About Me

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I am an aspiring writer living and working in Hull. I working on a novel, as well as writing short stories to keep my writing skills fresh. I decided to start a writing blog to connect with other writers. So please, take a look around and leave some comments - I'd love to read some of your writing blogs too. Nari X

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Plot Developments

I've been trying to develop the plot for Cosmic Questions. I've been worried that it's loking a bit thin. I think my problem is I get so wrapped up in the characters, I want to know every little detail about them and their relationships to each other, and I spend too much time thinking or writing about everyday things that don;t really add any story.
I had an epiphany the other day, and it revealed a rather major plot twist to do with Ryan's father. It ties everything in quite nicely, and has given me a bit of perspective as to what needs to go. I deleted a big chunk of prose which was rally hard. I liked the scene, I'd worked hard on it. 
But it was too big an event to be sub-plot, and would break the pace and developing of the storyline. I had got too caught up in writing with The Unremitting Truth (a short story about Josh, one of the lesser characters from CQ) in mind, so unfortunately it had to go. But I think it's good prooning - cutting back so the piece can grow. The whole thing needs to be tightened up and more focused, so that is where I'm starting.
I'm reading my next reading assignment after failing to finish my last one - oops.
 I'm thinking I might upload The Brokenness of Silence to YWO, even though I've got feedback from Sue Moorcroft, just to see what others think. Yes. I'll do that.
That's all for now - I must prepare for a job interview tomorrow. Very scary. It's for Mothercare, which I think could be quite fun. 

Friday, 17 September 2010


I had an early start this morning, and it felt good. I miss having something to get up for.
That'as me on the left, behind Tomo :)
I'm currently doing my reading assignment for YWO and listening to 30 Seconds To Mars. I miss old skool 30STM. I'm feeling all nostalgic. I looked at Brighton tickets, as if I might actually be able to afford it, and it's just a joke. You have to pay something like £200 to meet the band these days. It just makes me sad, because I remember the days when they hung out with the Echelon for nearly an hour, just because they wanted to. Nowadays, only the rich get in.
I missed Circa Survive last night in Leeds, which was gutting because I haven't seen them in 4 years.  Anyway, enough of my whining.

As you will probably get to know, I'm a character-driven writer. Many writers are different in their approach to storytelling, but for me, the characters are the most important part. I start with a character, and my story comes from there. So for me, getting to know my characters is key. If my story is struggling, I find it most useful to get to know the central characters better, or even some of the lesser ones. In fact, I've found that its when I examine the lesser characters more closely that more plotlines jump out.

For example, a minor character in Cosmic Questions, Andy, was feeling rather flat. As I started to think about him more, he became meaner. He originally only appeared in one scene, nicking a hat from Lauren (a main character) and running off. The point of the scene was to show Lauren's apparent crush on this guy and Ryan's response. But I started to think about his motivations, and how he in turn felt about Ryan. After all, Ryan is very close to Lauren - maybe he's jealous of Ryan?
But it came out that it's more than that. It's not even that he's jealous because he likes Lauren. He's jealous because Ryan is so oblivious and innocent. It's the classic bully syndrome - taking out his anger on a supposedly weaker person, who apparently has more to offer. He's a button pusher. To divert away from his own problems, he ignites those of other people. And so all sorts of twists and turns in the plot came to mind.
I think Dominic, Lauren's dad, is next on the list. I don't know him very well, and I need to.

Also, on topic, I've been working on a couple of paintings - one of Ryan and one of Lauren. I think it's a really good characterisation excercise, as you get to know a person's physical identity more through each layer of paint. The way I work with painting is working and reworking, constantly repainting various features until it looks right. So it's an intense look into the character's identity - especially when it comes to expression and the eyes. You can tell so much about a character from their eyes and the way they look out of the canvas.

I'd better leave it there, as the other half is asking for his laptop back.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sugar Rush Reviews and Apples...

There are slugs. In my house. That is not natural. I honestly don't understand what attracts them inside into a place that is so far from their natural habitat... if they were helping with the rent, maybe I wouldn't mind. 

I recently finished a project now called 'Sugar Rush', which is a short story I was aiming to enter into some competition or other, but it didn't turn out that way. It ended up as a bit of a cautionary tale to teenage girls, who might be prone to blinding infatuation. I was a teenage girl once, you know. The danger is to build up an image of someone in your head that seems so perfect, so true and infallible, when in fact you barely know them at all. The infatuated mind is much more forgiving. 

