Posted in Chronicles in Creation

Before you ‘Rewrite’ the Old Stories, Maybe Think About What They Were Saying…

It’s been fashionable for several decades now (and goodness, do I feel old remembering how long I’ve been engaging with the trend…) for us all to rewrite ‘classic’ stories, fairytales, folktales, well-known stories which are now helpfully just out of copyright limitations…

The list goes on.

And exploring these stories from different perspectives is always worth doing, but I can’t help thinking that we often miss the point of these old stories, just a little. The older stories are, the more the characters themselves don’t matter, so much as the theme and message of the plot. So maybe ‘The Prince’ doesn’t have much personality, maybe ‘The Evil Wizard’ doesn’t have a monologue exploring his in-depth motivations. But that wasn’t ever the point, was it? The point was what the story itself was trying to say. What we took away from it all, and kept with us for years and remembered in the backs of our minds, quietly shaping the people we would grow to become…

We talk a lot about ‘modernizing’ old stories, without ever stopping to think about how any story which has survived – which has made its way down throughout centuries and centuries, travelling miles and across kingdoms and continents – that story has resonated through so much time and space for a reason.

Because we will never, really, as people change very much. We still need warmth, and food, and shelter. We make friendships and fall in love – and out of it again – and argue and upset people and seek forgiveness, and demand justice. We deal with kind strangers still, when we are lucky, and have awful people try to take advantage of our weaknesses when they can. We put our trust in each other, and lend each other a hand, and try to defend each other when they need help.

The invention of cars and wireless technology and stainless steel and sliced bread didn’t change who we all were as people, not in our essentials. Oh, we may have shed light into the shadows and shown that the monsters we believed lived out in the swamps and marshes are less easy to find than we might have thought, but we never had to look all that far to find cruel monsters wearing our own faces, did we? And we forget this at our peril.

The lessons our foremothers thought were important enough to teach us, wise as they were to teach those lessons in a form which would stick with us longer than books hold their ink, or stones hold their scratches, or film holds its celluloid memories… Those lessons are still important to us all. And if we think we are too good for them, too modern, too clever, too far removed from the lives we had lived for centuries… well, it only ever seems to become more clear why those lessons had to be taught, as we learn them all over again, the hard way.

We didn’t stop living in communities, we just stopped caring for them. We didn’t defeat the tyrants, we just assumed they’d learned their lessons. We didn’t defeat hunger, and sickness, and loneliness, and grief, we just stopped talking about them and helping each other through them.

And are we any happier for that?

So much as we remembered that bread is easy to make in theory, but takes practice to make well; as we remembered that our loved ones might be loud, but we miss them when they fall silent; as we remembered that we actually really do like to sing and dance (even if we aren’t very good at it), that stories make the long days and nights go a heck of a lot faster, that making things with our own hands can be relaxing and helpful to us, as well as fun…

Let us go through some of the common themes and lessons from the stories we were once told, handed down to us from our ancestors, which not even pain and death and distance could take from us, and which are still patiently waiting for us to remember once more…

Don’t be rude to people as your default. 

We’ve all seen it, even if we’re sure that we’ve never done it ourselves, never opened our mouths and said something cruel to some stranger we were never going to see again. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a reflection of who we really are, is it? It doesn’t mean anything.

Maybe it’s a bad day. Maybe you didn’t mean it how it came out. Maybe you say that to someone else all the time and they don’t make a stink about it.

And so it’s easy to sympathize with the character who opens their mouth and ends up on the wrong end of a curse, or has an endless quest ahead of them, or some impossible task which they must now defeat. After all, it’s not like they did anything wrong is it?

But let’s be honest here, in this scenario, in this moment, you made the decision to be rude to that stranger because you thought you could do so and get away with it. If you’d known there would be consequences afterwards, well… then you wouldn’t have done it, would you? But there’s the thing about consequences, isn’t it? Maybe try to make a little kindness be your default and see if that works out better for you next time.

Don’t put yourself forward for skills you don’t have, and don’t let other people do that for you either. Sooner or later, you’re gonna be taken seriously, and then how are you going to do it?

Remember the stories which begin with someone telling a few tall tales? ‘My daughter can spin wheat into gold.’ ‘I can run faster than even the wind.’

