Certainly a non productive writing weekend as I attended a reptile show both days (see previous post https://mandyevebarnett.com/2017/05/08/upcoming-writing-events-add-yours-for-your-location-14/). However, I do have this weekend free so will indulge in as much time as possible writing. This will include a complete revision of the ghost written book project prior to sending back to my client.
I have my writing retreat to look forward and it is getting tantalizingly close – 18th May. Here I can immerse myself completely with no distractions, unless I actually seek them out.
Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger. I am thoroughly enjoying this story. The characters are well rounded, there is a connection/distance between the two main characters, which gives the narrative an undercurrent of possibilities.
Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn (because you all know by now I’m fascinated by this subject)
What are you reading?
I watched this movie, which had a great twist on the subject. I am always intrigued by the variations on the reincarnation theme.
Writing Tips from the Master – Stephen King
“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
“I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.”
“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
What’s your favorite King quote or writing tip?
As many of you know I am a great fan of Stephen King, so scary stories are part of my every day reading. However, there are a number of other novelists that might peak your interest (or not!)
This list is quite comprehensive. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10411523/15-scary-books-to-terrify-you-this-Halloween.html
Which ones would you buy?
Have you read any of them? Care to share your thoughts?
It is interesting how different things scare different people. As a young single woman I identified with the poor rabid dog in Cujo but decades later as a mother, my fear was for the child. Perspective changes everything, even our fears.
After I had my children my recurrent nightmare was being buried in an avalanche with them – odd as at that time I lived in England so no fear of an avalanche at all. Now I live in Canada it would make more sense – but that’s dreams for you. As a young child my recurrent nightmare was being impaled on a rhinoceros’ horn and it running through a marquee full of people enjoying a party. (I was born in South Africa, so maybe this was a deeply subconscious fear). It took decades before I could even look at a rhino on the TV let alone in the flesh. Until, that is my daughter asked me to touch one. That broke the fear spell.
What are your fears? Do they carry over from childhood? Have they changed?
Halloween means that the internet is awash with spooky costumes, books and trick or treat candy. For many it is a fun filled evening to enjoy scaring each other on doorsteps or at themed parties. However, for others it manifests differently as a real fear of what the evening portrays. Samhainophobia is actually a phobia of Halloween. Sufferers have an intense and persistent fear of Halloween, and the condition causes panic attacks in people who suffer from it. They have a morbid fear of Halloween, in essence the sense of wildness and otherworldliness that the night seems to conjure forth. It is most common in devout religious believers. Other related fears include Wiccaphobia : fear of witches, Phasmophobia : fear of ghosts and Coimetrophobia : a fear of cemeteries.
Although, to date, I have not seen a witch (at least not the commonly used image), I have seen a ghost. As for cemeteries; you will think me strange for this but what the heck – I used to spend a lot of time alone in cemeteries as a child. One was near my childhood home and surrounded a small chapel. My favorite spot to sit and enjoy quiet time was under a willow tree next to a baby’s grave. Weird I know! I just found it very peaceful. The other cemetery, I frequented was at a derelict church and I spent a lot of time cleaning the moss and dirt out of the gravestones. Yep, I’m weird and now you don’t have to wonder why I love Stephen King!
Do you have a ‘creepy’ secret or experience you can share?
Now for a shameless plug – why not buy my children’s story – Rumble’s First Scare? You know you want to – he’s such a cute little monster.
Why not write a short scary prompt today?
There are many classic novels we remember from childhood or young adulthood, one of these for me is Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. The BBC (UK’s broadcasting company) are making a series of dramas, which will bring to life many classics, including Cider with Rosie, The Go-Between and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
I can still see in my mind’s eye how I envisioned the characters in these books. Some imaginary characters are so instilled and real that to have an actor play them can be disappointing. Obviously, some chosen actors are so perfect there is no problem alas this is not always the case. We all know some are chosen for their book office popularity rather than their resemblance to a particular character. Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter for generations of people (not good for his future career of course but we watched him grow up on the screen). We cannot contemplate anyone else as Harry or indeed any of his faithful companions or enemies.To be so immersed in a character is excellent for the reader but also a tribute to the author for creating such a realistic personality. As you can see from Stephen’s quote further down this post Pennywise from It was ‘perfect’ – I still fear clowns to this day!
Which actor was ‘perfect’ and which was ‘awful’ for your favorite book’s movie or TV adaptation?
For me The Shining movie, adapted from Stephen King’s novel, was completely ruined by Shelley Duvall, she was not believable in any part of the movie, however, Jack Nicholson was magnificent.
Do you have an actor in mind for your own novel(s)? Who are they playing and why did you chose them?
“When people talk about the stuff of mine that’s frightened them onscreen, they’re apt to mention Pennywise the Clown first.” – IT, Stephen King
“I may be the first writer in America to have a piece of writing make its way to the screen whole and entire. And, when I saw the film for the first time, I was astonished that the characters of Jack and Ennis came surging into my mind again.” – Brokeback Mountain- Annie Proulx
Today’s prompt – Describe your novel’s character and match them with a real actor.
What is your motivation for writing?
Let’s look at each scenario:
a) Money – we would all love to be a best seller and have fame and fortune like the ‘big’ names, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and the like. However, we need to be realistic – firstly can we manage to get a publishing contract with a big publishing house? How many years are you willing to wait for that? If you use the self-publishing route how much of your time (unpaid) can you sacrifice for promotion? Should you give your work away?
These links will give you an idea of the practicalities of writing with monetary visions foremost:
b) Success – once again we should temper our expectations. Global sales are a dream we want to make real but maybe measure our success on more of a local level. Do you have your books in local bookstores, the library, offered at local events? The more you attend and promote within your own locality the more your ‘success’ becomes tangible. Articles in the local newspaper could have people approach or question you in regard to your being an author. Social media allows us to expand our locality, of course, but starting small will give us a firm basis from which to start. Never under estimate the power of word of mouth for promotion.
This link has a list of concepts:
c) Satisfaction – Although this is third on the list, I feel it is the most important of all, as having your words, ideas and stories readily available for people to read now and for future generations, is the penultimate success. Our narratives will be enjoyed and relayed long after we are gone. It is our legacy.
A tongue in cheek link:
Obviously, a mixture of all three of the above would be the perfect scenario.
What do you consider the most satisfying part of being a writer/author?