Monday, 28 January 2013

Getting Back Into Things...

Back to Work
I wonder if other writers have the same problems as I do when it comes to getting back into your routine after a long break/holiday?
I sit at my pc and fiddle around the edges of work in progress/articles etc. but my mind isn’t really connecting with it. And I find that, although I do remember my WIP plot and the characters, some of the finer details of whys and wherefores have slipped from my mind. I have to sit and read the whole work so far to get back into the mind-set.
It reminds me of how I try to organise my work so that a break comes at the end of a draft. The trouble is, if I get behind, it doesn’t work out like that and I have to leave it midway. Such a hassle – but we all have to have breaks don’t we?
Despite lot’s of notes and plot charts etc. I sometimes forget where I was intending to go next. This can be kind of interesting as my muse get’s jump-started, get’s all excited again and suggests new ideas and thoughts about plot development. So it’s not necessarily all bad news!
It just goes to show that without breaks we can all go pretty stale on a project, methinks. Well, that’s my excuse anyway…
Oh yes... And my latest book is now available on amazon kindle...

Do you have problems getting back to work after a break?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Journey of a Lifetime!

Hi everyone
In case you thought I'd fallen off the ends of the earth (or something) This is my first post of 2013!
Happily - for me that is - I have been away on a terrific holiday since Christmas. A once in a lifetime kind of thing with a stay in the beautiful Caribbean and a cruise around some of the islands. It was all quite wonderful but we flew back to Uk at the weekend to thick snow and ice - quite a contrast! Then we came back here to Lanzarote and I am just about getting over the jet lag!! A tiring journey but well worth the trip. Talking of journeys... Here's my first post for 2013...
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. LeGuin.

I chose the word journey for this post but I was unsure whether I was going to refer to the personal journey that I have made since started putting my thoughts down on paper, or whether I was going to refer to the journey that my characters undertake in my thriller writing. On reflection, I will save the personal stuff for another time.
The idea of a journey is one that is familiar to all writers of fiction, in that the main character always has some kind of journey, even if it is purely in the mind. Characters undergo change of some kind from beginning to end of a story otherwise it is a more of an essay or anecdote.
But then, I think if a character has an actual journey – possibly one they didn’t really want to undertake in the first place - then that adds tension and  suspense in the way of a ‘will they, won’t they’ get to journey’s ( reach their goal) end? I suppose you could say the whole thrust of a good story is a journey from the opening sentences to the final last words. And in that respect, the final words need to leave the reader feeling satisfied that the journey was worth it and the character got there in the end!
A good writing book that details much of the way that fiction is traditionally done is “The Key” by James N frey. When I read this book all became much clearer for me, in terms of using mythological motifs that we all recognise, but probably never thought that much about. In this book Frey talks about myth –based fiction and one of the things that happens in the beginning of all these kinds of stories is the hero is called to his journey.  This is just the beginning of a universal plot structure that works for almost every story since Homer. And it applies – in modern terms – to almost all my own writing.

So, do you use the power of myth in your writing? And do your characters go on journeys?