December 1, 2014
first draft, illness, knee, Laptop, muse, notes, novel, Pink Camper van, self-publish, story, write, writer
Image courtesy of ba1969 at StockXchng
In an odd turn of events, I find myself incapacitated and stuck at home, exactly fifteen years after a similar event kick-started my writing.
Those who know my story might remember that a week-long illness gave me the time I needed to collate all my scattered notes onto my first-ever laptop. This was the start of my first ‘real’ writing project, the still-to-be-completed ‘Homeworld.’ (I will complete this one day, when I’ve cleared a few other projects.)
Now, after eight weeks immobilised, resting my crocked leg, my Muse crept up behind me, placed her hands over my eyes and whispered: “I have a great idea. Wanna hear it?”
And so she delivered an entire story, possibly an 80k novel, into my shell-like ear. I’m 99.8% certain (in life, there’s always room for a little doubt) the idea would never have come to me if I’d been working.
I’m optimistic that this new story has legs and will come together pretty quickly. It’s a quiet little British adventure story (provisionally titled ‘Pink Camper Van’) that made me smile as it unfolded. At the time of posting, I’ve already written 2,000 words, and I have a firm conclusion in mind, meaning this particular tale won’t end up as one of my infamous neverending stories.
As they say, watch this space. And as Monty Python might add: ‘And now for something completely different.’
November 1, 2013
A Construct of Angels, book, British English, eBook, ePublish, novel, publish, self-publish, spelling, story, words, writer, writing
I have occasionally ecountered comments that pointed out my failings – one of them being misspellings.
My spelling ‘mistakes’ often get picked up on Facebook and (occasionally) on WordPress.
I like to think I’m very thorough when I’m writing and take pride in my spelling and grammar.
Yes, I soemtimes mis-type (who doesn’t?) as my ‘want to type’ speed exceeds my ‘able to type’ speed and my fingers become a pink blur above the keyboard.
However, when I begin to receive feedback that I ‘should check my speling’ (sic) and see one-word corrections for my spelling when there is nothing amiss, I begin to see red.
I’ve been told (more than once) that I use a lot of British English (BrE). Yes, that’s true. I’m British, my characters are English and their story takes place in England. That would follow, wouldn’t you think?
Ciara Ballintyne appears to have the same problem and states her case here .
So recently, I’ve been writing British English, but with the knowledge that non-Brits may very well read my work. For instance, my character drives a Volvo ambulance instead of the (correct) locally-sourced type because only Brits would know what a Vauxhall Astra was. However, I don’t compromise on ‘labour’ or ‘honour’, ‘realise’ or ‘criticise’ because Brit readers would hate me for it. My characters use Pounds rather than Dollars. I was astounded when I was told that someone had to Google ‘Biro’ because it wasn’t clear that it was a ball point pen. What are those cheap, crystalline ball point pens made by BIC known as in the US – BIC pens?
These are things we need to know…
I had considered adding a disclaimer stating that the book contains ‘British English’ just to clarify. In this electronic age, the written word is spread far and wide and a novel in English could easily have been written in Australia, South Africa, Japan or any number of countries. I learned recently that along with Australia, Canada still uses BrE, which was a bit of a surprise. I wonder how many other countries do? I’d be interested to know that Britannia does not stand alone…