There’s a lot of career advice out there about making up a skillset for a job. Stretching the truth a little. No one has to know, do they? It’s easy to think that you’ll get away with these things in an age of Google, sure, but there are still expectations to manage, so don’t just think you can bluff your way through everything, or attempt the impossible without it falling through on you. No, you can’t take this project from first draft to ‘ready to publish’ in a few hours, no matter how much coffee you drink. No, you can’t make nine elaborate theatre costumes in one weekend all by yourself, especially without all the measurements. You are human, and you are allowed to acknowledge that, and if The Plan rests entirely on you suddenly being Superhuman, then it was a bad plan all along.

And you will be the one to pay the price, if you allow someone to think otherwise. There’s no shame in not being able to perform the Labours of Hercules, and you will not achieve god-hood if you try. You just end up tired and frustrated and outfaced by the scale of the problem before you.

The Selfish Die, Cold and Alone. And No One Mourned Them.

I know we like to say that the victory write history, and that’s often true. But people have longer memories than they are sometimes given credit for and they will remember. The dead do not bury themselves, after all, and the people who only know how to take will find themselves short on options when their own hour of need comes knocking.

You cannot eat gold, nor burn it, and no matter how heavily gilded your palace, it will be awfully echoing and empty without friends to share it with. You can buy sycophants, but you will tire of their empty smiles soon enough, and no matter how you plead that is all you will get from them.

‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Don’t You Dare Wish For Better.’ It Means ‘Everything Has A Cost, Choose Your Wishes Wisely’

There’s been a bit of a vogue to misinterpret this one, but I think we’re in the ideal time to recognize what our forebears had already learned the hard way. Everything comes with a cost, and if you don’t know about it up-front then you sure will have to grapple with it after the fact.

Maybe you wished for the huge, varied wardrobes of clothes you saw on tv and instagram, but now you know about the environmental and human cost of fast fashion and you have a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe you wanted a dog or cat for cuddles, but it turns out that living beings which you are responsible for take a lot of time and energy and care and cash, and a cat can live for fifteen years or more. Maybe you wanted that promotion, but you’ve just realized that you were working so many Saturdays and evenings that you’ve not seen your friends in nine months and some of them have stopped calling. Maybe you really like those restaurants that your SO can’t eat in, but you didn’t want to research alternatives and now you just don’t seem to go out together so much.

Making a decision isn’t about having no cons to weigh against the pros, but rather about thinking carefully about whether the pros outweigh the cons after all, and by how much. And you can’t avoid the cons by not reading the small print or doing a bit of research; they always find their way to you, sooner or later. There are no vacuums outside of labs, you are not an island, and sometimes getting what you want means thinking about how it affects other people before you do it.

And who knows? There might be a better way forward if you only look for it.

You are never going to beat Death forever, and trying makes you miserable.

One thing that we keep coming back to as a society time and time again is that it is the quality not the quantity of our years that matters most. Laughter might not be easy to find, but it’s one of the last things on Earth that’s free, so help yourself and share it around. Ditto hugs, when we can and when they are welcomed. You’re not immortal, and neither is anyone else, so don’t put off loving them until later, ok?

No one is too big, too powerful, too rich, too scary that they cannot be brought down in the end.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year.

But one day.

If you fear that, then you know which role you are playing in this tale, and maybe it’s time to rethink a few things.

The ‘lone hero’ who succeeded actually had a whole team behind him. The elder brother who went off on his own didn’t make it.

I know the standard Hollywood film script likes to focus on one person for a story, and framing is important, but remember how the younger brother takes the time to talk to the people around him? To ask them questions, to listen when they give him advice, to rely upon the kindness of others, and repay them that kindness back in full or fuller in his own turn? And he succeeded in his quest, won the day, and rode home victorious with a bonus prize of cool new friends he gets to proudly introduce to everyone.

Well, the older brother didn’t, did he? He just strode off, confident in his own strength, his own wisdom and his own weapons. And sometimes his little brother rescues him, but others he does not.

One man cannot slay the dragon; he needs the blacksmith who lent him a sword after he fixed the roof; he needs the sleeping herbs offered by the old lady he helped gather firewood for; he needs the words of wisdom from the little boy he pulled out of the mud, handed along from his grandfather. Nothing is accomplished by one man alone. Acknowledge the community effort for what it is. Nothing is achieved except when it is attempted together.

If the task is impossible, you’ve not got enough hands to help you.

Can you sort through the lentils and rice grains all alone? No you cannot. You need your army of ant-friends. Can you fill up the storeroom with nuts in an hour? No, you need your squirrel-helpers. Can you stuff a thousand pillows with feathers in a night? Nope, it’s the mice’s time to shine and come to the rescue, isn’t it?

