Fairies No More… Dragons No More… History Instead?

I have been anxious to get writing again, and I had thought to start writing my fairy story, but then I started creating a story for a friend of mine – and her storypen writing was about fairies, and it was bloody good.

And I kind of felt that if I wrote a story about fairies, then it would be like copying.  And I don’t ever want to be accused of that.  So the fairy story is on the back burner.

And then I decided that I would work on a dragon story that I had some plans for a wee while ago… and while I have two main characters and a taniwha, nothing else is coming together.

I have books full of ideas to work on, but nothing was really jumping out to me, until I thought back on one that I had on a poll a couple of years ago.  A steampunk story based in Nelson.  Why hadn’t I thought of it before now?  Because it got filed away in the background.

And the more I think about it, the more keen on the idea I am.  I won’t give ideas away, but I have a feisty main character, and an extraordinary ending, and a wonderful invention or two, all based in 1850’s / 1860’s Nelson when a recession was going on because the dreams and expectations of the new pioneers were not met by the NZ Company who were  going broke.

I love coming up with story ideas, and sometimes some will come forth better than others.  In this case, the dragon story, just doesn’t want to be written now, otherwise I would have come up with some story ideas by now.

Steampunga

Steampunga

Steampunk is new to me, but I have a fair idea of what I want to happen, and have a crazy inventor.  there is a lot of history and wonderful characters in Nelson around the 1850’s and 1860’s, and I have a few books on the local personalities at the time.  There is a wonderful female character who was very outstanding and used to sign letters to the editor with a non de plume.  It is suggested that even her husband didn’t know who she really was!  I think she definitely has to be in my story, she would make a great mentor for my female heroine.

But enough about that.  On Thursday a wonderful event is happening.  The End is Nigh.  No, not the end of the world, the end of some writing projects.  If you are interested, please check out this link for the End is Nigh.  It is a KiwiWriter Challenge, which I am hosting.  It involves finishing off a writing project, whether it be finishing writing on a project, editing a project, tidying up a project – anything to do with writing really.  It involves finishing it off.  I am going to work on finishing the middle section of The Gamble, and also tidy up Cursed Love, both of which will both be put away for another month before I work on editing them again.  I like to leave a project for a month or two before editing on it.  It helps to read the story anew, and come to it with fresh eyes.

So busy month ahead, with planning, plotting and editing  🙂

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Progress

OK, so the desire to write, I mean really write, strikes just as the school holidays start!  Did I annoy someone or something?

I am going to start plotting out Cursed Love.  I don’t know if I can wait until

Hidden Cafe, Motueka Valley Highway, NZ

Hidden Cafe, Motueka Valley Highway, NZ

June to start writing it – I will try and hold out for as long as I can!

I want to get The Gamble finished, I have the ending nearly done, but there is a section in the middle that needs work, so I will also plot this one out a bit more.  I want the heroine to develop some backbone, any ideas would be gratefully received.

Personally – well the medication is definitely working.  Had an incident at work the other day that once upon a time would have made me spiral backwards, but instead I took it all in my stride, so obviously we now know that it is the noradrenalin that is lacking.  Now I need to find out how I can replicate this through food and nutrition and hopefully, one day, I might be able to come off the meds, but that is a long way away.

The running hasn’t been happening lately, but I am hopeful to get back into this, even if it is on my own.  I enjoyed it a lot, and I recently purchased a yoga DVD.  I love stretching and yoga, so this should be ideal.

Things are on the positive and up at the moment.  I love how things are coming together, and hopefully I can start managing my time better and able to work things into my week.  Once I start writing, I want it to be an every day occurrence, not a once a week, bust-a-gut-write-out.

Pantsing It?

I started writing a story on Tuesday and currently it sits at 6k – which is pretty amazing, considering it is coming out of my fingers rather than out of my head.  I am pantsing it for a change, and as everyone who regularly reads my blog will know, I am a true blue, staid-in-my-ways, planner.  So what happened?

