A romance story? Really?

romantic-pics-10

Hello all,

It has been a while.

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on my first attempt at a romantic story. This has been slowed somewhat due to a very interesting Cyber Security and Cyber Crime course I have been taking and passing during that time but I have managed to finally finish it.

I’ve been looking to write stories in genres I don’t usually write in. You know, out of my comfort zone and all that. Once I had decided what to do next, I needed an idea. Initially, I thought about setting it in an office environment or in something that could resemble present day or closer to my real life. But then I thought, nah. I want to do this in the future while World War 3 is in full swing and my love triangle is between three fighter pilots of varying ranks. Obviously.

The result wasn’t really what I expected. I am happy with the characters and the settings but I know I need to go back over the romance parts of my story. I think all I need to do is add more of a back story to my characters and why Commander Angela would want to fall for either jet pilot First class Anderson or jet pilot Second class Andrew.

Andrew is the nice one and Anderson is the annoying one. Anderson winds Andrew up whenever he can when they are not on the battlefield (well, not a field really. A Sky I suppose. Yeah, Battle Sky is better) and vice versa. But when they are in the battle sky they work seamlessly as together. Angela has noticed both of them before and during the war. She knows Anderson from some of her teenage years growing up and she knows Andrew from when they trained together. Though she does command both of them, she see’s something in each that makes her think there might be a life after the War beyond work.

The first draft is completed but as I’ve mentioned I know I need to add something else to make it more romantic. Having never written this type of story before it is harder than I first thought. I know how to be romantic, or at least I think I do, but conveying it on the page is a tricky thing indeed.

So, I have questions. Do any of you have any tips for a budding romance writer such as myself? If you have written romantic stories before what approach did you find to be the most rewarding and productive?

I’ll get back to editing my story and I hope you all have a nice week.

Bye!

How to avoid murdering your career

Hello all,

Recently, I have not had much to write about. I’m currently in the middle of writing a futuristic war romance story (which I will write about when it is completed) and doing non-writing course work.

So, I decided that until I’m ready to write about me, I’ll spread the blog love by re-blogging something cool.

I found this wonderful article on how to avoid murdering your career. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did!

jean's writing

Ever feel like you are strangling a story to death?

I feel your pain. Really I do. Sometimes I think my WIP needs to be put out of my misery.

image delete key Imgflip

So, let’s all avoid the paper shredder. Because there’s help by – 10 Career Killers by David McFarland Story Doctor.

Here is what I learned from reading10 Career Killers.

  1. Critics don’t buy books. Don’t write like a professor, write for your reader.
  2. Idiots don’t buy books either. Don’t dumb down your writing.
  3. Develop a wide range of topics. Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Don’t become bland.
  4. Keep up with technology. Learn to speak. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you.
  5. Be thankful when fans or critics point out things that need changing. Then do it.
  6. Keep writing. Don’t let success kill your talent.
  7. Invest and save. Remember the law of gravity. What goes up must come down.
  8. Focus on your…

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How to you say politely ‘you missed the point’ to an author?

Hello,
Found this very helpful article regarding key elements to make your story work and flow in the right way. And hopefully not leave people scratching their heads whilst reading your story. 

Enjoy

Casey Carlisle

How to say you missed the point Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleI read a review copy for a fellow writer on his novel recently, and was horrified to find he’d not even paid attention to the basics of writing a book… So what key elements do you need to make your manuscript successful?

This author is semi successful, he has a number of books self-published, and I have to admit, the premise of his story is very intriguing. His writing style is easy to read and his pacing and action scenes are up there with the best of them. But I found myself continually frustrated. Some essential aspects to writing a novel had been ignored… and I was like, why? WHY!

How to say you missed the point Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Apologies if this post has started off as a little bit of a rant, but it leads us to an important question:

How to say you missed the point Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleHow to say you missed the point Pic 05 by Casey Carlisle – yeah, I know, how could you miss this one? In the first chapter (maybe two) it’s important…

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It creeps and it crawls throughout my mind. Wanting to be released onto the page.

(I wanted to insert an appropriate picture for my title but google managed to scare the stuffing out of me so I’m going to leave it. And curl up into a ball for a while.)

 

Hello,

Finally, after weeks of tossing and turning over it and not being able to write as much as I’d like due to other things coming up, I’ve finished my horror story!

As I got closer to end my writing speed picked up and then I realised, it’s done. The euphoria that breezes through me every time I finish a story was back.

