Category Archives: Projects

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!

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Things to learn

I’m currently reading Sentence of Marriage by Shayne Parkinson and as I sat on the commuter train with my Kindle, it suddenly struck me that my own writing lacks sufficient description of details.

In the novel, Amy shows a nurse into a bedroom for her to have a lie-down, and she folds back the covers for her. My own recent writing wouldn’t have included that detail, it would probably have gone something like “…showed the nurse to the bedroom and left her to have a rest.”

But folding back the covers brings the whole scene to life. I could see her in my mind, folding the covers back. It wasn’t too detailed either. I don’t know whether the bedspread is green or red or patterned, or whether the bed is standing under the window or not. But it’s an offhand detail that makes the whole thing seem more real.

I definitely need to work on that. I tend to describe either too much (where the bed stands and what colour the blanket is), or too little (no mention of the bed at all).

On a different note:

I’m really enjoying this novel. Check it out on Amazon!

Getting back on the horse

I totally slacked off and didn’t write anything related to the Spicers in a long time.

I had another project happening, as well as taking on a second job that takes up quite a chunk of my time after coming home from my regular fulltime job.

So how do you get back to writing after slacking off for weeks on end? I had the weekend off, with nothing to do, and I resolved to sit down and write. I then spent the entire morning staring at a blank screen and not writing anything, while thinking about the sunshine outside.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Tuunish Saltkale (the recipe)

Tuunish Saltkale features in the spicer stories. It’s a kind of salty stewed kale that you either love or hate.

My friend Pepper asked me if I had a real dish in mind when I wrote about it, or whether I just made it up. Actually, at first I made it up and it was called Ripple Stew. I changed it later on, after I found myself thinking about dishes I know that separate foodies over how good or bad it is.

So here’s the actual recipe. You’re welcome.

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.

Read more »

Ten chapters into a short story…

…and no end in sight.

The Spicers story is so much fun, it’s mutating into a novella. I’ve just completed chapter ten, and I have drafted chapters eleven to nineteen.

I’ve drawn maps and made calculations about mileage for ox carts, have come up with some villains and  made a culinary point. Oh yeah, and I managed to mention pirates as well as dragons. Boojah.

Read more »