Some Things Cannot be Unsaid

thinking flickr withbeautiful
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.

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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.

Finding the Passion

Hello Lovelies,

I’ve been reading a lot of Joss Whedon quotes lately and whilst anything Joss Whedon is pretty amazing, in my opinion, there was one particular quote that really hit home with some things I’ve been trying to figure out in the development of the characters in Lonely Hearts and that is PASSION.

“Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.”
Joss Whedon

Passion isn’t something reserved for romance novels or little love stories, passion is something that drives us and our actions and something that drives our characters, as Joss said, “Without passion, we’d be truly dead.” Therefore by creating characters that are passionate, we strive to lift them off of the page and bring them to life.

When I talk about characters who have passion or who are passionate, I do not mean some loved up couple who can’t get enough of each other (if you know what I mean). This is not what I mean at all, you can love another with passion, this is true, but on the flip-side, you can also hate with passion.

Although the word “passion” is often perceived to be synonymous with love, passion is not (and should not) be used only to describe someone’s love for another. The Oxford dictionary defines passion as a, “Strong and barely controllable emotion,” this is the kind of passion that I think Joss is describing, the passion that gives us life, that drives us and the same passion that brings our characters life.

Something I am striving towards now is creating characters that possess a strong element of passion. I want to give strength to their feelings and emotions and portray this strength and passion to the readers. I want the readers to feel the strength of their “barely controllable” emotions. The passion in their love, their hatred and their grief. I want the passion to lift the characters off of the page and bring them to life, because without passion, the characters are reduced to mere words on a page, without life.

In my writing, I’ll be trying to focus on the passion of my characters, the strength of their love, hate and grief, the feelings they experience that make them just that little bit more real for my readers to enjoy.

Thanks Joss Whedon, for reminding us that passion is what gives us life and in turn, what breathes life into our characters.

Before I end this week’s post, here is another one of my favourite Joss Whedon quotes, this one makes me think that George R. R. Martin might be a Joss Whedon fan too,

“People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don’t like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.”
Joss Whedon

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.

The Element of Surprise

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
Robert Frost

Hello Lovelies,

Sorry I am a day late with this week’s post, but unfortunately it’s been a rollercoaster of a semester and an assessment task that was due had to take priority yesterday.

As you can see by the title of today’s post and by the quote at the top, I am going to talk about the importance of using the element of surprise when writing fiction.

I spoke a few weeks ago about realising a mistake I made in Thomas and Rose’s story (in case you missed it check it out by clicking here). I realised that I had given away too much of the story, too early on eliminated the suspense and surprise that the plot needed in order to develop at an engaging pace. Now sometimes, as the writer, you already know the little surprises coming up in the plot and when drafting you let them go a little too soon. This is when you have to rush back and edit, making sure you keep that element of surprise and suspense up your sleeve (like I am intending to do now I have submitted that nasty literature review!) Other times you are simply writing it as it comes to you and even though you are the writer, one of the plot twists even takes you by surprise.

So far through writing Thomas and Rose’s story I’ve laughed and cried, I’ve been shocked and surprised and sometimes I’ve been downright furious and angry, particularly with one of my more villainous characters. I’ve had moments when I would be writing away and suddenly I would realise where the story was heading. In that moment I feel the shock and surprise that I only hope my readers will feel too.

Without the element of surprise the plot runs the risk of becoming predictable and boring, definitely not something that will keep an audience. Be ruthless in your writing, be ruthless,shock and surprise your readers but try not to be predictable.

So now I’m off to do some rearranging of Thomas and Rose’s story, trying to keep the element of surprise, if I don’t get distracted by Game of Thrones, that is!

Wish me luck!

-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.

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.

Baring All

Hello Lovelies,

What another amazing week of writing I’ve had. I’ve still been procrastinating from my Uni work of course and finding out I have a three day extension is not going to help the matter, but I’m so excited with the progress I have made with Lonely Hearts.I haven’t written anywhere near as much as I did at the beginning of the month, but the progress I’ve made has still left me feeling pretty awesome.

This week’s post is going to be a little bit of a self-reflection, I’m not looking to the past or pondering the what-ifs, but rather reflecting on the now and what the future has in store for me.

