Category Archives: Writing

Do I have writer’s block?

So, I wrote myself into a corner and can’t get out.

The story is stuck.

My little band of adventurers has once again failed to locate Agrimon, who is never where he’s supposed to be. But I feel that they’ve been chasing after him for far too long now. Something else needs to happen. I need CONFLICT!

But I have conflict, don’t I? After all, they DID get attacked once on the way to some city!

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The Moon Princess

Today I decided to write a fairytale that’s been on my mind for a while.

Fragments of this tale are from a story I heard as a child, and have stayed with me for many years. However, as much as I tried I could not find the original story, nor could I remember how the bulk of it went. All that remained in my memory was the impression the moon princess made on me, more a fleeting feeling than anything else.

So I decided to try and re-tell it with a new story.

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Project Bible

Recently I came across a discussion about writer’s tools and tricks that they use for writing. Among the slew of dictionaries and grammarly links, one author said that she has a “book bible” – a notebook or folder where all her notes about her current project are kept.

I write using Scrivener, and it serves pretty much the same purpose digitally. You can keep notes, character sheets, maps, images and all sorts of documents organised within a writing project, alongside the actual manuscript.

But I liked the idea of having an actual physical copy, too.

I might make myself a folder and see if I actually accumulate enough hardcopy stuff to call it my project bible. Beats handwritten notes in trouser pockets!

The pitfalls of bad research…

In my current story there was a country called Kelvar.

It is covered in dense forests and has a population of tree-dwelling people who have produced some of the most skilled druids on the continent.

Last week a friend of my mother saw a preliminary map of said continent lying on the table, read the word “Kelvar” and exclaimed: “You’re a Tolkien fan, aren’t you!”

Uhm, yes, I thought, I like Tolkien, but I would not consider myself a hardcore fan who can count off all the character names down to the horses. “Why?” I asked.

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Translations

I’ve been translating fairytales lately.

Some went well, others not so much – when I choose stories to translate, I don’t always take into account how well they work in another language, or, as was the case here, in another cultural environment.

It’s a learning curve, but I’m having fun 🙂

The language you choose…

…determines the result of your story.

I’m currently translating fairytales, and I found that they have a very unique rhythm.

Just take the beginning and ending of a typical fairytale. It always starts with “Once upon a time…” and more often than not ends with “…and they lived happily ever after”.

Why doesn’t it say “A long time ago…” and “…then they got married, the end.”

Because then it wouldn’t be a traditional fairytale format, that’s why.

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Character Sheets

I’ve been introduced to the idea of character sheets for writing quite late into the process. I knew character sheets from gaming, where you record the strengths and weaknesses of a character, and note changes like level ups and so on, but for writing this never occurred to me.

I did have a list, though.

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Twisted Religions

Religions fascinate me from a storytelling point of view. Every real-life religion has a ton of stories. There’s a creation myth, exploits of the various gods or associated characters, and a bunch of tales to illustrate how one should or should not behave. Then there’s a code of conduct, a set of rules to be adhered to, and possibly a dress code.

Coming up with a religious system for a story seemed like a lot of fun. I’m thinking ceremonial hats and a holy scepter at this point, muahaha. No, but seriously, inventing a religion warrants some thought, as the beliefs of a character will influence how he or she reacts to certain things. Read more »

Decisions, decisions…

In my plotline, one of the characters travelling in a group gets separated from the rest and has to strike out on her own. So far, so good. When I first came up with my plotline, she got separated quite early on in the story. It provided me with two separate storylines that I could switch to and fro, breaking up the monotony of just following one story all the time.

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Aaarrgh, it’s gone!

I’ve misplaced my map.

Aaaaaaaah !

I have a map of the places where my Spice Trader stories take place, where I note their route as they go along, and draw in places that are mentioned or referred to, alternative routes, and so on. Read more »