Writing Your Book – The Environmental Issue.

Choosing your ground

 

If you are reading this, then there is quite a good chance you have an urge to or are already writing in one form or another.  You may be just starting out, you may have been writing for some time, or you be thinking about writing and are working through several blogs getting an idea as to the commitment involved.

This post and subsequent ones will be about some of the issues involved, the platform used will be my latest project ‘Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire,’ I will be trying to avoid:

Preaching for this to be the ‘true and only way’ to write

This being a marketing feature.

These posts are one writer’s experiences, you can take notes, compare or resolve to do the opposite. Whatever. As long as you are writing or starting to write.

Thus said;

A daunting aspect of writing is starting off. Most folk will go through an episode of staring at a blank paper or screen. All the words which were tumbling around in their head have either evaporated and lie condensed in the sub-conscious or are blocked up somewhere along the creative channel. The poor writer in a creative panic, thinking, whispering or muttering: ‘Where do I start?’

Nothing unusual there.

A writer might have a plot line but still can’t get the details onto ‘paper’. If you are on a laptop, by the way and are listening to music do not be tempted to go onto YouTube to watch the music ‘live’; more chapters, ideas and writing time are lost that way than through state censorship.

One way to ease in is to have your backdrop, environment and underlying themes set out as a motivation. Let me elaborate here using myself as a laboratory specimen.

As the years go on, I find myself becoming increasingly picky about subject matter. The moment the words ‘serial killer’ crop or ‘conspiracy at highest levels’ crop up, I am off and away. The former repel me, the latter I have had my fill of. There you go; my choice. Also, after reading so much political and military history there is a tendency for me to go for happy or at least equitable endings.

After reading a great deal a writer (or writer in situ) will have a sneaking whisper in their head ‘Yeh, fine, but I think I could do better’; nothing wrong with that just so long as you keep the feeling under control and don’t publicly savage all writers rather than write.

A writer may also feel they have a voice and just want it to be heard/read.

Putting those aspects all into my head and mixing them up this is the universe which began to form, the one most comfortable for me to write in. In this instance ‘comfortable’ does not mean cosy or easy, the usage refers to the most productive way the words come out.

In my case. Firstly being a Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes) type-dreamer I am hopeless at writing about the normal world. I am at my ease when writing fantasy for being incurably impatient researching science to create a credible SF background would just not work for me. Give me a place where laws of physics and chemistry are working which have not yet been uncovered or fully realised. But may I stick with some of continuity!

My familiarity geographically is with northern Europe, as this book is set in another time after monumental events this gives me some leeway to juggle about with peoples, places and locations. Thus, a great deal is given up to the readers imagination.

As stated above since everything is geared towards a certain type of ending it is easier to move along while creating ‘bumps’ in the road, in fact flooding out the road on occasions, or putting in a divert.

My own interests have always been in matters military, my work experience has been in the UK civil service thus I approach neither subject with a rigidity or clichés. The principal characters are also the ones at the bottom rungs, so they are focused or trying to carry or survive orders.

I like romance as a feature of a story. Setting this in a narrative is not a problem, avoiding the cliched predictable, highly unrealistic settings, interactions and terrible descriptions are! ( more about that later…later I said!)

Evil does not triumph in my books. Evil has one hell of a (‘hell of a’!..you gotta laugh folks, I got dozens like that!) time in my worlds, in fact my challenge is having the thing hang around enough to create a feasible contest. The main methods of destruction and unhappiness in my worlds are. (A) The well-meaning authoritarians who think they know best (B) The folks whose plans are not very good (C) The opportunists waiting for the ‘main’ chance (D) The thoughtless idiot (E) The unforeseen collision of plans.

I personally cannot write very long without some sort of humour creeping it. This may take the form of a satirical comment on today or some of the lazier troupes of Fantasy writing. It can be bawdy or downright slapstick. It may be knockabout verbal. Being a male as we never grow up it could be very, very juvenile. Since all these happen in Life anyhow, I have no problems with putting any of them into the narrative.

And finally, tying in with the ‘evil’ thing as those who have read my posts know I have no tolerance level for cruelty, bigotry, and violence on the weak, so I work out a few ‘issues’ without being too obvious and straining the narrative.

The above are therefore my ways of giving myself a setting I can work with, to enable me to concentrate upon plot and characters. Some of the facets I have listed in fact encourage me to get on with the work, because I do so want to write about them; the problem being not to rush into these or keep repeating unless there might be good cause (a really valid ‘might’). Thus, there is my environment to work within.

If you take a ‘Living World’ analogy it can be seen there are many environments in which Life flourishes. Therefore, what is my favoured environment, might well be another’s arid desert, frozen tundra, crushing sea bottom depths or any other comparison you might care to make which will stifle your creativity. The important facet being you create your own in which your own flora and fauna of a book may flourish.

