And So It Returns…

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Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács, The Writer Within

Hello Lovelies,

I think it’s obvious to those of you who follow this blog, that since returning to Australia I’ve struggled to get into the right (or ‘write’) frame of mind to continue with József and Anna’s story in “An Anguished Heart”. First, there was the excuses. I had unpacking to do, the “real world” was getting in my way, I even found myself tidying the house rather than clicking to open the file on the computer.

The characters though, were constantly on my mind. I planned and I pondered the fate of my characters, I even went to The Rocks in Sydney to chase a little inspiration, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit down at the computer and type. I did other forms of writing in the meantime, this blog, some poetry even some short stories and children’s stories, but not one extra word was added to the word-count of “An Anguished Heart”.

I was lost and having trouble truly embracing the writer within. Perhaps I was a little scared. Perhaps it was that the last time I worked on József and Anna’s story, it was when I was in Budapest, away from the real world, away from the day-to-day constraints of reality. It was easier then, if I accidentally stayed up writing until 3 a.m, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I didn’t have to get up for work or to take children to school, I didn’t really have to do anything. In my mind I was stuck, I didn’t know how I would continue to work on my writing when I was worrying about staying up too late or making sure the kids lunches were ready for the next day. I just had to find a way to adapt and learn how to  balance writing with reality, I’d done it before we left for Budapest, I just had to figure out how to do it again.

And now… I think I’ve done it. I’ve broken the self-made barrier in my mind and I’ve made the first steps to embracing the writer within again. The last few days I’ve deleted around 3,000 words from my manuscript, it was crap, I revealed too much, too soon. I’ve  since replaced those 3,000 words though, plus more. I’ve researched, I’ve planned, I’ve taken notes and I’ve even figured out some later plot points and logistics of some of the upcoming events in the story. I’m problem solving the details.

I feel positive and energized, I’m telling myself, “That’s it, you can do this!” and I’m actually starting to believe it again.

Yes, it’s returned. The Writer Within is back! Now it’s time to embrace it!

Below is an excerpt of what I’ve been working on, it’s an excerpt where József is reflecting on Hungary’s involvement in the First World War. It is of course a first draft so it is extremely rough around the edges, but it’s been so long since I shared anything with you all.

So thanks for sticking around and as always…

Enjoy,

KK

 

It is not that the men in our family were cowards or disloyal to their country. However this war was not ours, it was a war forced upon the Hungarian people and by many other countries, as a result of the alliances formed over the years.

No, it was not a question of bravery of loyalty, but a question of right and wrong.

Was it right to go and fight a war that was not ours, not our country’s?

Was it right to take innocent lives for such a war?

 Was it right to risk losing our own lives in the process, leaving our wives as widows, our children without a father and our mothers without their sons?

No, I don’t believe it is.

(Excerpt from “An Anguished Heart”)

 

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2017). 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.

 

 

Fan Fiction

Hello Lovelies,

Recently I’ve been thinking about the area of fan fiction and wondering whether it is a good or bad thing.

I’m sure all writers, whether they are published yet or not, would have mixed feelings about fan fiction based on their work. Ont he one hand, it would be nice that your audience felt so inspired by your characters that they decided to explore them further through their own writings. It would be great to have a fan base that felt so strongly about your characters and your writing that they felt compelled to do a little writing of their own.

On the other hand though, these are the characters you poured your heart, soul and countless hours into creating. You know your own characters intimately, better than anyone will ever know them, often better than you even know yourself. These characters are a piece of you, living out their days in the realms of your subconscious mind. You couldn’t help but feel a little… ripped off maybe? I’m not sure of the right emotion, but through fan fiction you would feel like they’re trying to steal pieces of you, making assumptions of the characters you know so well, the characters you created. You might even feel a little pissed that these people are trying to steal your ideas, world and characters, that you devoted countless hours to creating, no matter how much you value your fan base.

Then comes the legal issues, when the fan fiction is published and shared on blogs and other media. It’s not just your feelings about the matter of published fan fiction (yes, published does include blog posts etc.), it’s also a legal matter of copyright and plagiarism. Whilst it is nice that they feel so strongly and passionately about a writer’s work, legally published fan fiction is a huge issue.

