The Stone of Kings · Writing

Finish What You Start

muse car seatDuring my blogcation, I also gave up writing in general (much to the chagrin of my muse) to focus on Charlie’s neurosurgery. The mother in me shoved Muse to the backseat, buckled it up, and let it listen once more to the audio version of the Harry Potter books just to keep it quiet so I could think more clearly about what was happening to my four-year old.

That worked for a little while.

But if you have kids, and even if you don’t, you’re probably well aware of how deafening the backseat can be. At least they’re strapped in. My ears are still ringing from the scream Charlie produced the other night. Nothing was wrong. He just felt like screaming.

Ow.

Muse did the same thing to me after we had to postpone the initial surgery date because Charlie picked up a cold. In full “Are we there yet?” mode, Muse gave me the desire to write-up a story based on my Grannie’s childhood and centering around the lifting of prohibition.

I wrote about ten pages.

Okay Muse, you need a bit of discipline. I’ve got an unfinished screenplay and the first half of another book in the works. I’ll never finish either of them if I keep starting other things.

Now that Charlie is fully recovered, Muse is brooding in time-out while I continue my screenplay to The Stone of Kings. Meanwhile, Inner Editor is shut in her room because she keeps reminding me that my page count is entirely too high for my characters to still be in Dublin and Kells.

**calls through the door** “I’ll fix it when it’s done!”

On the plus side, working on the screenplay immerses me once again into my story. So, in the spirit of finishing what I start, I’ll be resuming the analysis of characters for The Stone of Kings next Monday. Get ready to meet the fiery red-headed Hannah.

I’m picking up Wednesday Welcomes too! I’ve already got authors lined up for the next three months 😀 starting this week with the lovely Coleen Lahr! You’ll get to read a fun excerpt from her recent release, Accepted – maybe it isn’t where you belong, but who you belong with.

I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have trouble finishing what you start? Do you sometimes feel like a jail warden for your inspiration? Does your muse scream louder at you during times of stress?

Writing

Learning from puzzles

0415131039I love analogies. Looking at a situation or idea another way helps to understand it better. Sometimes that helps to explain it better too. However, I’m not always crack shot at coming up with a good analogy, so I’ll practice here a bit. And because I’ve learned volumes just by watching my kids…

Last Christmas, my mom got my boys an awesome puzzle game made of blocks. Each side of the blocks makes a new puzzle, so there are six puzzles all together. William, who is four, can put them together himself, but Charlie, who is three needs help.

Charlie and I can sit for 30 minutes together going through each puzzle image. But he likes to take it a step further. After we put it together, I take the puzzle row by row and turn the blocks into a train wall, or firetruck wall, or whatever vehicle we’ve put together. Then, of course, he loves to knock it down.

This is kind of the same way I’ve been learning how to approach my WIP. When I got stuck in 1715 Kells, Ireland, I had to figure out a way to describe what happened there. It’s one thing to know the puzzle pieces of the history (which I struggled to find), and describe what it looked like in that time period. But I needed to take it a step further and show what it could have been like. So, I threw in a couple of violent English soldiers and…well, you’ll have to wait till I’m done.

It’s fun for Charlie to see the motorcycle in the puzzle, but to make it really engaging, he takes that extra step with knocking down the wall. I find history to be fun, but I hope I’ve built a proper “wall” to make my scene in Kells really engaging for my reader.

I know where I want my characters to end up. It’s getting them there and making the journey exciting, that’s the puzzle. But, I love puzzles too. 😀

Do you love puzzles and analogies? What are some of your favorites?

Writing

Switching Plot Gears

It took a lot of practice for me to get the hang of this…

When I was younger and had a lot more time on my hands, I would sometimes spend an entire day reading books. But because I could never quite make up my mind which one to read first, I’d set up a stack of about 5 or 6 on one side of my lap. Then I would read one chapter of each until they were all on the other side of my lap and I’d do the same all over again.

My WIP has been working the same way. I’ve got a timeline going for my characters who are in 1715, and another for the ones who are in 2023. Except for the first few chapters, I’ve been pretty much switching back and forth between the two time periods with each new chapter.

While I’m hoping that doing this helps to build the tension especially if I end the previous chapter with a cliffhanger, I’m wondering if writing this way is stalling my momentum. One author that comes to mind who writes in this manner is Michael Scott of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series (which is a fantastic blending of history, mythology and modern adventure, by the way :D). I wonder if he wrote his story lines individually first, then mixed the chapters appropriately or if he wrote it they way I’ve been doing it.

I guess it doesn’t matter too much as long as I get the writing done. I’ve been doing much better since the gluten is out of my system. I figured out what to do with Kells and now am a writing machine lately. Well…as much as I can be with 2 little boys that sometimes make me feel like an overworked waitress. 😉 But yesterday, I got 1300 words in the 4 hours that I’m allowed to have them in the YMCA play center. Yay!

What do you think would work best for you? Would you write each plot line separately until the point that they meet and integrate the chapters appropriately? Or would you switch back and forth like me?

Writing

Just Gotta Laugh

Image attributed to Nemoi

I’ve had writer’s block before, but this is a new one.

I’m stuck. Not because I don’t know where my story is going, but because I don’t have the experience necessary for the next scene. What on earth was the Kells abbey like in 1715? I want to be descriptive but anytime I run a search on it, I come up empty. The Book of Kells dwarfs all other information. lol

On the other hand, when I try to get in contact with tour guides and other family members from over there, I get terrific fuel. I get awesome little “tidbits” that I can add to my story to give it a little more Irish sparkle.

But the one tidbit that I really want…

I know. I’m writing fiction, but I want to pull as much real stuff into it as I can. So how can I get in touch with an expert?

I got to see the Book of Kells when I was in Dublin, but I never got to visit the town of Kells itself. I don’t think that would have made much difference anyway, because from what I can tell, the current church structure was rebuilt in 1778. I can’t even seem to find a layout. *sigh*

What are some strange ways you’ve gotten writers block? How did you overcome it?

Glutened Goal Update: I think I’m finally over the glutening. It’s been difficult to tell because of persistant low fever and sore throats which haven’t responded to antibiotics (and have nothing to do with gluten). But, regardless, I’m feeling much better and am ready to get back into my WIP with the exception of what’s been explained in the above post. 😉