Tag Archives: cosy mystery

Feedback

23 Jan

….is food for the writer. It even has the word ‘feed’ in it. As a writer/author feedback is very important for your growth, but also for the growth of your story. Every draft you write takes you closer to the version that it was meant to be in the first place. It’s like creating a sculpture out of lifeless lump of clay. You can see what it’s supposed to be, and it will take a while to get it there.

After almost two years of being swallowed up by my new work, querying has taken a backseat. But now that I feel like I’ve got the hang of that thing we call Real Life, I’m back in the game. As I’m still querying the first novel in my cosy mystery, I’m already working on the second. At first I thought that was pointless, because I haven’t even published my first novel yet. I have the luxury, however, of being able to work on multiple stories, so it’s not like I can’t query more novels as a plan B. Also, I let a very critical friend read it and her boyfriend heard about the story and wanted to read it too. Now they’re both hooked and he kept asking me when I’d write the second novel. If that isn’t motivational, I don’t know what is. I also considered it a good exercise of my writing muscles without the pressure of knowing I want an agent to look at it. So I put finger to keyboard and mind to page and here I am…I have a murder in a hotel, an emotional mystery writer, and a love interest who is getting closer to making his move. Yay, the excitement.

What’s even more exciting is the feedback. I mean, after not playing with my characters for a while, it’s nice to know I still got it. And hearing that it’s well-written and just drags you in is just the thing you need to hear. Not just as an ego boost but also because it’s important to know when you’re on the right track. That’s equally important to knowing you’re not. Also, because my beta readers are impatient, I send them a few chapters each time so when they pick up on an inconsistency, I can immediately change it. I’m still going to let more beta readers ravage it, but only after I’m done. In the meantime I’m so happy to reconnect to my characters and let them grow even more.

More murders, more fun. Wait, that sounded psycho. I really must be a writer, then.

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Meh-Ness of the Creative Mind

28 Feb

Those days where you want to change the world with your words, whether it’s with your social media or a new story idea. Whatever it is, it gets you all excited and you think about what it will be like when you’ve build up this legacy and quite possibly also have a butler. Or three. Those moments are good because they inspire. They inspire you to be the best and kick some ass.

Or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. I mean, they do inspire me, but also they make me feel guilty for when I don’t end up changing the world in one afternoon. Because most of the time it’s daunting to think of all that you want to achieve and to know that it will take long. Not to mention that it takes a lot of effort and luck. It can be paralysing. Which is why I usually end up building a virtual village or raising Sim babies.
When you’re writing just for fun it’s easier because there is no pressure. However, pressure can also be good, so how do you make it so that pressure becomes the same as motivation?

The goals are still important and it would be good to consider those goals every once in a while. Ask yourself what you really want to achieve with your writing and before you write, meditate on those images. If you’re a realist, you might think that it will never happen, and I suppose it’s good not to get your hopes up, but also add that you can eat least TRY. Because the trying part is probably more fun than the actual achievement. If we do achieve our dreams, don’t we want to look back and know we’ve EARNED it? I know I do.

On the other hand it also helps me to just turn on some music, daydream about my story and get excited about it again. It depends on my mood, but sometimes I don’t need to think about the future, I just need to be in the moment and write for my story. After all, I like my characters so I want to do my best for them. The story deserves it, so do its inhabitants.

Which means that my advice today is a bit contradictory. It depends on who you are and what your current mood is, but both result in motivation. But here is one more tip. There’s a difference between the lack of motivation or simply having dust in your creative mind. If the Jar of Words is empty, my advice is simple: READ A DAMN BOOK. I hate to be all cliché, but books make for the best inspiration in the first place.

Hopefully my scattered ramblings all over this post help you, because right now my brain feels all dusty. I am going to refill my Jar with Haruki Murakami and then I’ll play with my characters. After all, I have an agent interested in my work, and if that isn’t a good kind of pressure, I don’t know what is.

 
GOOD LUCK, WRITERS!

 

weird writer

Resolutions of a Weird Writer

29 Dec

It still feels like 2010 so why are we already tumbling into 2014? Think about it, next year it will be 2015! Anyway, let’s try not to realise too much that time is flying by faster than a pet dragon. Today’s blog post was a request regarding my new resolutions to do with writing. This is a bit difficult for me, but it made my pet dragons purr, so I’ll give it a go.

Resolutions of a Weird Writer:

  1. Despite my busy life that tugs at me from all corners of the room, I shall write at least once a week and it shall be glorious. (Not the writing itself, but at least the act of writing.)
  2. I shall get a literary agent this year. Even if I have to clone myself, go back in time, leave my Non-Mini Me to become a literary agent and return to my time, just in time (ha!) to get taken on as a client by her. Me. Her. Well, you know what I mean.
  3. I shall finish all my To-Write stories on my To-Write list. Really, I will. Truly. Stop narrowing your eyes at me. I will!
  4. I will start writing in my notebooks, with all my favourite pens instead of savouring them (because they are too pretty) and petting them when nobody is looking. What?
  5. I will get my teaching license. And yes, that does have to do with writing, because once I’ve got my second MA, then I’ll be able to write until I pass out. Happily, of course.
  6. I will get a literary agent. Or did I already mention that?
  7. I will finish polishing my cosy mystery.
  8. I will read more this year. Like a glorious beast I shall devour those books one by one.
  9. I will join a critique group. It would be so much fun (once I have the time) to have a gang of loyal and honest writer friends who enjoy my work and love to pour criticism over my stories. And I will have to enjoy their stories, as well. I don’t like the I’ll-read-your-story-if-you-read-mine thing because then it’s a chore. And I already have enough of those.
  10. I WILL get a literary agent. (I have to mention it three times, it’s lucky.)

