The Next Chapter

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to this week’s post.
No doubt you’ve all heard the saying,”strike when the iron is hot”, this is true when writing as well. I’ve found out the hard way, that you need to write when the inspirations hits. After doing some planning of my current work in progress and discussing it with my inner monologue (yes, the voices in my head) I did not physically come to write anything until today and in between then and now frustration, house work, disappointment and everything else in everyday life has happened. Subsequently, when I sat down and tried to complete the first chapter telling the story of the first time Thomas met Margaret, I wasn’t feeling quite in the mood to write about love, romance and courtship. Instead I found myself doing more research, answering some of my own questions about the characters and their story and asking even more questions. After an unsuccessful attempt at completing the first chapter and a few hours of research, I decided to start working on the next chapter, some of which I will share with you today.

So this is what I’ve learnt about writing: firstly, it’s better to write when the mood strikes, when the inspiration hits. Your ideas will flow better and the writing will truly be a piece of you with meaning and emotion, not a string of sentences that simply make grammatical sense. Secondly, if it’s not working, move on to something else or the next chapter, you can always come back to it. Perhaps this second lesson applies to more than just writing.

I also have the Heath Family Tree to share with you so you can have some kind of idea where Thomas fits in with other characters you may hear about in the pieces I share.
heath family tree snapshot

Image Copyright Katherine A. Kovacs/The Writer Within

So, here is a little snippet from the next chapter. Remember the work is raw and unedited and will likely be rewritten many times before it is complete.

Enjoy,
KK

strathaird december 1932

Image from Australian Maritime Museum

As the SS Strathaird sailed out of Sydney and I glanced back at the newly completed harbour bridge, I knew that life would never be the same. Sydney was my home and now I was leaving my home for a world I did not know. My grandmother always longed to return to England after my parents died, but honoured my parents’ wishes and raised me in Sydney. Now with the passing of my uncle and my subsequent inheritance of his estate, it was time for my grandmother to return and for me to relocate to a country I do not know. I am not entirely sure what awaits us upon arrival, I’m sure my grandmother has some sort of plans to introduce me to society after grieving my uncles death for an acceptable period of time, but for now I am determined to enjoy the time I have with Maggie before the forced smiles and overly polite conversations begin. “What are you thinking?” Just the sound of her voice caused me to long to be alone with her, “Nothing really, I’m just thinking how different things are going to be and how wonderful you are to do this for me.” Her reassuring smile was all I needed, no matter how different life would be upon our arrival in England or how frustrating and difficult my grandmother was going to be, I knew that with Maggie by my side everything would be fine. Maggie was my anchor, the one thing that kept me grounded.

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

A Writer is Born

Hello lovelies,

Thanks for stopping by to peruse this week’s post.

Lately I’ve been pondering a few things, how long have I been a writer and have I always been a writer in some form or another?

As I reflect on my childhood I am beginning to think that I have always been a writer, in some form. This leads me to question, was I born as a writer? Is the desire to write and express myself creatively part of my genetic makeup or something of that nature? Perhaps it is something you are born with, but the choice lies in whether or not we choose to embrace the writer within.

One of my favourite things to do when I was young was retell known stories and fairy tales, often adding my own little touches to them. While these stories were not physically written by me, I believe all writers have the ability to tell a story and engage an audience. I am fairly certain that my 3 year old brother was engaged in the stories I was telling.

As my writing and creativity progressed I began writing fractured fairy tales for primary school projects, my year 6 teacher found it rather amusing that Goldilocks was charged with break and enter, stealing and malicious damage of property. I would do quite well on the creative writing aspect, but my presentation would always let me down. The curses of being ambidextrous with terrible penmanship in a time when school projects were handwritten and not typed using MS Word! It’s a shame that I do not have these early pieces of writing, I’m sure they were assessments filed away by my teachers that were later shredded.

In high school I still wrote creative stories when required for assessments tasks, yet in high school I no longer found joy in creative writing. Perhaps it was because I was fully aware of the fact that I was being assessed on my creativity and writing style and the humble assessment rubric sucked the life out of my creativity. This is when I turned to music as an outlet for my creativity. Like many people have at some point in their schooling, I learnt to play the recorder. It was year 7, we all had to and if you were to walk past the music room I’m sure it sounded like Mr Llewellyn was strangling a room full of cats, but unlike many of my peers, I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed the creative release of organising sound and creating music. I enjoyed music in primary school (Mrs Fell is a living legend for those who appreciate the dying profession of the specialised primary school music teacher), but high school music was a completely different creative experience.

I stuck with music throughout high school and wrote a few small compositions and rearranged different pieces to suit different abilities, performances and instruments.

I moved on from the humble recorder, to play the keyboard, alto saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and violin (all rather unsuccessfully) and found my tool for expression in the form of the flute. Although I was aware I was being assessed, it did not seem to dampen my creative expression in music, as it did in writing. In my final year if high school I composed a somewhat “corny” song about our final year of school and how much it would be missed. However “corny” the lyrics may have been, it was an expression of how I and many of my peers felt about the bittersweet end of our high school years, the upbeat tempo and bouncing chord progression was a reflection of our excitement. I’ve said before that inspiration can come in many forms and at the strangest of times. While I was not asleep when I began to conceive this composition (like my current work in progress), it did however come in a strange form. It came to me while I was doing the dishes, as a knife dropped into the sink making a sound that triggered the simple ostinato pattern I would later use. I still play quite often but my composing is now often limited to the rearrangement of different pieces or the creation of “mashups” and medleys.

