Saturday, 11 June 2011

Chapters 12 and 13


I got quite into the ideas I came up with for Chapter 12 last week but the chapter ended up being far too short and too fast-paced. I think I'll have to add in some slow-mo running a la Dark Place.

Now I've realised my story is rapidly running away with itself, taking me to places where I'm not ready to go yet. I've got my POV character in trouble with her dad and running away from home when it's still only her second day of being in this new place.

The prompt for Chapter 13, chosen by the other Rachel, is fairly enigmatic. I love it but I'm having a tough time working out what to do with it. I started out with my POV character's family arriving in this new place - a city crumbling with magic - but I haven't used it much at all yet in my story, so I'm thinking of getting my characters to head back there.

I wonder what is in that suitcase? And why it's important to my characters?

In my head I have all these scenes that I want to get into the story but they don't currently connect. There are some things that I'd probably go back and add in between previous chapters. What I'm writing now is stuff that I imagine being much nearer the end of the story. 

When I do Nanowrimo I hop all over the place writing bits for the end, middle and beginning in random order but I'd feel a bit sorry for Rachel (who reads my chapters every week) if I did that.

Well, I guess for now, I should stop procrastinating and get on with writing chapter 13 and see where on earth it's going to take me for next week!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chapters 10 and 11

I went on holiday between chapters 10 and 11 so that's why there's been a bit of a gap in posts.

I chose a fairly sinister prompt for chapter 10. Check it out here. Which had a fairly sinister effect on my chapter which ended on a cliffhanger.

I had trouble getting started on chapter 10, so the thursday night before it was due I sat down and started writing it all down by hand - something I hadn't done for a long time. This was so much fun - the words poured out of me but I had a feeling that the chapter still wouldn't be all that long when I typed it up.

When I did get round to typing it up the next day I found that I had so much more to add to what I had and I ended up with my longest chapter so far.

I also did the same thing for chapter 11 - I was on holiday for a week and didn't have access to a computer. Although I was a little less enthusiastic about getting chapter 11 done, having those notes defintely helped me get that chapter done.

I didn't get around to actually fitting Prompt 11 into chapter 11. You can see it here. I do have ideas for this prompt but it just moved me too far away from where I was at the end of chapter 10. This sort of thing was a lot easier the last time we worked on a prompt-based novel because I was writing from several points of view and could jump about into different sub-plots. This time I only have one POV character and chapter 10 ended on a cliffhanger in a wooded area.

I have no idea what I'm planning to do with the prompt chosen for chapter 12 but I hope I'll come up with something interesting.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

Oops! I guess I haven't been here for a while now!

Anyway, today I finished my first draft of chapter 9. I cut it a lot shorter than I intended - I had a conversation that felt like it was going on and on so I had to end it on an interruption and a cliff hanger before it became an awkward monster!

Things could have got a little romantic for a moment there but at the moment I'm shying away from that stuff.

The prompt image for chapter 9 (set my Rachel, my crit partner, was actually pretty timely. There was a lot of heavy rain and lightning and thunder here last night (that was also my excuse for not finishing chapter 9 yesterday - can't switch the PC on in a thunder storm *wink*). Although our lightning wasn't quite as spectacular!

Last week's prompt took my characters up to the turret of the old part of the school - not used anymore because of too many magic leaks. A spell was interrupted and now the "cool gang" are furious with my two main characters. There's trouble ahead!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Chapter 7 - Red Cave


Well, I got a little out of sync with blogging about my prompt novel recently but I’ve been managing to write it each week.

Just sat down and wrote out chapter 7 this morning. This chapter seemed to come quite easily and I’m pleased I’ve got some time to read it through and add stuff before we swap tomorrow.

This week’s prompt, chosen by the other Rachel, was this: http://www.ratemyscreensaver.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/cb22bild-4782.jpg

Which followed on nicely for me from the carved tree prompt last week – you wouldn’t think so but I wrote a story where the land was pretty much patched together with odd sunny spots and rainy spots and permanently night time areas so arid red earth can go next to a flourishing tree just fine.

It feels like the story is moving quite fast at the moment so I think when it comes to editing I’ll be going back and filling in more details. I haven’t really gone into my character’s home life enough because I was in such a hurry to get her off to school to meet certain other characters. I think she’s gone through quite a lot seeing as it’s still only the second day of the story.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Chapter 5 - Geography

I had a little extra time to write this chapter as my Friday was kind of busy and I'm only just getting around to blogging this on Monday morning.

I think my writing partner is on a Steam Punk kick at the moment! She chose this prompt this week: http://diarment.deviantart.com/art/Steampunk-Magic-Box-170244301?moodonly=24

That box has turned up just in time for my MC’s first class at school. It's been quite a long time since I was in any class at school so I found it a bit difficult to get into at first. Especially as the class was a "magical form" of Geography and I haven't studied Geography in any form since I was 13. It probably wasn't a wise decision to settle on it but I've got a few ideas for later that are dependant on the coursework project my characters are set in this chapter.

So the Steampunk Magic Box above is used as some kind of measuring device for magical geography purposes.