I don’t really know.  I do know that the story is a huge step for me, by being pantsed, but also the genre.  It isn’t something I have consciously been working towards, but it has happened, and I will go with the flow for now.  It is Erotica.  Not 50 Shades of Grey Erotica, the hard core my-husband-loves-that-I-am-reading-it Erotica.  Yip, surprised me too, but then I have been reading a bit of it lately, and my husband is loving the results – but enough about him.

The story is simple, at this stage, although it could go either way.  Could become Couplemainstream Mummy Porn, or Erotica, I guess it will depend on how the characters evolve.  At this stage, the heroine is in charge, but I know that the hero is certainly going to get his own back – the title, tentatively at this stage, is Lessons in Love – and it isn’t all about whips and chains.  It is about a young man that asks his ex teacher to show him how to make love to a woman.  She teaches him all the in’s and out’s of seducing a woman, but she is doing a lot to wind this young man up, and he is going to give her some lessons too. As for the happily ever after… still undetermined.  I know what I would like to see happen, but not sure if it will.

There will be some important life lessons to be learned too, like communication and listening, which is very important – and they both need to learn this.  Perhaps I need to as well!  There is also a part about trust, ultimate trust in one another, and this could make or break the relationship, because she is married.  It is also about living life with a passion – see why it isn’t easy to categorise it as erotica?

Well, we will just see where this goes, really loving where the characters are taking me at the moment, so just enjoying the ride and loving pantsing it or panting… perhaps as the case may be!  I will keep you informed on progress.

December 2012 Goals

November has been a month of real progress and real sorrow for me.  I was going really well in my editing of Ice Planet, when Mr Fowler died.  We have spent some time with his partner and attended the funeral, and I even did some editing in order to help to calm my nerves.

While I intended to get Ice Planet finished, that really didn’t happen, so for December

1. Edit Ice Planet – Finish editing

2. Plot out and plan my paranormal romance story

3. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)

4. Finish writing “Son of God”

5. Edit Medusa’s Garden.

6.  Revise and edit Medusa as a romance novel(!?!)

7. Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”.

I have finished editing the script of Ice Planet and I am now into the writing phase, which has been fun, and hard at the same time.  Some parts are fun to write and others are really hard to recapture the fun and excitement that I initially had.  I will get the story finished though.

I have crossed out plot and plan my paranormal story because I actually ended up with 4 stories on the go, which is quite exciting – while I haven’t got to the stage of plotting any of them, the fact that 4 stories were bursting to get out was pretty phenomenal considering my state of mind for most of this year.

My Husband’s Hobby…

Whitebait "I caught".

My darling has taken up a new hobby.  It started a couple of years ago, but last year he got more serious.  This year… well this year looks like the whole family will be involved.

My husband came home from work a few weeks ago and told me he had a present for me in his work van.  My beloved doesn’t get me presents very often, but when he does, they are doozies.  And this was a doozie to beat all doozies.  A whitebait set net.  Yes, my husband has been bitten by the whitebait bug and is going full scale with it.

Yesterday, as a family, we went whitebaiting.  Now I suppose I should explain to my friends who aren’t from NZ what whitebait are.  They are a delicacy, the baby fish of three native fish species.  They are born at sea, and during the Spring they head up river to grow up and become big fish.  They are basically see through, except when they have eaten something.

When my beloved informed me that WE were going whitebaiting, I thought – oh no.  What am I going to do for a couple of hours… Hahahaha

I took my research books and two notebooks with me and decided to make the most of the enforced time at the river and research some more of my historical novel and start some research / planning on my latest novel idea.

We arrived at 10am (ish) and found a spot and set up.  Which when you consider the river

My beloved watching his mates "stand"

we were on, it was packed within an hour, so we arrived at the best time.  Then we had to wait for the tide to come in… and wait… and wait… and wait.  My husband didn’t tell me that the tide was coming in about 1pm – three hours!

