Grey – somber, drab, neutral, dull

grey flickr cc iggyshoot
Image Courtesy Flickr CC user Iggyshoot

Hello Lovelies,

Quite a while back I admitted to having read the Fifty Shades trilogy. I’m sorry. The only excuse I can offer for this is that every one was talking about it and I felt left out.

My first impression when I started reading the trilogy, is that it was a little boring and seemed more like a journal recount than a narrative and a poorly written one at that. Whilst the story E. L. James was trying to tell, had a few redeeming qualities and if it were worked on and edited a little longer it might not have been so bad. Whilst I admit that I do not have perfect written (or spoken) grammar and quite often make mistakes in my own writing, the errors in this trilogy that actually made it to print were quite frustrating.

So why did I read the entire trilogy you ask? Well, the simple answer is this, no matter how poorly written it might have been, I don’t like leaving things unfinished, including book series. So naturally when Grey (the first book of the series rewritten from Christian’s POV) was published, I had no choice but to purchase that one as well and I have been putting off reading it until now.

After finishing book 8 in the main series of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I told myself I couldn’t put it off any longer. I tried to convince myself that E. L. James must now be a more experienced writer and after the movie deal was made for the series, she’s probably laughing all the way to the bank and therefore can probably afford (or be assigned) the best editors in the country. In my work up to reading the book, I also told myself it might actually be interesting to see the story from Christian Grey’s POV. Whilst I haven’t gotten up to any of the “saucy” parts of the book yet, my first impressions of this rewrite are very similar to my first impressions of the original – somber, drab, neutral, dull -coincidentally these words are all synonyms for grey. I’m also finding that by reading the same book from a different POV it’s actually ruining the character of Christian Grey, before he was a little mysterious and you were trying to figure him out, now he’s a bit of a whining little bitch with the, “OMG don’t touch me” crap. Like I said though, I can’t leave things unfinished, so it looks like I’m going to have to trudge my way through it and hope that I find a few redeeming qualities. For one, I having come across any major grammatical errors or annoying typos.

With my own writing, sometimes as I reread what I have written previously in preparation to continue, I find that I have also fallen into the same style of recount rather than a narrative and I am often going back and rewriting sections in an attempt to eliminate this. A well written story is not a he said, she said, blow-by-blow recount of events, it needs to immerse the reader into the story, allowing the reader to experience the character’s surroundings, feel their emotions and see what they see.

 “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
― Anton Chekhov

I can only hope that as the stories of my characters and my writing develops, I am able to do them justice and not fall into the “recount” trap. However, in considering that I am most often able to notice when I have drifted into that style, it gives me at least some hope that I will be able to do the stories of my characters justice.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and would like to wish you all a happy new year, may 2016 be a year of working towards the fulfillment of dreams!

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

snow flickr cc david nagy
                                               Budapest in Winter.                                                          Image courtesy of Flickr CC David Nagy

 

Hello Lovelies,

Ever since I heard Bing Crosby sing, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”as a very young child, I’ve always wanted a Christmas with snow. Ever since I heard his warm bass-baritone voice sing the opening lyrics, I too was dreaming of a white Christmas. There’s a;ready something magical about snow covered surroundings and combining that with the magic of Christmas, celebrating with loved ones, would really be something special indeed.

I thought I would have my chance the last time I was in Budapest, 11 years ago. However, on that particular occasion, it was the first time in almost fifty years that Hungary had what they called, “fekete karácsony” or “black Christmas” – a Christmas without snow. In fact, it didn’t really snow until mid-January that year, when I had already returned to the Australian summer.

This time round, I didn’t get my hopes up luckily, because it seems that it is going to happen again and I my white Christmas will still be something of my dreams and I will have to settle for a white mid-January it looks like!

I’m beginning to think it may be my fault, in some strange way I’m bringing a piece of Australian summer with me each time I travel to Europe. Everyone has been commenting on how unusually warm it’s been this year, perhaps it’s global warming or something, either way the chances of a white Christmas are very small indeed.

Perhaps it is better that my dreams of a white Christmas remain as just dreams. Perhaps the reality of a white Christmas, travelling in the bitter cold snow to celebrate Christmas, then trudging back again, might not be as magical as it seems.

For now I am content to settle for the magic of dreams, reality doesn’t always live up to the hype. I’ll be happy to be with my little family, to see the happiness and joy on my children’s faces. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for snow to fall, instead of the few small flurries we’ve had, but if it’s not on Christmas, then I’m OK with that. I’ll just keep on dreaming of a white Christmas, where everything is perfect and magical.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Enjoy,

KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s my Party and I’ll Write if I Want to!

