So hey there, what happens when you just struggle and struggle to finish a story you were so passionate about a few months ago.
I love my characters – Ella is as feisty as ever and Roman is still the complex dreamboat he always was but maybe I’ve fallen out of love with them. They’ve done everything, I’ve split them up, put them back together, changed things around, added family drama but maybe it’s time I retired them and worked on something new?
I know that half of this angst is due in part to people not reading the stories like they once did. It’s hard to get new readers when you’ve developed the fan fiction characters beyond the scope of the original character, even harder getting people to relate to it.
I’ve just written a chapter that should have been fun but each word felt like I was pulling teeth! Hard, complex, difficult. That’s been how it is to write these days. And without writing, I’m sitting here, kind of broken. Kind of lost. Very alone.
So, do I finish the dang* story or just move on?
Also, NanoWriMo, the write a novel in a month challenge, is fast approaching and so far I’ve failed at every attempt. I remember writing two full novel length stories consecutively inside three months and I just want to get back a little bit of that creative juice. My head is buzzing with ideas and I jot down bits and pieces but nothing sparks my interest long enough to develop it into a story.
I’m pretty sure I want to write.
I enjoy writing (for the most part).
But, am I done?
So I had this idea for a series of blog posts last night – the A – Z of Crime Fiction, sounds fancy doesn’t it?
Sue Grafton aside from being one of my favourite authors, devised a series of novels using the alphabet in her titles. ‘A’ was of course for Alibi, B for Burglar, C for Corpse and so on. Her novels are not an in-depth treatise on crime, despite the cunning amount of detail she includes but they are well thought out good reads.
It got me thinking about all the crime and thriller books I’ve read and the full stories I’ve actually written and the amount of research that goes into them. A perfect crime novel doesn’t have to have complicated deaths to be successful, just an intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing throughout the story. That is the hook in the story, knowing that anyone of the characters could have done it.
Of course, there are novelists who have spun the plot, giving you the murderer and then letting you and the detective character learn why and how. Or other variations. Murder mysteries have been around a long time since the Medieval period, however, they achieved a rise in popularity in the late 1800’s, first with Edgar Allan Poe and then Wilkie Collins. Followed quickly by the most famous detective of them all, Sherlock Holmes penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Whatever style of mystery story you like to read, sometimes you can’t beat a classic good whodunnit.
And so, I leave you with this, the A to Z of Crime Fiction. A is for….
So as I was thinking about releasing one of my stories it will need a cover right? It’s got a little bit of sexiness in it, lots of forbidden sighs and longing looks and just a hint of the type of attraction that has you panting for more.
Why is it then, that all the cover models I’ve seen just don’t match up to my hero or heroine? Having read a number of stories and receiving any number of author’s newsletters I know there are a bunch of hot men and women out there adorning the covers of books.
But they are too hot.
Of course, a guy with a perfect six-pack looks amazing and the female counterpart has gorgeous hair and perfect legs (amongst other perfect attributes) but they just aren’t realistic.
My characters are from the real world, sure he goes to the gym and likes to run but other than that he leads a pretty sedate life. Stuck to his desk, for the most part, he left the rippling muscle-bound body of a 20-year-old in the past. Now touching 40, he’s still attractive but in a whole new way.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m tired of seeing the same type of model on the cover of books. Tatts and muscles. Shirt open. Jeans pushed low on the hips. Do we seriously all fantasise about the same kind of men? If so, what am I missing?
So hey, hit me up in the comments if you read/like cozy mysteries?
A definition of what they are can be found here in case you haven’t heard of them.
I’ve found them to be a quick easy read with quirky characters, interesting settings, and enough of mystery to keep me entertained.
If you do like them are there any you’d recommend? Any author you follow? Have you thought about penning your own cozy mystery?
Okay, hands up, I’m guilty!
I have been neglecting my blog. I’ve been behind with my writing. I haven’t drafted a poem for the longest time.
There’s this thing, it’s called ‘Real Life’ and unfortunately, once you get it there is no cure.
In the UK we’ve had the Referendum, Brexit, and finally, an Election. When you are campaigning it’s very hard not to let things fall away and get neglected. My blog is a case in point and the other, my writing.
All of these is in conjunction with my personal circumstances. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say I’ve been completely swamped with negativity. I want to write, I’ve re-engaged with my Rola characters but actually sitting at the keyboard and getting it done is a different matter.
Now that I’ve taken a step back from the political stuff I want to get more time writing again. I’m also behind on posting on the various sites where my stories are. It feels like I’ve got a giant game of catch-up to play… watch this space!
The fairy cottage appeared in the distance, surrounded by flowers of every hue. Their perfume drifting up to meet the late summer breeze, a breeze that was promising rain.
Local folklore said that if you offered the one inside the stone cottage a present of a silver coin or small treasure then they may grant you one wish.
The well-trod path leading to the blue-painted door stretched out before her and without a backwood glance, she moved up it, somehow taking comfort that many had also walked along the same path before her. With a timid hand, she knocked once, and once more at the door. It opened before her allowing the sun to highlight dancing dust motes.