We’re a communal species, no matter what some twit with a neck-beard might say. We survive by working together. We instinctively seek each other out. We are miserable when we’re alone. Ask for help honestly, and be willing to give it in return. No one remembers when the job which was attempted alone failed, they celebrate when it was successfully completed by a team. Just remember to have plenty of tea and cake on hand while you work!

Lying is a risky way to get what you want. Some people might be fooled, but others will not.

“Tell me which of these is your lost axe? The one of gold, the one of silver, or the one of iron.” Hmmm…

Sometimes people are asking you a question they already know the answer to, and are letting you dig that grave for yourself. Oh, bluffing and cleverness are valuable skills, and they are important skills to learn, but use them carefully. If you’re asked a straight question, a straight answer is a lot easier to remember and live with, and being caught out in a lie is never going to go well.

Do what you can, even if it doesn’t seem like much.

In a world filled with news articles full of people sitting on mountains of resources handing out scraps, it’s easy to think that there is nothing you – who has so much less already – can do, nothing that really matters anyway. But sometimes the small gestures matter most.

Sometimes your simple kindness can make the big difference someone needed. Maybe bringing the lady at work you know is just really struggling right now a drink and a biscuit isn’t going to solve her problems, but she’ll be delighted to know someone noticed. Maybe you can’t help with someone’s over-filled desk, but telling them that they’re doing an awesome job even if no one else acknowledges it will give them a boost. Maybe telling that jerk on the bus harassing that man where precisely he can get off isn’t going to help his victim with all the times he’s going to have to deal with it this week. But he’ll know that at least one time he wasn’t alone and someone was prepared to stand up with him.

Have faith that you are vital and worthwhile, and that your genuine kindness and willingness to listen and reach out will be important to the person who needed it. Don’t hold back. Share what you can and remember that we all need that shoulder to lean on, and your shoulders are just as good as anyone else’s.

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Posted in Chronicles in Creation

Writing: Expectation Vs Reality…

I was having a sort out in my room the other day, in the aftermath of nanowrimo and all, and I found something I wanted to share with you all. I don’t … I don’t really know what the lesson is here, but I suppose if we go through it all together, maybe we can figure it out?

So I found my first notebook from way back in the very beginning, at the point when I decided I’d quite like to write the series. Wow, that was a long time ago now…


Anyway, I dug it out and I sort of wanted to share it with you? As you can see, it’s a bit battered and it’s definitely stuffed to bursting! I carried it around with me on the ride to and from work, which I bring up because the writing’s weirdly neat for me and my bus-writing!

It wasn’t anything ground-breakingly original, nor anything very complex in it’s conception either. It was essentially just a collection of pictures I’d found online (me having no artistic talent whatsoever and thus being incapable of drawing my own) that vaguely fitted either the general vibe of the stories I was looking for, or an effort to try and get a fix on what I thought various characters looked like, how they acted, what their backstories were, all that jazz…

I started work on it initially, if I remember rightly, because I had some many images and ideas and little fragments and flashes of inspiration floating around in my head and I wanted to tie some of it down in one place. I wanted to see what the common threads where, what my imagination was driving at, and having it all down in hard copy in front of me was very useful in that regard.


At first it was all pretty well-organised; just a few notes, some snatches of Old English and translations, the odd place-name I’d decided on…



But after a while, things got a little out of hand! Even the notes were trying to escape the confines of the notebook!

One of the more interesting things about having a ratch through this old thing, after several years of it being tucked away safely in a box, has been seeing what ideas I have kept largely unchanged since the very start of this whole endeavour and what has changed, sometimes quite radically!

Whole character arches have been completely altered and swept away, whole others have only had small additions or subtractions made. Sometimes I’ve even stumbled over characters I came up with way back when which I’d since forgotten about entirely, only to realise I’d been trying to recreate them from scratch because my stories still needed them! Talk about inadvertently reinventing the wheel!


I suppose the big question is: Was all this cutting and sticking worth it? Well…

I feel that it would be dishonest to say that this has been a practice I’ve continued into my writing endeavours today. Just as an example, this is what my current notebook looks like!

I know, glamorous, isn’t it?

And you might be thinking to yourself, ‘Oh, but surely that’s just the outside, right? It’ll be full of pretty pictures on the inside, naturally!’