Take the example of Fifty Shades of Grey, whilst it’s not exactly an example of great literature, it is still a published work selling millions of copies worldwide and a motion picture. Most people know that Fifty Shades began as a work of fan fiction, inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. This was openly admitted, Fifty Shades is Twilight fan fiction, it’s written all over the internet, pretty sure it was mentioned almost every time during any sort of interview or promotion about the book as well.

So how does Stephenie Meyer feel about E. L James making millions off the Fifty Shades Trilogy, a series that was admittedly started as fan fiction of her own Twilight series? I would say she would quite quickly get over the “nice” feelings of feeling honoured that a reader felt so inspired by her work and quickly move on to thoughts about how a publisher paid E. L James to rip off someone else’s work and turn it into a warped Mills and Boon novel with with a heavy dash of BDSM. If you google “Stepehenie Meyer’s opinion of Fifty Shades” you will see countless articles discussing Meyer’s not so favourable opinion. Whilst I don’t believe she actually has said in public, “How dare that b***ch turn my work into trash and make money off of it!”, it is obvious that Meyer does not approve of the adaption, by saying very little except she “refuses to read it”, it is obvious that she does not think much of E.L James and her “fan fiction”.

I know how difficult it is as a writer to come up with a truly original idea, we are influenced by everything around us, including what we read, however this is mostly subconsciously. Yet I feel there is something very wrong with someone who openly admits that their published work began as fan fiction of someone else’s writing that they spent countless hours developing and creating.

I am the type of person that gets very involved in the world of fiction, the characters, the setting and so on, both with what I read and my own writing. However, I could never in good conscience, publish a work of fan fiction, whether I earned money from it or not. As a writer, I would feel a little bit flattered, I suppose, that someone felt so drawn in by the characters I created, that they felt inspired to explore the characters further in their own writing. However I would be quite annoyed (putting it mildly) if they then chose to publish their fan fiction, in any form, either on a blog or as a paid piece of work.

If you do enjoy writing fan fiction, I suggest you keep it for your own enjoyment and not publish it in any form and definitely do not send a copy to the writer whose work inspired you. They don’t want to see the evidence of your “thievery” and like I said before, a writer knows their characters better than anyone ever will and your adaption may feel like a complete betrayal and butchering of their characters.

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon will give you a very straight forward opinion of fan fiction that perfectly sums up my own view:

Diana’s Fan Fiction Policy

You know, I’m very flattered that some of you enjoy the books so much that you feel inspired to engage with the writing in a more personal way than most readers do. Both for legal and personal reasons, though, I’m not comfortable with fan-fiction based on any of my work, and request that you do not write it, do not send it to me, and do not publish it, whether in print or on the web. Thank you very much for your consideration.

(Diana’s Fan Fiction Policy retireved from her official website: http://www.dianagabaldon.com/)

Of course this opinion may not reflect the opinion of all writers, but I would say the majority would feel similarly.

If you read a great book and feel so inspired by the story and the characters that you simply have to explore it further through your own writing, might I suggest that you keep this writing to yourself or perhaps only share it with a small circle of friends. Do not publish it on a blog, do not turn it into a novel and start pitching it to different publishers to make your millions and do not send a copy to the original writer whose work inspired you so. Whilst it is flattering for the writer that you enjoyed their work so much, these feelings do not outweigh the feeling of betrayal and thievery the writer may feel.

So if you feel inclined to write a bit of fan fiction, that’s fine. By all means, write to your heart’s content, but do not publish it in any form and definitely do not go about intending to make some money out of it, just keep it for yourself to further enhance your enjoyment of the original writer’s work.

I don’t mean to offend anyone who thinks fan fiction is amazing and should be shared on every fan blog int he blogosphere, I am simply offering one writer’s opinion on the issue.

One day when I publish my novels, I will be very flattered if my characters and their stories inspired others to write, but please keep it to yourselves.

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

 

 

 

The Gap

Hello Lovelies,

The title of this week’s post is not a reference to the ocean cliff on the South Head Peninsula in Eastern Sydney known as The Gap which gained infamy, not as a place frequented by sightseers, but sadly for suicide. Nor is it a reference to The Gap Inc. the American clothing and accessories retailer. This week’s post is referring to a gap that I found in my current WIP that was preventing me from moving forward with the story, although I didn’t know it until recently.

