Monthly Archives: May 2014

Head, meet Wall

That’s right, I am banging my head against a wall just now!

It’s the frustration that comes with a gripping fear of moving forward with writing – Who will want to read this? Am I actually saying anything that hasn’t been said before? Is it interesting enough? Do my characters have depth? Where am I going with this? Who’s going to care?

Hooray for doubt.

Yippee for staring at a spot on the wall for endless hours, whilst chewing the bottom lip until it bleeds.

Because, while I may be hitting my head against that spot on the wall that I’ve just been staring at, while simultaneously chewing a hole into my lip, I am sincerely looking forward to the next phase.

It’s the “Aha” phase.

No, not the cheesy ’80’s poptastic Norwegian band.

I’m talking about the beautiful moment where everything simply falls into its rightful place and settles into a malleable, if not always coherent, manuscript.

Is it blind faith?

Or is it more scientific; a mathematical form of patterns and universal equations?

When we write we create a world. A world with history, with richness and suffering, which has (hopefully) meaning in its beginning, middle and end.

We take words, sentences, paragraphs, and put them together to create a whole. Analysing their form and sequencing them.

Perhaps we are builders, laying foundations and building walls for a roof, with rooms and windows and doors (Oh My).

Whatever it is that we are; a God, a mathematician, scientist, or builder… (Dare I call myself a writer yet?) Whatever our writing is, there is that moment when we become stuck and frustrated. We place an obstacle of our own making in front of us and call it a road block. We battle with ourselves, our ego rears it’s ugly head and that’s the point we inevitably meet the wall.

So, I ask of you, my writer friends, what dwells beyond your wall?

I’m planning a midnight push tonight: I’m going beyond the wall to seek the “A-HA!” moment.

Not merely because I want to finish this damn book, but because my head really hurts now.



Wednesdays Wisdom

May we be guided by our children and our elders.

May we be guided by our children and our elders.

Ye Old School of Philosophy

Wow, I love this spinning pentacle. And, of course, I agree with its message )o(

Plot Holes

Having been quite consumed this last couple of weeks by my other project that I’m co-authoring, I haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked on Wytch.

However, this has turned into quite a good thing: One, is that while I’ve neglected my writing and blogger duties, I have been able to let my cooking pot of ideas simmer into something a little more flavour-able.

The second is that when you leave a project to rest for a while and return to it with fresh eyes, you see things that you hadn’t noticed before. As is the case for me and Wytch.

This in itself has proven to be twofold; A massive problem in one of the plot lines stared up at me with unblinking eyes. Secondly, it’s allowed my characters to show what facets of their character is lacking.

Which has led me to ask the question: are my characters driving the plot or is my plot shaping my characters.

Sure, our plot has to shape our characters, just as life shapes us, they change, we change, there’s a whole lot of growth and adapting going on! But… Which comes first? (Chicken? Egg?)

For example, one of my characters Sybille began life as the Queen, first wife of Mael.

Together they have a child, that child is Wytch – In order for Mael to not find out that Sybille has bore him a “corrupt” infant, she instructs her hand maiden, Ellen, to kill the child.

Ellen, instead, takes the child to Agnistead to be bought up by her spiritual and most faithful friend, The Chief.

Sybille then decided that she was best suited as a magical creature, rather than a human…

A Water Creature, in the disguise of a human, who tricks Mael into marrying her.

This sent me down a new road of discovery, in order to explain the affliction of the wyt, interspecies breeding could be the answer! A mundane + A magical creature, such as the Nixen or the Pan = A Wytch.


On top of this, the reader being allowed into this little secret from the beginning and keeping it hidden from the characters would create a feeling of involvement with the reader whilst keeping the real truth hidden from them.

I was quite happy with the way it turned out, Sybille seemed to want to be a magical creature from water, instead of a “normal” human. I took notes, I charted the plot line, I wrote.

I then got busy with my other project. (So exciting! Can’t wait to tell you all about that!)