Nope! ‘Fraid not!

(Sorry Mam, I know my handwriting’s … distinctive!)


It’s not pretty, but it works!

But that doesn’t mean that all that work on the old notebook was wasted effort.

For some people, I understand that world-building is quite literally the process of building a whole world from the ground up and then populating it with characters to explore it. For others it’s a case of having a bunch of characters and needing to build a world for them to fit inside of. For yet others (and I realise this might not be how most people think of world-building, but I reckon it still counts) the whole thing starts with the story and they build the world and the characters as necessary for the story to take place.

But none of those broad models works for me at all…

The beginning of my writing journey was a mess of origin stories for people I didn’t know would be main characters (and indeed rather suspected would not!), a single clear crystalline image of three wildly different castles, some flashes of scenes in no particular order, and a smattering of world-mechanics for travel and magic and culture. And through of of this, the certainty that it would all fit together perfectly if I could only find a way to fill in the blank bits!

Filling up a notebook like this was a helpful first step towards filling in those gaps. Getting down everything I knew I knew, not worrying about what order I knew things, not worrying about whether I was being wildly different to everyone else, just pushing all that swirling mess inside my head out onto paper and making space for carrying new ideas… It helped me feel like I was getting somewhere, even if – in the strictest of writing senses – I was doing no such thing!

Come the New Year, I think I’ll be dipping into the old notebook a bit more and sharing some choice chunks with you all! Some ideas that sounded good in principle but just didn’t quite stick the landing, some characters I realised I hated already and they hadn’t even made it through the story yet, and one huge integral feature of world-building that made it through several drafts before I realised I’d almost created a monster I couldn’t make myself stand behind.

After all, if we don’t share out mistakes, other people have to go and make them for themselves, don’t they?

Have any of you found old notebooks lurking long after you’d finished with them? Did you find buried treasure or ghouls best left forgotten?

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Posted in Chronicles in Creation, Nanowrimo

Nano-Wrangle: Week 5

Greetings, Everyone!

It’s over!!!

Yep, November’s over, Nano’s done, I no longer need feel guilty because I’m too tired to remember how words work, and I can just go to bed instead…

That one’s … actually, that one’s not that much of an exaggeration at all, now that I think about it.

I nearly didn’t write this post, but some of you have been very lovely all the way through this saga and it felt too much like cheating not to. After all, I promised you honesty when I started this blog, and sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, you know?

Final Chart Nano 2019

Basically, the long and the short of it is that I rather tapped out of Nano this past week. It all got to be too much for me, I sat down to write after work one evening and I got shaken awake at my desk by the security team late into the night, like i was a student the week before finals all over again.

I’ll say this about Nano, nothing has ever made me feel more like I did when I was 20 in years; essay-crises, late-night studying, frantically drinking more tea than is advisable while squinting at my hand-written notes like the Rosetta Stone may need to be called in to translate at any minute… Never wish to feel younger kids, remember that Time’s relentless march forwards is just pushing you further and further away from the Dark Days!

Anyway, that was definitely the stage when I thought to myself, ‘Self? Why? Why are you doing this?’ and I packed it in for a few days to catch up on sleep and remember when keyboards weren’t a constant source of mild fear and guilt.

The good news is, as a result of that, I can’t say that my quiet fears from last week that I would end up finishing November loathing the very notion of writing has not come to pass. Hurray!

The bad news is that I am being sassed by my Nano page right now:

Words needed today


Am I disappointed that I didn’t finish? A little.

But it’s not all bad news. I might not have reached the 50,000 word target, but I still feel like I did pretty ok in the end, certainly more than I ever have done before for Nano!

Final Total

See, that’s something, right there!

And I’ve learned a fair bit about my writing tendencies, about some of my weaknesses which I can now spend the next few months working on, and – even if I never managed to consistently write over 1,500 words every single day – I did manage to get much better at taking every possible opporunity to write at all, which can only be a good thing for my writing in the coming months and years.

