Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Tuesday Choice Words

Sometimes I get mired down in (re)writing and (re)shaping my novel. It all starts to turn into a grey  blur and my energy levels dive. I've been working on my novel for a long time, learning about writing along the way, and fitting it in between running my script writing business and family time. On occasion, I lose sight of the light at the end of this creative tunnel but I've come too far to give up now. When all of this happens, I stop and revisit my characters. I look at what I love about them, perhaps examine their appearances in my story too and generally reacquaint myself. One of my favourite characters is Bodrn, a darkling. She has the ability to be in shadow form (literally, a shadow) or in solid form. She is my shapeshifter.

On the Better Novel Project website, Christine Frazier talks about shapeshifting characters in her article 3 Roles of the Shapeshifter Character Archetype. I think Bodrn stands for the role of trust (the second in the article's list). Do you have a shapeshifter in your story?




Friday, 24 April 2015

Coffee and Books

My latte and bag of Lush goodies
Today was a good day. The sun was shining. My children were at school. I had some boring chores to run in my home town (Chester) but once those were over, I had a couple of hours to myself to walk around the city.

I did a spot of window shopping, popped into Lush (bath bombs for me and my children) and then headed back to my car. On the way, I discovered a new cafe. Well, it's new to me anyway, the Cinderbox Coffee Shop.

There was the usual choice of hot and cold drinks, cakes and some friendly, polite staff - all that you would expect in a coffee shop. There was also this.

Photo courtesy of Cinderbox Coffee Shop

This is the coffee shop's book swap corner. The writing on the wall reads,

to take one away,
you must...
leave one to stay.

So not only have I discovered a lovely new place to sup my favourite hot brew, but I can also drop off a (read) book and pick up a new one, for free (well, the cost of a latte). Genius.

I think this is a wonderful idea - coffee and books all in one. I wish more coffee shops/cafes/tea shops did this. With the number of libraries and bookshops being closed down in the UK, the ability to get a new read whilst enjoying a coffee has to be a good idea.

Thanks, Cinderbox Coffee Shop for making my day even better.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Tuesday Choice Words

Tension in a book can, literally, have you perched on the edge of your seat. Will they, won't they? Will they get there in time? Will the secret be revealed? I've had to put novels down in the past to have a rest from the onslaught of that story's tension.

Elizabeth Spann Craig has written a wonderful article on just this, Tension & Pacing in Your Fiction. It's well worth a read. Have a look.



Monday, 20 April 2015

The Dangers of Comparison

Image courtesy of  Yves Geissb├╝hler
During the month of April, I'm taking part in Camp Nanowrimo to give myself a boost in rewriting my novel. My target is to write 30,000 words.

Most Novembers, I take part in the main NaNoWriMo word sprint of 50,000 words in a month. I've never managed the full 50,000 words but I've always completed a massive chunk of text.

The problem with taking part in a group writing sprint like either of these events is that you might start to compare yourself to the other people taking part. During NaNoWriMo, every year, there are individuals who not only complete the 50,000 words in November but exceed that wordcount, or perhaps they reach the 50k by the middle of the month.

The same is true of Camp Nanowrimo. I look at the wordcounts of others taking part and become discouraged because I'm not keeping up with them. How have they managed twice my wordcount? How do they have the time to take part in lengthy discussions online when I'm manically juggling my life to fit writing in with everything else?

Whenever we compare any aspect of our life, be that our writing word count, the holidays we can afford to take, or the way we look, we run the risk of belittling our own experience and endeavours.

Some of those writers who overtake me in my wordcount don't have children to spend time on. Some are near children themselves, teenage students writing late into the night. Some are parents but their children have long since grown up and left home. There are all kind of  ways that our lives and daily routines differ.

It's a cliche, I know, but comparing ourselves to other writers is like comparing an apple and a pear. They can both do the same job of providing a tasty snack but there is no denying that they're different.

It's time we stopped comparing ourselves to others in our field (and equally on social media and in our lives) and started just appreciating ourselves for who we are. Instead of looking at how much better we perceive someone else to be, concentrate on how great we are. We can only ever be ourselves. Why not make that a wonderful place to be?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday Choice Words


One of the major changes to my novel, post assessment, is to examine who is telling the story. Originally the story jumped between numerous characters, whittling down to one character only by the one third point. Now, the story is told by only two characters. I wish I'd read Nathan Bransford's article 4 tips for handling multiple perspectives in a  third person narrative before I'd started writing.

Have a great week.