Writing Your Book- When The Feeling Arrives- Embrace it!

Firstly to the new writer, just starting out.

Yes, you’ve made progress on your work, but suddenly you are assailed by a whispering dread. ’Is it worth all this time and effort? What happens if someone reads it and doesn’t like it?’

If those sly words haven’t reached you yet, they will.

Follow me as I turn to writers of some experience, not all of it good.

Hi folks. I have a new writer here who I’ve scared a bit about the ‘D’ word. Yes, I agree with you, would that ‘doubt’ were banished from the lexicon of the writer’s experiences, but what can we do? We’re all human and apart from the most obnoxious egotists we are all prone to it, being part of the human composition.

Let us consider not those tendrils curling about your creativity in an effort to stifle your efforts. Instead let us consider those signs pointing out you are doing your level best.

I Really Must Catch Up On Everyone’s Blogs….Sometime, Soon

This one needs addressing promptly because it is the most challenging. You’re reading this  thus you are in the blogosphere. You read them, your write them. You form bonds with other bloggers. You like their posts and you get to ‘chat’ with them, exchange views, support, ask questions and so forth. You might do this on a daily or other regular basis. And then one day you suddenly drop off the radar. Why? Well you know don’t you?

Yes, you are caught up in your writing. The time you have available to ‘tap’ the keyboards have been inexorably taken up with your latest project. It’s not that you don’t care about these folks, got bored with them, or become selfish. Oh no, you have been drawn into your work, deep. There is exploration on plot, motivations, characters to be attended to. Re-writes, checking for typos. You try and snatch some time on WP to let folk know you are there and well, for you know the dear genuine folk will worry if you are not around, it’s that sort of good community. Meanwhile it is back to your work, for this has become the principal attention of your creativity. Within the part of you which is the writer a spark has ignited, one beyond the usual chemistry of writing. You are now in the centre of the  writing equivalent of the nuclear fusion process which brings in birth a star. And here you are. Your writing has ascended and drawn you upwards. Embrace this, the future of your valuable work is calling you.

Hey! How Have You Guys Been? I Missed You!

You finally find the time in your day to sit at your laptop and pick up where you left off. You want to speak with your characters, you’ve been thinking about them all day, wondering how they will react to your latest idea. You want to know if this will work for them. You’ve missed their approach to life or been worrying how they’ve been coping. There are various views about characters taking hold of the narrative from a writer or whether they should be kept under control. Whichever viewpoint you take if you are engaging with your characters to the point, they are not pieces on a gameboard or out of cliché central to move along the Plot Above All Else, then they are alive and they are vibrant. Work with them for sometimes you just have to listen to them.

Are You Feeling OK?

Yes, it can be a bit disconcerting for the person who happens to be in the same room as you. They are sitting there working on some craft project, doing a jig-saw, reading or attending to their own laptop, you are ‘tip-taping away when suddenly from your direction they hear a sibilant ‘Yesssssss!’ and notice one of your fists is clenched and shaking in what can only be described as a gesture of triumph. Then there will be the occasion when odd words spring from your lips such as ‘Alll-right!’ Got—-It!!’ ‘Rock AND Roll!’ or other such random and statements unconnected to the current surroundings. There might even be a gentle laugh followed by ‘Oh yeah. It works,’ or even nothing apart from the laugh.

After a while a patient and astute companion will realise you are simply expressing delight that amongst all of the words you are producing there are some passages which you are particularly enthusiastic about or proud of.

We all have to admit we are plagued by worry over parts of the book and if left to our own devices might be tinkering with the thing for decades. However if you do encounter yourself lapsing into one of these episodes of vocalised joy, you should realise you are certainly on the right track. Those nagging little parts might just well have to be steam rollered over. If you are connecting this way with even one small part of your work you are mining your true potential. Keep on keeping on.

So What? I mean, Like So **** What? You Don’t Like It? This Is Me Not Caring! 

This may be a ‘just me then’ interlude. However I do feel it is worth voicing. There are many useful, cogently constructed and intelligently helpful posts, blogs, even books about what to do and what not to do when writing. I accept this to be so.