So rather than calling this a failure, I’m firmly taking this as a writing assessment of a sort. I’ve certainly learned plenty doing this, and though I’m sure plenty of you already knew this already, I figured I’d share a few of the highlights:

  • You’re never as prepared as you think you are. I’m a planner and that’s fine, but no plan is perfect, and no plan is helpful if it’s months and months old, you twit!
  • Some gaps in your knowledge will only be found by tripping over them. Look, you plan things out, you do your research, you think you have a good basic knowledge base to tide you over. It’s all going to be fine. And then your new character makes their entrace, or the plot moves to the next location, or you just straight-up need to move onto a new plot-point and … nope. Error 404: Item Not Found. Just sigh, mark the holes at your feet on your map and accept you’ll need to fill them in sooner or later.
  • Everything gets harder when you don’t sleep. Learn this. Know this. Live by this.
  • Be flexible; sometimes everything goes to plan and you can start at point A and work your way through to point Z in a calm and logical manner. Sometimes you cannot. Although if, as I did, you bounce around too much then you do start to lose your coherency pretty quickly, so… Jury’s out on that one.
  • Have a back-up project. Want to do Nano but tend to be a multiple projects person? Definitely have a few things planned to switch to. But even if you’re not? Still have a spare project or two lined up. Sometimes a story just doesn’t want to be written, and especially when you’ve got that whole daily word count thing going on, I defintely found the only way I didn’t completely lose the will to live was to have something else to reach for and pick up writing on.

Anyway, that’s Nano over with for this month! I’m still going to try to keep up the writing thing as much as I can, as I said, I haven’t learned to hate it yet, so that’s always a plus! Prepare for some fairly silly posts coming up in the near future, and possibly also a bit of the analysis stuff I haven’t done in a while!

Did you do Nano this year? How did it go? What did you learn from the experience that you didn’t necessarily know before?

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Posted in Chronicles in Creation, Nanowrimo

Nano-Wrangle: Week 4

Greetings, friends!

Well, this week… this week has been a bit of a disaster writing-wise.

In total fairness, I’m amazed we made it this fair before things properly fell apart; it’s certainly been further than I’ve made it before.

Now, don’t worry, I haven’t given up really, I promise! Just… Things haven’t been as productive as they were in previous days:

Nano - progress wk4

I think it might be time to admit that November is just a spectacularly bad time for me to try doing Nano at all: busiest time of the year work-wise, body struggling with the early nightfall, and nowadays the added time pressure of outfitting the panto too. It’s just getting to be too much, and the stress is doing dreadful things to what writing I have managed.

People who know more about Nano than I do; is it true that there is another version in springtime? Or that you can just set a couple of dates and let the website chivy you along under normal times? Because the whole running tally and chart thing has proven to be very encouraging for me, it’s just fighting a losing battle against the forces of … November-ness. That’s a real word now, I say so!

And in keeping with helping me not feel like a total failure, the week did bring me another badge! Very motivating things, badges…

Nano Badge - 14 day streak

So that’s something, isn’t it? If nothing else, I’m gaining a lot of practice in learning persistence and not giving up just because I’m busy…

In terms of what’s actually being written, I regret to say that for all the discipline I’m gaining from this month, I’m also gaining a realisation of how much I didn’t know I didn’t know abotu the story I wanted to tell! Maybe I’ve run into a problem which many pantsers I have told me happens to them: that they plan it all out and their brains decide that they’ve now told the story and refuse to go back to it? Maybe I just hadn’t planned and developed out my characters as real people as much as I should have? Maybe I just need to try a different story for a bit?

That said, maybe the problem is that I’ve bitten off more than I coudl chew this month and didn’t have the sense to pack anything in, trying instead to do it all. I’m exhausted and taking my crankiness out on my book, which  is certainly better than taking it out on other people, but sadly you can’t publish people either!

Come December I’ll focus on other things, I think. There’s some posts for here that I’ve been holding onto in the background, so maybe that’s the ‘Something Completely Different’ that I’ll turn to instead? Because I do certainly want to keep up the writing momentum, but I think by the 30th Novemeber I’ll be ready to throw the book draft out of the window!

Until then, however, we keep making what progress we can!

Nano - week 4

Until next time…

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Nano-Wrangle: Week 3

Well, folks, we began Week 3 with me thoroughly paying for running myself into the ground last week. Seriously kids, don’t push yourselves so hard, it never works out in the long run, and one day I shall learn to practice this instead of constantly ending up as the demonstration model in why we keep teaching it…

So yes, writing while battling through the migraine brought on by exhaustion and far too many far too late nights? Not fun. Don’t be like me, kids.