You  may remember me mentioning last week that I was struggling to make progress on Chapter 22, when I realised there was a significant gap in the story between chapters 16 and 17. I thought it would be a simple matter of slotting in the missing parts between the two chapters (I estimated to be only be a couple of thousand words) and then after renaming the following chapters accordingly, I would be able to move on. Nothing is ever that simple though is it. The section of the story that lies between what was once chapters 16 and 17, will now be referred to as The Gap.

The Gap was not the couple of thousand words I thought it was, it ended up being almost 7,500 words and three chapters long, not including the additions I needed to make in the subsequent chapters to keep consistency. So right about now I bet you’re wondering how on earth I manage to leave out a piece of the story worth 7,500 words.

7,500 words is by no means a small amount, but the answer is this, I didn’t realise there was a gap in the story until I was stuck further down the line and started asking myself the questions “how?” and “why?”. I knew where the story was headed (I already know how the story ends, after all) but sometimes I’m not sure quite how to get from one plot point to the next, until I’m actually writing it. This can sometimes cause gaps in the story later on, as the plot evolves and more and more “gaps” are filled in. Sometimes this means having to go back and filling in gaps that have been created by the evolving plot.

I’m sure as I continue to push on with József and Anna’s story, more gaps will need to be filled in along the way, hopefully none of them will be as large as The Gap, but I’m not holding my breath though, especially when I eventually come to do editing and rewrites!

For now though I will keep pushing forward and go back and fill in any gaps when necessary until I have the first draft complete.

Wish me luck!

Enjoy,

KK

Keep reading for a short excerpt from An Anguished Heart. It is a small section of The Gap that I wrote to fill in the missing parts between the original chapters 16 and 17 (Now chapters 16 and 20), it is only the first draft and likely to change through the many rounds of editing.

 

Anna

No matter how much I loved our first apartment, I couldn’t deny that I felt more at home in our new one than I had in months. The trauma and loss we had suffered had faded over the months and I began to feel more settled, but I never truly felt at home again in our Buda-side apartment. No matter how many fond memories I had of that place, the memories of loss and despair lurked in every corner. Here though, those memories could be laid to rest in the depths of my mind and I once again began to feel the sense of overwhelming peace and comfort.

I knew things would take a little getting used to in our new apartment, which was on the Pest side of the Danube, with views of the Parliament building, but from the opposite side to the ones we were used to seeing. I could still see the river from the corner balcony, but it was not the unobstructed view I had at our Buda apartment. Still, I felt more content here, despite the echoing emptiness of the apartment. This apartment was at least six-times larger than our previous one, easily, not including the live-in attic space that was included with this apartment, being on the top floor, once used as a servant’s quarters.  

We didn’t have the need or even the space for much furniture in our previous apartment and even with every single thing we owned, the apartment was still quite bare. József’s Anya had offered us some furniture and things when her new furniture arrived, which I gratefully accepted, much to the dismay of József and the other men, who complained about moving the same lounge back to the place they just moved it from. I, of course pointed out to them that they had so much experience now, that it should be much easier this time around.

Having a larger home to run, József and his Anya decided that we should employ a live-in housekeeper, who could live in the servant’s quarters. At first I wasn’t sure about the idea, the thought of another person living in our home sort of bothered me, as well as the idea of having a “servant” seemed rather belittling to whoever should be employed for the position and I had never even contemplated the idea before. József though, had grown up in a household that almost always had a live-in housekeeper that also served as a nanny when the children were younger, as well as a cook.

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

 

 

 

All Drains Lead to the Ocean

flickr ocean James Whitesmith
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user James Whitesmith

Hello Lovelies,

As I sit here enjoying the cool relief of a long awaited storm and watch the rain falling onto the ground and water flowing down the street, swirling down the nearest drain, I am reminded of a line from one of my favourite movies (that just happens to be a children’s movie), Finding Nemo

All drains lead to the ocean.

