10 Day Writing Blogging Challenge – Day 8

10-day-write-blog-challenge-daily8Post about your writing routines / rituals / habits or quirks – or –  your writing origins story

Writers are renowned for their sometimes odd rituals and habits. In fact, I’ve done several posts about these previously.  Here’s a post on wacky writer’s rituals which contains a PDF file to download of many famous and odd rituals shared by our fellow writers.

Alternatively, tell us your writing origins story – when and why did you start writing? When did you officially announce or label yourself as a writer? in public?

Wow, two possible options here, without the Pay it Forward option!  So why don’t I spill my guts about my writing.

Long ago, in a college far, far away… Actually, it didn’t really start like that, but from a young’un, I have always loved writing, having Mum type up stories about Ally Cat while I made covers for them.  At college, I took the option of writing a novella for my Form 6 English project.  I did quite well on it, better than the other two projects.  Straight out of school I went to work in one place or another, and while I had books with pencilled stories in them, I didn’t really get back into writing again until my 30’s when my husband pointed out to me, that I would never get published unless I started writing.  He actually had a good point!

The first story I wrote – I actually rewrote my College Novella – Chrystias of Amasedon as a trilogy, which I then shortened down to a large novel.  None of the novels were stand alone, so it didn’t quite sit right.  It was my first attempt at serious writing, and stupidly I put a chapter up on Critters – where it got savaged.  Fortunately that taught me to toughen up (or get tougher skin, one of the two), and critiquing isn’t a problem for me any more.

throneJust then I didn’t want to work on that story any more, so I started a new one.  Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen – SoCNoC 2009.  I hated it and just left it to wallow in its folder on my computer.  I pulled it out last year and started editing it.  It wasn’t as bad as I originally thought, but it is a sweet romance.

MedusaSoCNoC (June) 2010 I wrote Medusa – based on the original Greek tragedy – from a human perspective.  There were lessons to be learned with Medusa, and I later rewrote this as a romance for an Entangled Publishing submission call.  I didn’t like the romance version, so will revise it again (as I kept the original) to make the tragedy deeper.

I attempted to write a Gothic Novel – Tobias and Arabella – In October 2010 – which spilled over into 2011.  I ended up calling it “That bloody Gothic Novel” – not because it was “bloody” but because it just didn’t want to finish!  This hasn’t been revised yet, and I need to.  It is based on the 1500’s when King Henry VIII was abolishing the monasteries.

2011 was a big year for me.  I planned to write a few stories this year.  I started in June with Ice Planet – for SoCNoC 2011.  I wrote excitedly for the month, and ended up with a 60k story I was proud of.  I was so excited about it, but during August, my laptop crashed, and I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t backed up the story since the 27k mark.  I therefore lost most of the novel.  I rewrote this during HalfNoC 2012, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good.  I didn’t write through 2011 until the June 2012 because I couldn’t.  I was in the depth of my depression and really couldn’t focus on anything that I enjoyed.

At the beginning of this year, I started out with the New Year Novella over at KiwiWriters – and I wrote The Gamble.  This is an exciting piece which I enjoyed writing, but realise that there is a lot missing from it.  Hopefully it will become bigger with the addition of a new character.  Definitely a sweet romance.

pikuroaCursed Love – SoCNoC 2013 – This was a story that just came to me out of the blue, and I just had to write it.  I got the idea originally about a curse, so I wrote a romance around this family curse.

Right now, I am working on Whose that Girl – a submission call for Entangled Publishing, which closes in February 2014.  I’m writing it now, so I can get it critiqued and tidied up before I submit, because February is only 5 months away!

– o0o-

My Writing Process –

I like to listen to music, but it needs to be quiet around me otherwise.  I can’t write with lots of action going on around me, I need a relatively still setting, hence the joy I have in writing at the School staffroom when I am not officially working.  It doesn’t really matter, or have to relate to the story, just as long as there is music in my ears, I can feel creative.

Having Pinterest helps too.  But first I set up a file and save pictures into it, pictures that give me inspiration or ideas, and then I pin them to Pinterest so that others can see what I have used, and how I have incorporated that into my story.

I like to plan my stories, I can’t write unless I have a beginning, a middle and an end already in mind.  If I don’t, the story just doesn’t get finished.  I use the planning sentences to create scenes for my chapters and then work from there.

I write using Scrivener.  I can’t say it is any better or any worse than yWriter, but I like it, and I like using it.  Once I know how it all works, I will no doubt find it more interesting.

Now I have my new laptop, I prefer to use that, and I back up regularly (at least once a week if not daily when I am writing – call me paranoid!)  I like that it is transportable and I have the freedom to write wherever I need to whenever I need to.

As for writing quirks –   I guess I like to submerge myself into the culture of my stories.  While doing the Gothic story, I got interested in Gothic clothing, hairstyles and makeup – even Ice Planet has a gothic kind of tone to it.  While researching 1920’s I have listened to the music, watched makeup and hairstyling tips from the 1920’s.

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Writing Goals – February 2012

1.  Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”

2. Finish my Ice Planet Story

3. Edit Ice Planet

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

5. Finish writing “Son of God”

6. Edit Medusa’s Garden.

Pleased to confirm that Medusa’s Garden has gone through its second draft.  It is just a little bit here and there that I am working on, before I send it out to my readers.  I hope to have some response back by April.

March is Evil Editors Unite on KiwiWriters, so I have a good month of editing ahead of me.  Problem is, not sure which story to edit.  There are two:  Tobias and Arabella or Of Kings Queens and Noblemen.  So far, I have had one vote – won’t tell you which until my other friends have voted too!

