Remembering – WIPpet Wednesday

wippet

Hi everyone and welcome to my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday. Today I’m running late with it cos I’ve had a lot on, but I’m here now and looking forward to reading your excerpts as well as reading your comments on mine!

Today I’m sharing 29 words from my current WIP ‘Reunion’. So it’s 31-2=29 because it’s 2013. Get it??!! Not great maths I know but I’m bending the rules cos it’s a good couple of sentences. At this point in the story, my MC Anna is recalling her parents’ messy break up. Looking forward to your comments.

It all came back to her. She recalled the terrible arguments between her parents, the shouting, the slamming of doors, the kitchen utensils and other inanimate objects clashing unnecessarily.

So that’s it. If you would like to join in the WIPpet Wednesday fun, just post an excerpt of whatever your working on writing-wise on your blog. The only rule is that the length of the excerpt has to correlate to the date, so it could be 31 lines from chapter 7. You can get creative. Then add your name to this linky. Thanks always goes to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

A Girl Named Cord by Briana Vedsted

CORD-Flat

The lovely and talented young author Briana Vedsted is publishing her new novel ‘A Girl Named Cord’ and I’m pleased to share with you the following information about it.

A Girl Named Cord by Briana Vedsted will be published on Amazon.com July 31st, 2013 as both a paperback and an eBook.

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18269695-a-girl-named-cord

Book description: Cord had to work hard to earn her living as a cow puncher, and she was getting along just fine until a wealthy rancher moves into the county and threatens the lives of her and her friends. Cord rises up to meet every challenge, but the death of friends, both old and new, plague her at every turn. And just when everything seems like it is going to go back to being peacefully normal, a secret comes to light, putting Cord and her future family in danger. Will Cord let go of her sorrow filled past and revengeful wishes long enough to save her loved ones and pull her life back out of the bottomless pit it seems to be stuck in?
“But let me tell you this: peace in the heart is much more comforting than blood in the sand.”

Cover art by: Dirk Porsche at http://shiggyenterprises.wordpress.com/
Find out more about Briana on her blog, http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/
And check out Briana’s other books here:

and

Imagination – Thursday’s Children

Imagination

For my contribution to this week’s Thursday’s Children, I thought I’d pay homage to that key ingredient in any writer’s store of writing essentials: imagination.

It may seem obvious – don’t all writers have to use their imagination I hear you ask? Well of course they do. But I’ve read so many books over the years where the author has lost their imaginative spark somewhere along the way, and the book comes across as bland and boring.

It’s like when we first start off writing – for most of us I guess it’s when we’re kids – imagination comes to us easily. In a previous post I’ve mentioned how when me and my siblings were still quite young I’d tell them stories.  This helped to while away the hours spent travelling through France or down to Cornwall from our home in Hampshire.  As a youngster, in some ways your imagination is in its prime – you can’t stop imagining things.

Maybe as a child you imagined your life different to how it was.  I know I did.  It’s not necessarily because you were unhappy, just that it was fun, it was a form of escapism to imagine a whole other world with different people and priorities.  For me I really began writing properly when I was at primary school (4 to 11 year olds approx).  I would write stories and poetry – I haven’t really written much poetry since then, it’s just never happened.  Anyway before I started having to study for exams in my teens (which distracted me from creative writing for years to come), I was able to write what I wanted and I wrote lots of stories, most unfinished and in various genres.

Some of what I wrote was fantasy, some set in the contemporary, real world.  I was able to experiment and feed my imagination.  As I just mentioned, once I was aged around 14 I was made to focus on factual work and essays for exams.  And would you believe it, it’s only since I graduated nearly 10 years ago, and finished studying, that I’ve really been able to focus properly on my creative writing.  Which is what I prefer anyway.

I really believe that to improve as a writer you need to practice and learn to use your imagination.  I find myself imagining doing rather crazy things that I would never actually do in reality.  Things like suddenly swearing at the top of your voice in the cinema when the film playing is at a crucial point.  Or saying something really inappropriate to the wrong person.  I must remind you that I wouldn’t do anything like that in actuality!!  But what I’m trying to get at is that as writers we need to engage with our imagination, we need to use our brains.

Like any part of the human body, our brains need exercising if they’re to stay in shape.  So if we don’t use them often enough, they become a bit flat (metaphorically speaking) and it’s possible to lose our edge.  I think it’s always good when, for example, we’re working on our WIP and we’re a bit bogged down with it, to take a break from it and think imaginatively about other stories we could write,  things that will become our next WIP.  That way once we’ve had a bit of time away from our main story, we’ll return to it refreshed.

