Write a Novel in 2014

Write a Novel in 2014

by Alison Lyke I’m going to finish my next novel in 2014. That’s not as much a resolution as a necessity. For one, I promised the good folks at Spectacle PMG at least one more book. I also have this need to write fiction, and to do justice to my characters by seeing their stories through to the end. I won’t presume to tell you how a novel is written, except for word by word, but I will give you some of the techniques that have helped me to reach writing goals and complete my books. Daily Diligence Those of you who “wake up extra early to get writing done,” are maniacs. I can’t even begin to understand you. For everyone else, it may be difficult to fit writing in between work, chores, children, and binge watching Ancient Aliens. I overcome this by making a goal to write a certain amount of words every day, no matter what. Out of optimism, I set this goal at two to three times the amount of words that I know I’ll actually have time to write. Sometimes, I have strings of weeks or months where I can write almost everyday. I often fall off the wagon though and have to rely on other techniques. Carrying Stories My stories are written, either in full or in part, in my mind before they reach the page. I carry them around in my head, nurturing character personalities, filling in plot holes, and adding interesting bits from everyday life. That way, when I do have time to sit down and write, I don’t have to stare at the page and wonder what the hell I’m going to come up with. Fits of Inspiration Something breaks—the fountain of stories in my mind overflows. I have a dream that belongs to my novel. However it happens, inspiration takes over and I have to write and write. I can write chapters in hours. If it was always this easy and I always had time enough to see these fits through, I could finish each book in about two weeks. Inspiration attacks are usually followed by exhaustion and crankiness. Late Night Drinking A few glasses of wine with some friends or a night out at a bar may be followed with writing under the influence. This is great for areas of stories that are weird, otherwise awkward to write, or fantastic. Be prepared to heavily edit any work done using this technique. Deadline Panic I used to have company-imposed deadlines, but I have more freedom in the latest incarnation of my writing life. This means that I have to set my own targets. It’s harder to finish a story on my...

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Wretched Fate Authors Interviewed

Wretched Fate Authors Interviewed

This Mother-Daughter writing duo has released their second with Spectacle Publishing, Wretched Fate. Available in print or eBook format, Wretched Fate is the next installment of the hugely popular Sam Osborne series. Wretched Fate features the return of the much loved Sam Osborne, and introduces a cast of new and intriguing characters. Check out their interview on Conversations With Rich here! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Work-Life (and Writing) Balance

Work-Life (and Writing) Balance

by Yen Ooi Let’s face it. The majority of writers today hold ‘day jobs’ of some sort that brings in money to help them survive. In a recent article in The Guardian (UK)  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/17/writers-earn-less-than-600-a-year?], we read that writers earn less than £600 a year. That’s atrocious. So, how do writers juggle (paid) work, life, and writing? Firstly, it’s important to realize that writing is work, too, even if it doesn’t pay yet. The great thing is that writing is a passion as well, so it probably doesn’t feel tedious, like other work. Where there is flexibility, judge how you can devote time to both your day job and your writing. Consider how much time you feel is healthy for you to spend working. Forty hours a week? Sixty? Eighty? A hundred? Whatever you decide, test it out and then review it every few months—thinking up a number is very different from working it. Writers are human, and we all need entertainment, rest, and physical activities. Once you’ve decided on a feasible schedule, you just need a little bit of organization and discipline to maintain these hours for your work (including your writing). There is a small exception here. Writing has many phases, and writers tend to think a lot about their writing before they sit down and write. I call this the ‘brewing’ time. Brewing time doesn’t need to be allocated in the hours you set aside. This can happen everywhere, at anytime. So, theoretically, if you decide to work 40 hours a week, and you hold a full-time job that takes up 32 hours a week, you still have 8 hours of physical writing time. This adds up to a full-day’s work, which is plenty. If you hold jobs that are more sporadic in hours, then try and plan a week ahead. Fill in your (paid) work hours, then go in and work out a schedule for writing. Try and keep them to comfortable units of time that are achievable—for example, I like two hour slots. And, if you’re juggling a few writing projects at a time, make sure that you allocate specific projects to your schedule, not just ‘writing.’ Though writing is a passion for most writers, and may not pay yet, we need to treat the process and ourselves with respect. A healthy writer writes best, and maintaining physical and emotional health means balance in your career, your social life, and your creative outlets. And, consider this: if you don’t make time for your social life, then where are you going to get your writing ideas from? Yen Ooi is an author and regular contributor to the Spectacle newsletter. Learn more about her and her work...

