Welcome to Dragonscale Clippings

Inside the mind of a writer...

My motto for 2012: Quality, not quantity

I am currently exploring the sensation of Sound...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What do I write?

I write comedy and serious fiction but even the serious stuff has comedic elements to it. I believe the best tales move readers to both tears and laughter. 

My background is fantastical writing and my published novel, Dragonscale Leggings, is comedy tale. You should only read it if you have a sense of humour. If you take yourself and life too seriously, you shouldn't read it at all. But if you need a lift in these dark times, treat yourself to a copy - you won't regret it!

Although I enjoy writing comedy, sustaining it is difficult. I have to be in a certain mood to write it. Serious writing, however, can be written whatever mood I'm in. 

In the background, at the moment, I have a 9 book series waiting to be written. The first two books are complete with the first book just needing a rewrite and the 2nd book probably needs redrafting several times. The other 7 books are all planned, I'm just waiting to write them. I would define this series as speculative fiction. 

This year I completed a Thriller set in 2027. It's about control and freedom in a futuristic totalitarian state. The plot was based on a series of what ifs? One of the folios I belong to is reading it at the moment and they're finding it disturbing...

I also wrote a Romance novel in the spring which is a gentle tale about a woman who is dealt quite harsh blows by life eg unfaithful husband, infertility and early widowhood. The story tells of how she gets through life with the help of her friends and how she finally finds a man she can love. It's set in the modern day in the office and at home. It's a comfort read really and I'm trying to find an agent who will represent me to the right publisher with this novel. 

I've also rewritten a suspense tale set in two time periods. The lost legion of York features as the lure - where did they go? Are they dead? Are they still wandering the mists of time? And in the present day there are fractured relationships, drugs and breakdowns going on. It's different and challenging and I leave the reader to make up their own mind as to what really happens. 

Right now I'm working on another futuristic tale set in the same timeframe as my Thriller. This tale, however, is to do with Freedom of Choice - a very important issue to me. 

I also have a romantic fantastical tale to find a home for as well as other Dracomagan novellas that are ready to be published. So at the moment I'm busy writing as well as searching for the right agents / publishers!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How I write

I used to handwrite everything until I was given my first pc - an applemac. Now, alas, budget contraints mean I have to use Microsoft - yick! But I can now type my novels straight onto the pc. 

Interestingly, lyrics and poems still have to be handwritten as ideas for them strike whenever I am away from the pc. (So is that the pc or Microsoft that stilts creativity?!) Sometimes short stories will also be drafted using pen and paper. 

Novel writing however has become quicker and better for me when I type straight onto the keyboard. I plan meticulously before I start typing though. My current novel had 6 hours of planning with pages and pages of handwritten notes, most of which probably won't be used. But I have to know the backgrounds of my characters before I start writing. A lot of that time was also taken up with finding the right names for my characters - this too helps me visualise them more clearly. 

As for actual writing, well, I set aside a certain amount of time twice a week and just sit down and type. Sometimes it's rubbish, sometimes it's brilliant. I don't mind how the first draft turns out. If I've got something on paper, then I can work on it. The more I practise, the better I'm becoming at distilling the real story. No more endless drafts for me now as I did when I first started writing. I go through 3 drafts maybe 4 to get the story "right". 

It is an exhausting process, the act of writing. I have to live on two levels. At one level I'm just going about my ordinary everyday businss of working, looking after the house and garden, cooking etc. On another level I'm living every second of my book. At the back of my mind the ideas are jabbering away at me, jumping up and down, competing for my attention. It's almost a love-hate relationship. It's such a relief to get rid of the voices in my head once the first draft is complete. But at the same time, I miss my characters when I've finished the story. 

Creativity hey? It's both a blessing and a curse. But I wouldn't be without it.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Why do I write?

I write because there are stories inside me. 

I write because there are so many ideas fermenting in my mind that if I did not write them out, I would explode. 

I write because I have something valid to say. 

I write because I have to. It is part of me. Even if it's just one sentence per day - I have to write. 

I write because I love words. I enjoy making prose and poetry that delights and entertains. 

I write because I want to challenge people's perceptions of the world around them, of themselves, of concepts that they haven't even heard of yet. 

I write because the muse is constantly feeding me, inspiring me, driving me to write. 

I write because I am a writer. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Time escaping...

Time seems to be slipping through my fingers. I am so busy all the time but what do I accomplish? How can I gain enough time to get everything done?

Yesterday I was supposed to have a rest day. You know, take things easy, read up on photography, maybe take a few pictures. I wanted to sketch and write music as well. But I didn't do any of these things. Instead I was working on a short story for Ends of the Earth. I got it all sorted out but it took far too long. Why? It's not as though I am slow at doing things. I work too hard and too fast sometimes.

I need to work out what is important and what can be left. Next week I had planned to continue with my new book but both the folios have arrived so I will be working on them instead.

Time mustn't control me. I must control my time.

Monday, 4 October 2010

A rainy holiday day

OK, my partner and I are on holiday. A mini holiday at home. He's using up his holiday before Christmas and I'm taking a break from writing. But it's raining. What can we expect at this time of year? It's autumn! At least it's mild still. So instead of going photographing (as we planned) we're going to look at cameras. We would have had to have done this anyway at some point as our current camera has developed a fault. So I'm hoping that tomorrow will be brighter despite the pessimistic forecasts! Maybe there'll be a poem somewhere in the rain and grey clouds today...