Another thing that for me when I’m writing is key, is to plan my story well from the start.  Maybe that’s not the way you work, but it’s certainly a good idea to make notes as you’re writing.  Use your imagination, consider different options for how the narrative could unfold.  And don’t be afraid to scrap ideas if you feel they’re not working.

Keep imagining, keep thinking and keep writing.  You’ll get to wherever your imagination takes you.

If you’ d like to take part in Thursday’s Children, simply blog about whatever inspires your writing.  Then add your name to this linky.  Thanks goes to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for hosting.

Back home – WIPpet Wednesday

wippetwednesday

Welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday. (Is that enough alliteration for you?!) For my contribution this week, I thought I’d share with you just over 24 lines from chapter 7 (because it makes more sense that way) of my current WIP Reunion.

This excerpt follows on from the previous two weeks because it’s simpler and I’m feeling lazy! At this point in the story Anna and Melissa have arrived back from their trip to London at Warston station (Warston being their home city). Enjoy!

Anna almost regretted not having more time to think. The two friends grabbed their mini suitcases from the shelf above their seats and alighted from the train. Anna’s suitcase seemed a lot heavier for some reason, but it was probably just fatigue. She paused for a moment on the platform taking a deep breath, as if something nerve wracking was going to happen that she couldn’t control.

Don’t be daft, she told herself, you’ll be at home soon and everything will be fine. But she couldn’t shake the feeling as she ran to catch up with Melissa who was charging towards the exit with her suitcase trailing noisily after her. They exited the train station. Anna breathed out slowly. The early evening sun was hazy but at least it was there. And taxis were always in plentiful supply at Warston station. She was happy to pay for one. Home was calling.

A short while later the large black London-style cab was pulling up outside Anna’s front door. She handed the driver his money and she and Melissa clambered inelegantly out of the cab and onto the pavement, heaving their luggage with them.

‘Boy am I glad to be home,’ Anna half said, half groaned as she reached the front door, fumbling around in her too-large handbag for her house keys.

‘Me too.’ Melissa let out a huge sigh as the two friends almost tumbled through the door in their eagerness to be at home. They left their suitcases marooned in the hallway and headed straight for the kitchen.

‘Coffee?’ Melissa asked.

‘Definitely,’ Anna replied, feeling lethargy enveloping her. She left Melissa to make the drinks and made for the living room, collapsing onto the sofa and closing her eyes. She didn’t want to think about the trip to London, at least for the moment. As she began to feel herself drift off, Peter’s face swam into her inner vision unbidden.

‘Here you go.’ Melissa’s voice broke into her thoughts. 

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt of whatever you’re currently working on writing-wise that somehow relates to the date.  So I’ve gone for 24 lines (approximately) from chapter 7, it being the 24th July today.  But you can get creative – it could be: 2 + 4 = 6 + 7 = 13 lines.  (Now why didn’t I think of that for my extract?!).

Then once you’ve posted your excerpt, simply add your name to this linky.  Thanks to the delightful (she is you know!) K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

Seasons – Thursday’s Children

Seasons

I hope that all those of you who’re taking part in the Like A Virgin contest, in whatever capacity are enjoying it.  I wish all the contestants good luck. :)

We’ve having some very hot, sunny weather here in the UK at the moment. By the time you’ve read this, it may well have gone because unfortunately we never have this kind of weather for very long.

But it got me thinking about how the seasons affect and inspire our writing. Because whether we’re aware of it or not, the seasons do affect our writing one way or another. For instance, the story we’re telling will always be set in one season or another, even if that season changes.

An example of a story where seasons are important is Bridget Jones’s Diary. Being written in the form of a diary, the narrative reflects the changing seasons. Bridget first meets Mark Darcy at her mother’s Christmas party. Then later she goes on a spring mini-break holiday with the dastardly Daniel Cleaver. The author, Helen Fielding, uses the different seasons to move the plot along. Fielding uses Bridget’s mother’s Christmas party, for example, as a plot device so that her heroine is able to meet the hero for the first time. Christmas is a time when families get together, so it’s an opportunity for Bridget to meet Mark when he’s at the party with his parents.