After my couple of weeks break from Wytch, I realised with dramatised horror that there was an almighty plot hole. (This would be the unblinking eyes I spoke of above)

Whether Sybille is a magical creature or not, how the hell do I explain the baby? Yes, the baby born with wyt is an interspecies, Meal must not learn that he has fathered a wytch child. (so far, all fine!) Sybille instructs Ellen to take the child and kill her, (yep, sure.)

Where’s the body?

Surely the King would expect a body of his first child, the princess, to be available to him to say goodbye, to bury her. Wouldn’t he?

I don’t like loop holes. And that’s a great big bloody chasm!

But it’s okay. After all, Sybille is a water creature, a Nixen. She has magical friends from the other quarters of Air, Earth and Fire. And what are these creatures if not magical? Magic is the key!

Whilst it is true that I don’t like using magic to explain away plot holes, where reason and logic can be applied. I also don’t like those plot holes that can’t have reason and logic applied to them. The only answer here is magic.

Of course, the book itself is about magic, and the mundane worlds view of it. Therefore, this is a perfect example to add to why Mael wants rid of it; why he is working so hard to extract it from his kingdom.

This will give him a far deeper need to drive his story forward, it will also give him more emotional conflict when faced with the decision of killing his daughter when they finally meet.

The Kings character now, seems more fleshed out, more emotive, and I have actually started to feel a little happier with him now than I ever did before. It felt, for a while, that he was just beyond my reach, aloof even.

From one character changing the plot (Sybille), to the plot in turn changing another character (Mael).

(I think this means that the chicken came first!)

It has also allowed me to create a new story line within a story. And I like it when that happens 🙂

Rest is always good for the writer. I hope it proves good for the reader too!

Have a great weekend all of you, whether that means writing, or resting…


Wednesdays Wisdom


Thought for the day



Today, it is this.

It is not frustration.

Nor is it fear or procrastination.

I am not concerned.

It is trust.

As it is faith and knowledge.

Perception changes everything.

Soon, those words will be seen.

Happy writing y’all 😉


In my element(s)

Here in Robin Hood County, the sun has been burning brightly and showering us in its wonderful rays.

I’ve had such a lovely week, walking by the river and walking the dogs, gardening, and plenty of writing.

I’ve been working mostly on building my characters. Shaping their personalities and adding flesh to their bones. I came across some old psychology notes, that I’d kept specifically for writing, subsequently lost and then found, only to forget about them completely.

So it was fun working through them and trying to decipher my short hand and understand my own writing. So, I’ll be doing a post later about the character building process.

What I did realise this week, is just how different I felt by being out in the sunshine and playing in the garden.

Fire and earth = my favourite elements.

Fire represents the spiritual level of being, it is passion and transformation. It’s the creator and the destroyer,and it is hearth and home.

The active energy of fire can transform anything; dark into light or coolness into warmth.

It can even transform me!

I was instantly kicked into action by the sun coming out. I actually wanted to get up and out every morning this week – As any one who knows me, also knows just what a bitch I can be if woken up, worse, if woken up and not given tea.

But once the sun comes out, so do my best qualities.

Which then brings to to the power of earth. I feel so energised by the sun, it’s true. But digging in the dirt, tidying up the flower beds and planting new plants brings me clarity.

Earth represents the physical level of being, it is the mother, stability and the heart beat of all things. Opposite to fire it’s energy is passive, earth is darkness and yet the same as fire it represents the home.

When ever I get stuck with my writing, it always helps me to think, and sort through the lag, if I go out and connect to the earth. During the late ’80’s and early 90’s I walked barefoot practically everywhere, my feet had freedom and I was connected to the grounding energy of earth. I realise, looking back on those particular years, that I wrote huge amounts.

Mostly crap, granted.

Some of it was okay, some  I never finished.

None survived.

I had a huge burning ritual when I was pregnant with my first son, to transform myself from ageing hippy into doting mother.

Yes, I was barefoot.

No I wasn’t really an ageing hippy.

Yes I regretted it after, not any more though!

I believe the fire transformed my writing, hopefully into something better.

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