This week’s question: Do you incorporate politics and/or religion into your stories? What is the reason?
I have used a matriarchal society in my novel, Life in Slake Patch as the background to a young man’s life in that regime. It was interesting to write about the influences and attitudes of a different society. In contrast my novel, The Twesome Loop, which covers two time periods, shows the patriarchal suppression in the 1800’s.
Last week’s question: How did you find your particular writing style? A creative writing class, a teacher, a format or something else? Do you write differently for different genres?
Well, your recent research is certainly more unique and interesting than mine. I think my writing style, whatever that may be,remains the same no matter what I write. However, my “voice” changes with each work, depending on the era, location, and age of my characters. The personality of my twenty-something Italian protagonist in my WW2 novel is a far cry from the thirty-something American artist in my current WIP.
I have researched medieval physician’s healing techniques, the circumstances of how a body can dry out and become a husk, natural substances that prevent pregnancy or induce sterility.
My own experience this time around in NaNo, I found I ‘lost’ motivation when I tried to keep to my plot model. Having the story mapped out before me, hindered my creativity and I lagged behind dreadfully. Trying a new genre – cowboy romance – has added to the struggle but I am determined to make that goal. I may not sleep for the rest of this week but it will be worth it.
My word count today is 45,844, leaving a tantalizing 4,156 words left to create. I have to squeeze them in between a conference planning meeting tonight, an orthodontist appointment for my daughter on Thursday and organizing and packing books on Friday evening for an all day event on Saturday. Will I make it? I hope so. To be so close and not succeed would seriously suck!
How are you coping with these last few days?
Have you already achieved the target 50,000? Or surpassed it?
Do you have any words of wisdom to achieve the total?
What characteristics have you used in creating a villain?
My character, William in The Twesome Loop, revolted his young wife with his mannerisms but also indulged his sadistic tendencies. His lack of empathy with his victims made him a hated character, which of course was my intent.
Continuing with the snippets I have decided to highlight the opening of another WIP. The title for the novel is The Twesome Loop. It is a romance with a reincarnation twist.
Brett gave Dawn a wink as he passed her desk. Her eyes smiled back as he took in her deep cleavage and musky perfume, a memory flashed into his mind of how her full breasts bounced when she was astride him.
“Good morning, Mr. Shaw. Do you need me to take dictation?”
“Not quite yet, thank you, Dawn – Mr. Collin has asked me to sort his files before ten o’clock but later I will want you. For now, just a coffee would be great.”
The innuendo hung in the air as Brett opened his office door to find a large pile of documents on his desk. He’d really have to push to get them all done in time. As he surveyed the bundles of legal documents, he glanced at the probates to see how much each estate was worth and how many heirs were entitled to it.
In the past two years, as Mr. Collin’s assistant, he had seen several large estates, but all were divided into paltry amounts, as far as Brett was concerned. He was waiting for the ‘big one’; the one that would change his life.
After an hour, only a few more bundles were left to sort and that’s when he saw it – the one. He reread the probate sum to be sure. It was worth over four million pounds and to only one heir, a daughter. Even better, she was a spinster. Ensuring he was not observed, he wrote down the daughter’s particulars and put the slip of paper in his top pocket.
This character is the scoundrel of the story. Do you dislike him?
Desultory– definition : 1) marked by lack of definite plan, regularity, or purpose. 2) not connected with the main subject; 3) disappointing in progress, performance, or quality.
Well this is certainly a word we can all relate to. In a perfect world we would be allowed to write, create and dream up our stories without interruption. But real life has a habit of intruding – laundry, housework, meal preparation, time with family…well you get the picture. I will admit there are times I just want to be left alone, in a Greta Garbo kind of way!
So let’s take each numbered definition at a time. Number one – lack of a plan, regularity or purpose. Whether a casual writer or a professional one, time to immerse ourselves in our creations is important. To enable us to have that time we have to engineer ‘writing time’ in any manner that works within our individual life styles. Maybe, like me, you work full time, have children at home and a household to run. Where can you squeeze in writing? This is dependent on a great many things, such as the age of your children, how stressful your job is and how much ‘help’ you get from your significant other. With careful planning and a schedule you can balance wants and needs. You may display a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door of a room you can escape into, plug in head phones or leave the house altogether. Whatever works for you is best. The main thing is to have the understanding of your family that ‘writing time’ is an important element in your life.
Number two relates, I feel, to character building. As we delve into a new character and his or her struggles, we need a real sense of their character, likes and dislikes and how they would react to certain situations. If we cannot connect with them the plausibility of their reactions will suffer. Whatever device works for you go with it. Character sketches, research into personality types or people watching are all great ways to know your character better. This will ensure whatever obstacles they come against their reaction and coping skill level will be believable.
The last definition is one we all know and is related to our self belief in our abilities. We have all berated ourselves at one point or another when a plot does not work, a deadline is not going to be met or we are unhappy with how we have written something. Take heart in the knowledge that no-one is immune to these thoughts and feelings. Use your support system to help you. This might be your writers group, a mentor or a supportive family member, whatever or whomever it is don’t consider yourself alone. Reach out and bounce your ideas off them, receive their encouragement willingly. You may have to revise a character, a story line or perspective but you can do it – just believe your muse is with you.
Have you suffered with desultory feelings? How did you overcome them?