Linguistically Challenged

 

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A writer friend, Helena Stone, had an idea about a blog after she saw that there were writers like her who are writing in a second or third language – English.

She asked around, and it seems we are quite a few! We agreed on answering some questions, and the first two posts on Helena’s blog are live now. Check them out, it’s quite funny to read.

www.helenastone.blogspot.ie

I’m quite happy to see I’m not the only one who struggles with grammar sometimes. And I don’t feel strange anymore because I think in two languages and have to “switch” in my head.

I’ll keep you updated on new posts, and I hope you enjoyed reading about us linguistically challenged writers as much as I did. My turn to answer these questions will be soon, too!

 

Chris (who’s way too tired today to write anything else, no matter which language.)

 

A little update from Never Wrong: The line edits are done, and it will no go into proofreading. I don’t have a release date yet, but I hope I can show off the cover soon!

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How I Develop My Characters. Or Not.

I thought I’d tell you something about my writing process today. For me, it’s always exciting to find new characters, see their good and bad sides, their quirks and habits. But how exactly do I create them?

I don’t. Period. I don’t create them. Or sit down and think about how I need a character X.

But how do I get them then? That’s what I’ll talk about today.

The first thing when I get an idea for a new book, is a scene I have in my mind. It just pops up and I see something happen. (No, I don’t need my meds, that’s pretty common among authors!). So I have a scene or two. And based on this, my mind develops more and more of the plot line. I have, at this point, no real clue what this story will be about. Nor do I know anything about the characters. Just a general feeling and something that is best described as vague direction.

Soon after the first scenes come up, I start to feel how my characters are. Some special traits develop, like I suddenly know why a character reacts to certain triggers. I get more and more of the past of my characters, what they experienced and how they deal with certain things. What they like or don’t like. These points, how small they are, are jotted down on my notepad. Then I start plotting in earnest. I posted about that recently, so I will not talk about that again (don’t want to bore you more than necessary 🙂 )

As soon as my piece of art is done, I know basically where I want to go and what should happen in the story (it never does, since my guys refuse to believe this is the way to go, but I still try!). I also have, thanks to plotting, a better idea how my character should be. Please notice the ‘should’. I’ll tell you why soon.

I can start writing then. Or better, I just do. I sit down and crank out say something between 5000 and 15000 words. And sometime during these thousands of words, something happens. My characters stop behaving the way I think they should, and start to actually act. (Still not time for meds! Just writing reality…) This is the point at which I feel them, where I ‘get’ their voice and their emotions. It’s a magical moment, because until then, the character was there, in my mind, but he was flat and boring.

At the moment he takes over the story, he tells HIS point of view, not mine. He has his voice, his opinion.

Although, I admit that this is usually the point where I seriously start doubting my writing, since I can forget all my plotting.  My character dictates what happens now, and it might be that I have to write the story from only one POV (happened in Never Wrong). Or that I seriously have to rework the beginning of a novel (see my post of Plotting my novel More again). This is usually the part I don’t like, but I know that my characters simply do know better. 🙂 Or refuse to listen to me.

Now you know how my characters find me, and how I don’t do much to develop them. I just hand them over the reins and they say what needs to be said.

I hope you found it interesting. I would love to know how you do it, if you are writing yourself. And if you’re a reader, is it interesting for you to see how it works?

 

I wish you a nice weekend from Germany, which is way too cold tonight.

 

Chris

 

New plotting of my novel More

My novel with the working title More has given me some troubles lately. It just didn’t feel right, and at about 16000 words, I had no real clue how to go on.
So I sat down the last days and drawed. I’ve heard other say they do this with a program, but my mind refuses. I need a pen, and a paper, and then I can start.

I listed the main characters, the plot and the subplots (four!! at this point).
Then I started drawing in which connection the characters are to each other.
I’m working with four equal protagonists, so that alone is sometimes a bit confusing.
My working sheet looked like this when I was done:

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Nice, isn’t it?

But I wasn’t done. I started jotting down notes on possible scenes. That was another page:

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Now I think I figured out where I need to tweak a little in order for this story to work. I’ll have to expand a few scenes, cut others (I HATE cutting already written scenes) and overall rework it.

I’ll keep you updated how it goes and if my protagonists behave a bit better now (or not, depending on what I want them to do… 😉 )

Wish you all a good day!

Chris

Haunted House of Manlove

I’m game!

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The House of Manlove, our critique group, is hosting a Haunted House of Manlove Flash blog hop.

We are looking for Flash M/M Romance of 1200 words or under with a Halloween and Hauntings theme.

You do not have to be previously published. Your story can be about established couples in a universe or setting from your own previously published work or WIP.

We do not want scenes or excerpts. We’re looking for story with all the story elements and that elusive Flash ending that makes you laugh or nod your head or go “awww.”

Click the link below if you would like to accept this invitation. I’ll send you the badge and answer any questions you might have. I’ll also get a list of participants together for your blog.

This is a week long blog hop from 10/26 to 10/31/14.

Heloise West 🙂

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/daniandgeorge/8615262399/”>the past tends…

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Awesome Metal fans in Germany

Last weekend 75,000 Metal fans visited Wacken to celebrate the Wacken: Open: Air 2014.

Now, when you think of Metal fans, you think of everything, but not blood cancer. But then, when you think about one of the biggest Metal Open Airs, you  wouldn’t think of a small town in Germany. But the citizens of Wacken are helping to organize this event, and it’s one of the most beautiful, and most peaceful around the world.

This year there was an unusual action during Wacken 2014:

A huge typing campaign in the fight against blood cancer. The daughter of one of the initiators is sick, and she needs a donor in order to survive. Maybe one of the thousands that were willing to get registered is a fitting blood match, and she has a chance. I hope so.

I just find it awesome to use such a festival to reach so many people and find some potential donors, even if it was held because of personal reasons. The database of potential donors has now thousands of new blood examples. If only one person can be saved now, great. Even more? Better.

I wish the girl all the best. May they find a fitting donor.

 

And if you think about visiting Wacken 2015, it’s already sold out. 🙂

 

Chris

 

Back on track

I’m back on track. Last week was quite busy, I finished the first round of edits on Never Wrong. Seems like there’s a problem if you use different writing programs, since this can screw up the formatting. I learned this the hard way, since I went twice through my manuscript, only to get an email from my editor, telling me it got screwed up again.

Needless to say, I now have the same program that she uses.

This week, I also did make a nice bundle of a new manuscript, a synopsis and my query letter, and sent it! I’ll keep you up to date.

My first novel (working title: more) gives me a little trouble right now. I’m some 16000 words in it, and it doesn’t work the way it should do. I’m in the middle of creating a mindmap to find the problems.
I hope I can show it to you soon. And present the new novel. 🙂

Wish you all a good time!

I’m going to clean some mushrooms now, since my husband brought some from the woods

Chris

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