I’m up to a point in Lonely Heart’s where Rose has bared all (emotionally not physically, it’s not that type of story sorry!) She’s revealed the source of the darkness that plagues her, the darkness that haunts her dreams and fuels her anxiety. Rose has just been through such a traumatic experience, that brings the darkness of her past with such clarity, that she realising that the two horrible experiences are connected in some way.

Rose feels protected in Thomas’ presence and draws from his strength in order to tell of her experiences, together they shine the light into the darkness that haunts her. Baring herself in such a way, should have been an incredibly difficult thing to do, she was leaving herself open and vulnerable, reliving her painful past, but with Thomas by her side, even though it was still difficult and painful, it was also empowering as if it was in that moment that she began to free herself, to rid herself of the darkness.

Rose has come to realise however, that even though Thomas gives her the strength to face the darkness and bare her soul, it is not so easy for Thomas, his darkness is stronger and runs much deeper than her own. She hopes that with time, she can give Thomas the same strength he gives to her and together they can face his demons.

Writing about Rose baring all, got me thinking about a few things. Through writing, even in fiction, the writer bares their soul for all to see. This is one of the most frightening things about writing, when you share it with others you bare yourself to them, leaving yourself open and vulnerable. On the other hand, it is also one of the most exciting things about writing.

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

Through our words and our characters, we reveal pieces of ourselves for the world to see. Perhaps that is why I kept my writing hidden for so long, because I was scared. Now though, I look to the future to the moment when I am ready to unveil Thomas and Rose’s story, in all its entirety, to share their story and also to share a piece of myself. The thought of baring all still frightens me, but I now refuse to let the fear consume me. Just as Rose draws strength from Thomas allowing her to face her painful past and bare all, I too am able to draw strength from others. I draw strength from those around me, those who support and encourage me and I draw strength from joy I experience through the characters I create and the worlds I make.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

– Stephen King

So, go forth my lovelies and no longer have fear. For the freedom that accompanies being true to oneself far outweighs the terror of baring all.

Enjoy,

KK

I had just bared my soul to Thomas, shown him the darkness of my past and something which I thought would be the most difficult thing to do. Yet in that moment, with Thomas by my side, it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. Together, we shone the light into the darkness, exposing the demons in an attempt to banish them once and for all. 

-Rose, Lonely Hearts

© 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.

Meeting New People

Hello Lovelies,

This week has been a pretty exciting one in terms of my writing progress with my first novel Lonely Hearts.Whilst I haven’t quite reached my goal for this month yet, the breakthroughs I’ve had this past week have been super exciting.

I’ve been able to explore Rose’s ‘gift’ in more detail as well as meet a couple of new characters. Lillian Jones and Matthew Johnson are both employees of Thomas.

Lillian is Thomas’ secretary and personal assistant, she is in her mid-thirties and loves all things fashion. She has short chocolate brown hair, brown eyes and a pale complexion, she likes to stand out and loves to wear bright red lipstick. Lillian is unmarried and isn’t sure if she will ever marry as she is still in love with her fiance who died in battle in World War I. Lillian and Rose will become great friends.

Matthew Johnson is a man of many talents, his main occupation is as a driver for Thomas, but there are many things outside of his job description that Johnson ‘takes care of’. Johnson served in World War I in Gallipoli and played a big part in the elaborate deception operations that aided in the evacuation of Allied Forces in December 1915. After returning from the war, Johnson had some difficulty adjusting to life again in Australia and much of his time was spent in the local bars and winning round after round in the underground boxing scene in Sydney. Thomas and Johnson met when some members of one of the many Razor Gangs at the time, attempted to rob Thomas. Johnson fought off the men with his bare hands and Thomas immediately recognised the value of having a bloke like Johnson around (because well… he’s built like a brick shithouse) and offered him a job as his driver.

I could talk all day about these two great characters and their backstory, but I’m sure you won’t find it as interesting or exciting as I do. Every character has a backstory, it’s up to the writer to decide what parts of each characters backstory add value and which parts are simply for the writer’s eyes only.

So, I’m off to work closer to my self-imposed word count for the month, while I leave you with a little excerpt to enjoy, remember this is very much a first draft, so be kind!