Keep on keeping.

The Return of The Wayward Writer

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A FaceBook Thing (Not THE FaceBook thing)…Rant Warning Gale Force

Well we all know about the FaceBook controversy, I mean in this Age of Social Media it’s one of those subjects which isn’t going to be missed.

Many people are closing their accounts or limiting their activity and their reasonings are understandable. No one likes to be pried on and having someone trying to use the information for questionable purposes.

Those reasons didn’t trouble me to much, not because of apathy, ignorance or because I think my senses are heightened to such any extent that I can detect any manipulations. No, it’s just that being so cussedly contrary and being of such a low social media profile….it’s…. ‘So what they going to do with the bits they have on me? Good luck with that dust people! And at 66 I’m so set in my ways like I’m ready to listen to anything I’ve not known about already?’ (that kind of cussedness, takes practice y’know).

At this juncture, yes we all sound off and we all write out our annoyances. But there’s limitations to expressing in our opinions, and if the other person comes in, well listen you never know what you’ll learn about them. And don’t hate them. Let’s keep a sense of proportion in this…..

No, the reason why I am cutting back my ‘FB’ to family alone comes from a different quarter, one where there is a toxicity, an absence of discourse and exchange of views. Where the ignorant and the bigoted reside, feeding off of each other’s fears, prejudices and self-congratulatory delusions. I alluded to this in a previous post. Now Here is a Thought About Writer’s Block (aka Log-Jam)

Anyways my new laptop was really cool with FB, enjoyed putting words down. Must be innocent, and my old one must have known something because it was never happy there, always claiming the connection had gone, taking one minute to type one letter and never navigating well, But you know it goes, something new, something different.

So there I was sifting along and amongst the various threads, sort of drawn towards those on the UK Remain side of the Brexit argument, putting in my pro-Remain six pennies worth, trying to avoid the folk who suggested Brexit folk should be rounded up and incarnated. Then on Friday and Saturday I chanced upon a thread which was doing a common theme railing that the BBC was pro-Brexit and a tool of the Government.

Yeah, we all reckon we all get mis-represented by someone or another don’t we? Someone doesn’t understand our side of the story. Tell me about it. 45 years working in the UK Civil Service, man. But these folk were taking their venom to a whole new level. And what did I do, I went in and said I wasn’t buying their line. It’s my opinion, right? The BBC is not perfect, it’s dumbed down some of its outlets, but it’s still as trustworthy as any. WELL, I could just as soon have suggested we have a ‘Let’s Beat Puppies To Death With Kittens’ week. It didn’t take more than two exchanges before I was:

A fascist.

Ignorant.

Not capable of having an intelligent debate.

A Putin Troll (can’t figure that one out……)

A click-baiter (what the frib’ is a click-baiter? More to the point do I care?)

That was not much really, I’d paid my dues on 9/11 sites being told I was a CIA shill and on religious ‘discussion’ (ha!) sites that I was an ignorant superstitious closed-minded fool for daring to believe in God. Yeh…yak-yak-yak.

No, the one which pulled me up short was the one who was complaining about the BBC not reporting a Remain March (gee that’s tough) but about news from America. So when I suggested the latest shootings were more important, they came back with the response that ‘The World (ie them) didn’t care about Americans killing Americans’. Imagine…. your march is more important than the death of a person, no words of regret or compassion. That is a very sour mind-set.

So I gave that person short-shrift over deaths in the USA and South Sudan (which the BBC reports from time to time), irritated another by telling them I had better things to do and some folks would love to hear the accusations then said ‘bye-bye’ (they hate that, they hate being treated frivolously, for they are so important and have such a BIG message).

I was FB done.

There’s other stuff I’ve come across, but you get the general gist.

The worse thing about it all is me being Far-Left you kind of get it into your head this sort of stuff comes from the Right-Wing. You grow up with the idea that The Left is Tolerant and Inclusive. Is educated and socially aware. Of course there are hot-heads, but everywhere you go you find those.  Sorry, all wrong. The Left can be just as bigoted and narrow-minded as any fringe Right-Group. And if there is one thing I am Intolerant over it is Intolerance.

And so thus, I no longer bother with FB, unless my wife who inhabits saner regions tells me about something she or my family have posted up.

And this is something I have dallied with over the past couple of years too, I am done with what used to be The Labour Party in the UK. If it cannot get its virulent parts under control or kicked out, then it’s not my scene anymore. What my grandson will make of that I do not know, he being a member, that’s going to be tricky next time we get talking politics.

I’ll just stick with being Catholic Christian(because that suits me), writing and breathing the fresh air of the Word Press. Because you folk have perspective, generosity and openness. You folk deal in realties and creativity. You folk, do things.

Ps….

As for the Brexit issue, right now ‘A Plague on Both Your Houses’.

Now, back to the book and posts about writing….

You folk. You rock!