Obviously, it’s the first draft but I’m happy I’ve finished it and I can now re-jig the whole thing. Change it to add in all the tips I’ve found regarding writing a horror story from my research. Mainly:

Tension – I have managed to build tension towards to end of the story. The build up to the ending definitely has what could possibly be described as tension until a big reveal. I also tried to put tension in throughout the story by having the lights go out in the house my characters are in for their company retreat in the woods. When the lights go out, and while everyone else is screaming or cheering depending on how drunk they are, the main characters hear what could be scratching and groaning coming from outside before the lights come back on.

The Reveal – I found a very useful article regarding this in the November 2014 edition of Writing Magazine by Alex Davis (page 50 if you own it). It talks about different phases.

  • Easy to disbelieve (slightly scary stuff that can be written off easily. Bumps in the night and weird sounds)
  • Hard to disbelieve (making the characters feel uneasy. A sense of being watched, a presence in the room).
  • Hard to deny (Definite sight of something weird, strange, horrible. A voice heard. Evidence to say something is definitely happening)
  • Impossible to deny (The reveal takes place. All the sounds and such come together and whatever the hell it is becomes reality)

 

I have found it very interesting reading up on how to approach writing a horror story. I’ve also found plenty of scary films to watch to give me inspiration. Such as Ringu (1998, Japan), Session 9 (2001, USA), Exhibit A (2007, UK). They’re all on the list. I’m in for one scary few days if I decide to watch them. I’ll end up not posting for much longer than 5 or so weeks.

It’s good to be able to write on my blog again. It has been a while. So, until next time have a good time doing whatever it is you’re doing.

Bye!

 

Two ideas are not better than one.

Hello,

I’m going to break this post down into stuff I’ve done since my last post as I haven’t posted in a while. I have been trying to create a post since my last, which seems like ages ago, and in the small amount of time I’ve had recently. Hope you like it.

This Way That Way Which way to turn

Signpost saying This Way That Way, Which way to turn good concept image for direction.

12/05/2016.

Finally, after weeks of pondering I’ve settled on two ideas for my horror stories. I initially had one idea that I was going to stick with (see https://johnrsermon.com/2016/04/28/the-horror-of-writing-a-horror/ for more information). But, as I started to plan that idea out I also found another idea. This was an idea that had been swimming in my mind for years but had obviously gotten almost drowned in the time it had spent not being outside and on the page. This has now brought to me my current predicament. Which way do I go?

From being so unsure that I doubted whether I should even bother writing a horror story to having two ideas, I can safely say this is not the worst position I ever been in. But it is one that I would like to be out of as soon as possible.

I’ve created my characters for and given them back stories. I also planned out both story ideas so when I get started I should have a better chance of making it work. Hopefully.

13/05/2016 – 21/05/2016

Work. More work. Drinking. More drinking. Running. More running. No writing completed.

22/05/2016

Completed my fourth Manchester 10k run and raised £200 for Cancer Research UK. No writing completed.

23/05/2016

Had a pizza. Watched WWE Extreme Rules 2016. No writing completed.

26/05/2016

Received my 2nd of two grades for the course I’ve been on since last September. Both I needed to pass. The 1st one I did pass (with Merit) and the 2nd…I passed as well (with Merit). Had a pizza. No writing completed.

29/05/2016

Went to the christening of my girlfriend’s niece and nephew. Had a great time. No writing completed.

02/06/2016

Big jump forward. Almost a month in fact. But it finds me with time on my hands and one page of my horror story written! Progress is slow but I hope to increase it in the coming weeks. I have week off work coming up that will become my first ever writing and blogging week. Well, writing at least.

The story I mentioned in the link under 12/05/2016 above is the same one I’ve gone with but I’ve twisted it around slightly. I have my characters and their back stories and I have a twist in mind for one of them to go completely loony bin on everyone and revert back to a Neanderthal state. I’m not sure which of my 6 characters this will happen too but it will be in the scariest manner I can muster. Finally, progress and a direction to go in.

Hope you all have a good week.

Bye!

The horror of writing a horror.

Hello,

So far, this is the only picture I could find to encapsulate my feelings towards trying to write a horror story that will strike genuine fear into the hearts of those who read it.

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It’s a combination of utter annoyance of not being able to construct a story like I have done previously and the ideas I’ve had that have ranged from ‘might be scary’ to ‘that’s from a film come up with something else’ that’s sending me face palm and wide-eyed.

I have got an idea that I’m going to stick with but the process has not been an easy one. I’m riddled with doubt that I won’t be able to scare anyone just with my words. And scare them in a good way, ‘eyes wide, tension built up, possibly screaming, knife in hand ready to defend themselves’, and not in a bad way ‘What is this smeg I’m reading? Why would John do this to me?! What did I ever do to him?’