March is also NZ Book Month, and I have some writer friends that I am hoping will agree to some interviews, so I hope to get these posted periodically through the month.

So a busy month for me, 20 hours of editing, but I am looking forward to it.

Dedicated to Mum

My Mum has been persistently ringing me the last few days and asking if I was alright, which I assured her I was.  On Saturday, she told me she was asking if I was alright because I hadn’t written a blog since 17 November.  I love my Mum so much!

The reason behind not writing my blog is time – an all important commodity which seems to be escaping me at the moment.  The week of 14th November was the start of a very crazy two weeks.

Sunday was the KiwiWriters meeting, which starts early in the morning.  Monday I had the day to myself, so I did the housework, Tuesday I had grocery shopping in the morning, then a Sales Event in the evening.  Wednesday I cleaned a friends house, and I had a SpecFic Meeting at 8pm, Thursday I had an Xray at 11:30 followed by Training.  Friday I spent all day doing office work.  Saturday and Sunday flew by and I was wondering which week I was in when I realised I had another busy week lined up, although not so hectic.

When I get busy like that, I tend to find that my time to myself just doesn’t exist and I feel myself getting frazzled and fractious – just ask my beloved!  And I find that all creativity flies out the window.  Critiques I had lined up to do are still in the in box, waiting for attention, not to mention the Gothic novel that was supposed to be finished in October, and now won’t be finished until early December.

I do realise that I need to make time to focus on these things, but by the end of the day, I am absolutely exhausted and all I want to do is sleep, and even that has been alluding me again.  So I spend any wakeful time during the night plotting the next part of my story, so when I do get a chance to write again, I have an idea of where I want the story to go.

Over the last two weeks, I think I have managed 2,000 words, which isn’t very hopeful.  I have three chapters left, and discovered that the mother is a violent woman (sorry Mum, no reflection on you at all!) and my heroine is trapped in her family home without any hope of escape.  Bloody Hero appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth, typical male, just when you need them the most!

Hopefully my weeks are going to quieten down and I will get a chance to finish the story, which will now be edited in February…  I just HAVE to get it finished soon!

Gothic Novel Update

Another week has passed, and it was another very busy week.  This one doesn’t look like it is showing any signs of slowing down either.  Oh well, thems is the breaks!

Writing was a bit spasmodic this week, due to the busy nature of the week.  Currently I am 65% of the way through the story (based on 50k), which isn’t a bad thing, but would like to see some more progress!

Monday 8 November – 1195

Tuesday 9 November – 1392

Wednesday 10 November – 678

Thursday 11 November – nil

Friday 12 November – 424

Saturday 13 November – 918

Sunday 14 November – Nil

I have managed to finish off critiquing a story for a friend, and have put the call out to my friends for some fresh material.  A couple have responded, which is nice.  I have enjoyed reading their stuff, because it is NZ and fresh and up and coming writers who will one day be printed – and I can say that with confidence, because their stuff is great!

Heres to a busier writing week this week.

This past weeks writing

The Novel Push Iniative may be over, but my writing is not.  I am happy to announce, that as of half an hour ago, my story was at 29276 words, and showing no signs of stopping!  Yaye!

Monday 1 November – 739 words

Tuesday 2 November – 574 words

Wednesday 3 November – 593 words

Thursday 4 November – 1278 words

Friday 5 November – zip

Saturday 6 November – 974

Sunday 7 November – 771 words.

I have decided that instead of writing at night in bed, I am going to set aside an hour every day to do writing while I am up and moving around.  I was listening to Labyrinth soundtrack today while writing, and the music was suitably moody for the writing, so I think me and David Bowie will have a date, once a day for an hour so that I can get on top of this story and get it finished this month.  The plan was to edit it during December, but I guess January will be the edit month now.

I am liking the story and the flow that it has, I have just found that I have skipped a scene, unintentionally, but that doesn’t matter, the story will still come out around 60k I guess, which is a good size for the story.  I like the characters, and even wrote in a new one, because I wanted to show a human side to the King’s agents who were considered as the devil back in the day because Henry VIII wielded so much power and authority, that people were scared to act against him.

If anyone knows of any good quotes from Henry VIII, or websites that provide quotes please let me know, I would like to start each chapter with either a part of the law or a direct quote from the man about the abolishment of the Catholic Church.

 

NPI and Writing Gothic

I have been enjoying this week a lot – my writing of this Gothic novel has taken a turn and I can feel it starting to come together.  I said before that the period and setting lends itself to Gothic novel, and it just seems to be going together like a hand into a sensually smooth satin glove.  Of course there are no gloves in my story, but I am enjoying it none the less.

NPI – was a little patchy this week, but overall, I have actually achieved a lot, the numbers will speak for themselves!

Monday 18th October – 457

Tuesday 19th October – 1026

Wednesday 20th October – 516

Thursday 21st October – Nil

Friday 22 October – 1210

Saturday 23 October – 1274

Sunday 24th October 1096.

All up, I have written 16147 words, which is 32% complete.  I realise I did set a goal for 50k for the month, but I am also a realistic person and while I am disappointed I didn’t manage to stick to my goal, I am still working towards completing it, and completing it is the main priority!  I am about a quarter of the way through the story, so it is going to be well over50k by the time I have finished it.  I have already added two scenes that were unplanned, but that was the nature of the story once I started to write on that particular day – it is just playing so nicely!

So here is to another successful writing week – long may they continue!

NPI – 6th October

I am about a day behind with these, because I tend to write at night on my laptop after I have turned the big computer off.

Last night, I did 1,195 words, which I am quite happy with.  the story is still in its early stages, but I am liking the flow so far.