Hold Back

Hello Lovelies,

I’ve been a little stuck with my writing this week, the writing has not been flowing at all like it was last month. Not only has life and other things gotten in the way of my writing, but also I had this feeling that something wasn’t quite right in the most recent parts of Thomas and Rose’s story. In the early hours of this morning I realised the mistake I had made: I didn’t hold back.

I let go of a major plot twist way too soon, completely removing the suspense I wanted to build. You see, I am pretty new at this novel writing thing, I usually write short stories or children’s books, but never with the intent to publish and I am simply learning as I go. I couldn’t figure out how Rose would react to such a revelation or how the audience would react as well, even though I have never really considered audience reaction to my writing until that point.

This is what I’ve figured out:

Even though we often hear the phrase, “Don’t hold back”, for the purpose of suspense and character and plot development, sometimes it helps to hold back a bit. If you give all the answers and insight too early on, it creates more of a recount rather than a well told story. Most writers have probably already figured this out, but like I said, I’m learning as I go.

When rereading the most recent parts I had written, in an attempt to get the writing flowing again, I began to think about some of my favourite authors and the feeling of not being able to wait to get to the next page and the page after that, almost speed reading in order to find out what happens next. I wondered exactly what it was that kept me turning page after page -it was suspense, knowing enough to know that something was going on but not enough to know exactly what it was. Even if a novel was not described in this way, all good stories have a certain level of suspense. Thankfully it didn’t take me long to figure it out.

When reading a well written story, it is almost like you are trying to solve a puzzle and piece by piece you are putting it together. The words on the pages are the pieces of the puzzle and the puzzle to be solved is in the development of the plot and the characters, eventually leading to solving that puzzle completely by the time you get to the end of the story (and not before).

Image Courtesy of Flickr CC Kevin Dooley
Image Courtesy of Flickr CC Kevin Dooley

Now when it comes to writing, you need to keep this in mind, you don’t want to give your audience all of the puzzle pieces, numbered and with a set of instructions of how to piece them together. To keep the interest of your audience you need to drop one piece of the puzzle at a time, always keeping a few in your pocket to drop along the way. You need to find a balance though, drop too many pieces and you will give too much away too quickly, leaving nothing for the ending, but drop too few and you risk the story becoming dull, boring or uneventful, losing your audience either way.

I’ve known the basic plot from the moment I began Thomas and Rose’s story, I’ve even known some of the plot twists (with others added as I write), however trying to figure out where each of these should be placed in the timeline of the novel is something I am figuring out as I go along.

I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write.
J. K. Rowling

Now I am heading off to delete a significant chunk of writing (not completely though, I’ll save it for later on) and rewrite that section, holding back a little and saving a few pieces of the puzzle for later.

So, for the purpose of creating suspense HOLD BACK, at least a little.

Enjoy,

KK

© 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

Message in a Bottle

Hello lovelies,

This past week has been one of reflection. My family and I went on a quick family holiday, which is a first for us believe it or not and while the kids (and the husband) are all exhausted from spending time at the beach, I find myself sitting on the balcony of the hotel apartment, my mind constantly working.

I find myself thinking about many things, but in particular I find myself thinking pondering the idea of what to write, if I were to send a message in a bottle. Would it be something profoundly profound that would end wars and put an end to all of the world’s problems? Would it be some type of life advice, a piece of wisdom I have picked up in my thirty years of life that would perhaps help someone else out there?

Image courtesy of Flickr CC Dasha Bondareva
Image courtesy of Flickr CC Dasha Bondareva

After thinking about this idea for a good hour or so whilst I sat on the balcony admiring the sunset as I peer past the edge of my laptop screen, this is what I’ve come up with…

STOP PROCRASTINATING!

Although, considering this on the flipside, if I were to receive a message in a bottle, this is definitely the one I would need to receive. Those who know me or have even read a few of my blog posts will know a little about the extremes I go to in order to procrastinate. I’m doing it now as I type, right now, this very minute, I am procrastinating from doing another Uni assignment that is due on Monday…

If Senior Manager of Procrastination was an actual job description, where the person employed in the position was expected to find ways to do everything except what they really should be, I would be a model employee with a team of interns eager to learn my ways, a Master and my young Padawan learners.

On another note, the history of messages in bottles is a long one. According to Wikipedia (not always the most reliable source, but still interesting nonetheless), the first recorded messages in bottles date back to around 310 BC! Even New World discoverer, Christopher Columbus utilised the trusty message in a bottle system when his ship entered a severe storm. Apparently Columbus threw a report of his discovery overboard along with a note asking it to be passed onto the Queen of Castille in case he didn’t make it back.

Also, who can forget the awesome song of the same name by The Police, even though the song was released before my time, like any other person with a brain I can appreciate the awesomely unique voice of Sting and the days when musicians could actually play instruments. Excuse me for a moment while I sing to myself…..

So, I’m back now.

If you were to receive a message in a bottle..

  • what would you hope for it to say? What is something you need to be told or reminded of?

If you were to send a message in a bottle…

  • what words of wisdom would you leave for the unsuspecting discoverer of the bottle?

Let me know on twittter @WriterWithin_KK or on facebook using the hashtag #messageinabottle or simply comment on today’s post. I’d love to hear what your ideal messages in bottles would be!