-Gill, Finding Nemo

In Finding Nemo, this is meant quite literally, as Gill explains to Nemo a somewhat unconventional route to return to the ocean. In reality we know that all drains do not lead to the ocean, but for the sake of this post let’s just ignore that fact for the time being.

In life, the drain is a metaphor. One which describes the somewhat unconventional route to achieving our goals. We are reminded that whichever path we choose to take is not important. What is important though, is that we continue to strive towards achieving our goals, that we never give up on trying to reach the metaphorical ocean of our hopes and dreams.

One day, I hope to be a published author, I don’t dream making a fortune from my writing or of 7-figure writing contracts (but if any one wants to offer me one, feel free to contact me). I do dream of sharing my creations with others, connecting with an audience through words, transporting them to different worlds, places and times.

There are many ways in which the dream of becoming a published author can be achieved, many different paths that lead to the same outcome, sooner or later.

I’ve already taken the “scenic route” I guess you could say.

Some people leave school and head to university to complete undergraduate degrees that are writing related, I started my academic studies in education, with an undergraduate and then later a masters degree and I get to put the post-nominal letters BEd(Pri) and MEd after my name, if I so choose. Whilst these degrees and career may not be directly related to a career in writing, I do not believe it has been a waste, quite the opposite now I think about it. My tertiary education and experiences (in both life and work) have helped me to develop many skills that I believe make me a better writer.

Sometimes I wish I had taken my writing more seriously when I was younger, especially when I read articles about authors who were published before they were 21. When I think back to what I was like at the age of 21, not only did I have so many things going on in my life that no 21 year old should have to deal with, I also don’t think I was ready to dive into pursuing a career in writing.

Of course I was still writing bits and pieces at this age, I’ve always been writing and creating in some form or another, but it was often left unfinished and incomplete and I very rarely shared any of my work.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be any closer to my goal if I had embraced the writer within sooner, but I always come to the same conclusion: I wasn’t ready. No matter how much it frustrates me or how much I wish to have already reached my goal, I am exactly where I need to be. I needed the time, the life experiences, the education (even though it might not have been directly related to writing) to be able to embrace the writer within.

As long as I keep making even the tiniest of steps towards my goal, I know I am heading in the right direction and I will keep on taking those steps. I may not become rich or famous, but I will keep on writing and moving forward.

Enjoy,

KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

Some Things Cannot be Unsaid

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Image courtesy of Flickr CC user withbeautiful

Hello Lovelies,

Sometimes we say things without thinking. Sometimes the things that we say are of little or no consequence, so are neglect of the thought process is not of a concern. Other times though, we live to regret the things that we say without thought and the unfortunate ripple of consequences that follow, changing our lives forever.

Sometimes we don’t notice the ripples until much later. The ripples reaching out further and further until months or perhaps even years later, something we said comes back and bites us in the arse.

I’ve had a few of those moments in life, unfortunately, when something I have said, perhaps in jest or in frustration, has resurfaced to give that metaphorical arse bite. Fortunately though, I’ve never said something that would cause such a consequence, that I would never recover from (At least I hope I haven’t!).

Other times we might say things in anger or frustration that hurt others, this may not change our own lives directly, but the relationship with the other person will be altered forever. These are  when we need to remember that some things cannot be unsaid, once the words leave our lips, we cannot take them back. We might apologise, we might say that we didn’t really mean what we said, we may try to forget it ever happened, but no amount of apologies will take those words back.

Sometimes our words change our relationships with others. Sometimes our words change the direction our lives take. Sometimes our words can have such dire consequences, that there is no hope of coming out the other side.

This is the dilemma that one of my secondary characters is currently faced with. Some things were said in frustration after one (or ten) too many drinks. At first it seems as though the consequences are limited to a terrible hangover and a lot of embarrassment, but then the ripples are revealed and his life and that of his entire family are sent into turmoil. Their world will never be the same again, because of some words that were said in drunken frustration. This is fiction, yes, but this type of thing (perhaps not as extreme) does happen.

Words can change lives, make sure it is for the better because

Some thing cannot be unsaid.

Enjoy,

KK

 

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to have a look at the archives or at any other pages on the blog by clicking on the menu option. Also you can follow The Writer Within by clicking to follow or subscribe with your email address to receive my posts via email so you never miss out.

