100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

My Most Important Tool As A Writer

This is another Friday Fun post. I might make these posts a habit for a Friday morning. Feel free to join in!

What is my most important tool as a writer?

Of course, I could say notebooks, paper, pens, blah blah blah, but I wanted to share with you a naming book I have had for many years- Dictionary of First Names by Geddes & Grosset. I purchased this book in a charity shop for fifty pence many moons ago, long before I had my daughter.

It has always been my tool for picking character names and understanding the meanings behind them. It was bizarre to actually use it to pick out a name for a real life human. In case you are wondering, I named my daughter Sophie. She just didn’t suit Princess Consuela Banana Hammock (if you get this reference let’s be ‘Friends’).

Here is my treasured baby/ character name book:

As you can see it is a tad tatty, and some pages are loose, but it has been lovingly adorned with Frozen stickers by my daughter. (I think she put Hans on there to represent Team Antagonist). It is also full to bursting with post-it notes. Each one is for a name that took my fancy. I use post-its for easy reference, and because I have an obsession with stationery.

If I ever have to dispose of this book it will be a solemn day indeed. I feel a little sick at the thought of it. I’ve had it for many years, and although it seems crazy to say it, it holds sentiment.

Advertisements
100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Playlist: My Muse-ic For Book One

I listened to A LOT of music when writing EVO Nation, but the following are the songs that made it to my ‘official writing playlist’. Just a mere eighteen, however, they were my go to songs, and got me through that epic first draft stage.

  1. You ~ Keaton Henson (see video)
  2. Sail ~ Awolnation (see video)
  3. Demons ~ Imagine Dragons (see video)
  4. The Logical Song ~ Supertramp (see video)
  5. Breathe Me ~ Sia (see video)
  6. Run To The Hills ~ Iron Maiden (see video)
  7. Things We Lost In The Fire ~ Bastille (see video)
  8. Empty ~ Ray Lamontagne (see video)
  9. Black Hole Sun ~ Soundgarden (see video)
  10. King ~ Years & Years (see video)
  11. Desire ~ Years & Years (see video)
  12. Pretender ~ Foo Fighters (see video)
  13. Losing Sleep ~ John Newman (see video)
  14. Heroes ~ Alesso (see video)
  15. Hold Back The River ~ James Bay (see video)
  16. Scars ~ James Bay (see video)
  17. We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow ~ Soko (see video)
  18. Stop Crying Your Heart Out ~ Oasis (see video)

I’m slowly creating my playlist for book two in the EVO Nation Series… it’s all part of the fun, right? Do you have a writing playlist? What are your go to songs? I’m curious…

Find my eBook: EVO Nation

For more on why I have a playlist, check out my blog post : The Power of the Playlist

Writing and Me

Book One Inspiration: Sudden Light

Sudden Light ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882)

I have been here before,

But when or how I cannot tell:

I know the grass beyond the door,

The sweet keen smell,

The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

*

You have been mine before,

How long ago I may not know:

But just when at that swallow’s soar

Your neck turned so,

Some veil did fall – I knew it all of yore.

*

Has this been thus before?

And shall not thus time’s eddying flight

Still with our lives our love restore

In death’s despite,

And day and night yield one delight once more?

I understood immediately that Rossetti was articulating an experience of Deja Vu. Stanza two describes the catalyst of his experience, and this inspired the chapter in my novel in which after having memory manipulation, my protagonist’s love interest finally remembers her and their relationship.

Blog Award

The ‘Sisterhood of the World’ Bloggers Award

sisterhood-award

I received this award on a wet and windy day in Cornwall, England and it cheered my morning up. I owe my thanks to An Artsy Appetite. I appreciate you thinking of me when you received your own award. You should all check out her blog. If you have an interest in art and food, hit that follow button.

The rules of this award:

  • Thank and link the blogger who awarded you.
  • Answer the questions the blogger has provided.
  • Award 10 other bloggers.
  • Create 10 questions and notify your chosen bloggers of their award.

Here are my answers:

1. What is your favourite colour for clothes/dresses/outfits?

My favourite colour is green, but when it comes to clothes, I like patterns.

2. Favourite inspirational quote?

‘To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.’ ~ Oscar Wilde.

3. Fine dining or take out?

Take out.

4. Which one would you see, Sci-Fi movie or Thriller?

Sci-Fi all the way! I watch, read, and write Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

5. Why do you blog?

I blog to share my experiences as a self-published author, to build a platform, and to share in other blogger’s experiences.

6. Do you have any plans for your blog?

As my blog is still in its infancy, I hope to reach out to more followers.

7. What would be your favourite holiday destination? Why?

I would love to go to Lapland at Christmas time. My daughter wants to see Santa’s grotto, and I want a shot at seeing the Northern Lights.

8. Paper books or Kindle?

Both. I love the smell of books, and have a vast collection, but I also appreciate Kindle, and self-published my own book on Amazon Kindle.

9. What do you enjoy cooking the most?

Roast dinners. I love a good roast potato.

10. Who is your favourite person? Why?

I have two- my daughter and my partner. They are my world.