-KK

“Rosie, are you coming?” Lillian knocked on the door but opened I before I could answer, “Hey what’s wrong, are you crying? I told you, Mr Heath wants to see you, not some fake and flawless Hollywood starlet.” She walked towards me and gave me a reassuring hug then took a step back assessing my emotional state, I smiled, but shook my head at her, “It’s not that, I believe what you said, I was just thinking about my mum, and I just wish she could have been here.” She hugged me again, “Oh Rosie, she is here believe me, as long as we remember them and hold them in our hearts, the ones we love will never really be gone.” Lillian stepped back but held my hands in hers, “I know, thank you Lillian, for everything.” Lillian was right about that, our loved ones would always be with us but she had no idea how right she really was. “Thank you Lillian, for everything.”

“Hey Rosie girl, this isn’t goodbye, we’re going to be great friends, I can feel it! How about lunch next week and you can tell me all the dirty details of your evening.” I gaped in mock horror, “Lillian there will be no dirty details I can assure you. It’s just dinner, but lunch next week sounds lovely.”

“Ok lunch it is, I’ll organise and send you the details early next week. Oh and I love a good story, if there’s no dirty details then make them up, now come on Rosie girl, let’s not keep him waiting any longer.” With a ridiculous smile on my face, I pulled my light black wrap around me, in an effort to cover my exposed back, then went to the door and stepped outside. As the warmth of the evening breeze caressed my skin, my smile quickly faded as I saw Thomas’ driver standing next to an expensive looking limousine, a Lincoln I believe it was. Obviously Thomas was delayed and had sent his driver to take me to wherever we were going for the evening, which was completely understandable. I couldn’t help the wave of disappointed that swept over me, I don’t know what I expected for the evening, but I guess I thought Thomas would be here to escort me, not his driver. The man was dressed in a type of uniform that I assumed was the standard sort for a driver and wore a black driver’s hat which he tipped to me as I stepped towards the car. He didn’t really look like a driver, he had the clothing and the hat but judging by his size and obvious strength, I had the feeling that he was more than just a driver. “Miss Greene, I’m Johnson, Mr Heath’s driver. If it’s not too bold of me to say so, you look lovely this evening, Miss Greene.” I thanked him and smiled politely as he opened the door for me and I slid into the car.

“Well, hello there.” I gasped as the unexpected sound of his voice caught me by surprise. There, sitting in the back of the expensive looking Lincoln, was Thomas smiling that smile that sent quivers of awareness shooting through my body. I sat in shock and for a moment I thought that perhaps I was a little crazy. I was, after all, a person who talked to her dead mother, maybe I was crazy and this wasn’t really happening. Then he reached towards me taking my hand and kissing it ever so gently. His touched sent waves of heat through me, making me realise that I was not imagining things, I still was on the fence to whether I was a little crazy or not, but I definitely was not dreaming. “Hello,” was all I managed to say, my voice sounding little more than a whisper. He smiled that smile again, still holding my hand and rubbing his thumb back and forth across my knuckles, a small but seemingly intimate touch, especially for two people who barely knew each other. I finally gathered myself as Johnson climbed into the driver’s seat and pulled out onto the street. I needed to say something to fill the silence so I said the first thing that came to mind, “This is a very nice car Mr. Heath, but it’s different to the one you came in the other day, is it not?”

“Ah, you are not only beautiful but also very perceptive, Miss Greene.” He let go of my hand and I felt bereft at the loss of his touch.

“Rosie, please call me Rosie.”

He tilted his head as if he was considering some great dilemma, “I will call you Rosie, when you call me Thomas. Now, to answer your question Miss Greene, yes this is a different car the one you saw last time was my town car, this is my evening car, it’s a 1935 Lincoln model K V-12 Series 301 limousine, it’s not available in Australia yet, I have the only one in the country so far. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to take her out” The excitement in his voice was clear as he talked about his new car made him actually look his age, like a child in a candy shop. “Well it’s a lovely car Thomas and I’m glad to give an excuse to take it out.”

