention them in conversation resorts to shock and horror from other writers of the mention of the thing!

So, after finding literally no help in the explanation of what a trope is, I went to my last resort of Googling it after all; it really is what I thought it would be, a new take on a cliché that is so well disguised or embellished that you can be fooled that it is indeed, not a cliché after all.  How stupid this all seems to me, you have no idea!

I read somewhere once that there is only a finite amount of ideas in the world, it’s how you execute yours that makes all the difference – unfortunately I can’t remember who said that, nor am I sure I quoted right!

https://wikidiff.com/trope/cliche

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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Should I? Shan’t I?

In the bath the other day I had a really funny idea for a new story, but then I had second thoughts because if I become known for say…. Sagas about Vampires, would then making an unconnected single book with vampires done on a purely comical stance, be considered too confusing for my potential fan base?

Or, when doing a more comedic book, should I use an alternative pen name?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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World War Z – book review

I finished reading World War Z on Wednesday by Max Brooks and I have to say that it was incredibly thought provoking and the best example of world building I have come across in a long time!

There were things in this novel that I would never ever have dreamed of thinking as possibilities in a zombie infested world that I found very clever.  You understand that zombies are considered undead or dead people reanimated but do you really understand what that would really mean if it were real?

Think about it, what could the dead do that we could not if they happened to have become ravenously hungry reanimated autopilot predators?

Terrifying things actually!

They could survive climates and places that we as living breathing human beings would struggle with!

The story is absolutely amazing and without giving you too many spoilers I can’t really say much more than this… if you want a horror in a dystopian world and you want to be taught near perfect world building and keeping things real, then this is a must read, whether you like zombies or not!

This is how world building is done folks!

Happy reading!

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Hyper-thoughts a mental illness?

I think one of the biggest reasons why I dislike reading novels are because they feed my imagination and make me think of new stories and I am not in any shortage of story ideas as it is.  I think reading fiction can add to my insanity at times, overflowing me with too many ideas that sometimes it literally does feel like my creativity really is driving me insane!

I am the same if I am overloaded with looking at other people’s art, new movies and playing new games.

I do all these things with caution but not matter how cautious I am in doing these things, reading, watching movies and looking at art etc, I can’t help but become over exposed to stimulus that feeds my imagination at least three new story plots at a time!

There are times I have actually bought on strained wrists or my carpal tunnel syndrome to just write the ideas down fast, I can never do so fast enough and I have even had people buy me Dictaphones to try and help me but again, I can never speak fast enough!  It is actually quite horrible, people say it sounds like you are blessed, but in my head it is utter chaos, I can’t focus at times and this is a huge part of my procrastination in general, because I can’t seem to focus on one idea, my brain thinks about multiple things at once.  I am sure this is actually a mental illness, but I don’t think there is a known mental illness out there for people who can literally think about several subjects and problems all at once and then get confused when they have to try and focus to explain to others what those ideas and thoughts are!

I wish telepathy was a thing, it would solve a lot, I could have a room filled with people who would be writing separately all of my ideas for me and help me organise the chaos and bring it into reality as fiction or art.

I have been suffering from this strange mental problem even more in the past few weeks; I am inspired by almost everything I have access to lately.

 I suffer from migraines frequently and it could be my auto-immune inner ear disease doing it some of the time, but most of the time I think it’s the hyper-thoughts as I like to call them. 

I have been told I can’t be a very good writer unless I read a lot of fiction and I don’t generally.  I read more non-fiction than fiction, so I feel lately I have to throw myself into some more novels by other people.  I am finding it hard to fit into creative circles because of two major flaws I have, the lack of fiction reading and the lack of social media I indulge in.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do.

But I do know this; it is affecting productivity lately at a major scale.  Whenever I sit down to write stories these days I don’t enjoy them as much as I used to, I sit there sometimes and cry, because my thoughts can’t seem to align themselves.  I am confused and often confounded by the goings on in my head that I stare at my previous words in awe that I finished those at least, but I can’t seem to move on and I can be like this for over an hour before giving up.