Please check out my latest page addition Mother-Daughter Poetry to have a read of some poems that my 8 year old daughter wrote with a little editing and guidance from yours truly.

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

Meet Me Halfway

Hello Lovelies,

Sorry about the delay with this week’s post, but I was having a few technical difficulties thanks to an uninvited Windows update, but now I’m back online I have a few exciting things to share!

I did it! Not only have I met this month’s word-count goal, but I am also halfway through the first draft of An Anguished Heart. In fact, with a final goal of around 80,000 words, I am actually a little over halfway with a current word-count of 46, 549! I’m not sure whether the story will be finished once I reach the 80,000 word mark, with the way things are going it looks like An Anguished Heart  is actually going to be longer than 80, 000 words, but as far as goals go, I’m totally kicking ass!

I usually do most of my writing at night, when everyone is asleep and I am be alone with my thoughts and my characters. This usually results in me heading to bed around 3 a.m. and being so wired from the excitement of making my characters come to life (outside of my own head!) that I can’t sleep until almost 4 a.m. This is fine while I’m here in Budapest and not having to get up later that morning and drag myself to work, but what about when we are back home and back in the real world?  I think there’s going to have to be some sort of compromise, unless someone wants to give me a well-paid publishing contract and pay me to write before I even have a finished manuscript.

It’s not easy to be a writer when holding down a day job and raising a family, but it’s not impossible and I’m determined to keep chasing my dream. Whether that chase leads to self-publishing or following a more traditional road to publishing, I’m not quite sure yet, but I am determined to keep writing, to tell my characters stories and perhaps one day others will enjoy their stories as much as I have enjoyed telling them.

So come on world! Meet me halfway and help me keep chasing my dream to one day make writing my day job!

Enjoy,

KK

Here’s a little sneak peek from the latest chapter I’ve been working on in the first draft of An Anguished Heart:

 “So… How’s he doing?” Anna asks, as I slump onto the bed.

“Better than he will be in the morning with the thumping headache he’s going to have.” I say, feeling a little sorry for him.

“I overheard a little of what you were saying, sorry but I couldn’t help but hear.” I shrugged, not caring whether Anna heard every word of what Dani and I spoke about, we had no secrets between us.

“Do you really think your father could get him assigned to an office position and keep him away from the front lines?” She asked sounding hopeful.

“Honestly, I have no idea, all we can do is hope.”

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

 

Finally, I’ve Found the Link!

llinks flickr CC Patrick McConahay
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Patrick McConahay

Hello Lovelies,

I didn’t get much writing done this week, but this time it wasn’t procrastination’s fault. I’ve been busy researching, plotting and generally figuring out my characters, which is all super important of course. Yes I admit, that I may have wasted the odd minute (hour) or two (100) on social media and googling Outlander and Game of Thrones, but in the process of working things through in my mind, I’ve had a major breakthrough!

Whilst I already know what will happen in József and Anna’s story (I spoke about that here), through the process of writing and exploring my own mind, I am able to figure out the finer details of the story and the characters.

Since starting this story, I’ve been trying to figure out how some of the main characters of this book are connected to the other characters later in the series. If you didn’t already know, this book is intended to be the first in a series of novels, but is still able to  be read as a standalone as the main characters in this first book are secondary characters in the remainder of the series (read more about my Current Works in Progress here).

I’m sure many writers will agree with me when I say that the breakthrough moments are often at the strangest or most inconvenient of times and usually not during the time when you are sitting down ready to work, like it’s supposed to. This time, my breakthrough moment came at 1 a.m. when I had already been tossing and turning for a few hours trying to sleep. I was running through things in my mind; what scenes I wanted to write next, who the characters’ relatives were, their relationship, dreams, hopes and the turmoil of events that would be coming up later in their story. What I kept coming back to though, was how were József and Anna connected to the the subsequent novels. I already knew the obvious connection, which is actually glimpsed in the prologue of An Anguished Heart , this connection I knew before I even started writing József and Anna’s story. However,  I wanted to go beyond the obvious, I wanted to figure out the critical links, the links that those who read the series will appreciate and the links that would let my mind rest, at least for a short while.

