Friday, 30 July 2010

Speaking Of Meaning.

My gorgeous Goddaughter is growing up. * Sniff *

Okay she's only nineteen-months-old, but it feels like she may as well be off for her first day at school. Since I came back off holiday I've discovered she's started to talk in sentences.

During a visit to my house yesterday she burst into the opening line of Ba-Ba black sheep. She also does an excellent Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

So, being the over-imaginative weirdo I am, I started to think of writing sentences.

When we write it's very much like a child learning to talk. We know what we want to say, but the words come out garbled or our meaning is misunderstood. As we introduce more words to our vocabulary, we learn to create cohesive sentences and can state what we mean.

It may still be open to interpretation, but that's the nature of language. :)

Two hundred words into chapter four of my wip last night I re-read what I had written, groaned and hit the delete key. At first I was frustrated. I knew what I wanted to say but the meaning was lost. So I remembered my goddaughter and started again and, just like her, this time it came out clearer.

I guess even when we're adults we're still learning to speak, or write, so people can understand us.

Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Guess that Character & A Call For Help.

Have you heard about Jen's Guess that Character blogfest?

Here's the buzz from Jen's blog:

So I've decided to dive into the world of Blog Fests. I've joined in on a few but never taken the plunge to set up my own. However after Monday's post on having everyone guess on what my MC Stella looked like and then the big reveal today I got such rave reviews it's hard to not want to join in the fun.

So here are the details!!!

DATES - August 19th and 20th

August 19th
Post a snippet of the character you'd like to be identified. Try and make sure there are no descriptions of what they might look like. This blog fest is based purely on voice, action and personality.

August 20th
The Big Reveal!!!! You will post the picture of your character with a short description of his/her personality and who you thought was the closest person to being correct (if anyone was close!)

All you have to do is pop over to Jen's blog and sign up. Go on, you know you want to. :)

And in other news...Matthew Rush needs our help. Matt is looking for queries that have earned requests/representation to include in his Friday post. If you have a query to include, or know anyone who can help, please get in touch with Matt. :)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Building Layers

During my trip to LA me and the parents went to Universal Studios. After I'd been on The Simpson's Ride (alone I may add since my parents are wusses) we went on the Studio Tour.

Driving round in the tour bus we took in the sights of the studios -- the King Kong ride was awesome -- but it was the street sets that struck me most.

Driving up you see a series of buildings that look three dimensional, some can be, most aren't. While some sets are towns, most are facades to create the illusion of a city or town.

This got me thinking about writing, more specifically, about setting and world building.

As writers we spend time developing characters and have them interact with the environment around them. Sometimes locations only serve to perform the scene. Sometimes the setting IS the scene. Creating a world both we, and the reader, can believe is an important tool to make your story come to life.

As my new wip takes shape I'm tackling some serious back story and world building and, judging by the pages I've got so far, I'm going to have a lot of notes. Even if I don't use everything the notes aren't a waste. I need to know what happened in the past to understand where my MC came from and the life she lives now. I want a 360 degree view of the surroundings. I want to see the sun dappled clouds on the horizon, smell the smoldering embers of dying fires...sorry I got lost in the moment there. ;)

Anyway, my point is this. To create my story and character I need to believe in the world they live in. The idea is like the 2D set at Universal Studios, one layer of a fully realised vision. So, just I need to invest time building the different layers, even if I'm only passing through, to create the 3D effect I hope to achieve.

And scene. :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Land Of Books.

So one of the things I loved about the States (other than Pretzel M&M's *drools*) is the books.

We have some great bookstores over here but nothing compared to the monolith three story bookstore which greeted me in L.A.

I could have lived there. I didn't even get time to check out any smaller bookshops.

Stupid family bonding. lol.

After dragging the parents into the cafe, and giving them some cash for a drink (caffeine/muffin blackmail works wonders) I explored heaven with air conditioning.

An hour later I may have purchased a few *cough* books.

Okay, it was more than a few. Some were ones I'd saved for (like Linger) and the others depleted my saved cash from my birthday back in May.