I am trying to do what other people recommend that I do, that is focus on one to three novels and finish those before doing others.  This is not working for me and I am so out of focus these days I find it hard to go back to my old way of writing – which is to literally write towards one idea until the others call me and so on.    This has meant in the past I once had as many as 27 separate novels on the go at once and the average time it took to complete just one of those stories was around 5yrs.

What has put the pressure on me the most I think is the notion that I have been told that some of my words in progress will be of out of date or over used themes by the time I get it to publishers that they won’t be interested in it when I get around to it.  That is so very demotivating.

I don’t really know what to do right now because of it.

Happy reading

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Half term bland content

Writing towards my blog when Henry is home from school because of half term and other holidays etc, is a big task for me because Henry is such an attention seeker, he can’t be without constant attention from me, even if I were to write for less than 20 minutes, he will endeavour to stop me.  I can only usually write when Henry is on holidays when Paul takes him out for me, so my content during this half-term, for the next few days, I am sorry to say that my blog may come across as a little blander than usual.

Though saying that, I am trying to get used to the different fingerings of a laptop, so I can type on my laptop in bed at night, but I am struggling with the finger differences and the brightness of the screen, but I am trying!

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Push me to be productive

WordPress has updated some features I think?

I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a streak counter before, there is one now and that poses both a solution and a problem to me; I am a sucker for maintaining long streaks on various websites, so this will now mean that I will be obsessing over maintaining this streak of blog posts, because of the streak counter.

I have this same problem on DuoLingo it isn’t the lessons keeping me there as much as it is the streak counter and the same thing too, with 750words.com though saying that, I am very serious about learning Italian to fluency. 

I have been learning Italian on DuoLingo now for 432 days!  I do a minimum of one lesson which is 10 minutes per day, to sometimes 1 hour.

I had to give up my streak on 750.words.com because I can no longer afford to pay a monthly fee.  That really grinds me too.

If I am to be a productive person, I mean really productive. I need streak counters and tight schedules set by others, or I don’t tend to take things seriously.    This is how I know, if I am ever published, I would be addicted to writing more than ever, because of the pressures that my colleagues may or may not impose on me to do things.  I at least hope it to be the case anyway.  I guess it will be so, because I do love schedules and maintaining streaks etc. 

I think this is why I tend to finish NaNoWriMo early on the times I do it undisturbed.  I have been unlucky to get pneumonia one time doing this and very unlucky that my son became extremely sick with gastroenteritis another time. 

One thing about me is that when I have been in work, I have become quite quickly a workaholic.  But it takes me a long time to recover if I am released from positions for whatever reason.

I thrive with work and tasks and I literally wither away without it.

The thing is, Paul can be too liberal with me, he isn’t pushy like other people have been in my past and that is both nice and also in some ways bad too.  Because I need someone to nag me, shouldn’t you be writing now?  I mean you have been on Spore now for 4 hours…

I do lose track of time and sometimes I need that wake up call!

“Gosh 4 hours, you sure? shit I don’t have time to do this other thing too, yes, I should write”.

But no, that doesn’t happen here, I lose days at a time by being consumed by games, books and YouTube videos and nobody brings me back to reality, I am alone in trying to figure that one out for myself.

Paul just seems to think and feel that I need to be left alone, to do whatever I like, like some spoiled child.  He does spoil me, lets me get away with far too much and I am not so sure he should to be honest! Though it is nice he is so liberal, it is also very frustrating that he doesn’t seem to remember to help me get back to reality, you know?

I am not blaming him for my lack of focus far be it, but I do feel I need a personal nag machine.

Maybe this will change when Paul gets the Amazon dot, maybe I can program Alexa to nag me?

Worth a try, I think.

Happy Reading! 