So, there I was tossing back and forth, my husband snoring like a freight train next to me. As I went through some of the events coming up in An Anguished Heart, it finally hit me! I finally found the crucial link!

My excitement would have been comparable to those moments when you come across the comments from those lovely folks on Facebook who helpfully spam the comments on different pages claiming they’ve finally found the links to the movies you’ve been constantly searching for online. I’m a little disappointed that the links never work though, the links totally look legitimate!

wp_ss_20160417_0001

OK, maybe I’m being sarcastic here, I have never actually clicked on any of those links and scroll straight past those comments, but it was an awesome feeling to have finally figured it out.

Unfortunately though, I’m not willing to share with you the exact details of my breakthrough, as that will give away too much of the story. Hopefully one day not too far away though, I will actually finish something and you will be able to read József and Anna’s story in it’s entirety.

Until then, here is a short excerpt where József needs to ask a somewhat strange favour from a friend.

Enjoy,

KK

“Oh József, it’s you.” He said looking up from his desk, sounding surprised to see me. It was then I realised that I had never really come to Ádam for anything, except those few times on my sister’s behalf. Ádam and I had always been friends and had become closer over the last few years, especially after he and my sister Éva became engaged, but I never really go out of my way to come and speak to him. I suddenly felt like I was interrupting something important and thought that perhaps what I was about to ask him was not only odd, but perhaps too big of an ask.

-An Anguished Heart by Katherine A. Kovács

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

 

 

I Already Know What Will Happen

writing flickr CC OuadiO
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user OuadiO

 

Hello Lovelies,

Up until last night, I had no idea what this week’s post was going to be about. I knew I wanted to get back to my WIP again, but have sort of shied away from it a little since getting over those rather heart-wrenching scenes I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I was speaking to a fellow writer and long-time friend about the lack of progress in my writing lately.

This is what came out of that discussion, we are both suffering from minimalwordcountitis (I may have made up that diagnosis) but for different reasons, we are both equally frustrated because in our minds, we already know what will happen. That is, we know how the story starts, we know how it ends and everything in between.

You see, whilst our characters stories never really end (read about why here), we still know the plot of the book. I know the path that the characters take, I have even seen the scenes played out in my mind many times, some changes might be made as the story and the characters develop of course, but in a nutshell, I already know what will happen.

That’s why it’s so frustrating when the words don’t seem to be coming, it’s all there in your head the characters have a life of their own and they show you their story. That’s the easy part, the part when you’re the audience, but it’s a little more difficult to bring the characters to life on the page, finding the right words to convey what they think, feel, see and experience.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

-Jack Kerouac

So this is where I am, I have twenty days left to meet this month’s goal of 8,000 words and I haven’t even written one. I need to get back into it and stop shying away from it. Writing isn’t easy, I never thought it would be, and even though I procrastinate constantly I am the type of person who likes to finish what I start. So I will finish this story, I will meet the word count and I will give my characters a voice, not just because I promised myself that I would or because I’m stubborn (although that helps) but because I already know what will happen and there’s no point in leaving a story trapped inside my mind when I can share it.

Plus, I don’t think my characters would shut up if I neglected them for any longer. They would slowly drive me mad playing their story over and over again!

So, if I already know what will happen, I better get to work and bring them to life through words.

Wish me luck!

-KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

The Story Never Really Ends

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Frank Herbert

Hello Lovelies,

This week has been one of reflection as I contemplate the intricate details of József’s story and how they will impact on Rose and Thomas’ story in the rest of the series I have planned.

I came across the quote at the top of the post when I was searching for inspiration to describe my thoughts over this past week. I began to reflect upon where I started with the “Heart Series” (what I am currently using to refer the series of novels), the way the series has evolved into what is now four, possibly five books and where the story of these characters will end.

I started this series in the middle,without even realising, set in the 1930s.  As I’ve explored the characters and as the story has evolved I’ve discovered that there is much more to the story than I originally thought. After starting two separate novels in the series and now a third and moving back in time from the 1930s to the 1910s before the outbreak of WWI, I feel pretty confident that I have now finally started at the beginning of the story. However I am still not quite sure where this story will end. Every time  think I have it planned out in my mind, I realise that there is still more to tell.