What can I say, I'm a pantser when I write but plan for purchases. :)

I blame all the fab recommended reads. The Body Finder, The Deathday Letter, Deception, Wintergirls, The Wake trilogy, Twenty Boy Summer....My Goodreads shelves are going to be all kinds of awesome when I update.

So what have you been reading?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Yesterday I talked about entering the forest of new ideas to start work on my scream at me in the middle of a night dream/idea.

So I strapped on my big girl panties to enter the scary part of the forest. I'm really a step into the forest heading down the yellow brick road of beginnings.

The thing about new ideas is that they are slippy little suckers.

You have a flash of an idea, maybe a rough plot, but it pretty much leaves you to sort out the details. It's like organising a party. You know what you want but the final product requires hard work, change and lots of compromise.

That's where the yellow brick road comes in.

Most roads aren't straight, there are twists, turns, curves, dead ends and crossroads. You may set off on one road but, before you know it, you can end up in a different direction. But the brick road of a beginning, is always under your feet.

I'm not quite sure where the path is going to take, but I'm following it anyway.

I hope you are all okay on your story brick road too. :)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Familiar -v- The Forest Of New Ideas

As far as my ideas go there are two camps.

There's a happy place where characters are friends, plot is clear and the blank page is, well, written on. This is familiar forest. Ah, how I love it like a warm blanket.

Then there is the other place. A dark and evil land I've dubbed the forest of new ideas.

What am I talking about? Stick with me, I'm heading somewhere. Promise.

Okay, I'm going all Stephenie Meyer here and admit I had a dream. A dream about a character, a flash of a plot, and an opening line. It was so vivid I woke up and wrote it down.

Yup, technicolour imagination overload. It happened to me before with the current MS. It woke me up, tortured me at inopportune moments, and was an overall schizo voice in my head. I HAD to write it. Now this one is screaming, and getting louder. Just like before.

So, after some debate and assistance (thanks to Operation Awesome) I've started on the shiny idea. Am I scared? Hell yeah.

I'm back in the spooky part of the forest of new ideas. I can't see my way. I've no map and compass. There are people people I don't know walking with me. Some of them don't even have faces yet. The page is blank. It's everything my Mum taught me to run away from. A stranger.

But it's kind of exciting at the same time.

It's like the rush of a first kiss, the first piece of chocolate, or that "Ahh" moment of taking off your shoes after a long day. Or meeting someone for the first time and knowing you'll become friends.

Because, after all, a new idea is a friend you don't know yet. :)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Holiday Horrors: Enjoy Your Trip?

I won't lie, I'm accident prone.

I prefer to think things accidentally slip from my hands, or that objects jump in front of me causing me to fall over.

But my Dad continues to disagree with me on that one.

Case in point Vegas.

Scene: Vegas, Night. The entire family --including my brother's parent's in law -- exit Caesars Palace shops, where I have just purchased a bottle of Diet Pepsi. The hot lights of The Strip are ablaze as we walk along the pavement and I slip down a tiny -- and by tiny I mean the inch high --ledge in the sidewalk, almost hurling myself into a bush.

Pepsi all over my top.

Did anyone see me? Not sure, apart from the gazillion other tourists I probably stickied with Pepsi as I swan dived. My family said nothing. I don't think it surprises them anymore than I have no center of gravity.

And that wasn't even my most spectacular falling over incident.

Oops. :)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Wanderer Returns.

I'm back.

*Cue cheers and ticker tape*

I meant to post yesterday, but the evil of jet lag caught up with me and sleep won. So after three long weeks, and grumpiness that my scheduled posts did not go out (sometimes I think blogger hates me) I have returned, the exact same colour I went.

Yup, you heard me right. I go to Vegas and L.A, my parents, my brother, his new wife and her parents ALL get tans, and I stay the exact same shade of translucent white I always am.

Mind you, I do burn a nice lobster red. Plus I don't think slapping on factor 50+ sunscreen really gets you a tan. Ah well, I'm pale and sort of interesting. :)

Anyways, I've missed you all. I'm sure I've got lots to catch up on. I also want to say hi to the new followers I have acquired. *Waves*

I'll visit you all shortly.

I've got lots of funness and stories to come. Especially how I managed to fall over in multiple states/towns.

So anyway, enough about me. How've you all been?