Bluebells

Bluebells

A Sign From Nature

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

About seven years ago, I began writing a project. This became a novel, which I actually completed. I put it to one side so that I could get some distance before I went back into redrafting.

Now, life got in the way and I spent a bit more time away from it than I’d planned, but when I went back to it, I found that the ending that I’d written had gone missing. I was heartbroken (if you’re a writer, you’ll understand this), and I simply gave up on it, leaving the now, unfinished manuscript where it was.

Now, this is where it could have ended, and I thought it had. Until Good Friday…

I’d had some new bookshelves installed, so I took the opportunity on Good Friday to sort out some of my books and notebooks (who doesn’t love a nice, neatly ordered space?).

While I was doing this, I happened to find two notebooks, with the original manuscript for my long- forgotten novel. I was happy, but simply shelved them once more.

The following day, while out for a walk with my furbabies, I saw a bluebell on its own, just beside the path. I smiled at it’s beauty, but thought nothing much more of it.

The day after that, I saw two bluebells, and the day after that; a cluster of them. Then, while I was on the phone to a friend, she mentioned that she had millions and millions of bluebells in her garden.

I expect you’re wondering why these bluebells were so important to me…

Well, the thing is that the main character in my manuscript is named Bluebell.

Some might say that this is a coincidence, but for me, I choose to see it as a sign; a sign that now is the time to go back to this project, and to start redrafting it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’ll post little updates on how it’s going, here and there, but the message I wanted to share here is to not ignore hints, no matter how subtle they may be. Notice everything, and when you feel that little prod, trust your instincts.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

The Beginning

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Well, yesterday, I began a month-long writing challenge. National Novel Writing Month that runs throughout the course of November, has been going for a number of years now. I have participated several times, but this year, I thought I would try their spring challenge, titled “Camp NaNoWriMo”.

The principle is basically the same. You write throughout the month of April. You have support from a huge network of peers, who are also doing the challenge. The difference is that you set the target. You can write anything you want, or finish off a piece you’re currently working on.

The thing is that there is an added freedom in this challenge, which isn’t there with the November variant. So, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m hoping that it will jump start my steps back into writing, and that I can actually get something fully drafted by the end of the month.

So, I’ve picked out my projects, and made a start. One is the story of a teenaged girl whose father is arrested for being in a relationship with one of his students, but this isn’t just any student, it’s her best friend. The story picks up just as this becomes public knowledge and Allie (mc) sees her father arrested. We will then follow Allie as she walks the path of a pariah; a girl marked with a sin that is not hers.

I’m really looking forward to getting on with the story and to writing freely for a while. I don’t intend to plan too much, because the story has been inside my head for a long time, and I have a fairly confident knowledge of where it is going to go.

I also intend to work on a middle grade fantasy about a dragon school; a dark YA fantasy about a girl who can pass between her world and a world inhabited by daemons; a short story for the writing course I am doing; and the novel that I’ve been working on for the last year.

I know it seems like a lot of projects, but my mood is very unsettled at the moment, and after talking with a good friend, who is a huge inspiration to me, I have decided that it’s okay to have multiple projects to work on.

I’ll keep you guys updated, and if you want to join me on the journey, drop me a note in the comments. J


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Introduction

Introduction

Commonplace Book Project

Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash

Recently I have been following @shauntagrimes Commonplace Book project online. I highly recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t already. I have found it fascinating how one simple thing quote can lead down a rabbit hole of research.

The whole idea is incredibly inspiring to me, and seeing as I want to start dedicating more of my time to my writing, I thought I would take Shaunta’s idea and run with it.

There are so many quotes; so many beautiful words in the world, and so many that I have found great comfort, and meaning in, which I would like to spend some more time exploring, and I think this would be the perfect place to do this.

So, from now on, I intend to publish regularly in this publication, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy researching and writing it. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Descriptions

Descriptions

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

As a writer, descriptions are something that is fairly important to me. I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to talk about things.

There are so many words in the English language, and so many of them have been placed together in certain patterns in order to describe things, but really, what we need to do is to try and look for any possible different ways to illustrate the images that we’re trying to create in the minds of our readers.

Sometimes I find that these words are more forthcoming than at other times… and sometimes, trying to find that ‘right’ combination of words is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

The thing is, that there’s no telling when the good and bad days are going to come. All we can do as writers is to be constantly trying to expand our vocabulary, and to be ever vigilant to try and catch the words when they float by us.

Something that I am going to try and do is to keep a collection of phrases… snippets of words that come into my head, in the hopes that I will one day, be able to say that I have found the exact ordering of words for the description that I want to write.

The thing that I find with descriptions, and it’s something that I am as guilty of as anyone else; is that I only ever seem to utilise one or two of the senses, rather than looking at using all five of them.

As writers, we need to be overly careful to make sure that we use every one of the senses, because this is the way in which we experience the world, and so, it follows that it should also be the way that our characters experience the world; to not do so, is to render our characters almost as disabled in some way.