Now, I’ve told you mine, but what are yours?

 

Vintage_background_with_old_note_book

Writing Update

26 Jul

It is nearly the end of the month, so you know what means…another writing project finished. Well, a first draft, but that means the hardest part is over. At least, I consider that the hard part. It’s easy for me to work with a sketch/blueprint of a story. I’ve never been a crazy reviser. Some writers make whole outlines and travel to distant lands to receive wise words from a sorcerer when they start revising…okay, maybe not that last one. In my case, with my finished story, I wrote along the way. At some point I changed the plot so I started over, using some of the pages that I could from the old version and just wrote. Along the way, I’d see if it made sense, but I knew where I wanted to go. The only rewriting that needed to be done after that was the phrasing of words, making sure it’s not too wordy and other syntax related changes. I suppose it’s good to know that I don’t write in such a way that I have to change scenes here and there and really cut it up and paste it again. Usually when I know the direction I want to go in, I can write it like I’d read it.
Having said that, now that I’ve finished another project, it’s time to revise the first one. The cosy mystery. TUM TUM TUM TUM. In this case, I feel like I really just wrote it to be quick and get the basic idea down, so I do feel like I will need to work hard to get the characterisation right and the plot, the atmosphere. The Writing Guidelines are different for cosy mysteries than for the other stories I’ve been writing so perhaps that is why I need to reread it with fresh eyes. I felt like something was missing. That is also why I ordered a cosy mystery and started reading it to get in the right mind set. I think what I’m missing has something to do with the characters. Cosy mysteries usually have a lot of minor characters, but I don’t like too many minor characters, I need to give them something special to set them apart and in this case, I didn’t feel the need for certain characters. Or scenes for that matter. But with cosy mysteries, cosy is very important. Characters need to be there to provide comic relief even though they don’t contribute (much) to the plot and the same with certain scenes. They need to add to the cosy vibe. So instead of asking myself: Does this character contribute to the plot? Or does this scene contribute to the story? I need to ask myself: Does this character make the story more cosy? Does this scene make it cosy? Which is why I’m soaking up the cosy vibe with other books.
This is also why they say writers should read. It really helps to take away what not to do and what to do from an already written story in your genre. So get your read on…and then your write on!

In the meantime here is the final sentence of the story about the girl with multiple personalities:

 After all, most of the time, the only person who can lighten up a dark room, is you.

 

Dissociative_identity_disorder

 

 

Proud to be a Winger

14 Jun

I’m officially a (self-declared) cosy mystery writer so naturally my plan was to plot this whole son of a b*tch since mysteries involve carefully planted clues. I scribbled and scribbled and brainstormed until my brain hurt and eventually just started writing. That’s when things started flowing and I realised that maybe I shouldn’t try so hard to be something that I’m not. I always dive into my stories and see what happens. When I finished my first story, things came together in a way that my conscious hadn’t even realised yet. I always believed that the subconscious knew more and made connections even before I saw them, but the doubtful voice in my head said that such a thing was too easy and that I should plot like a ‘real’ writer. But lots of (famous) writers don’t plot. The writing process is a personal one. You have to decide what works for you.
That is why I’m declaring myself a loud and proud winger. Winger sounds weird. Non-plotter? Notter? No. Anyway, the only plotting I’ll be doing is during the formation of my world domination plans.

funny-dog-pictures-busy-plottin

 

Right now the writing is going well and I’ve added a word count at the right top side of my shiny blog in case you are interested to follow the process of my latest cosy mystery. Before I tried to write one page a day, but in the last five days I’ve written six chapters! So now a chapter a day is my goal.

I’m just going to see where it goes. The subplot might need some fleshing out, but that is what second drafts are for! We go onwards! To the lair!

One Genre

25 May

When stories come to me, they can be of any genre. How open-minded of them. And I never minded, a story is a story, should it check to see what genre I write before it knocks on my door? I never thought so. But as I’m lately thinking about what kind of writer I want to be, I came across this article that recommended sticking to one genre. This got me thinking. Part of me objected and was like; what about the story? Should I just leave it out in the cold? And the other part of me thought; at least I won’t be all over the place and I can focus on one story.

So this is what I’ve decided to do for now. Sorry, other stories, but you are being shoved into the back of the drawer. Don’t worry, I’ll leave you some candy. But for now, only one WIP at a time.

So what genre am I focussing on?

There is really only one genre that always makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Cosy mysteries. So right now, that is what I’m working on. I’ve already reached chapter seven, but am trying to outline more than ever before. It’s a mystery after all and I need to know how to scatter the clues and where to drop the red herrings. It’s hard though. I can tell I’m more of a wing-it person. It becomes too clinical for me when I have to analyse what I’m about to write and why. With me it has to flow. But I’m not giving up yet, even if I only have a few scenes to work towards, that will help. So all that evil chuckling you hear coming from the writing lair, is me trying to plot the hell out of my WIP. Wish me luck and if I don’t make it out alive…avenge my death!

 sleuth female

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