Now I leave you in the capable hands of Sting and The Police while you ponder your answer.

Enjoy,

KK

Video retrieved from youtube (C) 1979 A&M Records Ltd

© 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 Book That Wanted to be Written

Hello Lovelies,

This week I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze in a little bit of writing time, it wasn’t much, but it was enough to put me back in touch with my characters and their story.

Even though I haven’t been able to write very much lately, getting back in touch with my characters again has been wonderful and has fuelled my passion for writing again. Even when I’m not actually writing, I’m thinking about writing and what is coming next in Thomas and Rose’s story. I have been thinking about how Thomas and Rose’s story began, I roughly knew what their story was, but I didn’t really have a clear idea of what type of book Thomas and Rose’s story would be. I wasn’t sure if it would be romance, historical fiction, paranormal fiction or whatever else, I didn;t really give it much thought, I simply began to write their story. It was a story that was quite a persistent one, one that simply had to be written.

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
Madeleine L’Engle

So I set out to tell Thomas and Rose’s story, without slotting it into a genre, without trying to categorise it, I simply began writing to book that wanted to be written.

Quite a few months ago I wrote about genre and the idea of feeling locked in by categorising your writing into a particular genre (you can read the post by clicking here). I don’t want to feel trapped by stating that I am a *insert genre here* writer, some people are perfectly fine with stating that they are a romance writer or fantasy writer or some other genre and thats perfectly fine. If I were to attach myself to a genre though, I would feel like I was limiting myself. Like it says above, you have to write the book that wants to be written.

book meme

Lonely Hearts is definitely becoming much more of a Romance novel that I had originally thought. When Thomas and Rose’s story first came to me, it had a much stronger paranormal element to it, but as the story has evolved I have realised that this was just one element of their story, one that will be much more prominent in the second book of the series.

So if I had to, I would say that Thomas and Rose’s story is an Historical Paranormal Romance, with varying levels of each as the series progresses. However, I will not say I am a Romance writer or a writer of Historical Fiction, I will simply say that I am a writer who writes the books that want to be written, although I am yet to finish one!

So, as I head off to complete yet another uni assessment (and hopefully squash in some actual writing time), remember the book that wanted to be written and how it refused to limit itself by genre.

Also, here’s a little snippet from Lonely Hearts for you all.

Enjoy,

KK

I bit my lip as I fought the urge to laugh at Thomas’ ability to state the obvious, “It didn’t end well? Really? I would never have thought that after seeing you two together on Saturday night. You two seemed to be such great friends.” I rolled my eyes as I lost the fight to hold back my sarcasm, even though I knew that none of what happened was really Thomas’ fault.

© 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.

Don’t Fence Me In

Hello Lovelies,

It’s been another hectic week and one that hasn’t allowed for me to get much writing done again. Luckily I more than met last month’s word-count goal.

At the beginning of the month, I was feeling pretty awesome about my writing because I achieved so much in such a short amount of time. It’s now the beginning of a new month and unfortunately I haven’t been able to get much writing done at all the last couple of weeks and I am really starting to miss it. I’m missing my characters, their world and I miss watching on as their story evolves.

I’m beginning to feel that a part of me is missing, that a fence is being put up keeping the two worlds separate. I still have quite a bit of uni work to get done this semester, but I really feel I need some time to spend with Thomas and Rose, I need to reach out and pull down the fence and scream at the world DON’T FENCE ME IN!

Photo courtesy of Charles Knowles Flickr CC
Photo courtesy of Charles Knowles Flickr CC

Now here’s a little piece of interesting information; according to Wikipedia, the song below was actually written in 1934 by a guy named Cole Porter who was asked to write a song for an unproduced film musical to be called Adios Amigos. Porter was paid $250 for the song, which was a reworking of poem by Robert Fletcher. Interestingly, the song didn’t actually get used until 1944 when Warner Bros used the song in the movie Hollywood Canteen. Since then, the song has been covered several times, including the version below by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters also in 1944.

For more info you can check out the Wikipedia page here.

Unfortunately, I’ve still got plenty of work to do for the uni semester, but like I’ve said before, I’ve nearly finished my Masters degree and I refuse to quit now. So it looks like I’ll have to squash in those moments of writing whenever I can and try and enjoy every minute of it.

Certainly the absence of writing has left me feeling a little ‘blah’ this week, when I write I feel as though I am me, all of me, not some version of myself that is acceptable at work or somewhere else. Through my characters and the worlds in which they inhabit, I am also able to explore and be myself, even for just a moment.

Writing or even reading for that matter, can sometimes act as a means of escape, but also it can pave the way to self-discovery and to embracing the person who you really are and who you want to be.

Before I began to take my writing more seriously, I always felt like something was missing, I felt as though I wasn’t completely me. Now that I have embraced the writer within and realised that writing was the part of me that was missing, I feel closed off and in a way, detached from the world when I go without writing for a length of time.

So, here’s to breaking down the fences that hold us in, here’s to writing and here’s to being me, embracing every aspect of what makes me who I am.

Wishing all my lovelies a very Happy Easter and hopefully I will have a little sneak peek of Lonely Hearts to share with you next week.

Photo courtesy of Chiarissima Flickr CC
Photo courtesy of Chiarissima Flickr CC

Enjoy,

KK

© 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.