Category Archives: writing

A Glut of Characters – Ah, so that’s what I was doing.

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Too much too soon, as it turns out. Yes, I know I’m late with Book 3 and this post by no means excuses that, I’m just letting you know Why and What and where I am currently in the Khekarian sci-fi series.

Each book in the series is a stand alone book, with a beginning, a middle and, most importantly, an ending – a conclusion. At the same time, the background story continues to roll on, so parts of the story move forward or the series would not mesh into a whole.

Each of my books contains two main threads, often split into further threads, but in the main there are two stories interwoven. I think of each as a double book (certainly each are thick enough at 500-600 pages).

Book 3 of the Khekarian series, The Bastard Line, continues the overall story, running two stories side-by-side. One of the threads, however, I had in mind to contain more of the story than it should. That notion needed the addition of other characters and other stories to reach that particular conclusion, and this led me into an area where I was, in effect, trying to write two books (four books?) as one and squash way too much in.

That’s where I got mired. Not so much a tangle as a glut of characters and small stories that needed sorting because, as it was, everyone would get mired!

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Light Posting and Thin on the Ground.

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Yes, I know you’ve noticed – The reason is that I’m trying very hard to get my third book finished, which is important to me.

I am making progress with the manuscript and, if you’ve read books one and two, number three will be worth the wait – I just don’t want to extend that wait too long! So please forgive my absence from Blogsville at the moment and in the foreseeable future (although I will pop in as and how I come up with things worth posting about).

I trust you all understand.

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Writing – The Pause and the Pooling of Energy.

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It comes, it goes – No writer can keep an uninterrupted flow of creativity and production throughout their career – it just doesn’t happen, even the most prolific writers have down-time.

Yet, while those down-times hurt (and every writer hates them – it’s like being in a cell), the pause actually refreshes. It’s like a body taking breath. The creative energy, having been spent on our last bout of writing, has to pool again and revitalize us. The pause, therefore, exists while the process of reenergizing takes place. It’s a good thing. Just as we need to rest our bodies, we need to rest our creativity too. It makes sense.

When the upswing happens and ideas start to fire up the imagination and excitement, well, we’re away again, off and running and happy and full of life. At it’s fullest, we can’t keep up with the flow – so many good ideas all coming at once. Not only are the ideas great, actually capturing them in written form is wonderful too. Our talent shines.

Ever realize that last down-time enabled all the good that flows afterwards?

Maybe that’s something to think about.

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Middle of the Night Inspiration.

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That’s often the way it is – lying half awake, thoughts naturally turn towards your latest project, thoughts become words, words becomes sentences and some of it starts to sound pretty good.

At some point you become aware that there are pages forming here and if you don’t shift yourself into full wakefulness, get out of bed and go write it all down, you just might lose it.

So you drag yourself out of bed, doing your best to hang onto strings and threads and vague dialogue. Then while your computer powers up, you get the kettle on and wonder what time it is. 2:00 in the morning. That’d be right.

The cats go crazy. It’s romping time and if they’re lucky they get a middle-of-the-night snack. Why not, you think, it’ll keep them quiet. So you feed the cats while the kettle’s boiling and by the time the coffee is made, the computer has finished doing its updates and you can get working.

Now… What was it again?

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Ah! Found! The Missing Ingredient!

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I knew there was something missing from my manuscript, it’s been a major stumbling block for best part of 15 months – with so much happening in my life this past year or so, I was blaming that.

So, what was missing? I’m embarrassed to say! Moods and emotions are a strong point with me, I write in a way that lets you get to know my characters well. You know and understand what makes them tick.

So what the heck happened? Action happened. I got so tied up in the action that I had neglected to spell out the driving force behind it.

All this time I was poking it with a stick trying to get it to move and wondering what was lacking… Grrr… (I know, I think I’ll blame everything that’s been happening in my life for the past year or so…) :D

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Snakes on my Doorstep. Again.

I didn't have a picture of a snake, so...

I didn’t have a picture of a snake, so…

Australia is known for its poisonous snakes – Although it often takes longer (6 to 24 hours), a Tiger snake can bring on death within as little as 30 minutes, Black snakes are also highly poisonous, but it is the aggressive and fast moving Brown snake that can and will bite multiple times and are responsible for killing more Australians per year than any other snake – It’s not just people who try to kill or catch them that get bitten either, it’s people stepping over logs or rocks or people walking in long grass, people who simply do not see them.

Did I mention long grass? Our new (old) little house in its glorious wilderness/pastureland isolation hadn’t been lived in for some time. The grass was long right up to the house and all around it. We have all three of those snakes mentioned here, plus others. When I say here, I really mean here, not just in the area but on the doorstep!

In the first couple of weeks here as I got the grass under control, I saw two snakes immediately on stepping outside, both out in the open and within feet of the house. The first was a Black snake and the second was a Tiger snake (both big ones). Greg saw a third one during a visit here, which vanished into his work shed and we think is a Brown.

These aren’t like pythons that I would gladly pick up and have photos taken with – you don’t mess with these things. While I appreciate snakes and will not kill them, I don’t want them under my feet whenever I step outside. I want our cats to survive too.

Solution? Yes, I actually found one.

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Writing with a Mountains View (yes plural).

Photo taken on the way to a neighbouring town. All local roads go over the mountains and have this sort of view.

Photo taken on the way to a neighbouring town. All local roads go over the mountains and have this sort of view.

While settling into my new home, I’ve made time for writing – naturally, that’s what I do – which (in part) also means admiring the wonderful new view from my office window.

We’re in a flat spot here, a smallish area that isn’t sideways, which means we’re far enough back to view a small mountain to one side and a whole mountain range to another. Behind us, of course, are hills and other ranges, but my office looks to the front and as dawn rises I can see clouds covering the mountaintops or mist rising in the valley.

It’s all very inspirational.

Oh yes, the actual writing part… Yes, that is happening and going well. While a beautiful view can be a distraction, it’s also incredibly uplifting. I cannot help but be grateful here and appreciate all that I have, it’s a nice place to have landed.

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