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!