Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

World Building and Deep Point of View...

I strongly suspect I could never write historical due to the amount of research involved. One of my writing buddies is currently scouring books on Victorian Surgery practices, morbid but fascinating. She’s all over the names of instruments and exactly how amputations and dissections were carried out. I prefer to invent, or speculate, on future times. Reality can be mighty limiting, but the bare bones are still required, the world has to be plausible. People need to relate, to be able to imagine themselves wandering through the landscape.

So, how much information to put in? Three paragraphs detailing the characters costume brings things to a screaming halt. Three paragraphs... huh! Once upon a time, I put in three pages. Being spanked for same has made me wary of over indulging in details, but my current work in progress, a sci-fi tale, needs more world building. Info dumps are out. Deep point of view is in. All of the sights, scents, sounds, tastes and touching that go on must be revealed in greater depth. 

But not too much. 

It’s a balancing act. I’ve received lots of excellent advice and today I’m rolling with ‘Read your work aloud’. Astrid the Schnauzer has already evacuated the room, heading for quieter corners. 

Song for the Day is Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars

Friday, 24 February 2012


There are two ways to write a book. I thought I was a Pantser. Had a vague notion and ran with it, trusting it would get me some where good. Final Girl took me two years to write. There was a fair amount of stopping and starting and the usual diversions along the way, sure. But still... two years is a long time. I now have a 78,000 word manuscript and a 27,250 word file full of off-cuts, all of the bits and pieces that didn’t make the book. What a waste. You could say it was all a learning exercise in exploring the characters and such like, and yet, I don’t think I’m going to be a Pantser anymore. There has to be a middle ground between trusting to fate and the four winds, and mapping out every scene down to the colour of the curtains. 

The time limit I’ve set for my next story is six weeks, maximum, for a decent first draft. I have a plan, a rough sketch of each scene, just a sentence or two, and what’s at stake. It doesn’t feel like I’m caging myself in, so far. I haven’t lost interest in the story because I know roughly where it’s going. So far so good, in Week One I got 15,000 words down. I know I can do better, but it’s a solid start. Part of it is prioritising, but part of it is down to the fact that when I sit down to write I know what needs doing.

Your writing improves the more you write. It’s a fact. No amount of workshops or how to books replaces putting words on the page. I’ve leant a lot in the last two years, the bulk of which I attribute to working with my mentor, Louise Cusack, published in fantasy and erotica. It’s amazing what a kind and constructive guiding hand can do.  And my writing group, I’d be lost without them. Crit Partners are essential.

So, those are my random thoughts for the day. Plotting or Pantsing, there’s no hard and fast rule. All I know is, somewhere in-between is working mighty fine so far.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another excerpt for Wednesday. Happy Hump Day!

She couldn’t stand it. “Say something.”
“Huh? What’s wrong?” Daniel bolted upright. “What do you want me to say?”
“Shit.” Ali crouched down at the end of the bedding, hung her head. What a spectacular mess. “Never mind. God, I’m such a head case.”
The man made a noise somewhere between disbelief and grand impatience. “Light of my life, come here, talk to me. What the hell have you been telling yourself for the past two hours, huh?”
She waved off the beckoning hand, settled her butt back onto her heels. Her own stupidity knocked her on her ass. “I’m sorry. Really, it doesn’t matter.”
The hand fell and he lay down, hands tucked back behind his head. “If it didn’t matter we wouldn’t be having this deeply confusing conversation. Now, tell me what I’m supposed to say.”
She didn’t answer. The words were a tangled festering knot inside her. Hanging her insecurities out to air would not help.
“I like you cranky,” he said. “I like you cuddly.”
“Are you trying to be Dr Seuss?”
“Only if you find his works sexually arousing.”
“No. Not really.”
“Probably for the best.”

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Here's that magic moment when my hero and heroine meet. Feel the love...

Daniel looked down the barrel of the shotgun all set to blow his brains out and grinned.
These days even a gun toting, trigger-happy female was a delight to behold, and she was perfect.
Sunlight streamed in through the kitchen window, and she all but shone with it like an angel or a princess or something; something a little overdue for a bath and a lot on edge, but something real good just the same. The feeling of sweet relief rushing through him near buckled his knees.
She was tall and curvy and around thirty at a guess, uninfected and by far the best thing he had ever seen in jeans and a t-shirt. Not even the dried blood splatter on the wall behind her could diminish the picture she made.
Sadly, his girl did not appear to share his joy.

Friday, 10 February 2012

There's a specific Play List for when I'm writing this book. I like to think it helps create continuity with regards to the books ambience. Fancy huh?

That and I always did enjoy making mixed tapes.

What songs will be fueling the End of Times for you?

Where they wander by the HorrorPops
Hearts a mess by Gotye
What do I do by Lanie Lane
Dark storm by the Jezabels
Breathe me by Sia
Fool for you by John Butler Trio
Rattlin bones by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Slow by Lisa Mitchell
Thump by Bertie Blackman
This heart attack by Faker
Echo by Eskimo Joe
Sunsets by Powderfinger

Thursday, 9 February 2012

So... this is what I've been doing instead of FINISHING THE DAMN BOOK! But isn't it pretty? I don't know how to get the picture where I want it, but never mind. It's a toe dipped in the water into the world of online going's on.

Now I must go write the last two chapters and end this 2 year drama that is the Manuscript called FINAL GIRL. The characters have already mixed things up on me and knocked off someone who was supposed to live. Lucky I have more people to play with for I am a fearsome God in my own little world. In the real world, not so much...

Thanks for stopping by!