Tag Archives: Motivation

A moment of clarity

I’m in a lull at the moment. With Fire released at last its a weight off my shoulders. Plus with Dead Chaos written and edits being finalised that’s another sorta-tick off my list.
We won’t go into the dead chaos cover except that it’s giving me a conniption. I’ll have an update on covers soon so look out for that post.
I’ve already begun writing Lost Soul – the second in the DarkWorld series – halfway through already and having good fun writing about a new world and new creatures.
So why the lull you ask? I’m not sure. It’s one of those moments of clarity I think. When everything slows down and you can see the world so clearly.
I’ve always been a bit of a loner, an outskirts person. I think a lot of writers are this way, the observer, the watcher, the people scientist. It gives you the opportunity of observation, to watch conversations and interactions between people. Some people are so good at social subterfuge but its always been a curse that I can pick up on it no matter how subtle. It would be good to turn it off now and then and just go with the social flow but that’s not going to happen, right?
So I’d best get on with it… Dead Chaos to the editor, Lost Soul written and then maybe I’ll start writing the second Kali book Blood…

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A new novel beckons: Curse of the blinking cursor

A new novel beckons: Curse of the blinking cursor

Every so often I encounter the blank page. More so when I’m about to embark on a new project. And every single time (and even though I now have 6 completed novels written) it affords me the same sense of excitement mixed with a dash of oh-my-god-how-am-I-going-to-finish-this! It’s just so much of blank emptiness that needs to be filled that’s so easy to make a writer doubtful.

I’m busy outlining Lost Soul, the second book in the DarkWorld series. It’s so much fun playing with characters and scenes, defining motivations and refining plot lines. But once it’s done, the next step is to open up that document and face the blinking cursor.

Breaking it Down
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s upwards of 90 thousand words, roughly 100 hours of writing time for me. that’s a huge job to face down. Breaking it down into manageable bits makes it feel less daunting, makes the task seem less insurmountable.

If I’m concentrating on one particular project I like to set a goal, maybe 5000 words per day. If I don’t hit that goal I readjust my numbers as I write but I keep track. I’m a spreadsheet nut so I love drawing up a list of days with my targets, actuals and running totals. Watching my progress keeps me in line, makes me want to hit my target and makes the ginormous job so much easier to complete.

The Mid-novel Slump
Some writers have this problem and although I called it the mid novel slump, we tend to experience this slump at different times for different projects. Some writers hit the one third mark and sit back frustrated because it suddenly feels like you’re running on empty. I usually reach this point at around 60K. The end is in sight and yet finishing seems like I’m climbing the steepest mountain.

At this point I am often tempted to begin my revisions, and sometimes this has worked. I’ve gone back, tightened the plot, fixed plot holes and motivations which may make the final 30k much easier to write.

Sometimes this is a bad idea, mainly because it’s a reason to keep fiddling and never finish the novel. This is an especially frustrating problem for new writers so I’d suggest newbies don’t take this route, just write to done and then revise.

If you don’t have a problem finishing, if you don’t fall into the cycle of fix fix fix without reaching the end, then going back to revise may be a good thing for both you and your novel. It gives me the opportunity to read what I’ve written, to remember the cool stuff I wrote, to refine those awesome story threads that I may have forgotten (believe me this happens pretty often) as I’ve been barrelling along meeting my daily wordcount goals without a backward glance.

For now I’m rounding up Dead Chaos (Valkyrie #3) and plotting Lost Soul (DarkWorld #2) and maybe I’ll throw in a revision for Seals of Hades (Irin #1). Let’s see how things go…

A Writer’s Old Soul

Ask a writer why they write and you are guaranteed to received a multitude of answers. From ‘I want to be famous’ to ‘something inside me wants me to write’, you will run the gamut of reasons. Granted some answers will be dependent upon the perception of the writer because let’s face it, reality and writers are sometimes mutually exclusive! Believe me, I know!

A few years ago I heard the term OLD SOUL mention in a fleeting conversation. An old soul is a person who is believed to have lived many lives. Someone who, when born, already carries within them the wisdom of all those lives lived and experienced.
Would this perhaps explain where our writing comes from?

Writers write about things they have never experienced all the time. Single people manage to paint accurately the life of a married man, men vividly describe child-birth, a girl describing sights and sounds of New Orleans having never set foot in America let alone Bayou Country.

How is it we are able to breathe reality and life into scenes set in far-off lands and often non-existent ones?

And while we are on the question of how, let’s ask how it is that a writer carves a scene out of a blank page, sometimes having no idea what will happen next, or why a particular character behaves in a specific way. But suddenly the scene is resolved and it becomes clear – all why’s and wherefores are answered…. And yet…. You remain puzzled. There is a mystery in the writing. If you had no idea as to the scenes resolution then how is it that most, if not all scenes leading up to it have followed an unsaid rule to culminate in the final resolution?

I’d like to think I have an old soul. What a romantic idea… To be able to retain knowledge from previous lives seems so impossible, so unreal that the idea holds a certain entrancing charm. Perhaps it would explain why I never hated Shakespeare. Or why History was a joy to learn.

Whatever it may be. Writers are blessed with a secret intuition, a flair for personality and drama, a taste for suspense and intrigue, a desire to draw tears from your eyes and instill fear into your veins.

We weave worlds out of our dreams, meld reality with the fantastical, conjure characters who stay with you whether it be through a random laugh, a cold shiver or a pool of heated tears.

If you are an old soul, conjure up the worlds of your past lives in your story.
And if you are not an old soul… Create … Illuminate … Weave the threads.

Writers write.
Readers live through our writing.