Nano - buddy2Something I forgot to tell you all last week was that I now not only have one nano-buddy, but two! Yes, another mutual friend heard us chatting about it and has bravely undertaken Nano this year as well. To both of them go the full credit for encouraging me to stop beating myself up about my writing and actually make time to sleep, and for this I cannot thank them enough. We often talk about writing buddies as people who encourage us to keep writing and finding inspiration, but I feel that we must also give them the credit they deserve for encouraging us to take care of ourselves and stop undermining ourselves. Thank you both so much!

So writing progress this week has been… mixed.

Nano - week 3

Very mixed.

It’s fine, I managed to get at least a little bit of writing done every day, so that’s good, and at this point I’m just aiming for being comfortable in my writing rather than giving myself grief for not churning out a consistent amount every day.

Speaking of things which are different from last week – and indeed speaking of things that I’m not beating myself up for anymore! – I’ve also relaxed a bit on only having one Nano project on the go.

Some things you only learn about yourself the hard way, I suppose, and one thing I have most certainly learned over the course of this month is that I do not deal well with only having one writing project on hand. I’d previously assumed that my tendency to have upt o five stories running through my head at a time was some form of procrastiation, where I hid from difficult bits. And you know, maybe it is? But to steal one of my favourite character descriptions from John Le Carré for a second, I have “a mind like the back of an envelope” and I seem to be far more productive when I hop between stories whenever I have a brainwave or feel in the mood for a different tone of story, than I am when I force myself to keep staring at the same story every day and wind up hating the very idea of it. Or worse, the mental toll it takes on you when you do give in and work on a different story for a while, and then spend that time feeling bad because you’re working on ‘the wrong story’ all the time.

You shouldn’t hate your own stories while you’re writing them after all. That’s what editing is for…

(Thank you again to Icklespan and lsilverlock for helping me reach this realisation and showing me that it’s not a bad thing to have multiple stories to tell!)

If you are like me and need to have a few things on the go at once, and you want to do Nanowrimo and thus need to keep track of your word count, this is my Top Tip:

Nano Word Counting

Have a random unsaved and untitled document open and keep copying and pasting your words and paragraphs into it as you write. No order, no worrying about paragraph breaks if they don’t copy over, no nothing. You’re not keeping this, after all, all you’re going to do is delete it all at the end of the session. All you need is for all the words to be in there at the end of the session or day of writing. Then just note your number down and enter it in! It will save you the headache of needing to juggle a lot of different numbers and you’ll get that nice sense of accomplishment in seeing all your hard work in one place.

This also helps me when I’m back filling parts of a story too; if I’ve had several chapters or sections in a story and I’ve known the start of every one of them, then I can get all that down, then go back and work out how each section progressed from that flash of inspiration.

And I’m happy to say that the results have certainly paid off because instead of just sort of enduring Nano for the sake of feeling like a ‘real writer’, I’ve relaxed a lot and had a bit more fun and a sense of progress. With the additional reward of another badge!

Nano badge - 7 days update

Now, in terms of the main Nano project, i.e. The Book, we have hit a bit of a – what do they call these in workshops and things? Oh yes – a learning opportunity/experience. So I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been struggling so much with large chunks of the book, because it can’t all be due to the foolishness of trying to write the book 18 months after I wrote the plan. (Don’t do this to yourselves, kids! Don’t be like me and get scared of your own story…)

Ch.14 Making Men of Myths - Part 2Anyway, what I realised eventually was that for all that I knew how the story was going to go, I’d competely lost sight of my fairy characters. (If you’ve been here for a while, you might remember me talking about creating them back in the day, but if not, here’s Part 1 of 3) Like … I’ve completely lost them. All the stuff I need to know in order to write conversations: how do they talk, how do they address each other, what gestures do they make, which of them is a pacer and which of them sits perfectly still and barely blinks? All those things? Not a sodding clue!

Thankfully, that detailed plan continues to be useful, because I could sit down with it and highlight all of the scenes which are just the humans doign things and I’ve been concentrating on that. It’s avery disjointed way to write a book, I’m not entirely sure I like it the longer I do it, but at the very least it means that I am still writing something for the book rather than sitting there feeling lost and stranded in Chapter 2…

So yes, progress is being made, but not always in the way I was hoping for. But all progress in our creative endeavours is worth celebrating and cliched as it is, sometimes the most valuable thing really is the lessons you learn along the way!

Nano - progress wk3

How’s everyone else’s Nano going? Does anyone have any tips, especially for conversations? But also just generally anything helpful you’ve discovered during Nano this year that you want to share, do leave them in the comments below!

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