“I’m glad you like it, although I wasn’t sure you would when I saw your face as you stepped out the door, you sort of looked like somebody just told you your kitten had died.” I can’t believe that he noticed my expression when I stepped out and saw his driver waiting there- not him. I sensed that he was having a joke at my expense- again. “Thomas, you’re not making fun of me are you?” The look on his face told me he knew exactly why the look of disappointment had flashed across my face mere moments ago and I had the feeling that it was all a part of his plan. Thomas gaped in mock horror, “Who me? I would never do such a thing as to poke fun at such a beautiful woman.” I blushed at the compliment and turned to turn out of the window trying to hide my reddened cheeks. I turned back to him as he took my hand in his again and looked at it as if he were studying it intently, “Oh and thank you.”

His expression of gratitude took me by surprise, what was he thanking me for? Liking his new car? As I tried to comprehend the meaning of the statement he looked into my eyes and clarified, “Thank you for calling me Thomas, not many people call me by my first name anymore.” My mind spun as I tried to grasp how something as seemingly small as calling him Thomas, could mean so much to him. The look in his eyes told me that there was more to this story, but now was definitely not the time to pry. He was definitely a man of complexity and in that moment I wondered if I would ever understand the man that was Thomas Heath.

“So where are we heading?” I asked trying to fill the silence that had taken hold once again.

“Oh well, that my Rosie, is a secret,” He said, tapping the side of his nose and winking playfully, “But you’ll find out soon enough, we’ll be there shortly. Luckily we’re both dressed for such an occasion.” It was then that I noticed that Thomas was dressed in black-tie with his blonde hair combed neatly in his usual style. It was obvious that Thomas was not going to be giving away any details any time soon, so I decided to sit back and enjoy the sights as we drove through the city, all the while Thomas kept hold of my hand.

© 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.

More Than Just Pleasantville

Hello Lovelies,

Last night I was watching the movie Pleasantville and it got me thinking about the importance of conveying emotions within each of our characters. Now of course this is not something new to me, but rather something that was reinforced by the watching of the movie.

In case you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a quick rundown of the plot. Basically, teenage siblings from the modern day, David and Jennifer, are transported into the 1950s television world of ‘Pleasantville’ into the lives of Bud and Mary Sue, where everything is well…. pleasant; pleasant weather, pleasant people with nothing but pleasant feelings doing pretty much the same thing day in and day out. The TV show that is depicted in the movie, is in black and white, so naturally when the two main characters are transported into that world, becoming the Pleasantville characters of Bud and Mary Sue, they also are in black and white.

 

Content of this clip remains the property of Warner Bros Studios

However, things start to change in the TV land of Pleasantville, as people begin to experience other things besides ‘pleasant’, the world starts to slowly fill with colour, one person, one flower, one door at a time.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the movie Pleasantville (such as those suggested here) however something which I took out of this movie was the importance of self-discovery and self-acceptance, allowing for the experience of all emotions.

But see? That’s just the point! It can’t stop at once, because it’s in you, and you can’t stop something that’s inside you. -Bud/David, Pleasantville

Sometimes, the world isn’t just pleasant. Sometimes it’s more, it can be amazing, exciting and exhilarating and sometimes is not pleasant at all it can be sad, lonely, dark and painful. The important thing though is that we allow ourselves to experience the world in all of it’s technicolor glory! Allow ourselves to feel happy, sad, excited, depressed, ecstatic, angry or even down right pissed off! The point is, not only is it important for our own lives to allow ourselves to experience all of these emotions when appropriate, it is also an important part of character development to create characters that experience a world that is more than just Pleasantville. In order to develop our characters we need to consider Bud’s words from the quote above and find out exactly what is it inside our characters that can’t be stopped? What is their emotional response to each complication in the plot? (Even the smallest complication that seems insignificant). We need to consider their life experiences and things that have shaped the person they are in the story we are trying to tell. Their background and history may not be important to the story, but it is something that is important for the writer in the development of each character.

Enjoy you week,

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.

Searching for the Window

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” -Maria (The Sound of Music)

Hello Lovelies,

This week I’ve hit a few road blocks and so as the title of this post suggests, I’ve been searching for the metaphoric window in my writing and in my real life. The good news is that I’m getting closer to that window in my writing, unfortunately in real-life it isn’t so easy.

