Withholding Information

“Every book contains a secret – even the writer doesn’t always know what it is.”
– Carla H. Krueger

Hello Lovelies,

After meeting my goal for the month of May, I’ve been on a roll and have even started working on this month’s word-count goal! I’ll probably start to procrastinate soon though and leave the rest until the last minute again, but at least I am actually meeting my goal each month, so get off my back!

Anyway, while I was searching for some inspiration for this week’s blog post, I came across the quote that is at the top of this post and it exactly described what I have been experiencing  lately in my current WIP, An Anguished Heart.

A few weeks ago I wrote the post, I Already Know What Will Happen discussing that, for the most part, I know how the story progresses and how it ends. However, no matter how detailed your plan might be or how sure you are of the details,the characters are constantly surprising you, letting you in on their secrets as the story progresses. Often, and more so lately, I will be writing a particular scene that I have already planned out in my mind (that’s where most of my planning is done, I always have good intentions of writing down a plan but it never really eventuates), but when I’m finished, or in the process of, writing it, I am completely surprised and find myself thinking, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”

Some people, perhaps non-writers, will question this. They will wonder how on earth we, the ones who are supposed to be telling the stories, can be surprised by our own writing. They want to know why we didn’t know all the secrets of our characters and of their stories.

You see though, in their questions and wonderings, they have already provided an answer. We, the writers, are the ones telling the stories, our characters’ stories. We know the direction the story is heading (most of the time anyway) but it is the details that we discover along the way, the secrets, the seemingly insignificant things that completely alter the sequence of events that you thought you already planned.

Which leads me to share another one of my favourite quotes,

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
― E.L. Doctorow

It’s true, no matter how silly some people might think it sounds, it is not uncommon for the writer to be surprised by the stories they write. Just like if we were driving in the fog at night, we know roughly where the destination is, just like as a writer, we know where the story is roughly heading. However, when it comes to the details, we can only see as far as the “headlights” allow, but you definitely can “make the whole trip that way”, without a doubt.

So I will continue to write, I will continue to be surprised by my stories, the details that are exposed along the way, the secrets that are revealed as I journey towards my destination. Perhaps one day, there will be readers that will be just as (if not more) surprised as I am by the secrets of my characters and the stories that they share.

 

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.

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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.

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.

The Book That Wanted to be Written

Hello Lovelies,

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

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

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

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

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

book meme

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

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

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

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

Enjoy,

KK

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

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

Creature of Habit

Hello Lovelies,
I’ve had barely any time for writing this week, it’s been another one of those crazy weeks! However, even though I haven’t had time to sit down and actually write, my brain does not have an off switch. So I have been doing a fair amount of character analysis, in my head!

I’ve been starting to think about my characters habits, the little things they do that make them real, that bring them to life.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Rose is a hair adjuster- compulsively tucking stray hair behind her ear whenever she is nervous or unsure. While Thomas is both a smirker and brow creaser. If he find something interesting or amusing he will smirk, ever so slightly, but if something frustrates, upsets or irritates him, he will crease his brow. These are often unintentional actions, providing an insight into each of the characters thoughts and feelings.

By developing these character traits or habits, not only can you develop an understanding between your main characters, but also between the reader and your characters. I’ve written this time and time again and whilst I admit I am not a professional writer, I cannot stress enough the importance of creating characters that reach out from the pages and with your readers. If you are able to create that connection and tell a good story, it almost doesn’t matter whether your writing is grammatically perfect in every way (although too many errors will of course form a distraction). Yet if the connection does not exist, the piece of writing becomes a collection of words, formed into sentences and paragraphs that may or may not be grammatically correct.

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. – Somerset Maugham

So with that in mind, what are the traits and habits of your characters that add to the depth of your story?

Enjoy your week,
KK

Image from postsecret.com

© 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.

Fact or Fiction?

Hello Lovelies,

It’s hard to find the time to write, but this week has been quite a productive one. My characters have given me enough insight into their first meeting allowing me to be able to fill in the blanks and put it into words, my fellow writers will understand just how exciting it is when something like that occurs. You see, it is not the writer who is simply writing the story, the characters are taking us on their journey and we are merely putting their story on paper. Sometimes your characters show you the whole scene and you have to find the right words to depict the scene, other times your characters let bits and pieces slip and you need to find out the rest. That’s where the fun of research comes in (again and again and again).

