Tag Archives: writer

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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What is a trope please?

I am not au fait with the majority of the vocabulary of the writing community as such, primarily because I have more or less isolated myself in recent years from the community due to a mistrust of old friends I once had in the community.

Therefore I have been trying to learn some of the technical speech other writers now use.  I only learned the other day what DNF truly meant “did not finish” in regards to the book reading community.

I should really make a DNF shelf on Goodreads, didn’t know that was accountable until now.  Up until now, any books I read partially on Goodreads but did not finish was either said as such in the review or just removed from the currently reading list.

The word trope confuses me slightly too.  I thought I understood what the word trope meant until I started to speak to a friend about tropes the other day who seemed confused by what I was saying.  She then said, those are not tropes, they are themes or settings; they are not the same thing.  So, what exactly is a trope?

I watched about eight YouTube videos last night trying to figure it out, hence why todays post is late.  To me, I did seem to understand what a trope is, my friends are never really ones to explain themselves or correct someone fully, sometimes I feel that they are just critics for the sake of criticising and yes, some friends, this one included already knows I think that about them, because I am very open and say what’s on my mind!  But still, it never prompts them to educate – some will feel that saying “Google it” is justifiable, but as a friend surely the idea of friendship is a sharing of ideas and opinions and to educate one another?  Isn’t that what socialising means?

To me it does mean that – but to people I know socialising seems to mean to them a complaining of their lives, a competitive stance on their life with each other, a woe is me and sympathy chasing, gossiping about others, usually venomously or merely grumping about the state of the world.

So what I believe a trope is based on YouTube research is in fact based on themes and events that happen in the novel – such as found family, a bunch of friends get together with a communal task, or the story has a circus, or a vampire, or the scene is set in snowy Alaska, or it is autumn in the book, or there is a love/hate relationship.  I think those are tropes, because some tropes are also themed.

But forgive me if I am wrong, can anyone help me?

If you can tell me what you think a trope is let me know in the comments below.

I was having a conversation with my friend about what I liked as tropes and apparently I am wrong, most of what I said was not considered a trope.

If I can find out the difference between tropes, a scene, an event and what have you, then I will make a post about what tropes I enjoy in the books I read and the kind of tropes that are in my stories that I write!

Happy reading!

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Henry the creative researcher

My Henry is eleven years old and this post is going to be about him.

Henry has wanted to become a chef since he was eight years old, before that he wanted to be a doctor, he still wants to be a chef, but he also wants to be an artist and writer and understands that life as a creative can be hard so he will need to find a more stable job until his creative career takes off.

Henry has a love for learning, particularly culture and history.  Henry knows that his family history is rich and he loves to learn about it all, from the deepest darkest depths that we can find through the assistance of places such as GenesReunited etc.

Learning about family history has prompted Henry to want to write his own novel.  Henry wants to write a novel about the late Edwardian into early Windsor times (if that’s a time period?).  The only thing I am allowed to say about the novel is that it is about two friends who live in the countryside and have a love for trains and is surviving through the throes of the dreaded Spanish flu.

I have no idea what made Henry interested in writing such a book, but I am proud that he is doing it, complete with his own illustrations and is determined to get it published once finished.

He is obsessively learning about life from 1900 to 1925 as this is the era he is writing about.  This is an obsession I can live with, because before that, his obsession was what he calls “The golden era of professional wrestling”.  Now I love wrestling personally, but when my Henry gets an obsession, believe me, it is a total war type obsession!

Henry, working on his novel.

Henry has been telling me how the poorest of poor in those days ate mostly rabbit, he told me this whilst giving awkward glances to our house rabbit Ray, who was quick in thumping his foot at hearing this, which was both spooky, funny and very apt!

Henry’s art is really good and at school most of his house points come from the art class and design technology.  Henry’s school is attached to the performing arts college, so he has been doing a lot of art, dance and drama in this school.

