It’s all over now

nanowrimo 2019

The final week shuddered to a grinding halt yesterday, with not a single word more written since Thursday. ‘Life’ got in the way. 

Never mind.

The ‘life’ bit included trying to persuade people to help themselves to the free download of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I’m pleased to say there has been some success so far, and the offer will still be running for almost another 24 hrs.

Back to NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite reach my hoped-for word count of 30K, but I’m beyond 25K and story-wise I’m reaching the mid-point, although there are a few blank spaces in the chapters I’ve written so far. Compared to last year, I’m about two chapters shy of where I got to with Following the Green Rabbit, so I’m pretty satisfied.

Of course it isn’t all over. The story continues to drip forth. I’m hoping to have something approaching a completed MS by next Easter. Then comes the tricky bit. To paraphrase one of Mr Shakespeare’s characters: ‘To query or not to query?’

If you were participating in NaNoWriMo on any level, how was it for you?

NaNoWriMo Week #3

nanowrimo 2019

Well, I’m pretty pleased with myself at the end of week 3. I have a further six chapters more or less completed, although obviously not polished, and the story is flowing now.

My characters are fleshing out nicely: they have quirks and foibles and they’re starting to spark off one another. Yesterday I nearly fell off my chair trying to imagine what it would be like to climb up the inside of a cave, and I became quite breathless swimming along an underwater tunnel.

It’s been fun!

I’ve fallen a little behind today, as I spent all morning chatting over rooibos tea and biscuits with one friend, and half the afternoon chatting over coffee and stollen with some other friends. I must take advantage of the sudden sugar rush!

On to the final week…

Enjoy, fellow NaNo writers! My tip of the week: cake helps.

NaNoWriMo Week #2

nanowrimo 2019

Well I’d be fibbing if I was to say it was all going swimmingly. And, in a sense this is more prevarication. So I’ll keep it short.

This week two things have been troubling me:

Firstly, the story I’m working on is set in a semi-fictional part of South Africa, which I know fairly well, and it’s sort of present day, but there’s something which doesn’t feel right. I’m not yet sure what it is.

Secondly, I’m having trouble with a couple of characters. I can’t quite work them out. I’m still waiting for them to speak to me. I’m sure they will. I need more conversations!

I just checked back to this time last year. I was doing better word-count wise, but I can see there were doubts in my mind.

Oh and my laptop is on a go-slow. Must be the heat: mid afternoon, 34C in the shade.

Okay, I’m telling myself it’s going to be fine, fine, fine. Just go with the flow and enjoy it! It’s not that anyone but me is piling on the pressure.

Going back to the writing ‘happy place’ for a couple of hours…

Onward and upward, fellow Nano writers!
(as I said this time last year).

To which this year I add:
Relax. Enjoy.

 

The Story of the Storyteller

The Story of the Storyteller by Chris Hall lunasonline

The Storyteller arrived in the village wearing a broad-brimmed black hat which made it hard to see her face. She began to tell stories, her stories. She encouraged us to tell our stories. Stories of all kinds: short stories, sad stories, stories that would make you think, or laugh, or look under the bed before sleeping.

Our village was alive with words. Our stories became known far and wide. We were the ‘Village of the Stories’ – stories which we could shout from the rooftops or sing by the stream or whisper in the woods.

People came to hear our stories. They wanted stories of their own. Some learned how to tell them, but others came to steal them. They sent their spies to seek out our stories and sell them as their own.

We were disheartened. The Storyteller slipped away; her stories disappeared with her. We fell silent. Our words were hidden and our stories slept.

But then we decided.

‘No more,’ we shouted. ‘We will seek out the thieves and shame them. We will take our stories back.’

And so we did. And we hope the Storyteller hears this and returns with her stories and her broad-brimmed black hat.

 

 

Author Angst

Nothing to Say by Chris Hall lunasonline

Drag open cupboards! Rummage the dusty shelves!
Words spill out; letters separate, scatter across the floor.
Photos flame to ash, picture frames’ contents
ooze sludgily down the walls.

You fling open a window. There’s a beach, sunshine and the smell of the sea!
Waves lapping; a boy in a boat.
He points and you look
but there’s nothing to see.

A sudden squall
slams the window
shut.

Here’s a door; chained and padlocked.
There’s a message, curled and yellow, stuck to the frame
A single word, written in your own hand:
No.

You step away, anxiously.
You know. Now
is not the time.

Turn away, turn back!