So, when writing our descriptions, we must try and make sure that we talk about what our characters can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. These little details are the sorts of things that will add flavour to our writing.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Plotting

Plotting

Adventures In Noveling

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

While I am already working on my current novel, an idea for another series came to me. It has been calling me away from writing my current work, but as an abstract idea, this is not very helpful.

I want to focus on my The Girl In The Mirror (Current novel), but as the story gets into the middle of act two, it is getting increasingly dark, and sometimes I am finding that there are days when I need a little ‘light relief’ when it comes to writing.

So, rather than force this idea into the box that it keeps popping out of, I have decided to plot it out, alongside working on my novel. I know it doesn’t technically count as writing, but in a way it does, because hopefully, when I finish my CN, I’ll be able to dive straight into this one, with a clear idea of what is supposed to happen in it.

I’m hoping that this will also prevent me from being worried about finishing a writing project, because of the “What next?” anxieties. I’m going to see how it goes, but for now, I’m enjoying it, and feeling very inspired.

The method of plotting that I am trialling is called the Snowflake method, which was designed by Randy Ingermanson. I’m going to review this method fully once I’ve completed my plan, so I won’t go into full details here, but if you want to check it out, all you need to do is google ‘snowflake method’ and you should find a number of articles about it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Click Bait

Click Bait

A Haiku

Photo by Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash

Fake news on the net,
Catchy headlines require “click”
& Content doesn’t match.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

A Haiku

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

When I cannot write,
Every single word’s a fight,
As I stare at white.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Characters Who Have A Mind Of Their Own

Characters Who Have A Mind Of Their Own

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, you’ll know all about the struggle of dealing with characters that simply won’t do what you want them to do. I have dealt with this so many times in my own writing, where, for some reason, the characters just don’t want to play ball.

Sometimes they won’t say what we want them to. Sometimes they turn around and tell us that really, they wouldn’t do what we’re about to write them doing. And it is so frustrating. I find myself staring at the screen, thinking ‘I created you, and now you’re telling me that you know better

The only thing I can say is that there is a fine line here. Sometimes I have forged on ahead and ignored that character’s voice telling me that this “simply wouldn’t happen”, and more often than not, I have been proved wrong.

On the very rare occasion that I have been right to put those words in the character’s mouth, or that situation into the character’s life, I often realise afterwards that the opposition wasn’t that strong and that the character merely wanted a small tweak to the plot.

The thing is, I’m not saying that my characters are actually alive, but inside my head, they are. They have to be, because if they aren’t then I’m just writing empty words on a page.

Your characters must come alive because if they don’t then, you really know that you have a problem with your story. I have done this so many times, and the stories that have run into the most problems have always been those where the characters aren’t fully fleshed out and where they are all just a little wooden.

So, I guess, the best advice I can give is to simply trust your character’s gut when it comes down to it. Listen to them and argue with them (yes, I know I sound crazy, but sometimes I get more sense out of them than I do out of most people).

Have any of you had arguments with your characters? How did you deal with it?


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Adventures In Novelling 2

Adventures In Novelling

The Beginning

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know already that I’m a writer, and that I’ve been working on a novel for almost a year now.

I thought, as we’re at the start of a new year, and I am still working my way through Act Two of my novel, that it might be fun to document my adventures in the world of writing this book.

Call it a (sort of) reflective log, where I will share my struggles, and my successes, completely openly and honestly with you, because, at the end of the day, this is how we all learn. I know it’s how I’ve learned in the past, and I guess, part of me is hoping that I will also learn something in the process of this project.

I don’t know exactly what sort of form this will take, but I think maybe that’ll be part of the fun of it, so I ask you, do you want to come on the magical mystery tour that is my adventures in novelling?

Please feel free to leave a comment, and let’s get a discussion going….

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Character Assassination

Character Assassination

When authors break your heart…

Found shared on Facebook, author unknown

I came across this image on social media yesterday, and it both made me smile, and got me thinking. The thing is that I cried my eyes out when Dumbledore, and Hedwig, and Dobby died. I couldn’t understand it at the time. Sometimes, I still can’t, but it’s just something that I have to put up with.

As a writer, I know that the author has every right to both kill, and allow characters to live, and I can pretty much guarantee that JK Rowling also cried as she wrote those scenes, but she would have known that it was necessary for the story. Harry’s life is characterised by loss, and the only way to keep this thread is for him to continue to experience more and more loss until the eventual, and final battle and ultimate conclusion. The fact that, throughout all of this, Harry maintains his compassion, shows exactly why he is the hero of the series.

Truthfully, as writers, we have to make these decisions, and however much we joke about it, I can tell you that we do not take these decisions lightly. Only the most callous and heartless author will kill off characters with little to no thought.

I’ve been working on a novel now, for about eight months, and I already know that one of my characters must eventually die, and the thought of writing those scenes is so painful. And I haven’t even introduced the character yet! Yes! I am aware of how stupid this sounds, but I know that if you are a writer, then you will understand me.

I guess, in the end, as readers, we have to trust that the author knows their characters best, and knows what’s best for them, and the story as a whole. As writers, we must learn to trust our own instincts. They very rarely steer us wrong.

What struggles have you had as a writer? Or a reader? Which characters have you cried over? Let me know in the comments.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.