The idea is based around a group of office workers on a work retreat/drunken weekend in a cabin in the woods. The cabin is state of the art and is more like a mini mansion in the middle of nowhere with plenty of Wi-Fi. No spooky or creepy looking cabin for this lot. The company my characters work for makes money. The forest surrounding the cabin has its own story about a witch that died and haunts the caves that lie deep within the forests depths.

Not amazingly original but it is my first try. And I believe that if a horror story is to be truly scary it should not be just down to how original the premise is but how it is written and how it can scare the reader.

I want to give my first attempt at horror writing the best chance it has so I’m going to try and plan each part of the story down to the last detail. I have found that building the tension within the story is a good start. But how do I accomplish this? My first thoughts were to plant many different seeds into the reader’s mind so they are unsure who the killer is. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a killer at this point. Probably. Maybe plant some red herrings to hopefully put them off the scent.

I still don’t have a concrete ending so I’m going to focus on getting that set in stone before I begin writing as well. This has all sent me into a bit of a writing tailspin. I haven’t had one of these in years.

So, all this has led me to this question.What tips do you have for someone trying to write their first horror story?

Your hints and tips and thoughts would be appreciated.

Bye!

 

 

A story finally finished and two more to write.

Hello,

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What you have just seen is the prelude to one of the greatest fights I have ever seen. Lego Darth Vader vs Lego Cheeky Monkey. Well, the greatest fight I’ve ever seen if I had seen more than this quick snap. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened but the result is that both are now standing at the edge of my desk ready to welcome anyone that comes into the spare room/office. I think it was a draw but I hope the cheeky monkey won.

Anyway, hello again.

Following on from last time, I have been doing a lot of catching up on the Reading, Writing and Discussing front. Here’s how it broke down over the last week:

READING:

I’ve been moving along nicely with God of Vengeance by Giles Kristian (http://gileskristian.com/books/god-of-vengeance/). I have always enjoyed the pace, language, wit and style of Giles Kristian’s prose. This book has kept that going as it tells the story of how the Vikings who are marauding around in Giles Kristian first three books, Raven: Blood Eye, Raven: Sons of Thunder and Raven: Odin’s wolves (http://gileskristian.com/books/) came together and specifically how their Jarl Sigurd became their Jarl. As much as I like movie prequels I enjoy them even more in written form. Remembering an old but good book is always cool when I’m reading a new and good book.

WRITING:

My latest short story has finished! I had started the story before I had to start my revision for my exam and the dam revision got in the way. Though the story was almost finished, the revision-imposed break allowed me to come up with an ending for it. I did not count on taking a break from writing my own stories and instead writing notes would give me a full formed ending. Right there, as I was walking to work, and in the freezing cold no less, which meant typing a note into my phone was annoyingly difficult.

So, the story centers on a young couple who survive an attack by the huge rock worms a la Gears of War 2 (http://gearsofwar.wikia.com/wiki/Riftworm). Now, the worms aren’t as aggressive or mean looking as the ones from Gears of War 2. They are intelligent and just want to find a new place to live after their home planet got exploded. They found Earth and let us know what they wanted. We naturally tried to destroy them so they retaliated. The young couple survives and then find themselves face to face with the chief rock worm. In shock, they try and figure out their next move. This could potentially change the course of mankind. I’ve had this idea in my head for a while but the ending was something I’d hoped to get to as I was writing the story, which is usually the way my endings appear. I have now finished one story and as I turned the pages of my notebook I found two post-it notes with ideas for two more. Two more stories I will write in the not too distant future. Once they have been planned out. Pfft. Notes and more notes.

 

 

DISCUSSING:

My discussions have mostly been around two things with the odd blog post comment thrown in-between: Wrestlemania 32 and my work exam. Even though the exam has been and gone those of us in the office who sat the thing have been going over what we did write and what we did not write and slowly sending each other crazy. I am glad the chatter has gone silent now when it comes to the exam. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed studying for it, I am glad to have a break from it. At least for now. There also was the little matter of Wrestlemania 32 to contend with. I enjoyed the event and the match quality was up there with some of the best Wrestlemania’s I have seen but as for the results? Only liked a few of them. Most of them did not make much sense from a fan who is looking at what the result will do for the progression of the storylines between the wrestlers involved. Hopefully, new stories will be written off the back of them so I can try and forget how, in some cases, the results were meaningless. It has also been nice to talk to my friends who aren’t wrestling fans and try and get them on board. It will happen one day. I will keep trying.

Right, well I’m going to go back and finish my notes for my next story. I hope you all have a good week.

Bye!