But enough about the negative, let’s focus on the positive. Last week I told you all that I hadn’t had much time to write as I was working on something else (if you missed it, you can read last week’s post here) and I promised to share with all of you what I was working on this week. Well, a week has passed and as promised I’ll let you all in on the secret, yesterday was my Grandmother’s 80th birthday and as her birthday present I made her a “This is your life” themed book, documenting the years from her birth up until the present. It included her ‘story’ (which I cut down to only 8 pages long!) and a collection of photos over the years including her the childhood, courtship with my Grandfather and her family, only about 110 photos, as I managed to cut it down from around 150! It was an amazing experience to exploring my grandmother’s story and I found out some pretty amazing things not only about my grandmother, but also the world which she grew up in. Here is a short excerpt from her story about the world she was born into,

It was the year 1934, the world had lived through the horrors of World War I and it was still enduring the aftermath of a severe economic recession caused by The Great Crash on Wall St in 1929. It was an era that is now known as The Great Depression.

It was in this year that Meccano Ltd introduced the first Dinky Toys and Percy Shaw patented the ‘cat’s eye’ road safety device. It was also the year when the “surgeon’s photograph” of the Loch Ness Monster was published in the Daily Mail –although it was much later admitted to being a hoax.

King George V was the reigning monarch and Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister of England…”

What made this even more interesting, is the similarities between the world that my grandmother was born into and the world of Thomas and Rose. I did not purposely make this connection and as you may have read in some of my previous posts, Lonely Hearts originated from a dream I had, however terribly cliché that may sound, so perhaps on a subconscious level the link between the two worlds was made, but it wasn’t until I started to create this book for my grandmother that I realised the depth of the connection. My grandmother lost her mother at a young age, as did Rose (and Thomas) and what makes this subconscious connection even more startling is that my great grandfather’s name was also Thomas.

“…but in a small cottage in a village in the London Borough of Barnet called Arkley, Thomas and Bessie were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.”

retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons Copyright of wiatrak1
Retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons Copyright of wiatrak1

My grandmother was also an only child, both Thomas and Rose were only children. The more I think about this, the deeper the connection becomes, perhaps I knew these details of my grandmother prior to writing her story, but I know that I did not consciously make this connection between the two worlds when beginning Rose and Thomas’ story.

And…. there’s the segue into discussing where I am in Lonely Hearts. At this point I am exploring Rose’s relationship with her mother and how that has shaped her. I am also up to the point in the story where reader’s are given a small insight into the connection Rose has with her mother in the present tense of the story (just a reminder, Rose’s mother passed away several years before the story’s timeline). Reader’s also gain a little more information about the underlying cause of Rose’s nightmares and the darkness that gives the book its title and I can’t wait to explore these ideas in even greater depth.

Today I have a small excerpt to share with you all. Some of it may seem a little familiar from previous posts, as I usually do a small amount of editing as I attempt to bind one idea with the next. Although I can quite easily spot errors in other people’s writing, I am still horrified at my ability to miss the errors in my own writing, so be kind. Sometimes even in the way I speak, I cringe afterwards at my lack of correct grammar, I think some of my student’s are rubbing off on me!

Enjoy,

KK

“What am I thinking? Why am I even considering this? Thomas and I are from two different worlds, it would be best for both of us to go our separate ways. One evening, which will be lovely, I’m sure – perfect even, but it cannot go further than that. I cannot help but feel as though I am throwing something of immense value away and as I catch my reflection in the window, I see my mother’s face looking back at me and as she does in those moments when I need her help or advice she spoke to me, “Rosie, some things are just meant to be.” What does she mean? That Thomas and I are meant to be or are we are meant to go our separate ways? But before I could ask she was gone, the same as always. I missed my mother so much, she was the only family I had ever known. I am thankful for having József in my life, but it’s not the same, a girl needs her mother and she was taken from me when I needed her the most.