However where my teeth start to bare (I picked up the habit from one of my characters Arketre, fierce person when provoked), hackles rise and fists clench in a not happy way is when would be krit-tiks, folk who never wrote anything apart from snark and the literary fashionista start to pick, pry and come up with cliched or lazy commentary which proves they never read the whole thing, or it offends them(Hah!). Where I dig my heels in and snort derision or scratch my head around above my left ear and say ‘yeah, yeah’ is when someone tells me my work is ‘interesting’, but……..

In short, if you have written it, it is yours. You did a damn good job to get it completed and if some part of the world doesn’t like it, or not understand it, you cannot be held responsible for their lack of comprehension.

If you believe your work has the right to be put out there in one form or another. Then, you dear writer are cookin’. Advice is one thing. Guidance is helpful. As for the rest…LIKE I (bad word) CARED!

Might not sell books, but it will ensure you get your book completed.

 

Therefore fellow writer, if you are experiencing one or more of these , you are on your way and more power to you. If you are not, well keep on they will turn up sooner or later.

Keep writing.

The world might well be waiting for you.

Writing Your Book – The Environmental Issue.

Writing Your Book- The Plot Thing

Writing Your Book – Main Characters (You can’t avoid them)

Writing Your Book-A Journey Barefooted and Treading on Glass under a Hot Sun- facing challenges you’d prefer to avoid

Advertisements

The Return of The Wayward Writer

My Absence

 

There are times when it just gets you. Y’know?.

I appeal you who are writers of fiction to back me up on this. The time when The Book takes over, and all of your creative powers are drawing into the swirling nascent stellar body which is, to use the vernacular ‘Your Baby’.

I would tease out the cosmological analogy a smidge more by way of explanation. Stars commence as clouds of dust, an event causes the cloud to contract, gravity kicks in more and more dust gathers together, pressures build up, the event grows hot building up to a crucial temperature when nuclear fusion takes place and what was dust becomes a star.

There is a risk with using this description. Mean folk of negligible talent who carp but never write will pass cheap comments about arrogance and vanity for the writer daring to compare their work to a stellar event. HA! I say…in fact I say ‘HA!’ again. In a writer’s own universe, the creation of their book is as such, and a writer has good cause to celebrate.

Anyway, to clarify:

My Second Volume preceded by ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’. Book Cover 9(kindle -Amazon)
My second volume: ‘Our Skirmishers of Lace, Fire and Steel’ (or maybe ‘Our Skirmishers of Steel, Fire and Lace’, I’ve not quite decided). This continues the involvement of Arketre Beritt, Karlyn Nahtinee, and Trelyvana Waywanderer (an adopted name. For most of her life she was simply known as ‘Trelli’) in events in the physical world of the Oakhostian Empire, the otherworldly power which going by many names permeates all, the unsettling other realms which its existence made possible and the beings inhabiting therein.

Those of you who were following my many travails will know the original version of the novel when tested on the re-write suffered from instant ‘wheels falling off’. Here are few of the errors:

Humour, and pretty puerile humour at that, in the wrong places.

Plots wandering off into sub-plots with no immediate relevance.

Characters who made a big fuss at the beginning fading into obscurity half way through with no good reason

Circumstances from Vol I being repeated with new scenery in Vol II.

Minor characters who should have been important wandering in and out with a confused air about them to blurt out a few hurried lines then vanish again.

An excess of sub-plots.

A rushed conclusion with previously unforeseen events forced in to make it work.

And whereas I do like sort of happy endings, riding off into the sunrise just looked…. odd

Naahh it wasn’t working.

For those of you who have been through similar experiences you know the agony and the weariness which assails the writer on having to start up again, having to shed yourself of the notion all the time previously was a waste. The latter is a falsehood. If you’ve not been along this road yet you have to appreciate the first draft is always bad and the second one won’t be much better and so on and so on, you’ve simply found the way which won’t work.

A re-write is like that only far heavier. But what must be done must be done.

It was fairly plodding to begin with, trying to use large chunks of the previous writing, having to ditch them, pondering here, pondering there.

