Wednesday, 25 May 2016

What writing means to me…

I recently read a short story called 'Thirst' from 'The Secrets of the Fire King' by Kim Edwards and I was literally blown away. Basically, it was a reworking of 'The Little Mermaid' story but what a difference!
There was so much more depth and resonance, revealing exactly how the heroine must have felt and reacted to her plight. There was mystery, malice and yearning and quite possibly the most powerfully beautiful piece of literature I have read in quite a while.

All part of the learning curve I find myself on in order to become a better writer. I am discovering that characters must have an 'under layer' (much more depth). Something you feel as a reader opposed to what you see. I am also learning that you have to make time to write. Something I personally have trouble with. My days seem to be filled to the brim with things I have to do, plus all the things I would like to do, that there really isn't enough time for everything.

But I want to write, so I must organise myself, prioritise what I do (and not feel too guilty about the things I don't get time for)

Most authors, I have discovered, say that all these jobs and tasks are writing enemies, and I know just what they mean. I have been trying to knuckle down and make some kind of progress with my writing, and I'm afraid I have let myself down again. I thought that if I cleared some of my outstanding jobs, I would have more spare time. What a laugh! It's a bit like trying to dig a hole in a sand pit, I'm getting nowhere fast.

So as a good friend of mine once said, 'everything is important, but nothing is very important.'

I have discovered that you have to write and squeeze life in around the edges -- not the other way around.
They say you should learn to write as if your life depended on it --because it probably does!

Monday, 23 May 2016

How I edit…

I have edited a great many books in my time, usually for other people, and I usually start at the beginning and go through the first draft that way.

This is how I edited my own first book “The Ninth Life” and I think for a debut, it turned out quite well. It was meant to be a one-of, but the characters had other ideas. Or wasn’t it supposed to end the way it did?

So I was literally forced to continue the story, and when it was time to edit it, an interesting idea occurred to me. I have no idea where it came from, and I don’t think I have heard of other writers doing the same.

This sequel had turned out to be quite complicated. Maybe sequels are, I have no idea, not having written one before. The idea of editing all of the characters chapters separately seemed like a logical and workable thing to do.

That way I could see if the threads of the story (and their lives) were running fluently, and whether there were any gaping plot holes anywhere.

Well, I found quite a lot of holes and several lapses of continuation, leading me to update my running storyboard yet again.

At times, it seemed all I was managing to do was make it even more complicated, and I despaired. As I get older, there seems to be far too much of this despair happening around me, but I digress.

There are four main characters in “The Last Life” and all so different from one another, so I concentrated on each one in turn. I found that I could enter their own space and really get to know them personally. The result seemed deeper and more rounded.

I have discovered there are more ways to edit than there are for writing, and one is no better than any other. I allow the story to tell me how to proceed and this usually works well for me.

© 2015 Jaye Marie

Friday, 20 May 2016

Writing Inspiration...

These magical photographs are of an actual place in Cornwall, called St. Nectan’s Glen. I know it well because I have been there. I have stood beneath it, getting soaked to the skin, and I have climbed up the rocks and stood looking down at the majesty of the thundering water. The sight and sound of it put something in my soul that I know wasn't there before. It was a truly wonderful experience, and if I had the money, I would move to Cornwall just to be near it. And I would love to go and experience Niagara Falls too! (mind you, if I did, I may never come home again!)

If you ever feel a little bit worthless or a waste of space, and I believe a lot of us do feel that way sometimes, you need a place like this. You need to be able to see and feel something that you just know is stronger and more powerful than anything you have seen or felt before. Once you find it, you will be a different person, believe me. I always love to be near water, any kind of water. I wanted to live on a boat when I was growing up and it still appeals to me.

The first time I went to Cornwall I was not really prepared for just how much that County had to offer. Apart from all the quaint old villages there were magical forests, wonderfully rugged beaches and coves, dramatic rock formations and inspiring scenery everywhere you looked. I have had more inspiring moments in Cornwall than just about anywhere else.

I need some of that inspiration round about now, as I am still trying to finish the third book in my murder mystery series. I have the characters, location and theme sorted, but I need more ideas of how it will all work. I know I should just let my characters take me for a ride, but I'm not sure if that will work for me this time. I don't have a clue what will work for me, that's my whole problem right there!

Maybe I am not supposed to be a writer, but I don't really believe that. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time now, and I am determined to keep trying. One way or another I will get it right and get it done, but where is my inspiration at the moment? I think it is back in Cornwall without me...

© Jaye Marie 2016