“H… hello,” she called softly.
“Come in pretty one,” a voice answered her.
“I’ve come to ask a favour,” her bravery made her say but her fear kept her rooted to the doorstep.
“Let me look at you,” the voice, although pleasant sounding, gave her a feeling of fear made sharper by the shudder that ran down her back.
“I brought you a present, see,” she held her hand out to show the silver token she’d brought with her.
“You are too far away, my pretty, I can’t see.”
Sarah looked down at the coin in her hand and slowly took a tiptoe step forward entering over the threshold. The darkness of the cottage swallowed her up and she felt herself grow cold.
“H….here…” she whispered looking at the coin shining in her hand as she held it out.
“And what is the wish that you want my pretty?”
A match struck and the flash of light startled her making her jump back before it was used to light a candle. Not that it offered much in the way of illumination, highlighting instead all the dark shadows that danced around the room.
“I have a love…”
“Lucky my dear, there are many that wish for true love to come,” the crone laughed.
“He is at war,” she continued.
“And you wish him home with his boots under your bed,” the crone muttered with a salacious laugh.
Sarah felt her face flaming and pressed her lips together to stop the hasty denial that rushed to be spoken. “My wish is not about him,” she felt her anxiousness rise as she thought about what she was asking. “No, it is the harvest that is coming. All signs are that there is rain coming and we will fail to get it in in time and with no harvest, we will starve this coming winter.”
“So your wish is for the harvest to succeed child? That is a lot of wish for such a small token!”
She felt the weight of the crone’s sneer directed at her as she looked at the small coin in her hand. “I wish…” she began. “For the sun to shine long enough to get the hay in.”
Sarah closed her eyes feeling her last smidgeon of bravery deserting her as she uttered her one wish, her hand closing around and clutching at the silver coin. This was silly. No-one could change the weather, no-one could alter the fate of the harvest. Why had she come here? What foolishness had prompted her to believe in folklore?
Her eyes shot open at the crone’s word and she opened up her hand to offer the coin only to see her hand empty. “Wha..” she cried out.
Sarah uttered a hasty thank you before she spun around and darted out of the cottage feeling bright sun meeting her as she ran back up the path and past the bright flowers.
The crone watched the slip of a girl dart out of her cottage, running as though she was being chased her long skirt whipping around her legs as she ran, before glancing at the silver coin in her hand. Just yesterday someone had been at her door asking for their wish and soon another one would come along requesting something else. She didn’t have the heart to tell them that she was just an old woman in a cottage with no magical powers. Until the next visitor turned up she’d just rest a while in her rocking chair with her cat on her lap.
It’s been a while, I’ve had a number of things going on. This blog got neglected just because I was busy with so many other things and then, after a long absence my characters started talking to me again.
I’d put my main character into a coma. I wasn’t even aware that I was going to do it but there she was lying on a hospital bed and….. then came the problem of how I did it, how was she going to recover, what was going to happen next…!
But then sitting down at the laptop I started plotting out the next chapter. Once I started working it the words flowed, albeit slowly, on to the page.
So finally, Chapter 42 of my Rola story ‘Ghost Sight’ has been posted.
Who knows the way this is going I just might start on Chapter 43!
What do you do when you have half a dozen story ideas but cannot sit down and start writing?
It isn’t exactly writer’s block because woah, am I used to that. No this is just finding the peace in my own head to focus on the story.
Or in this case stories.
I have one plotted, thought I was going to get some of it written for NanoWriMo, but I found I was doing anything except sitting at the laptop and writing and so the tale of the three brothers languishes inside my head waiting on my fingers to get typing.
I wish there was a way of downloading my brain to the page. I’d have about a dozen manuscripts ready to go.
In the faint hope that I can get something written by the end of the month I’m setting out some goals here.
- Luke’s story from Three Brothers.
- Finish Ghost Story (A Rola fic).
- Finish my manuscript of poetry.
Check back with me at the start of April to see if I’ve accomplished anything!
Some people can’t write without listening to music. Others need complete silence. For me, it very much depends on my mood.
When I get into a scene I can be transported into the moment with my characters and suddenly after frantic typing, of course, only then notice that my music had stopped.
It’s not just music, I also will have the TV on, or a show playing on my laptop, almost like I can’t bear the quiet surrounding me.
I’ve got playlists and artists that are my favourite to listen too.
Big dramatic scene – rock and roll, heavy metal.
Fight between hero and heroine – definitely, play me some Anastasia or country.
If it’s an action scene involving my soldiering hero then I might listen to a lot of sixties tunes, in particular, those that were played as a soundtrack for the soldiers in Vietnam.
You Tube is brilliant for random tune selection. Click on a song and it will have connections to random fan videos or other artists who have released the same song. It becomes this rabbit hole of distraction when you really aren’t in a writing mood but the rest of the time you can click on a song in there and type away.