I award the ‘Sisterhood of the World’ Bloggers Award to  the following:

Here are my 10 questions for you:

  1. What is your most prized possession?
  2. Where is your favourite place in the world?
  3. What actress would you pick to play you in a film of your life?
  4. What film title sums up your life?
  5. What is your go to karaoke song?
  6. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?
  7. Do you have a phobia? If so, what is it?
  8. What is your favourite book?
  9. Tell me something that annoys you.
  10. Tell me something that inspires you.

Congratulations to you all.

You do not have to participate, but it is a great way to promote and honour our sister bloggers!

Writing and Me

Cutting The Dead Weight

For the last week I have been in a writing lull. I’m working on book two in the EVO Nation series, and barely scraped together eight thousand words in the last seven days.

It is unlike me to get stuck in a writing/ plot rut, but it happened, and I couldn’t see a way out. I generally don’t outline, and the narrative comes naturally, but the tangent I followed took me down a dull path. The narrative wasn’t heading in an interesting direction, the pace was not in keeping with book one, and if I was feeling a bit ‘blah’ at the thought of digging my way out of the black hole my story was sinking into, how could I expect the readers to not feel ‘blah’ about my whole book? I could have cried.

So, I finally admitted to myself that something needed to give.  I spent the whole day on Saturday at my Nana’s house with my daughter, seeing family, and just doing our usual ‘mother’s meeting’ as the men in the family call it. It was nice knowing that I wasn’t supposed to be writing. I told myself that evening would be the turn around. I was going to try and pin point the chapter where I last felt enthusiastic about book two, and see what went wrong.

I did just that. Only, the chapter I last thoroughly enjoyed writing was four thousand words ago. Again, I could have cried. I had to take it back, and cut those four thousand words. There was nothing else to be done.

I hit delete, and do you know what? It was liberating. Once I had come to terms with the fact that I was now behind schedule, but being behind schedule was okay if it meant my story was back on track, I clung to another plot tangent and hit the ground running.

I’m now back on top form, and working at full capacity again… (deep breath). The narrative is progressing much better, and my enthusiasm has returned. So, the moral of the story is- ‘Don’t be afraid to take it back. Cut the dead weight.’ It can be daunting, but suck it up and hit delete for the sake of your novel, oh, and your sanity.

Weekly Quotes

Quotes of the Week July 27th 2015

blog man

Last week I chose female empowerment quotes, and as an empowered female it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t give the men a mention. So, this week I have picked two male empowerment quotes.

‘A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.’ ~ David Brinkley.

No matter what life throws at you, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. It is exactly as they say- ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.

‘The successful warrior is the average man with a laser- like focus.’ ~Bruce Lee.

With strong determination and inner strength you can be anything you set out to be. Set your mind to something and keep your laser-like focus…Why? Because Bruce Lee says so.

Happy Monday.

Writing and Me

My Cures For Writer’s Block

Writer’s block, the dreaded two words that no writer wants to utter, but we have all been there, right?

Here are my tried and tested tips to bust the block, and burst the dam of creativity.

Long Term Suggestions:

1. Dream Journal- Keeping a notebook and pen beside your bed is a great idea for jotting down all those thoughts that come to you just before you’re about to fall asleep, or to write down that fascinating dream before you forget the details. Once you have a dream journal in place, whenever you need a little inspiration you will have a book full to bursting.

2. Muse Notebook- It is worth investing in a small notebook that you can keep in your pocket or bag. This is particularly important when you are out and about and need to write down a snippet of dialogue or a quote you’ve overheard. A particular song lyric that inspires or holds resonance with you might be forgotten if you wait until you get home to jot it down.

This notebook can be called upon when writer’s block kicks in. Things that inspired you in the first instance, could hold a completely different meaning when you revisit them.

3. Pinterest Set up a Pinterest account and create an inspiration board. Any images, quotes, and lyrics you find inspiring can be pinned to your board for future use. You can even peruse other pinner’s inspiration boards for ideas. Check out my post, A Passion For Pinterest, for ways to use Pinterest to your advantage.

Short Term Suggestions/ Quick Fixes:

1. Listen to music- Music stirs emotions in us all. Pick a song, really listen to the lyrics, and picture the story behind them.

2. Change of scenery- Go for a walk, or try writing in a different location such as your local library.

3. Read a newspaper or magazine- Real life stories can be interesting and spur the ‘what if’ questions.

4. Pick a song title- Pick a song title and write a paragraph based on that title.

5. Writing prompts- Find writing prompts online and expand on the prompt. See where your creativity takes you. I have created prompts in another of my blog posts, Narrative Prompts.

6. Interview family or friends- It doesn’t have to be a formal interview. Casually chat about their past experiences, phobias, dreams. Take a concept and expand on it from your own imagination.

7. Childhood photographs- Browse photos from your past/ childhood. Does anything strike you funny or curious? Is there a mysterious woman in the background of a shot who would make an interesting character?

8. Visit a graveyard- This might seem a morbid suggestion, but graveyards can offer a wealth of inspiration; names, tragedy, and spook value. Try to imagine lives for the deceased. What did they do for a living? Did they die from an act of bravery, stupidity, or a broken heart?

9. Partake in some fun- What better way to recharge your batteries, gain experiences, mingle with others, and de-stress? Let you hair down, and come back to writing with a relaxed, fresh head.

10. Browse a baby name book- Name books that include the name meanings are fantastic for inspiration. Name a character, and then develop their personality based on the meaning behind their name.