Then back to the star analogy, around about December the narrative took on a very strong momentum all of its own, the whole work was demanding to be finished, all the necessary parts were in place on paper on in my head, heart and spirit; the final coalescence was taking place. So, what with the seasonal activities joining in everything else had to take its place in line, all creativity was being fed into the book, all writing time subsumed into the finish. My own version of nuclear fusion was taking place right here in my universe.

And so, here I am on the re-read. Sure, aside from spelling, syntax and so forth one or two bits are being edited out, but only so the good of the main narrative.

Over the next few posts I will be going into this. This will not be an exercise in how I expertly navigated problems, nor a course in ‘How-To’ (In this blog?…….The very idea!). These will be simply one writer’s journal of their experiences. The reason for cataloguing them will be to share with other writers along the lines of:

Oh. Not just me then.

Hmm. Must make sure I don’t do that.

Oh yeah. That’s interesting I think I could improve on it though.

Ahh, I wonder if something similar might work for me.

Hey, there’s hope for me yet!

There might even be some time given to ‘The Marketing Thing’.

 

I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

PS: Thanks to Charles for pointing out it’s ‘fusion’ not ‘fission’…..curse that cup of coffee!

 

 

 

 

A Writer (and Diarist?)’s Challenge

A writer should never shirk from addressing challenges in message nor description, despite the social or self-imposed barriers they encounter. After all, the very essence of writing is to strive, to reach and then even break through those barriers, never worrying about the reaction. A writer, in this aspect must display boldness.Victorian writing

The task confronting me was another episode of tardy attention upon WP and lack of interaction with my good friends upon the community. There was good reason. However, to explain this required a deft, one might say diplomatic approach. If I simply cited illness or incapacity and left the business there, then all sorts of wrong intimations might arise, unwarranted concerns would be expressed, and a farcical air of melodrama would impinge upon my blog. This would not do.Social Graces

There again. And here is the overriding problem. An average British male, in their late 60s b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472

 

 

 

 

aware of the number of lady readers to his blog does simply not feel at ease in going into, in this case the relevant detailed description. Now, whereas we all have secret chuckles at ‘Carry On’ films, these are normally conducted in more domestic matters. To utilise this approach simply would seem, well crass.

Therefore, I explain the circumstances of the last several days in a slightly cryptic manner and trying to avoid the Too Much Information syndrome. These facts and opinions are for your considerations.

Yeast. Not to do with baking. Medical. Jokes about yeast making things rise no longer seem remotely funny.

Not all conditions respond to medicines. Some require surgical responses, lest conditions get worse. Gender reassignment is not a phrase I personally, in my lifestyle ever thought a possibility.

Not to worry, having imagined conversations with idiots on the Web-footed Rightalexjonesrandpaul-alexjonesimage  and Fashionable LeftPompus
over their laughably ignorant notions of biblical surnames and surgical procedures was quite amusing; almost tempting me to indulge their ignorance…..My imagination does get vivid at times.

The UK. Our NHS….yes it does surgical procedures on a Sunday. So the NHS works, despite the antics of governments, the slimy efforts of money-making corporations and hapless misconceptions of the 8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6Trumpster Propagandists in the USA.

Being under general anaesthetics gives you real clarity as regards Napoleon’s victory at the battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

Of course, being in Britain recovery in the recovery room is aided by a nice cup of TEA!cuppa_tea_1660618c

The removal of a surgical dressing by one’s spouse can be quite an intimate episode (I’m talking about shared trust and tenderness….what are some of you thinking about?).

Why does going to a hospital or attending Mass cause one to catch a cold?

Like, Slowness City man. Move legs won’t you? Brain stop drifting! Hey, that snooze just sneaked up on me! How come it’s hard to concentrate on Comic Books?

Whereas I do not take nor approve of recreational drugs the residual after effects of a general anaesthetics did help with a tricky few chapters of my current book and gave me whole new insights into the songs out of ‘Cats’ ‘Mr.Mistoffelees’ and ‘Bustopher Jones’ as they travelled through my head day after day, without the least bit of annoyance.