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to an extra post for this week in honour of my little Blog’s Birthday. That’s right, it’s been two whole years since I made the conscious decision to embrace the writer within and I still think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

A lot has happened in the last two years, both in my personal life and in my writing. I’m still yet to finish a first draft of a novel (hopefully 2016 will be my year, because 2015 certainly wasn’t), but these past two of years have helped me to explore and develop my writing. I’ve finished a Masters degree in education while working full-time and part-time and raising three young children and looking after a husband. Somewhere int here I somehow still found the time to write weekly blog posts and also a little writing on whatever I happened to be working on at the time.

So

blog bday pic

If you look at some of my earlier posts, you will be able to follow my journey. I’ve definitely stumbled a lot along the way, changed my mind a lot and I am still yet to finish a first draft of a novel, I may have seven different novels planned, but I’m still yet to find myself in possession of a completed manuscript.

Over the next year, I hope to finish (at least the first draft) of An Anguished Heart, which is the story of a young József (the same József from Lonely Hearts, only younger) and Anna. Perhaps one day you will all be able to see these stories in print, one can only hope.

Until then, here is a small sneak peek at chapter 3, written from Anna’s POV.

Happy Birthday to The Writer Within!

Enjoy,

KK

I was still sufficiently infuriated from my encounter with József when I stormed in the front door, slamming it behind me and frightening the cat, causing it to dash and under the chair in the sitting room.

“Anna is that you?” Mama called out from the kitchen. I seriously considered for a moment to head straight to my room to think of all the forms of violence I would like to inflict upon József, but knew I never would as I was in no way a person of violence. So instead I headed into the kitchen, hoping that whatever smelt so delicious would help to lighten my mood. I was angry with József and the way he spoke about me to his friends, but more than anything, I was hurt.

 

 

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Return to Grace

Hello Lovelies,

This week I have been busy working on the second chapter of József’s story, doing some research and making a pleasing amount of progress. This chapter is about József trying to figure out how he can apologise to Anna and return to her good graces. If you’re not sure who Anna is, she was introduced last week, you can read about her <<here>>.

I’m also in the process of debating whether I should change the story so it is told by a narrator or whether this story should be written from multiple POV. The reason I am considering these options is because the more I explore the character of Anna, the more I am beginning to realise that the story I have been referring to as József’s story, is in fact József and Anna’s story.

In the beginning, their stories are relatively their own, but as the story progresses their own individual stories become increasingly intertwined until it becomes one. I would preferably like the story to be written from multiple POV rather than narrated, as in my experience I am able to become better connected with characters and a story if it is written from the character’s POV. However, in saying this, writing from multiple POV is not an easy task and I guess it’s kind of hit-or-miss, it’s either done well or it’s terribly confusing for the reader.

So, this is my dilemma, do I continue writing it as József’s story and risk leaving out a lot of important pieces of the puzzle by not including Anna’s POV? Do I change the story so it is narrated, but run the risk of not developing a strong connection with the readers? Or do I have a go at including both József and Anna’s POV in the story and hope I am capable enough of a writer to pull it off?

In this instance, no matter how inexperienced of a writer I am, I think I need to go with what I feel is right and write from both József and Anna’s POV and hope that with careful editing that I am able to do the story justice.

I think I am making the right decision here, at least I hope I am and If hearing Anna’s voice in my head constantly telling me that she thinks of József’s behaviour is an indication of what choice I should be making, then I that’s as good of a sign as any. However, if it’s a sign that I’m actually going crazy, then I was crazy a long time ago!

So as I head off the talk with the voices in my head and hope I have made the right decision, I will leave you with a short (very first draft) excerpt from Chapter two.

Enjoy,

KK

As I opened the door to the shop, the little bell above the door rang, announcing my entrance. Apa poked his head out from the back room and seeing it was me who entered the shop and not a customer, sat back down to continue working.

“Is everything fine, József?” he called from the back room, the material he was holding in front of him slightly muffling his voice.

“Oh, er…” for a moment I thought he was referring to the incident with Anna, then realised he would have been asking after the delivery of Nagysárgos **(name)** new evening suit, at least that’s what I hoped. “Yes Apa, I did just as you told me.”

Apa narrowed his eyes at me, he always had an uncanny ability to know when something wasn’t quite right and combined with the hesitation of my answer to his question he obviously assumed it was something to do with Nagysárgos **(name)**.

“József, please tell me you didn’t say something inappropriate.”

