Archive for the Writing Category

Why Indie Writers are Important to Readers

Posted in Writing on October 21, 2017 by Kate Jack

A very interesting, and refreshing, take on self publishing.

J.D. Adamsson

There’s been some publicity recently about the lowering standards of books, about how indie writers have an overblown opinion of their abilities. Generalisations like that are rarely accurate, things are just never that simple.

to the lighthouseThere are many writers in this world. The natural geniuses, who still nevertheless need a firm hand in editing, spelling and developmental input. The ones who aren’t great at the start, but love reading good literature, who want to write too and who put in the study and hours to improve their skills. There are those who have ideas, maybe good, maybe not so good, who perhaps have enough funds to pay a ruck of line and developmental editors to make their stories shine. Some even go as far as hiring ghost writers to write their ideas for them, and who then take all the credit, but they aren’t really writers (no famous names named). There…

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Determination is the key!

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on July 1, 2017 by Kate Jack

Writers are prone to fits of melancholy and depression, brought about by lack of success and, possibly, too much coffee. This in turn leads to all cessation of writing activities, which takes us back to the above mentioned state of being. 

It becomes a vicious circle, from which seemingly there’s no escape. 

But there is. It’s not easy, and involves a lot of girding of the loins, but it can be done. And what is this miraculous cure? I hear you ask. Simple: DETERMINATION and lots of it. But here’s the cherry on the cake. Once you’ve made the decision, it becomes easier. Just as I was determined never to smoke another cigarette, it’ll be a year in August, just as I was determined to use the time I have to write my next set of books. The results? I have more money at my disposal, since I packed in the fags, my health has improved, and best of all, I’m writing again on a regular basis.

Remember what the great French Artist, Henri Matisse said:

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Abdication.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2017 by Kate Jack

Since I retired, back in May, I have well and truly abdicated as the queen of procrastination. Since the day after I retired, I have written every day! Yes, you heard me – every day! 

What brought about this startling transformation? Peace and quiet and the ability to organise my day as I see fit. I still wake up at about 5 am, always been an early waker, and as my bed is next to the window, I get a spectacular view of the sunrise. I lie there and gaze at this awe inspiring sight, listening to the birds singing and I feel filled with inspiration, until Meg, my cat, starts demanding breakfast; there’s nothing like the smell of cat food first thing in the morning to set my stomach churning. 

Once she’s busy stuffing her face, I return to bed, fire up the computer, flex my fingers, and start working on the first book of my current wip, The Songstress Trilogy. I usually keep this up for approximately half an hour, then I take a break and make a cup of tea. The first brew of the day is always the best, but the feeling of contentment and sense of accomplishment is supreme.

The best bit, though, is that I no longer circle the keyboard with a feeling of dread; I’m actually enjoying this newfound work ethic 😀 Why? Because I want to do it. I’m no longer stultified by boredom, or sneaking out of work for a crafty fag – when I used to smoke. Now I have a sense of purpose and along with that, I feel fulfilled; something I haven’t felt in years. I even managed to get rid of an old wooden desk that’s been cluttering up the spare room for years. I got it downstairs, into the car, and deposited it at the council dump, all by myself; not bad for an old lady with a dodgy foot 😀

So, hopefully, I’ll keep this up and will soon be starting on book 2. So long spider solitaire, so long procrastination, hello writing! 😀

 

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The flow of creativity

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on June 12, 2017 by Kate Jack

Following on from my post, A thought for the day, I now want to explore what it feels like when a writer is filled with inspiration. Positive inspiration can be a rare feeling for a writer, for reasons already stated in the previous article. However, when inspiration does strike, it’s almost like having a high 😀 One experiences a surge of well-being and contentment, as the words pour onto the page and the world and the characters being created, begin to take shape. 

There’s no better feeling than when a wordsmith fulfils their function and creates something to share with others. Supplying readers with doorways into other worlds, allowing them to meet new people and situations, must surely be the ultimate goal of an author.

