New Year Novella 2013

New Year Novella 2013 2It is nearly half way through the month, and I haven’t even got half way in my novella – but I have started.

I am so pleased with the story idea, it was one that came to me partially as a dream, and with a little help from facebook friends, I came up with a selkie as the main character and Gryphyn for his name.  I won’t go into details on my blog for fear of copyright issues, but it is a romance story with a difference.

I actually managed to plot the story out in a day, which is unusual for me, and I spent a night  running through it in my head, and when I woke up I gave it a few tweaks, and the next thing you know I have started writing it.  3k into 25k story.  If it comes out longer, I am happy with that, but I am not going to stress about the word count too much.

The heroine has already thrown me a couple of curve balls, she is a battered wife, and she can’t read, so I think Gryphyn has his work cut out for him.  Especially as she is still married to her no good lazy husband!

I have really enjoyed coming up with the story idea and writing has been fun.  There are some scenes where I think – that’s dull, but that can be made better or cut in the editing process.

When I have been writing, I have been sinking into the make believe world I have created which draws in elements of the orient, medieval village life and celtic history all in one glorious story.  That is what I love about world building, you aren’t restricted to any one element.

Well I suppose I should get my fingers off this keyboard and onto my other one.  check out my progress at Catherine Mede facebook page.


“Were” on Earth…?

I have read a couple of stories lately about were’s – and they were love stories.  Hard to escape Romance and Were’s… yeah right.

Anyway, the second story wasn’t about a werewolf – it was a were-panther, and I remember critiquing a novel for a guy years ago and he wrote about a were-creature too.

The most interesting part is how they get around the fact that when they change from animal to human, they have no clothes on.  One author had that the were removes their clothes, ties the pants to their back leg with a leather thong, and that way always has a change of clothes when they change back.  The romance book had that the were was magic and could “magic clothes” onto its body.  The third story, the were creature would go and change into the desert, take off its clothes, change, run around and expend some of the were energy, then come back and change back into its clothes again.

I don’t know about you… but those all sound a little clumsy.  I realise that  a were changes its physical shape, and therefore the clothes would be ripped to shreds when it morphed to its animal state, but carrying clothes, or “magicking” them on sounds a little… too out there for me.

Can anyone else thing of a plausible way for a were to clothe itself?  My suggestion would be that the animal human relationship is close, so they wear more “fur” type of clothing, and when they change, the clothing morphs into their coat… just a suggestion.

What do you think?

Why I like Writing Speculative Fiction

From when I was young, I used to love to escape reality.  I used to do it through reading books, and one year in college I kept a reading log.  I read something like 70 books in one year.  Must have needed to escape really bad that year.

Then I discovered writing, and I could escape reality another way.  By creating my own world and learn about the people in it.  My first attempt was an epic fantasty which was a novella and now a large story.  I fell in love with my characters, the twins Delonia and Gallandra who were both strong and independent women, Tycelon the leader and a strong male influence, yet sensitive to the needs of his tribe, often putting them before himself.  I also liked the bad guy of the piece, Sephron, especially after I went into his background.

Creating my own worlds and exploring it became a passion.  Even in short stories I would find an outlandish idea and go with it, sometimes it didn’t make sense to anyone else but me, but that is OK.

My next story was Medusa and the Greek mythology.  I enjoyed learning about the Greek gods and their role in the lives of everyday people.  I felt an empathy with Medusa and found her to be a misunderstood person, and that is how I portrayed her in the story I wrote.

I also had a go at a Gothic Novel, involving the dissolution of the churches in 1535 – the story involved a monk who falls in love with a girl, who is already married.  There are lovely twists and turns in this story that I enjoyed writing.  Unfortunately all of my recent editing on this story was lost, so I have to go back in and work on this one again.  But it is a minor setback compared to the other stories I have written.

My Science Fiction story, the ice planet one, has to be the most exciting one I have written so far.  It was intense and fun to explore a world where there is little colour except in the underground cities.  Creating a world under the ground was fun and had to think of all of the in’s and out’s of ventilation, exploration and how they would cope with life without sunlight.  Even the above ground cities were in an adventure in coping with life in a cold environment.

Living life through my characters, exploring worlds and living out emotions that I would not necessarily go through have been a learning experience, one that I enjoy and will continue to explore for some time yet.

In the Beginning…

This week is SpecFic Blogging Week, and I thought what am I going to blog about.  So I decided to write about my writing beginnings.

When I first started writing, it was to escape reality.  I loved to lose myself in books, find myself wrapped up in another world and discover new places.  I distinctly remember reading a science fiction book while on holiday down the Marlborough Sounds.  I also remember catching the biggest snapper ever also, but most of my memory is this book about sponges that sucked the life out of people until they were just these strange dehydrated shells.