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Now Available! Kidtropolis

Now Available! Kidtropolis

 by Ray Brown I was watching television one night back in 2003, and a Saturn commercial came on; the commercial showed four young adults, probably in their twenties, driving through a neighborhood in a Saturn Ion.  As they drove through the neighborhood, they noticed children jumping rope, swinging from jungle gyms, and playing all kinds of games. There were hundreds of them! Every yard was full of children. The young adults looked on with fascination as they continued driving.  Finally they came to the end of the neighborhood, and before them was an open road and on the side of the road there was a sign that said, “NOW LEAVING CHILDHOOD, ENTERING ADULTHOOD.” The young adults turned around. It was one of the greatest commercials I had ever seen.  What it did was cause me to reflect on an idea for a story that I had while in elementary school.  An idea that came in the form of a question really: “What if there was a town where everything was run by kids, and Adults were not allowed?” I had forgotten about that question until I saw that commercial. At that moment Kidtropolis was born. But it couldn’t be that simplistic; it had to be more than that.  I ran through a lot of possibilities from a mysterious island in the middle of nowhere, to another dimension.  Then my daughter asked me the dreaded question: where do babies come from? I did what most of fathers do when their kids ask that question–I said “Go ask your mother.” But then it hit me! What if Kidtropolis IS where babies come from?  So I started plotting and before long I had the concept fleshed out.  Kidtropolis would not only be the place where babies come from, but it would be made up of collective minds of every woman everywhere that ever desired to have kids.  So if every child in Kidtropolis is made up of a thought in their mommy’s brain, it’s the mommy that determines whether it’s a boy or a girl, and what the child will look like, its personality, and purpose. The catch: the child cannot be born until Mommy and Daddy AGREE (wink-wink). What about the story?  I decided to tell this story through the eyes of my own daughter, who struggles with a mild case of Cerebral Palsy and can’t walk normally… YET.  So I decided to send her on an adventure, a quest to not only discover the truth about where babies come from, but to discover the truth about who she is and to find the courage to become who she was born to be. Throughout the story I have interwoven various myths...

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Coming Soon: Spiral of Hooves

Spiral of Hooves by Roland Clark Roland Clarke is a retired equestrian journalist and photographer, who used to be a regular contributor of articles and photos to various equestrian media. In 2000, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which clipped his wings as he was unable to meet deadlines so easily and found it increasingly hard to attend equestrian events.  Roland Clarke’s debut novel, Spiral of Hooves, is a thriller that will leave you feeling exhilarated. Something of an exposé on the competitive horse riding community, Roland’s beautiful prose will leave you romancing nature. Read this exciting novel and follow Armand Sabatier’s journey in trying to forget his painful past by creating a new life for himself on a beautiful stud farm, only to be lured by the need to uncover truths and to protect the innocent, tumbling directly into the hazards of trust, friendship, and love.   Excerpt from the upcoming Spiral of Hooves: “The whiteout descended blanketing any evidence that remained, leaving Armand bewildered and uncertain as to what he had witnessed. Now the panic was building, reawakening the haunting memory that never melted in his heart. He was back in another country, helpless as a broken body struggled for life and the blood on his hands spilled on trampled snow.” Roland lives in Kent, England with Juanita and their two cats Willow and Kefira.  On his website, Writing Wings—www.rolandclarke.com—he signs his Blog as The Silver Scribbler, a clue to his age and hair. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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