In conclusion, fellow male readers. Do not wince or shudder. In comparison with what our dear ladies have to go through in life….

Mate, like this is nothing!

‘Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones –

                                    In fact, he’s remarkably fat.

                                    He doesn’t haunt pubs- he has eight or nine clubs,’

bjones-karen

Love that song……

Of Protagonists, The Unexpected and The Go-Figure (Adventures in the World of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”

One of the advantages of having no illusions about ever being a great success (as opposed to dreams and wishes that is) in writing is one is able to experiment and not be afraid whichever what-way matters go. Once more, dear reader and fellow writer, feel free to take out notebook and notate either ‘Hey I must try that’ or ‘No, must avoid that’ or ‘Oh boy that is so not going to work for me!’. To repeat my blog is all about pitfalls, wrong turnings, but best of all ‘Wow! The blessed thing actually worked! Who’d thought it??’ So gentle follower let us take another sojourn, shall we?Williamterriss7

Many successful and also good writers (the two do not necessarily go together) will hold fast to the idea of there being at least one strong protagonist. To have a hero or central character who forges though a book with no particularly effective opposition is not going to work. (unless the writer might be the latest Commercial Thing- which we are not are we?)   This is a good point and is undeniable.

Once more I have to admit, villains are my weak spot, they are there to be humiliated or slaughtered. Morally, elastic types who drift between ethical and legal borders, not so bad with those. Real fearsome, terrifying, evil folk…..not going to have a good time in my pages, if they do hang around it’s only to suffer…So sue me.200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Anyway, a solution to this dilemma and to give my characters more to do than just than having a fun time or a challenging romp? Ah there was the rub! (Pause for Shakespearean interlude of silent staring off-stage).Othell0-8_2-1924-Jago

Now speaking for myself I read a history, mostly military, and after reading a lot of this it began to dawn, very little every goes to plan. In fact, after many amendments to the original we have the military saying, ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’ (the original is much longer and slightly turgid). Thus, it occurred to me in the real world would you have a seemingly all-powerful and cunning protagonist whose plans went along so smoothly until the last few heroic efforts of the central characters?…. Nah! Great military geniuses and shrewd political operators were often wrong footed by the unexpected and had to adapt… if they were that good at their job!

To get around my prejudice (yes, it is a prejudice, must admit it) I thought about the many events in history and how these overwhelmed the participants maybe permanently, maybe temporarily and set the protagonist as The Situation the world was in.

To re-cap or to introduce. The World, which is ours set in a future at some stage was overwhelmed by a force which has many names (Ethereal, Stommigheid to name but two). Its true nature is not to date revealed, however can be utilised by machines, mind or physical effort, but NOT, NOT controlled. Think of an ocean or a river, think of water. Now in this future the World may be split or have given rise to other satellite worlds as a result of the arrival of this force, which is subject to its own relationships to the Universe and using the Water analogy there are tides (aka tydes- just liked the ‘y’) and storms. The stories are taking place at one of these junctures.

The first volume……..

Patchwork (See Amazon Kindle for your copy of ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’)

understanding-anger_183x90_184933693(if he does that again, I swear….)

set up the central characters, a familiarity on how this force affects the world and also an insight into some of the life forms other than what we might think of as human. This second volume looks into how the coming turbulence is affecting the plans, strategies and intentions of disparate folk, organisations, and races. The principal theme here is that no one is control, there are no superior beings, everyone is in the same boat, most just don’t realise it, they are floundering, or adjusting all the time.

Thus my central characters are working in constantly shifting states, whereas they remain true to reach other. The often comic and wacky Karlyn is drifting or being driven closer to learn about her background; Every Soldier Arketre is being shunted up the ladder of responsibility and getting some tough orders. While Trelli is still continuing her journey of discovery and adaptability to her new ‘powers’ although her journey parallels her two comrades she has a more ethical dimension to cope with. Not that matters are any easier for Karlyn and Arketre whose actions are decisions are always overlaid by their emotional and physical love for each other. They, all three are facing the ramifications of actions by several agencies and individuals, who themselves are linked in some case.