My first speculative fiction story was about a piece of rope that was kidnapped off a boat and used to hang one of the Maungatapu murderers – that was in Std 4 or year 5 or 6… one of them (see my interest in this story goes WAAAAAY back to primary school!)  I got a Principal’s stamp for that story, and the teachers gave it a 1 (which was the highest score back in the dark ages!)

The next story I remember writing was at intermediate and *cringe* was about Simon Le Bon.  I won’t go into details, because it truly is cringeworthy.  It went on and on and on and on – it was a never ending story.

At college, I wrote Chrystias of Amasedon, and novella for my 6th form English class, and it got high marks.  It was one of my proudest moments, and I have since revised it to be a 100k epic fantasy novel.  It still needs lots of work.

I have always written on and off, generally in exercise books.  One story in particular took over three books, but for the life of me I can’t recall what it was about.  But there have been a murder mystery, a kidnapping drama involving a rockstar and one other… still can’t remember what it was!!!

Four years ago I discovered KiwiWriters and that was when I was revising Chrystias.  I used SoCNoC to write a portion of it.   Since then I have written during June and SoCNoC three other novels – a fantasy romance, a mythical story and this year I wrote a Science Fiction story.

My love affair with the written word has been a rough road, but it is one that I love and will not forget for as long as I live.  If I never get published I will still be happy, because it gives me pleasure just to write the words and create the story.

Wow – what a ride!

Yesterday was my last post for Speculative Fiction Blogging Week – and what an awesome trip it was.  I enjoy trying to find things to write about – and because of shifting and not having time lately to write, it was just the creativity I needed to keep me sane.

I am hoping to get the laptop out and start writing again, and today might be just as good a day as any to do that, because of the rain.

I have a story buzzing my mind at the moment about death, and I am hoping it will resolve some of the issues I have with some of the people who have died – not bad issues, but just the senselessness, the sadness and the emotion that goes with it all.  And while it sounds like a morbid topic to write about, the story isn’t quite so depressing.  It is about death and her visiting the various people – it is a snapshot of her day, the variety and the acceptance of some, the aggression of others.

Because of the move, I now have a corner which is my office, so will post photos once I have it set up – at the moment I am surrounded by boxes, and funnily enough I often write with my laptop at the kitchen table rather than at my computer, but if I set it up right, then I will be able to use the laptop as well!  Here’s hoping – I am quite excited about having a part just set aside for me!

SpecFic Blogging Week – Last Post

This week, we have covered topics from NZ Fiction, Christian fiction, ideas for NZ fiction, gothic fiction, so you are probably sick of hearing me talk.  Instead, just look at these pictures and gain some inspiration.

Cloud formations

These are all photographs that I have taken, and as you may have guessed, I love cloud formations, they lend so much to our imagination.  A lot of my short stories have come from studying the sky and clouds, although they don’t necessary make reference to it.  I just find it clarifying to look at the sky.  My mind clears, the chatter stops.

I hope you find some inspiration in these photographs.

SpecFic Blogging Week – Spec Fic and Christianity?

This is something I am often asked and often ask myself.  Doesn’t my believe in God conflict with writing Speculative Fiction?  My answer is – why should it?

I have two very good examples – Frank Peretti and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins.

Who? I hear you say – well they are three very respected christian writers who have greatly influenced me and my writing.

So who are they?  Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins have written the Left Behind series of books about the Tribulations based on Revelations (the bible book).  They  are avery scary set of books that look at what life would be like in a world without Christians, and the ever decreasing society moral.  I admit I have only read three of these books, and one day I will be brave enough to get the rest of them to read.  This series is now 16 books, and I remember that the first time I read the first book, Left Behind that I was shocked, frightened, but desperate for more.  I got as far as the third book, Nicolae – before I really freaked out.  While not a horror series, it is definitely a thriller series.

Frank Peretti would have tobe one of my favourite authors, he has written lots of books, I only own three – This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness and The Oath.  This is a man that can write about angels and demons and you believe in them.  In a world that is focusing so much on doing good works and thinking that life is just what you make of it, after reading This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, you will rethink your own views on religion.  And while these books in no way push Christianity or religion, it does make you realise that there is more out there.

The Oath was a book that blew me away and made me aware of the fact that Christians can AND WILL write great Speculative Fiction.  This book is about a dragon that picks off people in this village, and after years of peace its feeding frenzy is becoming rather more vicious and frequent.  Again it had a christian basis for its story, but doesn’t push religion down your throat.

I would have to say that Frank Peretti is definitely one of my favourite authors, only because he doesn’t hold back, he throws punches which connect and make me think more about my own faith.  Even if you don’t have any Christian beliefs, you will still find these books great pieces of fiction.

So, I believe that my writing Speculative Fiction can also be to the benefit of my faith and belief’s, and if written well, doesn’t make you read the book and think – I HAVE to become a christian now!

You can find all of these writers on the internet or at your local Christian bookshops.