Henry has been noted for having a natural talent for entertainment, but has recently refused an audition for Matilda, down to the fact that since he has been bullied, he is losing his confidence slightly.  He also feels that the jealousy could increase his risk of being bullied, if he were to be successfully accepted in a role.

I have noticed that Henry tends to write and do art more when he has visibly seen me do this in front of him myself – so it is my duty, as his role model, to work when he is around instead of avoiding him like I have done in the past.  Because I personally work better alone, but Henry is influenced by what I do, so as I said in previous posts, I have to get out of my comfort zone and do work, regardless of who is present with me at the time.  I have to work it out for Henry’s sake!

Happy reading everyone!

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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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WIP 19th February 2021

Gah!  I have struggled with a writers debt I caused yesterday by not completing my 3k words yesterday, so today I had to force myself to write 4193 words by the end of the day!  But I am having a really bad day with my health and a big immunity relapse!  I am in pain, I am tired, I managed to do some writing, but I have to stop now as I am too tired!

I have writers debt tomorrow of 4458 words… I can wake up earlier and do more; this is getting out of hand!

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Perceiving art wrong

Since the dawn of this blogs existence I had intended for this blog to be a journey about my life and progress as a writer as well as an artist; it is quite obvious that I get distracted from this aspect of the blog a lot.

The update for today is that I have decided to take my artist-self more seriously in a less serious manner than before; I have grown in confidence regarding my place in the creative world in general because I have had a huge epiphany and that epiphany slapped me in the face and left me in awe of how simple it all really is.  I used to believe that in writing as well as art that there are certain rules you must follow in order to be a creative person, especially a creative person who is to be taken seriously by the world – but it can’t be further from the truth.  The moment you start to become serious in your creative field, it is the moment you start killing your creative self. 

How did I learn this?

As a means to start learning about art so that I could take it more seriously, I decided that my art looked a lot like three particular genres in the art world, abstract, impressionism and abstract expressionism.  But I wasn’t confident I understood abstract art well enough to dare call myself an artist in that field – perhaps I need to evaluate everything and see a deeper meaning in everything in everybody else’s work in order to appreciate my own and have other people appreciate it first.  In other words, I felt like my lack of knowledge of the art world and lack of experience meant that I felt like a fraud.

So I got reading and researching online a lot about art, particularly abstract art and abstract expressionism to help me to understand it more and perhaps even help me to understand myself more and why I might like that art.  The thing is – I learned that the best way to appreciate this genre of art is to give up all cognitive reasoning and see what you want to see, art is what you like.  Art is what you see.  Art is not about trying to imprint an impression on the observer, it is literally purely about aesthetic and your own feeling toward the art as an individual.  It is an act of freedom, which helped me understand a core thing about art and society’s opinion regarding art and that is that art is seen as an act of rebellion to some cultures.

Learning that one thing about abstract art “give up cognitive reasoning” felt so freeing that it bought about euphoria so to speak.  I understand now that there really are no bounds in art and that means the same for writing and anything else which may be considered creative.

People, who try to define art, assess it and or dissect it, kill it.  They kill it for themselves and not only that, but they unwillingly become a sort of fascist regarding it.  They can’t help it, they haven’t learned that fundamental rule that creative expression in all forms, painting, writing, music, sculpting etc., is all about freedom and your own personal feeling about the piece whatever it is.  They haven’t learned that art means you can be free and express yourself, that you don’t need a meaning, it can just simply be pretty, but usually everything a creator does, does have meaning, because we are all creatures of our subconscious and our dreams or nightmares even.

A simple little thing like this, can keep millions of people both stumped and afraid of the art world.  I believe it is why many people do not go to art galleries, they feel that art is beyond them and yet everybody in this world has indulged themselves in art daily and buy art regularly, they just don’t see those kinds of arts as important as those from the big fancy galleries such as The Tate Modern.

They don’t see the art on a can of beans or on their favourite CD album, they don’t see that they had paid for that art in some way and that some artist somewhere thanks them for their purchases, because all they are interested in is eating those beans and hearing their favourite singer on the stereo.