I’m at that point where I started to find writing difficult because I’m introducing a character that I want to portray in a certain way and I want him to be likeable. I’m so caught up with that I’m finding it difficult to write and it feels like he’s coming out a bit flat. I guess I should relax and let whatever happens happens.

So, I guess this week I'll be doing some geography homework! And also working out how to get my character from school to where she see's this week's prompt.

This week's prompt is this carved tree.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Chapter 4 and I've finally got my main character to school


This week’s chapter was easier to start and I ended up writing quite a bit of it on Monday.

I set this image as this week’s prompt. A little abstract and random but I like the way we’ve been choosing more random things this time.

Last time we picked a lot of obviously fantasy-related images which were fun but I wonder whether they were leading us down one path too much.

I had a couple of ideas about what I was going to do with this week’s prompt – I figured maybe it could be a cloud-storm of rogue magic, or maybe an experiment from one of the school classes but when I started writing I ended up with something completely different - something that kind of hints at what might have happened to one of my characters in her past.

I also introduced a character I wasn’t planning on bringing into the story at this point - actually a character that I hadn't given much thought to at all before sitting down to write.

I’ve been feeling a little conscious of just writing short chapters at the moment and cutting scenes short but I have to remind myself that this is just a first draft and I still don’t entirely know where I’m going with this story. I’ll have plenty of opportunity to go back and add and change things later.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Working on Chapter 3...


Well it’s Friday again and that means it’s swap day for our prompt stories ( I think we missed a week so we’re still on chapter 3) and I’m furiously writing up my next chapter as I was too lazy to get it done before today :/

Except I’m not, because I’m stopping every now and then to write this in between to brainstorm a few ideas.

I think I’ve got to the point where I’m going to have to do a lot of background thinking on this story or it’s going to be a bit hollow. I’m thinking it would be a good idea to start going through Holly Lisle’s Culture book.

I also need to think about things like:

What are the “monstrous creatures” that roam around the place and where did they come from?

What is the history of the Broken City?

How can I write an original high school story? Although I’m not writing about vampires I’m worrying about being too Twilighty. That may sound a bit odd but after being cured of Twilight-itis there are things that I didn’t like about Twilight that I deliberately wanted to “address” in this story but not in an obvious way. I was inspired by C. S. Lewis and how he wrote the Cosmic Trilogy as a rebuttal of Sci fi trends at the time.

This week’s prompt challenge – chosen by my  crit partner (also Rachel) is an image of a gorgeous handmade book on Deviantart.

I have plans for a very important book in my story but I don’t think this book is it – the book I was thinking of is plain looking and beaten up, however I do have an idea about banned books that would be useful for my story and also put my main character into even more danger than I originally had planned.

On my chapters so far I’ve only managed about 800 words or so but in this chapter I feel like I’m finally getting to the meaty part.

Rachel’s comments on the last 2 chapters have been great and she’s discovered some juicy bits that I threw in without thinking about but now think would be awesome to explore further.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Starting on a new story

Well it’s been a shamefully long time since I’ve done any proper writing but I’ve started on a new story that’s been composting in my head over that period.

Actually I did spend some of January writing a few notes and some scenes for the story but it was one of those half-hearted, "I don't have the energy for this", attempts at starting to write.

After November I had a bit of a weird time evaluating what I want to write and it took me a while to figure it out. I was so set on one pathway and then my whole interest and belief system (for want of a better phrase) completely blew up in my face.

Anyway, I made a new "book cover" for the story - so far with no title as I don't know what to call it yet - it's nice to use my new married name though! I've been calling it "Ethan" but that's just a temporary name I picked for one of the characters.

I used another one of my self-portraits and gave it the Photoshop treatment - like I did for my Nanowrimo cover - simply because I don't have anyone else to model for me. It's probably creepy-looking but it works for me!

So far this story is about:

Wonky magic
Hair colour
Religious Intolerence

I decided to use this story for a new writing prompt experiment I'm doing with my crit partner.

In 2009-2010 we each wrote a novel where each chapter was based on a new image prompt that was set every week. We started again 2 weeks ago.

I used this image for chapter 1.

Before my crit partner sent over that image I was a bit stuck on what was going to happen in this story and then thinking about this image and playing about with fabric gave me a big idea I can run with.

The fabric mess opposite was the start of a map I was making of the landscape where I was basing my story.

I decided that instead of the usual colours - earthy colours, greens and blues I would use any colour I came across and that I'd use odd shaped scraps of fabric rather than cutting new shapes for it.

This started me off on thinking about why the landscape would be weird colours and what those funny little shapes might be.

Those ideas got me thinking about how I could incorporate the "pipe" from prompt 1 into my story.

After that I made this paper map and messed about in Photoshop to add in a "haze of wonky magic".

And this house inspired chapter 2. I'm currently a little stumped about this chapter. I'm not sure I chose that great a prompt or whether I'm taking it all a bit too literal. I've been trying to plan out "exciting things" to happen in this chapter. I guess the thing is to sit down and write it first whether it's boring or not and then think about jazzing it up later.

Either that or I need to go and play about with fabric again!