I already knew that Thomas and Rose met at Rose’s place of employment ,a small clothing manufacturer owned by a Jewish family who migrated from Europe several years before. I saw through Thomas’ eyes as he walked into the man’s office and looked into Rose’s eyes for the first time, but I didn’t know the Jewish man’s name. This is where research comes into play. Although this character in only in the story for a very brief moment and this story is a work of fiction, the name had to be factually accurate, this is when the research begins. I discovered many things about Jewish surnames, that I will not bore you with now, but through this research I did find what I believe to be the perfect name for this family, Schneider. Whilst this surname is a common German surname, my research has told me that it is a name that is a German-Jewish surname meaning tailor, the perfect surname for a family who design and make clothing, don’t you think?

After exploring the darkness last week, it was nice to be able to come into the light and discover the softer side of my dark and mysterious leading man and the beauty of my lovely and compassionate leading lady. Perhaps love was in the air? After all it was Valentines Day on Friday. I’m getting closer to completing the chapter that I abandoned a few weeks ago, but I am also discovering that the story is not heading quite in the direction I was anticipating and in some parts I’m not sure what will happen next. No need to worry though, my characters will show me the way when they are ready.

This week I would like to share with you a little excerpt from Thomas and Rose’s first meeting, again remember this work is raw and unedited and will likely change many times through the editing process.

Enjoy,

KK

Image

Image Flickr Creative Commons user Saif Saif

When I entered the small business, I was greeted by the owner, a dark haired Jewish man by the name of Szabo, who had migrated to Australia some years before with his wife and daughters. As I entered Mr Szabo’s office and sat down, her words took me by surprise, “Tea or coffee Mr Heath?” I did not even realise that someone else had entered the room. As I looked up I saw for the first time her warm brown eyes that hinted at the kindness and compassion she possessed. My brain struggled to register the words which she had just spoken to me. Her long waves of chocolate brown hair that sat below her shoulders were held back at the sides by two small brown hair combs. She was wearing a beautiful jade coloured dress, that had a ruffled v-neckline and belted waist that accentuated her curves. I know I was staring at her as after a brief moment her cheeks reddened and she glanced down at the small tray she had placed on the desk and repeated the question, to which I stammered out an almost unintelligible reply. Her mouth gave way to a small smile, I am sure she was laughing at me. I had been in the presence of many beautiful young women, but none had caused such an effect. The moment I looked into those warm brown eyes, I felt as if the world around melted away and this beauty, whose name I did not even know, was the only thing preventing me from drifting away. As she left the room and I sipped my coffee and remembered that I do not even drink coffee. I decided that I had to find out more about her, I had to find out everything, “You have a beautiful daughter Mr Szabo, you must be very proud,” what I said was the truth but I didn’t care whose daughter she was, I just knew that I must have her. “Who, Rosie? You very kind Mr Heath, but Rosie, she not my daughter, she not even Jewish girl. Rosie just work for me, she very good dressmaker.” Rosie… of course her name was Rose, it suited her perfectly, but in the words of William Shakespeare, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I asked Mr Szabo everything he knew about Rose, I found out many things by that afternoon, he explained that Rose was the only person besides his immediate family who worked for him. Even though he could no longer afford to pay her during these difficult times, Rose still continued to come to work each day. While I was told many things about her I did not know if she was betrothed, but it didn’t really matter, I would have her either way, but it would make things a lot easier if she were not. 

******

Most importantly I became privy to the fact that she was not betrothed to any man and so I began to pursue her, making unnecessary trips to Schneider’s, just so I could bump into her and invite her to lunch. Rosie was not like any of the other women I had been with and she was not the type of woman I would usually lust after, but for some reason I felt drawn to her. I had found what I was searching for, unaware that I was even searching until our eyes met for the first time. I was not used to having to court a woman, on past occasions, women would lust after me and I would let them. I would wine them and dine them, take what I wanted from them and send them on their way, feeling no emotional connection to them whatsoever.

From the beginning with Rosie, it has always been different.  

© 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.