Yeh, great fun. The challenge is to keep the whole business fairly easy to follow. No one cares for a book which has them going ‘Huh?’ Confused person on Brexitand then flipping back through a few chapters to find out who was what, doing which then. Nor do they like to read a narrative interrupted by a brief resumé of that character’s actions another few chapters back. Lavery_Maiss_AurasNope it all needs balance. AND making sure the central characters aren’t swamped by everyone else’s business.

In fact, at times writing this novel seems to have parallels to writing a history. The basic facts have to be there, the important characters must be given their full due, but attention must be given to those lesser folk who turn up and spoil everything AND there are always circumstances outside of any player’s control; usually weather. (smart folk should always take into account weather, it happens)

This makes for a degree of flexibility too, as you never know who will rise to the occasion and who will get overwhelmed and fall out. The only spoiler I have three is the continual presence of the three centrals Arketre Beritt (solider), Karlyn Nahtinee (adventurer and enigma) and Trelli (Professional Name Currently Trelyvana Waywanderer, and she’s regretting choosing it. The Everyone of the saga).

The best part is, there I am wandering about the house doing my share of chores, when suddenly I get a ‘Hey! ‘They’ would do ‘that’. Of course ‘they’ would,’ interlude, which was not planned, but bubbled up from the whole brew.

I just love writing by the proverbial seat of my laptop. The first draft was OK, but now the real fun has begun.

So I thus end with a familiar refrain. You can think about this approach. You can shake your head in sad despair at my hapless ways. You can recoil in horror and sprinkle your laptop screen with sacred coffee (or tea) at such heresies. Your choice.  Just do me one small favour.

Keep writing. Never, ever give up on your writing.

Wishing you Good Journeys People!

Winning Back Your Novel (Adventures in the Writing of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”)

Launches, Re-launches. No time to sit back on my haunches (OK. You try and find a better rhyme)

Two weeks ago we were on holiday in a blissful little place called Trefriw which is  in North (kind of middle) Wales- look for Llandudno or Colwyn Bay on a map and go south inland for a few winding miles, and I should have downloaded, then uploaded the photos by now, buy I haven’t……sorry ’bout thatsolilqy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyways, the things about holidays is you tend to get into another sort of routine, and the one thing I could not get back into was reading up on what other folks were doing of on WP. I had enjoyed being away, going here and there, watching the Soccer World Cup in the evening and here we were back.

Oh my! Trump’s fat backside had descended upon the UK. The UK Govt had continued to make a mess of Brexit, aided by its opponents in its own Party (all wealthy by independent means). The Labour Party continued to fail to convince it is not indulging in Anti-Semitism thus saving the government . Drunken Wastes of Precious Resources  were lurching about the place. Idiots were proclaiming that an onerous piece of excrement who leads the EDL (That’s the English Dolts League) should be free to preach hate, and Johnson, Boris (minor) had a hissy fit and ran away from his job because it wasn’t fair and he couldn’t Walk the Walk. There was some other nasty news and the usual Idiots On Parade on FaceBook but I won’t take up your time.

Now I don’t like the Summer at best (I’m weird. So sue me), this prolonged heat was not doing anything for my temper or judgement. So to spare my poor wife rather than glower, brood and stalk muttering like some central character out of a British 1950s over-rated drama and returned to Vol II of my series.

The first draft (draught?) was completed and now the fun begins with the re-write, I love re-writes, you can put in ‘Hey why didn’t I think of that before‘ s or delete the ‘What was I think of there‘ s and in my case actually work a proper plot into the narrative. I have too much fun with dialogue, scenes and situations, my first drafts normally read like a TV sketch show (though not all funny scenes). I even created a good working and maybe permanent title:

‘OUR SKIRMISHERS of SILK, STEEL and FIRE’

I wonder why that title turned red?

Anyways, I was pleased with that. So at about 350 pages in the first draft and into page 50 of the re-write. Of course only the FIRST re-write but the one which will make the narrative appear as a book. All the old characters are there (part from the lesser ones I gleefully killed off) and a couple of new ones. Maybe not as much action at the beginning, but it’s the plot thing y’see.