They see a beautiful painting mass produced at some major store and take it home with them as it is nice above the fireplace and they do not realise the process that that piece of art had undergone, they might not know the name of the artist even – yet there it is, seen by them every day without a thought about it other than “isn’t it pretty”?  These same people sit there drinking their beverages unaware of just how involved they have been throughout their life in art, how you don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate it.  There is no reason to be intimidated by art when you are literally drowning in it everywhere you go.

I think for many – I know this to be true in my family.  We have people, who are great artists in our family, but they are afraid to do it as a living because they believe that in order to be a good artist who can sell their work, they need to have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding for it.  I thought this myself ten years ago and still to a certain extent yesterday, before I read that post.  Wrong.  We are all so wrong.  If you can make shapes on a piece of paper, if you can write words or play a piece of music on an instrument, you are engaging in an art form.  When you daydream and you wish, you are engaging in an art form.  When you shoot photographs from your mobile and duckface with your friends, you are engaging in an art form.  Yes, art can be silly, because it can be anything!

I understand today that mocking art is a form of social suppression; it is an act of coercive bullying to keep someone from expressing themselves in the manner that they wish to express themselves.  The point of art is freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and much more.

Some abstract art can look as though a toddler did it, but so-what?  The best forms of mental health therapy are those which involved releasing your inner child and nurturing it via self-parenting; I should know, I have been there and because no therapist can help me with my mental health I have learned to parent myself and I have learned to play with my inner child a lot.  This has got me through some tough times.  Not only that but random nonsensical splashes of paint on a canvas can be very beautiful and encapsulating.  I remember last year, I spilled rose gold ink on my sketch pad and I dabbed at the spillage with a tissue and when I pulled it off the paper I noticed by sheer dumb luck that the tissue had made a pattern that looked like a bunch of roses, so I dabbed around the whole paper and made a beautiful rose sheet of writing paper.  A happy accident, but art is formed as simply as this.

In fact, a lot of my art never started as a plan, it started as accidents or deliberate accidents.  For example, I will take a spoon of paint and let it drip or splash onto the paper for a couple of seconds, sit back and think about its shape and I let the paint tell me what it is going to be that day, then I select further colours for the piece.  I like to play, I never grew up and it is something I pride myself on.  I will do the strangest things in art and writing in order to come to the conclusions that I do; such as taking a pencil and putting it between my toes and try to draw a decided shape, such as a line or a circle or a triangle, just one thing.  I will say to myself that after ten seconds of trying this, I will stop and see what I have got and then work with it.  I do this with a pencil between the teeth, with my non-dominant hand, with splashes of paint, with a tissue or some other item dipped into paint and the result is always astounding.

I once decided I would create a picture of an ocean with a yacht and I accidentally spilled too much paint onto the ocean and dabbed it away, again with tissue, this time it left a big white imprint on the paper which was shaped like a cosmos flower and to me, all the picture then needed was a green stalk to the flower head and the picture was done.  I never did the picture with the yacht after all.

Little games like this can do wonders for your creativity.  I often play games of hypothetical situations regarding a theme I am interesting in at the time and this often gives me ideas for new projects in writing – the problem is, I do this daily and for hours sometimes and I am more full of ideas than I am actual work!

I am one of these people who can make a picture of a story out of any idea, but I seldom sit down and do it because I enjoy the process of thinking too much!

I often joke that when the technology comes where we can record our imagination and dreams and show it to others, then and only then I will be the hardest worker in the creative world!

Thank you for reading and please remember, art isn’t complicated your perception of it, is.

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Writers and social networking

The question I posed in yesterday’s post was written because I genuinely struggle with the question and it can cause a writing slump for me as I sit back worrying about writing yet another story just like “story A” but with a lot of major differences and different characters.  I would love nothing better than to have the freedom to write all the things I would like, but that would make me come across to readers as predictable and boring.  I can run along with the same idea and make changes quite easily and do so forever and be quite happy about it, but I don’t like doing things for myself too much, I like to write to make other people happy and to help break their monotony, I don’t want to be accused of boring them with the same stuff all the while.  But I do know that diehard fans would love reading the same stuff and the same characters over and over again, but they are far and few between usually.

