Tag Archives: writers

Sometimes it’s good to know you aren’t alone.

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If you’re a writer, you know it isn’t all play and sunshine, you know that following your dream is not always easy and that your efforts are rarely recognized for what they are.

Those nearest and dearest to you know that you are aiming high, but fail to grasp the sheer size of the journey. Sometimes it seems they are not with you at all.

A massive amount goes into writing a book. It’s not enough just to come up with a plot and characters enough to fill it. There’s an huge amount of understanding necessary for each character and research to do on every angle and profession. Your plot, your characters and their actions must be based in truth for them to come across as realistic and believable.

You have to understand the human animal too, and not just from your own perspective. You have to be in the heads of everybody you write about, villain and hero alike. You have to understand psychology and (depending on the nature of your villain) criminal psychology as well. You have to “be” the police officer, the psychopath, the thief and the victim. You have to understand immense fear or immense loss. Gain too – joy, excitement and love so grand your heart wants to burst. You have to understand adventure and the thrill of danger.

But that’s only part of it. You not only must put that all together and make a story out of it but put it together in such a way that it sings and shines and sweeps your readers up into a world that makes them forget all else, even if just for a time.

So, a very important part of being a writer is learning to be artistic with your words, with pacing and the weave of your story. You want to build pictures in the minds of your readers so that they easily and effortlessly fall under your spell and see what you see and live where you live in the finished result. You not only want to lure them into the world your have crafted, you want them to want to stay there. That’s important! Anyone can put a book down, you want them not to want to put your book down!

Understandably, that mastery over the translation of your mind’s landscape and adventures into words and images your readers can enjoy is the biggest and most important part of your craft.

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First Day of Winter for a Writer (and when the heck am I going to publish Book Three?)

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1st day of Winter. Photo taken from my back yard 2015.

 

We had snow on the ground here in our new home in the mountains – a lovely sight to see and a promise of things to come – a good feeling, despite the water pipes frozen solid twice (and not defrosting until mid afternoon).

The house is frequently cold, but that’s to be expected in the early days as we sort out new curtains and carpets, clothing and fuel. A kero heater in my office makes a big difference and so do socks, a scarf and a hat. I have fingerless gloves for typing in, although they feel cumbersome so I rarely use them.

Yes, I’m still typing away and my latest manuscript in the Khekarian series (The Bastard Line) is growing and taking good form. At last the various issues I’ve had with it and the multitude of delays seem to be behind me.

I expect to publish towards the end of the year. This latest book has coincided with an assortment of events that have held me up. The break I took after writing two books back-to-back and an unexpected illness cost me the first six months, which was half my allotted time right there with not a word written. On top of that there have been minor emergencies, delays and the most important move interstate. It’s been a very busy time.

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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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