Yes, there are days when a writer feels like giving up, feeling frustrated and unappreciated, but that’s the name of the game; it’s almost unavoidable. That said, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off – and as dispiriting as it can be – start all over again. In the end, it’s worth it.  🙂

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A thought for the day

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2017 by Kate Jack

Why is it, as writers, that we procrastinate? There’re times when we’d rather do anything other than write; and yet, at the same time, we can think of nothing else, other than writing. Nearly everything we see and hear is a prompt to compose and create; but we don’t. Not writing makes me unhappy and I’m constantly tormented by the mantra, I’ll do it later, or maybe tomorrow. The excuses pile up, until they become a potential avalanche that threatens our mental well-being.

Making resolutions, and even drawing up schedules are just as bad, because they’re rarely adhered to. The irony, of course, is that when we do start to write again, we immediately feel happy and fulfilled. There’s something inherently satisfying about creating new places and new faces.

Then again, there are genuine distractions and situations that stop us from fully focusing on our chosen occupation: work, family, politics, especially the recent general election just held here in the UK. I spent most of my time watching the news, or scrolling through Facebook, trying to keep track of which party was in the lead. As for work, I can no longer claim that as a distraction, since I took early retirement back in May 😀

That said, I have been writing more, focusing mainly on my current wip, the first book in The Songstress Trilogy and I’ve never felt happier. Now that my time’s my own, I have the inclination and energy to do what I really want and that is to write 😀 That said, I did manage to write and have three books published, whilst I was still working, so for all of you who are still employed, it’s not an excuse to put off creating until you retire 🙂

The Silver Flute Trilogy

For me, the pen writes on, albeit slightly faster now 🙂

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Writing conscience.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on March 30, 2017 by Kate Jack

When an author stops writing, for whatever reason, the lack of creativity is replaced by feelings of frustration. This is, of course, bad enough; but then guilt comes along to gang up on you too.

Guilt for not writing. 

Guilt for procrastinating.

Guilt for making oneself false promises; eg: “Oh I’ll start my new book tomorrow – definitely” – yeah, right. You know damn well that you’ll keep on avoiding your computer/pen paper, until the guilt grows to the size of Mount Vesuvius and you finally blow your top!

So why do writers put themselves through this torture? Your guess is as good as mine; maybe we’re all sadists. But what’s even more baffling is that when we do get our noses to the grindstone, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction we gain far outweighs all the shenanigans we get up to, trying to avoid what we know must be done. The feeling of smugness, the self-satisfaction, and above all, the stroking of our egos when we write, what we consider to be a masterpiece, is sublime. 

What’s really annoying is it all starts out fine. We get a brilliant idea for a story. We plot it all out and then everything grinds to a halt. The idea’s there, the characters are formed, there’s nothing to stop the creation of a new piece of writing art; but then, and this is the maddening bit, we feel we can sit back on our laurels and let the ideas percolate, until we’re good and ready to start. Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and sometimes months can turn into years.

 

So come on people – listen to your writing conscience and stop sitting on your hands. Get up out of your chair, switch off the TV, lock the kids in the garden shed, send the old man/woman down the pub, and get WRITING! 😀

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t get involved with Spider Solitaire – it’s fatal!

The Silver Flute Trilogy

Writing is a legal high…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on March 20, 2017 by Kate Jack

…and a lot better for you than actual drugs 🙂 The sensations of achievement and satisfaction a writer experiences, when a new story or novel is created,  can be wonderful – even euphoric! 

I think this is due to a feeling of power, engendered by the act of creating worlds and characters only the author can control. In general we have very little leeway over our outer lives, but by evolving places, situations, people, and so on, our inner lives come totally within our jurisdiction and  no one else’s. 

Having said that I have, from time to time, lost control slightly when my story line has deviated from the route I intended it to take. Characters have altered their own personalities and made their own decisions. Of course this is probably my subconscious prompting me down another, often better route. This can be annoying though, particularly when you think everything’s going swimmingly and you’re brought up short by these mental intrusions; but ignore such promptings at your peril. They will nag away at you, until you give in and at least try out the alternative suggested by your internal editor.

However, altering plots and characterisation halfway through, means you have to check and recheck the continuity of your work and make sure any alterations made gel with the rest of the manuscript. I’ve often made the mistake of altering a situation a character’s in, only to find that it doesn’t match up with what went on earlier in the story. So make absolutely sure that everything is linked properly and the story doesn’t become derailed by even a tiny change, because you can be certain the reader will spot it 🙂

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