So after much struggle against my former aims with this piece, I finished it and renamed it suitably. I then took the plunge and joined I uploaded Sugar Rush, though it took a lot of courage. I am a bit of a dragon lady with criticism, though I'm much better than I used to be. University hammered it out of me by constant exposure. 

I now have two reviews, which I'd say is good progress. I think it would be a shame to lose all the benefits of workshop class now that I've left Uni. If you fancy looking up SR and giving some feedback, it would be much appreciated.
The other week I came across a rewrite of a stupid little idea I had a while back, which was essentially me whining about a current situation. The rewrite, however, was actually pretty good. The basic idea remained without all the personal venting. 

Can I just say, I am in love with this site already. This post has been saved every minute while I've been writing. These people know what they're doing.

I think what prompted me to continue the idea was a conversation I had with my Mum about it all. We were talking about the nature of jealousy and the fact that actually the people who seem to go out of their way to be better than you are probably jealous of you. We had a really deep chat, and I can't remember everything we talked about. But when I came across this beginning again, I decided it was worth continuing. 

I was also inspired in a really bizarre way by my housemate and her fiance, who have been doing some work in the garden of a Manor House, and come back every day with a bagful of apples. Everywhere you look in both our houses (the boys live opposite) there are apples, and I find it quite funny. It's a bit of a statement to how weird my life feels right now. Anyway, as I was sat in the boys living room staring at an apple, ideas started to come together about next door neighbours. We all do it, try and guess at what our neighbours lives look like. 

So anyway, I got up yesterday morning and just wrote, all day. Obviously I had lunch and all of that sort of thing. In fact, whilst I was having dinner in the living room whilst writing, my housemate and her fiance got back, yes, with more apples, and set up a peeling station in front of spiderman. 

Quite clearly, it is a writer's skill to draw inspiration from the most bizarre places!
Anyway, I realise I boiled the kettle an hour ago. Time for a cup of tea.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Some History on Cosmic Questions

I've been a busy little bumble bee. I'm currently working on a Teen Fiction novel, though I have more to say on that categorisation. I've been doing market research, you see.
This project has been going since I was in college, about four years ago. When it started it was supposed to be a short story. But it grew. My initial idea, when I was about 15 years old, was to explore the world of dreaming. What happens really when you get stuck in a dream? But the cliche alarm bells sounded and I realised it was going nowhere. But by then I'd already got my main character, Ryan Dorsey. He wouldn't go away. I tried to scrap the whole thing, but he kept wondering into my imagination and demanding that I gave him something to do. He refused to stop existing.
It was always a side project, something I felt guilty for doing because I was supposed to be writing an essay. Not much got done. By my first year at University, I had the first three chapters of prose, which I showed to my (then) new boyfriend (now fiancĂ©). It sat on his hard drive for months. I deleted it all. It obviously wasn't working.
Then came the redraft.
So, after much work, editing, redrafting, I came to a place where I was more serious about it. I met several other characters, and the thing was starting to look like a real story. My Creative Writing Minor helped, in places, because I was in classes amongst other writers, being taught about the proper process of writing.
I submitted 5000 words of it as my final year project, and got the highest mark I'd ever got -69. One mark off a first. Frustrating. Very good, but not quite there yet. Of course not.
So. Here we are. I've now graduated, so I have a lot more time. I've printed off every scene in the most chronological order I can and I've gone through everything with a turquoise pen and post-it notes to try and get the structure down.

I'm Still Young

I have come over from Tumblr, because that site was annoying me.  I will no doubt eventually delete all of this start-up rubbbish once I get the hang of it. I sound like I'm 70 years old or something. I'm 21, but I'm out of practice with this sort of thing. I used to enter raw code for a website I had when I was at college, but life got hold and I quickly began to question how on earth I ever had time for it. All those skills have long since been forgotten, I'm afraid. But I find it is the things in life that you re-learn or redo that end up the strongest.
I have now graduated and am unemployed. Welcome to today's world. So I am trying to find useful things to do to keep me motivated while looking for a job. I can't help but think about needles and haystacks at this point in time.
My passion is writing, mostly prose these days. I do still pen the odd poem, but I'm afraid I no longer wish these to be viewed by any other eyes. They're too personal. Maybe, just maybe, I might post one or two. But largely not.
The idea at the moment is that this blog will be a journal of my writing endeavours. I don't know if it will work at all. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
That's all for now.