So what I put forth, reflecting on the words of Frank Herbert, I begun to consider that the story perhaps never really ends, but as a writer we choose what parts of the story we share with our audience. Have you ever finished reading a book or series and wanted to know what happened next? I constantly have that feeling. I remember watching movies as a kid and how however “neat” the ending of the movie would be, I would still be incredibly cranky wanting to know what happened in the rest of the story.

So you see, the story never really ends, it just stops for the audience at the place the writer chooses. I think though, for the writer, the story will always continue, parts of the story that are perhaps only for the writer, the one who created the world and the characters. The story and its characters will forever be part of of the writer, firmly embedded in their imagination, the story continuing in their dreams and daydreams, because I don’t think you can ever really let go of the world you have created, even if you have moved on to a different world and different characters, each world and character you create as a writer will forever be a part of you.

So the story never really ends.

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.

Write What You Know

Hello Lovelies,

Over the next few weeks things are going to be quite hectic as we get everything ready for our new adventure (in case you missed it, this is where we are heading). There’s an enormous list of things to get done before we leave and only 6 weeks to get it all done! So I apologise in advance if my weekly posts become a little shorter of if I miss a post. I promise to make it all up to you know once we are settled in Hungary and the WiFi is up and running.

However I do have a little something I wanted to share with you all today and this post is inspired by a comment on last week’s post from my grandmother. Last week, I was discussing my plan to become “purposely sidetracked” from writing Lonely Hearts in order to write the story of one of the secondary characters from the planned series, the Hungarian adopted father of Rosie. You see, my reasoning for this is that it would be wonderful to write this character’s story whilst in Hungary, being surrounded by the history and culture of this character’s origin. As a comment on this post, my grandmother reminded me of the words of advice that were given to Josephine March by her friend Professor Bhaer. Professor Bhaer told Jo, an aspiring writer, that she should write what she knows, the result of Jo writing what she knows is her novel My Beth.

Now this got be thinking, what we know can change from one day to the next, as we learn and experience new things. You see, what we know when we are at age five, is very different to what we know at age 25. With regards to writing historical fiction, we will never really “know” the time we are writing about as we never really physically experienced it, however through research “what we know” begins to include knowledge of the past, it may not be 100% accurate (we can never know for sure), but it still eventually forms part of our knowledge base. History leaves behind clues, which historians piece together to try and form a clear picture of the past. For some eras there are many clues which can be pieced together to form quite a clear picture and understanding of the past, for other eras there’s not so many and the picture not as clear.

Now, what I am trying to say is this, whilst Professor Bhaer’s advice to Jo is sound advice, particularly for beginning writers, writing what you know does not have to be limited to your own experiences or perceptions. The “database” of what we know is constantly changing and growing. If you want to write about sixteenth century England for example, don’t be put off by sticking only to writing what you know, change what you know, do the research and make it so life in sixteenth century England is part of what YOU know.When I first started writing Lonely Hearts, I admit I didn’t know an awful lot about 1930s Sydney, so I spent many hours researching everything from clothing, to speech, to everyday living. I admit there is still a lot to learn but life in 1930s Sydney, Australia is most definitely becoming part of what I know. I have always had a passion for history, no matter what the era, I still can explain in detail the family tree of the boy Pharaoh Tutankhamen from my Year 12 Ancient History class, perhaps this is why one of my favourite genres to read is historical fiction.

I am a little familiar with the history of Hungary and also the treatment of the Jewish people in WWI as I began researching this as part of József’s backstory in order to familiarise myself with the character. During the first world war, Hungarian Jews were forced to fight or be labelled as deserters and be put to death, often along with the members of their family as well, this being the driving force of József’s story, his escape from Hungary and his migration to Australia. Whilst I admit that Hungary in the early twentieth century is not a big part of what I know, I fully intend to remedy that through further research, so that when I am writing József’s story I will be able to confidently state that I am writing what I know.

So my advice to fellow aspiring writers is this:

Write what you know and if you want to write something you don’t know then do lots of research!

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.