After high school I began to turn my creativity to writing again. Whilst I still enjoy the creative release music provides, I have rediscovered the joy I once found in literary writing. Poetry, children’s stories, shorts stories and now the beginnings of a novel. Nothing published, but that’s not always necessarily the point of writing. Writing is a creative release for me and I want it to stay that way, if possible. If someone were to enjoy my writing, that’s great, if they were to enjoy it so much that it became published, even better, but I do not want to write with the sole purpose of being published. I do not want the form of assessment that publishing represents to dampen my creativity and joy that I find in writing. As I begin to embrace the writer within, I want to enjoy the moments I have getting to know my characters, understanding them and the story they want me to tell. Perhaps one day this will change, but for the time being, I’m happy just writing for me and if other people enjoy my writing, well that’s great too.

So, it seems that perhaps on the day I was born, a writer also was born and now I consciously choose to embrace the writer within.

Now, just for a laugh here is a piece of writing I wrote in a ‘Get Well’ card I made for my mother from my baby brother and myself, circa 1993,

Enjoy,

-KK

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

We made this

Cos we love you

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Quest for Knowledge and Understanding

Hello lovelies,

Welcome to another post.
Last week I spoke about setting the scene and introduced you to “Heath Manor”. I was going to share with you a description of Heath Manor from the perspective of Thomas William Heath, but I haven’t done much writing in the past week so that will have to wait until later, so stay tuned.

This past week I’ve been doing some research and character development, including the creation of the Heath Family Tree!

Through my research I’ve come to realise that I do not know much about the era in which the main part of my story is set. As I have said in previous posts, the setting for my story came to me as a dream, (I know, ultimate cliché) and your subconscious is limited to your own knowledge. So I have been doing a lot of research about the 1930s and I am beginning to gain a small insight into the era.

I want to know everything that there is to know about my characters. I want to know what Thomas’ favourite music is, what his relationship with his grandmother is like and how he met Maggie. I want to know what Thomas sees when he looks at Maggie, what type of clothes Maggie wears, how she does her hair and how her style and fashion differs from her grandmother-in-law.

The questions are endless, some of the answers are locked within my mind, waiting for release, other answers require research, lots of research!

I have already begun this research, with the help of Google. I have also enlisted the help if my own grandmother, who was born in 1934, who has been going through some photos of her mother’s that I cant wait to have a look at!

I thought I might share with you a few things that I have learnt about Thomas William Heath.
• His parents migrated to Sydney, Australia with his grandmother before he was born
• He was born May 13th, 1910 (a Friday)
• His parents, William John Heath and Emily Louise Heath, died in 1918, during the Spanish influenza epidemic, leaving him in the care of his grandmother Agnes Mary Heath
• He is from an aristocratic family, even though the family is wealthy, Thomas is a grounded person, who wishes to work for a living, despite his great inheritance.
Some of the details I have of Thomas are very specific but I still have a lot of work to do, other details I have of Thomas I have purposely left out, as I don’t want to give away the whole story! Some details about Thomas are just for my eyes only. As Thomas is the narrator for the majority of the story, this is the character I need to know best, I need to completely understand this character if I am going to be convincing in my writing.

The picture on this post you may have seen on my Facebook page, it is of a woman holding a typewriter ribbon. When looking at the photo I notice the poise and posture, the way she stands with confidence and touch of elegance. Her hair is impeccably styled, adding a hint of glamour and grace. This picture intrigues me and there is much I do not know about this picture and the era it is from, something I intend to rectify.

So here’s to happy research and the quest for knowledge and understanding.

Until next week, lovely people,

-KK

Image courtesy of SMU Central University Library

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Setting the Scene

Hello lovelies,

Welcome to another post.

This week I would like to introduce you to the main setting of my latest piece of writing.

The majority of the story is set in 1930’s England, but it is only after some research that I came to realise this.
When I first dreamt of this story, I instinctively knew that it was taking place in England, I also knew these characters were from not from our time.
After many hours on Google, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the story takes place in Leicestershire, England in the 1930’s.

When writing stories set in a different time and place, there are many things to consider. Most importantly, I believe, you need to decide whether it is a complete work of fiction, or whether there will be some historical and geographical accuracies.

Whilst I intend for my writing to be a work of fiction, I have decided that it will contain some links and ties to specific historical events, geographical links and other specific details from the time and place in which my story is set. This requires hours of research which I am completing and I will continue to do as the story evolves.

I have always enjoyed stories that link to the real world, historically and geographically, to me, it makes the stories feel all the more real and it becomes easier for me to become lost in the world that the author has created. I am not shy to admit that I have Googled many things while reading to discover which aspects of the author’s world are real and so on.

Now it’s my turn to create a fictional world that is based on some truth, events in history and existing locations.

Please allow me to introduce you to Heath Manor, the inherited home of Thomas William Heath. Whilst the property is not really called Heath Manor, it is exactly how I imagined.

The real-life manor house is called Catthorpe Manor and it is now often used as a location for weddings. The extensive landscaped gardens and elegance and grandeur of the property are what Heath Manor is like in the world I am creating.

If you would like to take a closer look at my Heath Manor (Catthorpe Manor) then take a little time to browse the website http://www.catthorpemanor.co.uk/about-us/ or search Catthorpe Manor on YouTube.

Next week I will hopefully have Thomas’ description of Heath Manor finished, so you can have a read and see how the two compare.

Thanks for stopping by as I continue my journey and embrace the writer within,

-KK

*please note that I do not own the picture of Catthorpe Manor, it was taken from the website listed above and I am under the understanding that the photo was taken by Jem’s photography http://www.jemsphotography.co.uk/ or Images with Love http://www.imageswithlove.co.uk/ I am awaiting confirmation regarding the exact origin of this picture and I will post in the comments the details when I receive them.

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.