I shook my head, “No, of course not Apa, I delivered the suit and said exactly what you told me to and then I left.”

His shoulders visibly relaxed then, but knew something still wasn’t right, “József, whatever is the matter then?”…

 

*Note: Apa means father in Hungarian and  Nagysárgos is a title given to someone of importance similar to My Lord, Your Honour etc. The reason it says **(name)** after it is because it’s so much of a first draft that I still haven’t decided on a name!

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gift from the Heart

Hello Lovelies,

Today I write this post in honour of a very special woman. I’ve written about her a number of times on my blog (click here to read a post) and if you look at the comments on some of my posts, you’ll see this wonderful woman is also my number one commenter. The woman I’m talking about is my grandmother, who is turning 81 today!

Those of you who follow my blog, will know that while I am from Sydney, Australia, I am currently living in Budapest, Hungary. That means, that unfortunately I am not with my grandmother on her birthday today (or my grandfather’s last Sunday). However, that doesn’t stop  me from wishing them both a happy birthday and giving them a special mention in today’s post.

Another exciting thing happened this week, perhaps more exciting than my grandmother’s birthday (sorry Grandma!) I finished the first draft of the first chapter of my current WIP!

While I have a brief outline of this book in my mind, it took me a while to figure out where I needed to start this book exactly. After several attempts at a first chapter and several pushes of the delete button, I think I have finally figured out where I need to start.

You see, I have known for quite a while the kind of man József is. What I needed to know, were the events of his childhood and adolescence that formed the man that I know and decide which of these were important for the audience in the telling of József’s story.

After exploring this, I have decided to start with József as a sixteen year old living in Budapest and helping with his parents’ business. József is the sort of teenager that often finds himself in trouble, most of the time though, it is the trouble that finds him and not the other way around. József may have been raised to be a respectful and well-mannered Jewish boy, but being a sixteen year old, he often finds himself in some sticky an awkward situations. One of these situations occurs when József is with his friends and they are showing off their knowledge (or lack of) women. It is at this point that the object of his affections just so happens to be walking in front of him and overhears the conversation, leading to a very awkward moment and his crush giving him a piece of her mind.

So as a special treat, in honour of my grandmother’s birthday, I would like to introduce you to Anna, the object of József’s affection and share with you a small excerpt of the altercation between Anna and József. First though I’d like to share with you a little more about Anna.

Anna is like no other girl József has met, she is Jewish, as he is, however there is something different about her. It may be that she grew up in a small town, rather than in the city. It might be her appearance, her chestnut brown hair and blue-green eyes so unlike any of the other Jewish girls he knows. Whatever it is, József is drawn to her, finding excuses to spend time with her, determined to get to know her better and hope that she feels the same way about him. József learns that what some might call “love at first sight” is not always a mutual feeling, sometimes that first meeting is awkward to say the least and the object of your affections thinks you’re a total ass.

So without further ado, read on below for a small sneak peek. Remember this is just a very rough first draft and there’s not guarantee it will be free from error or at all recognisable in the final product, I do hope you enjoy it though.

Enjoy and Happy 81st Birthday Grandma!

-KK

Our conversation then began to decline further into the gutter as we tried to impress and outdo each other in our somewhat less than gentlemanly discussion of the fairer sex. In particular, we were discussing the daughter of the newly arrived family, Anna and her many “attributes”. I had in fact had met Anna the previous evening, as my parents had invited her family over for supper. I was instantly drawn to her and found Anna to be not only beautiful, with her chestnut brown hair and blue-green eyes, but after talking to her for some time I found her to be caring and sincere and I enjoyed very much spending time with her. I wasn’t about to tell this to my friends though and instead tried to impress them by explaining how much I appreciated her “attributes” and how her hips would not only make for a good wife, but also give a husband something to hold onto, if they understood my implied meaning. The person in front of us, who I had not noticed until now, being too concerned with impressing my friends with my crude remarks, slowed down their pace coming to a stop and turned around to face us.

To my absolute embarrassment and horror, it was Anna her was looking directly at me, those blue-green eyes pierced with what was undoubtedly anger and perhaps humiliation.

“Szabó József, how dare you speak about me to your friends in that way! How dare you speak about any woman in that manner! Didn’t your father ever tell you that you should respect women?”

Before I could gather myself enough to give her a considerate reply or even some sort of an apology, Anna had stormed off in a flurry of navy skirts and chestnut brown hair.

My friends of course found this confrontation extremely hilarious, I myself was praying that Anna didn’t tell Apa and trying to think of how on earth I would ever get back into her good graces.

 

 

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.