I thought about the days after she died, I had felt so alone and afraid. Sometimes I still feel like that, when the darkness closes in and another nightmare consumes me, pulling me down. It’s always the same, it’s dark and lonely, with nobody to love or care for me, then they appear and I’m no longer by myself, but the darkness grows deeper and fear and pain surge through me. Then I hear her voice, telling me to stay strong, pleading with me to hang on and to reach up out of the darkness, then he is there – József is the one pulling me out of the darkness, taking away the pain and the fear, offering me a father’s love and beginning to heal my lonely heart. Lately though, having József didn’t seem to be enough and the frequency of my nightmares have increased. Perhaps it is because I am now older and no longer the young girl he saved, but I feel the darkness pulling me down and the loneliness closing in again, I have to find a way to keep the darkness at bay, I cannot let myself slip into the darkness again, for I fear that if I do, it will be the end and the darkness will consume me.”

© 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.

If Things Were Different

Hello Lovelies,

This week I’ve been thinking about the dynamics in Thomas and Rose’s relationship. The circumstances that brought them together and those that threaten to tear them about. If things were different, perhaps they would never have met. If the Wall St Crash never happened in 1929, if the recession now known as The Great Depression never happened, even if they never lost their parents at a young age or if they had never experienced darkness in their lives then perhaps I would be telling a very different story.

I’ve written before about choices that we make and how these choices change the direction our lives are taking, whether we realise it at the time or not. Yet what about those things in our lives that we cannot change, circumstances beyond our control? How do these things impact and change our lives? That is exactly what I am thinking about in relation to Thomas and Rose’s relationship; the kinds of things that have happened in their lives that has made them who they are, things that are beyond their control.

With Rose and Thomas, everything that has happened int heir lives and in the wider world has paved the way for them to meet. Rose can’t deny that she has feelings for Thomas, but thinks it better for both of them if she doesn’t act on those feelings. Thomas on the other hand, doesn’t always do what seems to be best for him and he is determined to be with Rose, with no one getting in his way, not even Rose herself.

So, what things in your own life, that have been beyond your control, have changed your path?

Enjoy,

KK

Susannah Place Museum. Image Retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons User Caz and Craig Makepeace
Susannah Place Museum. Image Retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons User Caz and Craig Makepeace

““Édesem, it looks like you have yourself a handsome young admirer.” József says with a smile as he leaves his office and comes back into the front of the shop. Even though I am quite sure he is right, I know that nothing serious could ever come of it. What would people say, a wealthy businessman with a poor tailor’s daughter? As if that wouldn’t be enough to gossip about, what if someone uncovered my secrets, my darkness? I don’t think I could stand the thought of my innermost secrets being splashed over the pages of some newspaper. “Rosie, don’t do this to yourself, don’t overthink things. You are a beautiful young lady and Mr Heath obviously has excellent taste, just see where things go without looking so closely.” József interrupts me from my thoughts and always knows when I am overthinking. Even though I would like to believe him, I know that nothing can really between Thomas and me.

“What would you like for lunch?” I say to József, hoping to distract him and at first it seems to be working.

“Some sandwiches will be fine Rosie and I know that you’re trying cause a distraction.” I knew he would be onto me, but I wave my hand dismissing his comment as if I have no idea what he is talking about and head outside and into our house which is directly next door to the shop.

*******

As I busy myself by making some sandwiches for lunch, I begin wonder where Thomas will take me for dinner. It would probably be somewhere posh, so I really need to see if we have any material suitable for an evening dress. It’ll be a push for time, but I’m sure I could make something suitable in time. He’s awfully forward, just look at how he behaved earlier, perhaps he will kiss me, do I want him to? I think I do.

Flickr Creative Commons Copyright de sata1
Flickr Creative Commons Copyright de sata1

Am I seriously considering this? Although on the other-hand, I can’t just turn down an invitation from a man like Mr Heath. That would be rude and also could cause friction in József and Thomas’ business relationship.

Just one meal, just to be polite and I will thank him for a lovely evening and we will both go on with our lives –separately. But what if he wants to see me again? What if he wants more? Could I give him more? Should I?
What am I thinking? Why am I even considering this? Thomas and I are from two different worlds, it would be best for both of us to go our separate ways. One evening, which will be lovely, I’m sure – perfect even, but it cannot go further than that. I cannot help but feel as though I am throwing something of immense value away and as I catch my reflection in the window, I see my mother’s face looking back at me and as she does in those moments when I need her help or advice she spoke to me, “Rosie, some things are just meant to be.” What does she mean? That Thomas and I are meant to be or are we are meant to go our separate ways?”

© 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.