Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


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.

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.

Plotter or Pantser

Plotter or Pantser

Adventures In Novelling 2

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As a writer, you quickly become aware that there are generally two different schools of thought regarding the process of beginning a novel. I’m talking about that annoying little segment in between getting your brilliant idea, and actually writing said idea.

The thing is, there are some people. A friend of mine calls them ‘the blessed’. These people don’t plan. They just sit down and write, and the story flows. These people find it easy to skip the step of actually planning.

And then, there’s the rest of us. The planners. The people that need some kind of road map to their novel before they commit to putting those words down.

I have found, through the years, that I am a bit of a mixture of both. I can just sit down and write, and at first, that’s fine. However, I then find that I must go back and try to organise the thoughts about the story that are flying around in my head.

I used to see that as some kind of failure on my part, but what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to plan. It’s okay to break the mould, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not a good enough writer just because you like to have a plan; a map; a backup. It doesn’t mean that the story you have to tell is any less worthwhile. It simply means that this is your writer’s process, and that is perfectly okay.

That horrible doubt that creeps up on us, can cripple us. Making us feel that we aren’t good enough. The thing is that what we have to do is tell that doubt to shut up. We can end up thinking that we aren’t good enough to tell that story, but in reality, you are the only one who can tell your story. It is yours, and no one else can tell it like you can.

So, what’s your process? Drop a note in the comments, 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.

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.

Free Writing

Free Writing

And The Benefits Of Practicing It.

rawpixel on Unsplash

Yesterday, I really struggled to write. I got so frustrated and angry with myself, because anything I sat down to work on just seemed to come out as unreadable rubbish. I mean, it was that bad, that I found myself cringing.

I was in two minds as to whether I should just give up completely. Thankfully, it was at that moment, that a very well timed email came into my inbox, and I found myself reading the exact advice that I needed at that time.

The email basically said, that even if I had writer’s block, or was worried about writing absolute rubbish, that the best thing I could do was to just push on forward.

It claimed that it was the actual physical mechanism and body memory of writing that was important. It explained it sort of like needing to go to the gym to exercise my muscles, except that this time, the muscle I was exercising, was my writing brain.

It sounds so simple, that it’s crazy, but it really worked yesterday. I got so stuck on my novel that I just ended up opening a blank document, and typing, mostly without really thinking about it.

Free writing is something that I haven’t done much of lately, and yesterday, I was kicking myself, because I think this practice is actually invaluable to me. The act of giving myself the freedom to write… just write… even if it’s complete and utter rubbish, really helped to free me up, and I’ve not felt this inspired in a long time.

I’m not sure if it will work for everyone, but what I will say, is that if you have writer’s block, just give it a try, and you may find that it frees you up and you’ll then be able to write in a far more effective and productive way.

All I know is, that it’s really helped me so much, and now, all I need to do is to remember to do 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.

Crossing The Threshold

Crossing The Threshold

Taking That Leap…

by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash

I’ve gotten to the point in my novel where my character is about to fully commit herself to the world of the story. She’s already part of the way there, but she still has one toe in her ordinary world.

The chapter that I’m working on at the moment will solidify her presence in the world of the story. After this chapter, there is no going back for Joey. This is not a fully voluntary choice that she has made, and she feels trapped.

The thing is, I’ve been really struggling with this chapter for a while now, and I think part of it is that Joey desperately doesn’t want to bring that last toe into the story.

All the while that she is half way between the two worlds; all the while that there is still a chance that this is all a bad dream and that she can go back, she can’t move forward in the story.

Basically, she is in her comfort zone.

And I need her out of it, if the story is ever going to move forwards.

At the moment, I can sort of picture her like those memes we see online of dogs desperately clawing at door frames and furniture, while they are carried to their inevitable destination of the horror that is a bath.

Right now, I am wrestling Joey through the house, so that I can dunk her in that bath (metaphorically, of course), and up until now, I have failed. I’ve been listening to all of her excuses why I shouldn’t do this, and yes, I’ll admit, I’ve felt sorry for her, but enough is enough.

Today, she will finally take the plunge, and although it will not always be pleasant, I know that she is strong enough to cope with everything this new world will throw at her.


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.

Already Behind

Already behind…

Nano’s, the struggle is real!

by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Well, fellow writers (and Nano’s) will know this struggle all too well. We’re on day three, of the month long project, and I am already behind. I should have 5000 words today, but I currently sit at a little over a thousand, because life got in the way.

Part of me is panicking, and wondering if I can do it or if I should just give up, but I know that’s Muriel talking. She wants me to give up, and she keeps telling me that I’ve no hope of actually doing it. She says that the world is better off without my novel, and that really, it’s pointless for me to push myself.

Well, you know what? F*** you Muriel! I will keep writing, and I will catch up, and I will finish, and I will prove you wrong!


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.