One of the rules of having a net in the river, is that you must be within 10m of it at all times… so that meant that I had to sit beside the net for the entire time we were catching fish… I really didn’t sign up for that!  In fact I didn’t even sign up!

So I researched, made notes and did what I needed to do.  I wished I had taken a book to read also, but I figured that we would only be there for a couple of hours… yeah right.  We spent the entire day at the river.  We watched whitebait come and go, move around the screens, come into the net.  Because our set up was a set net, with a trap, we really didn’t have to do much.  We didn’t have to scare bait into the net, then tip the net up and empty it out, we didn’t have to scoop to catch the slippery, jittery little buggers, we just watched, as they swam up into the net and got caught in trap.

The cleaned up, ready to cook, whitebait

We have quite a little haul.  1/4 of a pound, or 225g for those who are imperially challenged.  Apparently 6 is an official patty, we have enough for a couple of decent patties – at least 60 bait.

My husband and his mates called me the Queen of the River… I still can’t quite figure out why.  Apparently because “I caught the bait”… yeah – right.  I watched them swim into the net… that isn’t catching them.

But my husband thinks I am wonderful and clever, so who is going to disabuse him… not me!

Did I mention that I DON’T eat whitebait?  I think that is one of the reasons my darling wanted me to help him out on the river, we can have two stands (or the fixed net and the scoop net) and that is all the more bait for him!  There is method in his… madness!

Up there is an upside to sitting on a river bank all day.  After being sick for so long, I got windburn on my face, and people kept commenting on how my colour had improved…???!  Also, it is an awesome chance to catch up on research, it is quiet enough to plot and plan, but I probably should get a new battery for my laptop so I can spend at least an hour writing!

So while I initially thought it would be a dull day, it turned out to be a lovely relaxing day (even if it was enforced!), a day when I got a lot of research out of the way, and was able to spend time with my family.

Maybe Whitebaiting isn’t going to be such a hard thing after all!

Plotting to get to a point

Just another post to fit in with the SoCNoC and novel run in for next month.

Plotting is something that I like to do relatively early on.  While some writers prefer to write by the seat of their pants, I need a little more structure or I end up with the never ending story.

So I generally have an idea and know how I want it to go, so I create a plan with a program called freemind and wonderful mind mapping program.  This is what it looks like.

OK, so I can’t show you any of my maps, because then you might pinch the idea and and storyline and it wouldn’t be worth two of us trying to write the same story!

So this is how it starts.  There is a bubble in the middle of the page.  I write the title (or tentative title in the middle here) on the right, I put all of my characters down, sometimes with a side note of their description or trait, but I usually keep that information in yWriter another useful writers tool.

Anyway, back to my map – on the left, I put in Beginning, Middle and End, and then I start more nodes off these with a brief description of each chapter.  There are nodes off each one with descriptions of scenes within each chapter.  This is my plan.  It is not written in stone, but if I veer off course, and find myself floundering, I can come back to it, and the system works.  Writing a fantasy a couple of years ago, I got a bit lost in tangent, which was a battle scene, so I went to the next scene and started again.  Didn’t miss a beat or have a problem with writers block.

Sometimes some of the chapters are a bit dry, or lacking in something, so add some conflict.  This was a piece of advice I got when I first started writing… If it doesn’t feel like it is going somewhere, add more conflict.  And I found this little resource over at IPL very interesting and helpful for deciding what conflict needed to be added. If I find my story lacking, I add in a pursuit, or a revolt – and do think outside the square, the revolt could be one persons thinking against another, it doesn’t have to involve a whole town revolting against the king… or the pursuit could be for love rather than the bad guys chasing the good guys… get the picture here.

So this is what I will be using once my story idea has been chosen, and this I will be plotting out on Friday 27th in preparation for the big writing month.  Wahoo!  Bring it ON!