So how can we use the seasons effectively in our writing? Well I was struggling with that a little for a while. In my WIP The Inheritance which I’m hoping to publish soon, the timeline got a little confused. I was using the seasons as the story went along, but one of my beta readers said that it was unclear how much time had passed and what happened when. Using seasonal descriptions can help in our writing provided that we ensure that it’s clear how much time has passed. So in my story I have some of the action taking place around Christmas time and I’ve tried now to make clear that some time has elapsed in the story. I’ve also used the season of Christmas to move the plot along. Things happen around that time that might not have otherwise occurred in the same way.

Whatever WIP you’re working on, it’s good to remember that the changing seasons play a part and that as writers we can use them to our advantage. Whether that be to move the plot forward, or drastically change the narrative, possibly by losing a few characters, it’s important to remember that seasons affect many aspects of our writing.

If you would like to take part in Thursday’s Children, simply write a blog post about whatever inspires your writing. Then add your name to this linky. Thanks to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for hosting.

Reflecting part 2 – WIPpet Wednesday

Reflecting

Hello all you WIPpeteers and welcome to my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday. The image I’ve used is not quite right as my character Anna is a brunette. Which I could always change I suppose… But I thought it linked in nicely with this week’s excerpt I’m sharing with you which reveals a bit more than last week.

It’s following straight on from last week’s excerpt. To recap Anna is on the train home with her friend Melissa having been up to London together to meet Anna’s agent. As in last week’s piece I shared there’s no dialogue, just Anna reflecting on what’s gone on. In true WIPpet fashion my excerpt relates to today’s date: 17 lines from chapter 7 for the 17th July. Enjoy!

But most of the time her thoughts kept pulling her back to the meal with Peter two nights before. She’d enjoyed meeting him; there was no question of that. He seemed a nice enough bloke – but a love interest? She wasn’t so sure. Was he keen on her? If so Anna didn’t know how she felt about that. He’s my agent, she thought, and surely I need to keep our relationship professional? She was glad she’d brought Melissa along.

It’d been good having her frank perspective on things. Without her she would have floundered even more in the face of those conflicting emotions she’d experienced during the meal. As it was she still felt anxious about what had transpired at the meal with Peter. She found herself analysing her feelings towards him. I really should give it a rest, she thought. I’ve only just met him. It was all so confusing. Why could life never be straightforward? It didn’t seem long at all before the train was pulling in to Warston station.

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday it’s easy – simply post an excerpt of your most recent work of writing on your blog that relates in some way to the date.  So it could be 17 paragraphs from chapter 7 or 7 lines from chapter 17.  You can be flexible.  Then add your name to this linky.  Thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

Reflecting – WIPpet Wednesday

Thinking

Hello all you lovely WIPpeteers! Hope you’re having a good Wednesday so far. For my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, I thought I’d share 10 lines from chapter 7 of my current WIP Reunion, it being the 10th July today.

I thought about getting clever with the numbers but decided against it in the end cos there’re too many spoilers. Before you ask, no it’s not following on from last week’s excerpt. To set the scene, remember from a couple of weeks ago, my main character Anna and her best friend Melissa had arrived at a restaurant with Peter, Anna’s agent? Well now Anna and Melissa are on the train heading home. We’re hearing Anna’s thoughts of how it all went. And yes I am a tease!

Anna and Melissa didn’t talk much on the train journey home, which Anna was grateful for. She needed time to think about all that had gone on over the past couple of days. Looking out of the window soothed her reeling mind, and she took pleasure from watching the fields merge into one green haze as the train rattled along. She barely did anything but look out of the window for most of the journey.

Sometimes she was distracted by watching the cows in the fields huddled together as if for warmth, or the houses which in the distance were so small they looked like dolls’ houses. Occasionally she could just about make out the gardens next to the houses, some with the washing on the line flapping gently in the wind, everything in miniature from her viewpoint. She wondered about the lives of the people who lived in these houses. How long had they lived there? What were their histories? It occurred to Anna that it was possible to create so many stories just by watching the world outside a train carriage as you passed through.

So there you have it.  That’s all you’re getting.  Until next week when I may be kind and give you oh I don’t know, a few more lines maybe?  Anyway if this has inspired you to get involved with WIPpet Wednesday, the rules are as follows:  OK, there’s only one rule really which is that you post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise on your blog which somehow relates to the date.  So I had 10 lines from chapter 7 of my WIP, but you could be way more creative than me and have 10 paragraphs from chapter 13 (the 10th day, 2013).  Feel free to use maths to come up with an amount you want.

Then add your name to this linky.  Thanks goes as always to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.  We love her.  We really do. :)