What I lack more than anything in my life is a group of people who can talk to me about their experiences and how they do things and whether or not I actually have the right to feel this way and to sort of give me the permission one way or another to continue doing that or discontinue doing that. 

I can think for myself don’t get me wrong – but it is hard when you are the only writer you personally know and that the ones I do socialise with are very successfully already that they got past all of this twenty, thirty years ago and I can’t get close enough to discuss this at length with them.  My writer friend circle is so small that there isn’t a lot of room for debate if you understand me?  So I don’t have a lot of personal opinions to mull over.

This is the big bug bear of writers who don’t socialise – they don’t have a support network that is large enough to actually give them a good look into a true writers world and they can eventually become quite easily biased by the very few writers or indeed tutors of writings opinions and styles so much so, that they lose themselves in their tiny circles quality of writing.  Or to rephrase that, they become who they socialise with because their circle is so small and therefore influences them too much.  I understand how vital it is to have a large network, but I just can’t seem to get started – I don’t seem to have the personality where other writers want to talk to me more than just a criticism or a sentence. 

I think it has a lot to do with the social isolation I have in general life anyway.  I never really knew how to socialise appropriately because I was always shut away whilst growing up – but I have tried to approach people in the writing community to find myself up against people who seem so full of angst at talking to me that they give me short terse sentences or just all out criticism which isn’t healthy on so many levels that to be quite frank, I have given up on the idea of online social networking.

That’s a big shame, because I really want to learn more about this craft but I just keep coming up against a brick wall socially about it.

 

 

 

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A writers question

I have a question – how many times can a person use an idea for their writing before their readers start to find the author predictable and boring?  Can the same idea be used in many different types of storylines?  This is a question I am struggling to find answers for lately; I have many good ideas for many different types of stories, but I can’t decide which one to go with – I’d like to eventually go for them all, but I worry that my readers will lose interest if there are too many differences of the same old storyline. 

I have ideas for mermaid stories; many ideas, depicting the mermaids in different lights and scenarios and in each story their culture and their ways are very different as much as their personalities are.

The same with my vampires, I have many different personalities for vampires and many different concepts of how they should live their lives within my stories – but – should an author be known for always depicting the vampires and mermaids that they write about in the same or similar way as they always have done?  Should they be known for that kind of vampire and that kind of mermaid rather than many types?  Do the readers expect consistency in every story about vampires to be alike or similar to another story they have read from the same author – or are big changes from story to story acceptable?

I wish I knew more about this.

I have never joined a writers circle or anything before and I have never really socialised amongst other writers, it is difficult for me to get to group sessions because of my illness and disabilities, so as long as it is free online I can’t really find out more.

What are you views on this subject?

 

 

 

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My mind is a mess of ideas

I sit in nervous wonder at how my ideas remain

How I abuse them always and drive them all insane

I ignore them often, pushing them aside

Though they always remind me that they are always by my side

How I often think about the ones who have left me

How they were my best but they were forsaken by me

I wonder why then, that they do not rebel?

Why they do not turn around and make my life Hell

Like other authors say theirs do, I wonder why mine do not

I wonder if it is because my temper is so very, very hot

Maybe they don’t want to cross me

For I am as I am told – a force to be reckoned with

A formidable old soul

I don’t know what the answer is, but it is always clear

That those who leave me are very few

Those who stay are loved dear

But I keep getting new ones, constantly banging on my door

I get them so often, I am popular

It makes my head quite sore

I never know who to take and work on every day

It’s like a mother with too many children, each of them want to play

I can’t give my attention freely, some I will surely neglect

I wished my mind was more organised

Instead the mess in there makes me sweat

Oh so many stories and songs and poems and rants there too

I wouldn’t go into her brain says my husband, if I were you

But there I go again, thinking about this and that

I just wished I could get on with it

Whatever is next, in fact?

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