So that’s all about the writing.

Now to the simmering bad mood over the excess of idiots that despite Darwin’s best arguments and assumptions still survive.

To get around this I have set up another blog. One solely devoted to ranting at all the mean-spirited, the selfish, the foolish, the oafish, the snake-oil merchants and those who (as the old saying went) should have been drowned at birth. This blog is will be short on humour and long on vitriol, on the basis, of they started it I’m gonna finish it. No reasoned and polite discourse here, I’m done with that.

ragingfromthelectern.wordpress.com

Is the place to go….

Or not as the case may be…

In the meantime I hope all you, my good, sane, caring, creative and nice friends  on WP are OK

 

 

 

  

 

Current Events- The Correct Approach

This is and will continue to be a busy and challenging week for the public in and around the UK. At these testing time, it is essential we display our nation( s) in ‘Best Light’.

Here, therefore, are inspirational and instructive posters:

On addressing a minster of the British Government as to why they are not conducting Brexit negotiations in a mature and sensible manner.

Admonishment

On welcoming home that most beloved of British Heroes, the gallant but unbowed defeated (In this case the English Soccer Team)

Welcoming home

On reading that someone named Kylie Jenner is on their way to being a self-made billionaire:

shoulder-shrug

On hearing that some guy from the USA who resides in Washington DC is on their way to visit the UK

 

Big Raspberry

Big Raspberry

 

Fortunately thanks to the vigilance of Lucy Brazier and thus timely reminder, don’t forget at all times:

cuppa_tea_1660618c

 

Of Patchwork Warriors…Evidence of Interference and Malice

Hello Again.

Wigran Hendrechan here.

In your world I might be called, as I understand the term ‘a hacker’. To be honest our name of Jordisk has a more dignified ring, hailing from an ancient northern language it means Underground (I think).

I cannot spend too much time on this message. The LifeGuard Fortress at Drygnest is infamous for its sharp eyes and ears and dread for its long and deadly reach. These words were  transcripted from a text dispatched to Drygnest by Captain Dekyria. He is a moderately benign officer of the LifeGuard who I am obliged to work with, there is no option. Normally the work is not so onerous or conflicting with my other tasks. However, the Implication is there to behave.

And yet my consciousness will not let this recent deed go by. Here are the details, you must draw your own conclusions. I bid you farewell, for the present:

 

 

Dispatch: Breech in Confidentiality.

Category: Of Current Low Consequence.

Potential: Of possible risk prejudicial to future tasks.

 

Concerns arose of the safety of the scouting and intelligence gathering into the Realm known as 21st Century under the guise of co-operation with the native R J Llewellyn in his alleged work of fiction ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’.* (copy of cover attached)

Having read and examined this for any possible seditious themes I noticed he had gleaned an amount of detail on our own modes of strategy, tactics and long-term planning which were becoming excessive. This had garnered support amongst some of the other individuals involved in the narrative. An attempt to make a direct intrusion would have met with their protests and disruptions which could have had repercussions in related missions.

It was therefore judged best to insert into the initial printing a certain of number of errors which others would notice and cause the author to react. He is a fellow prone to bouts of frenetic but not very accurate or well thought out actions. Once these errors had been brought to his attention he was somewhat embarrassed and set to work to address the problem. In his haste to rectify matters he failed to notice my duplication of half a chapter in his second edition compounding the view of his presentation as being badly formulated and thus demeaning the work in popular terms.

Although this has not discouraged his production of distortion (with it has to be admitted some facts) into a second volume of his tale and the now published third edition of the original volume I am confident the disruptions embedded will lead to more uncertainty and degrading of confidence. This is turn will continue to reinforce his reluctance to make known his work and so ensure the operations of the LifeGuard remain basically unknown to his and our realm.

An apparent accidental termination of the fellow is not recommended lest by some quirk of this 21st Century Realm he becomes a cult figure.

 

Attested

Captain Dekyria.

*

*Patchwork 

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’: The Chapter Seventeen Incident- An Appeal for Discernment

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!