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My week of writing 4 and updates

I have not had a good week regarding my immune system this week.  Everything has decided to play up again, my ears, my throat, ache in my bones, my cough is getting bad again and before you all start to panic, no it is not the corona virus!  Though I’m scared to go anywhere near a doctors surgery right now, despite a bad chest infection brewing. 

Talking of which I have had the news of 12 individuals I personally know dying of this damned disease this week!  One of which has left a family of 6 children under the age of 19 without a father, it is very sad.

Also recently my mother wrote me a letter trying to get back into contact with me again but failed to mention my uncle (one which raised me off and on a lot throughout my childhood) had also died of the corona virus just three weeks ago, after being admitting to hospital shortly after Christmas.  So that’s how much she cares about re-establishing contact with me where it actually matters; You see, people don’t matter to her, they never have – I mentioned in a previous post about how cold towards sentimentality she is with people and how people can be as easily discarded as items by her.  This proves it; even with her favourite sibling she is indifferent.  I don’t know how people can be that way?

Although I am very disappointed with my word count for the week, the whole fact I did anything at all is amazing, considering it has mostly been a bed bound week for me again. 

I have also had a brand new idea for a horror novel which I am excited about because I think it isn’t something that has been done before, but what will I know?  Anyway, the idea came at me whilst I was reading World War Z which is amazing really because the idea is not zombie based at all.

I am thinking about going into the planning stages for that book between now and April, because I am thinking about perhaps, health permitting, I may join NaNoWriMo.  I found out NaNoWriMo does an April and a July thing too, so I may do the April one this year, whilst this new idea is very fresh in my mind!  I am going to name the project “Bones” whenever I talk about it, so you know what I am on about from time to time. 

I have also decided against a YouTube channel because I have heard rumours than an average 10 minute video can take 7 hours of editing and I hate technology so I won’t enjoy that editing process at all.  Sorry for the disappointment guys!  On the bright-side, I may start posting pics on Instagram finally, well, soon, anyway. 

My word count has been very small this week.  It is as below…

Words towards blog posts           –             1334

Words towards novels                   –              6240

Words towards plans for novels –             647

Words towards poetry or songs –              79

Words towards essays                   –              0

Words towards other                     –              678

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Reality is hitting home

Paul and I have agreed that I can’t write like how I used to anymore because I am just too tired and ill a lot lately, especially with sleeping problems occurring. 

So, it has been agreed to cut my usual word count down by a thousand words per day.  Making my word goals 2k a day, because I am struggling to get past 2500 words and I am finding myself in consistent writing debt of 400 to 1350 words on a bad day. 

Like today, I was meant to write no less than 4458 words before tomorrow, because yesterday I was lagging behind as my auto-immune condition has decided to step up its game.  So today I am even worse and needing to go to bed again at any minute (it is nearly 6pm) and I am only just at 2300 words today – so the debt tomorrow would be even greater. 

Before all this crappy ill-health stuff started to happen I would easily vomit out 3k to 10k words per day, depending on how much time I had spare to write.  I felt that I could force myself to fart out 3k a day as an average but I think I have to sit back and realise I am not as healthy as I used to be and I have to learn to manage my health and disabilities better, instead of literally flogging myself to death, just so I don’t – whatever… You know, right? 

I am exhausted emotionally and physically a lot of the time.  I think I have to reside myself to finally realising that I am never going to be how I used to be anymore and I should just learn to make do with what I can do.  Stop pushing myself as hard, especially as stress can make your health worse, I already have enough stress I can’t control, and I may as well cut out the bits that I can.

Not only this, but I am starting to resent my writing today, because it is taking me around three to five hours to do my goals and that meant that my time for other things, such as reading, playing games and just chilling with my family was getting less and less.  So I can’t start resenting work I love doing, because that is not good.  I need to always stay in love with my writing and art, since I found out I have fell in love with it again.  Writing should be a pleasure, not a bind.

I have just got to manage myself better around my illness, better than I have been doing.  I have to start being kinder to myself; as I have been a right bully to myself recently.

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