Let me just say it right away: I’m feeling a bit out of my league here. I’ve been invited to participate in the IC Publishing Blog Tour, and honestly, when I look at my writing credentials, I don’t think I qualify.
I got to send a big Thank You to Sue Seabury for inviting me. Crazy girl, but nevertheless: Thank you! Go and check out her blog here, and get anything from great gift ideas to the man who’s got everything, to sweet pea creatures.
Sue has published three novels so far: Miss Calculation, Miss Taken and Miss Understanding. I love her witty, humorous style.
Right…so there are questions to be answered.
1) How do you start your writing projects?
They, or I should it, simply came to me. On the morning on Christmas Day 2013 I was lying in bed refusing to get up since it was my first day off in – I can’t remember how long – and my mind started wandering off. I realized a lot of my day dreaming involved the same characters in different settings and roles. Nowadays I look at these reveries or scenes are pieces in a puzzle. What happened during a few hours on Christmas Day, was that these pieces eventually fell into place and I could see the bigger picture. I knew the story’s path and plot from beginning to the finishing line.
My first attempt to write down a novel-length story is definitely inspired by my own interests and travel experiences, but it should not in any way be seen as a memoir, and all the characters are products of my imagination. Nature features strongly, sometimes it even takes on the role as an active antagonist. My love for Thailand, diving and wildlife in general are all aspects of the story. I’m just telling you this to have a good excuse to add some pictures into a long, boring text.
Cayaking in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Elephants in Etosha National Park
My favorite pride of them all. The Nebrownii pride in Etosha National Park
Deadvlei in the Namib desert, Namibia
Not really private, but all to myself in Khao Lak, Thailand
Diving @ Richelieu Rock, Thailand
When I began to write down the first story, it was as if I freed up capacity to start planning the next one. Since I had taken a step up on the New Writer (Who Haven’t Got A Clue) ladder by then, the second storyline was written out in a more organized way, with character profiles and bullet points briefly describing each scene or major event in the story. I’ve put this one aside to focus on the first story for now. I only stop by it now and then if the characters are screaming for attention.
2) How do you continue your writing projects?
On Christmas Day when I told my hubby I was going to ‘sit down and write a bit’, no one of us really thought it was going to turn into a project of this size. It was meant to be holiday fun. Half a year later, I’ve settled on a routine with writing after hours and in the weekends. When my work allows it, I take days off to go to a coffee shop and write there. It makes a huge difference for me to get out of the house now and then. Only scenes that can’t be written out in public are the sex scenes. I feel like all the old ladies at the neighboring tables can see straight through me, and read all my dirty thoughts.
3) How do you finish your projects?
I’ve got no idea. Ask me in a few years. When I started this storytelling thingy, I didn’t think it was realistic for me to even finish something the length of a novella. Now the manuscript it closing in on 150 000 words and counting. Which means that I’m looking at…what? Trilogy length?! *Insert appropriate swearing and gasping* Obviously, a lot got to go. But a lot still has to be written as well. This puts me firmly in the category of aspiring writers that will never find an agent who’s willing to take a chance on them, probably. I’ve read over and over again that the recommended word count for a debut novel is 80-100 000 words… *cringe*.
Okay, never mind about that, that’s my concerns, not yours. But like I said, ask me in a few years.
Oh, really? I have to? I don’t have the imagination to come up with prompts and stuff. Lets do it differently. I’ve discovered that I’m inspired by lyrics and tunes for different parts of the story, and that my characters also got ‘theme songs’. Do you know what I’m talking about? If so, can you share a ‘theme song’ with me and tell me why it represents the story or character so well?
Passing the pen
Right…I’m going to pass the pen on to two blogs, and a whole bunch of wonderful people.
First of all, I’d like to introduce Sandra Danby. Sandra is the author of the upcoming novel Ignoring Gravity. She’s also writing an award-winning blog about writing and reading that you can check out here. She’s living in Andalucia (God, that sounds awful…not) and is writing about her life on the Spanish countryside in the blog Notes on a Spanish Valley.
And last, but definitely not least, I’m throwing a whole box of pens at the wonderful ladies in the Happy Authors Guild.
We’re a group of fourteen women that met in the online community Scribophile. I recommend that place to all aspiring writers. I’ll step aside to let my co-bloggers reply in a collective effort over at the HAG blog next week. They’re all way more experienced than me, and I’m just grateful that they let me play in the same sandbox.