You trudge step-by-step
over the disturbed contents
of your untidy mind.

Empty handed.
Empty headed?

You take a breath, drain the mug of tepid tea and realise that
Today, you simply have
Nothing to say.

Ducking Under the Radar

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Okay, those of you who’ve been following the unfolding story of ‘A Nick in Time’, my children’s novel, will know we are reaching the climax and soon the story will draw to a (very satisfactory) close.

I’ve decided to devote the next couple of weeks to doing just that, so I shall be going rather quieter than usual, although I will be popping up now and then to see what you’re all up to.

One more cliff-hanging chapter will appear here, but the ultimate finale will remain undisclosed until the story is ready for publication. Then you, loyal followers of ‘A Nick in Time’ (and you know who you are), will receive a free advance copy of the ebook. 

Bear with me. If I work hard it shouldn’t be too long.

see you soon

 

 

How to Protect Against Plagiarism If You Post Fiction Online

A very important issue. Some useful guidance for those of you who like me are posting their work online.

A Writer's Path

by Sarah Pesce

Let me start this off by saying plagiarists are the WORST.

Unfortunately, plagiarism is made easier than ever with self-publishing these days. If you post your work online – on fanfic forums, on Wattpad, on critique sites, on your own website, etc. – you run the risk of that work being stolen and put up for sale as an ebook, with someone else potentially making money off of your labour.

View original post 1,394 more words

Philip Pullman: ‘My Writing Day’

I came across this article written by the wonderful author, Philip Pullman. I found it very entertaining. It’s mostly about his writing space. Interesting. What’s yours like?

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

Philip Pullman interview lunaslonline

Philip Pullman: ‘I use coloured pencils to show which key I’m writing in – D minor, at the moment’

The author on the importance of desk height, watching birds and Myriorama cards

I get to my desk (in a very small room at the top of the house) at about 10, and fiddle about with the height of the desk and the chair until I’m comfortable. I have a desk that I can raise or lower according to the state of my aching back. Sometimes I stand at it, and sometimes I have it high up to write at, and sometimes a bit lower to type.

The desk is covered by an ancient kilim, because it looks nice, but that’s not a good surface to write on, so I have one of those green safety cutting mats to support the paper I use, which is A4 narrow lined, with two holes. I love the shape of the A paper sizes. It’s the only one of Andrea Palladios recommended architectural shapes (the ratios of room length to width, and so on) that contains an irrational number, in this case the ratio of one to the square root of two. Very handy for illustrating Pythagoras’s famous theorem, in fact.

Nearby is a basket full of coloured pencils, including some of the best of all, the Berol Karisma range, now unfortunately discontinued. For each book I write, the paper is authorised for writing on by means of a coloured stripe along the top edge. I fan the sheets out and colour a stack at a time. The current book is a warm blend of Karisma Pumpkin Orange and Faber Castell Venetian Red. I sometimes think I should make it clear which key I’m writing a particular passage in – D minor, at the moment – but that would be silly, unlike colouring the pages, which makes perfect sense.

To read on, click here

 

 

The writer returns

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Downtown Maun, Botswana

Only last week I asked the question: “Do writers really go on holiday?”

Well, just one week away ‘in the bush’ (well, not quite), and my head is spinning with ideas. Nothing concrete just yet, although I have a host of notes in my little black notebook.

I’ve been wonderfully distracted on my return today by all the stories which my writer friends have been posting while I’ve been away: you are so prolific! And, of course, I just had to stop to read some of these awesome posts. Oh, and do some paid work for my website and social media clients.

Normal service should be resumed next week…plus I mustn’t neglect the work-in-progress novel.

Time Waster!

Novels_do_not_write_themselves-1

Okay, so I’ve spent too much time NOT writing today. I’ve been prevaricating; engaging in displacement activity.

But, I came across a nice little time waster on this rather wonderful writer’s site: CONSTANT LEARNER and of course I couldn’t resist!

Okay, it’s a marketing ploy, and maybe you’ve seen it before.  If you haven’t, this is what the ‘I Write Like’ site says about itself.

And, well, well, it seems: 

Also like Margaret Atwood and Charles Dickens, depending on the text I entered.
I’m honoured. And obviously inconsistent.

Oh, and if you ‘analyse’ this post it’s: Stephenie Meyer!

Click on the box above if you want to try. But don’t spend the whole day on it!
Or don’t blame me if you do.

I’d love to hear your results…(can I tempt you…?).