Writing Woes

I have discovered that I have some problems with my writing. There are always periods when I feel like I struggle to write, but this one is a bit different. Since moving in with the boyfriend, writing has become extra difficult.

We share a desk, and I’ve realised that I find it incredibly awkward to write when sitting next to someone. Writing, to me, is a solitary activity – and sitting right next to someone who is busy playing games, sometimes chatting to friends on Skype; it’s really putting me off!

I wish I was able to write anywhere, under any circumstances. But as it turns out, I need things my way to be able to do it.

It’s extra frustrating, because I really want to get back to it. I am slowly plotting a series of shorter stories set in a fantasy world. It’s basically just romance stories with a fantasy setting. I have no great plans for them other than publishing them either here on the blog, or on a separate blog dedicated to the series of stories. (Since there’s quite a few if I continue them all.)

Naturally, I also want to do the finishing bits on my two written books, and finally continue on the third (and eventually fourth, to finish the series). These I want to release on Kindle and/or other e-book publishers, since you can do that on your own.

I have so many ideas, y’all. I just need to figure out how I will be able to write with someone next to me. Help!

So. Many. Ideas.

So. Many. Ideas.

Title Help!

Right, so I need help to come up with a title for my first book. I originally had it down as “As He Likes It”, but with erotica being so popular these days, I’m worried people would think a title like that is from that genre (which it is not).

It’s a historical romance, set in the regency era. It’s the first book in a series of four; The Howertys. (I came up with that name when I was a teenager, yes – that’s when I started the very, very first draft… I wonder if perhaps I should come up with a better surname for them.) Each book is about one of the Howerty sibling. They all have names from Shakespeare’s writings (because their mom loved Shakespeare), and so I want the books’ titles to be plays on Shakespearean titles.

The stories aren’t based on the stories in Shakespeare’s plays, it’s just the titles, really. Because… Well, it amuses me.

I do like the “As He Likes It” title, (based of course on “As You Like It”), so I think I might keep it and using it for the fourth book in the series (when hopefully people already know what they’re getting into since they can see what the previous books in the series are like).

That does leave me short one title though!

Book 1: ???
Book 2: Taming of the Rake (The Taming of the Shrew)
Book 3: Winter’s Kiss (The Winter’s Tale)
Book 4: As He Likes It (As You Like It)

I was thinking something along the lines of “Once Upon a Midsummer Night” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Originally I thought “A Midsummer Night’s Kiss”, but then I’d have two titles with the word “kiss” in them, and I’m not sure I like that.

Opinions, please! I need them!

Also, if you can come up with anything – feel free to share! To help, here’s a list of Shakespeare’s plays (the ones with titles that aren’t just a name or two!):

The Tempest
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
Much Ado About Nothing
Love’s Labour’s Lost
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
The Taming of the Shrew
All’s Well That Ends Well
Twelfth Night
The Winter’s Tale
The Two Noble Kinsmen

NaNoWriMo 2015

I’ve been talking about wanting to do NaNoWriMo for years, but never got around to doing it. This year I’m wondering if maybe it’s time to just buckle down and do it. One might say that it’s a bad idea what with just having moved to a new country, being busy unpacking and getting familiarised, and trying to find a job. One might not be wrong…

Still, there’s an excuse every year. There’s always something going on. Last year I was playing the World of Warcraft expansion that was released in November. Next year… Who knows? So… Maybe this is the year?

If I’m going to do this, I need to decide beforehand on which book I will work on, since I need to work out the plot before I begin. I remember reading somewhere that you shouldn’t work on something that you care too much about, since when you’re writing that much in such a short time – it’s probably not your best quality writing. So the next book in my historical romance series is out of the question.

What do you guys think I should go for?

These are a few of the things lying around in my “Ideas” folder (all the names are temporary):


Lady Matchmaker
Regency Historical Romance

Lady Match / Lady Matchmaker / My Lady Matchmaker. I haven’t decided on a title, but to be fair, that’s the least of the issues. Basically, the heroine is a widow who knows most of the ton and who is/isn’t looking for a wife/husband – so people started coming to her about it, and she turned it into a business. Whether for profit or just fun, I’m not sure (leaning towards fun). Everyone knows that if you’re in the market for a spouse, she’s the woman to talk to.

Our hero isn’t really interested in finding a wife, but he’s been pressured into seeing Lady Match by his mother. He and Lady Match used to know each other, and things are definitely tense between them. (A prank gone wrong forced her into her marriage, and it was not a happy or loving one.) Naturally, he will eventually realise that the only woman he wants is actually Lady Match – and not one of the simpering debutantes that she’s trying to connect him with.

The first paragraph, which was written years ago (I have a thing about writing the first paragraph of stories):

A discussion with one’s mother could only ever result in misery. As Nicholas Atherton was standing on the curb looking up at the white townhouse he vowed never to speak to his mother again. Or at least he would have if such a thing would have been possible. Why was it that his mother always managed to get him to do the things he least wanted to? Like visiting this house.


The Little Mermaid
Regency Historical Romance

Obviously, not actually the little mermaid story – but a regency story vaguely inspired by it. The heroine will be in England searching for her father after her mother in Norway passed away. All she has of his is a letter with his first name and a personalized pocket watch that he had given her mother. In the harbour she ends up saving a man’s life as he falls into the water (or something similar). He later boasts about it at White’s and says he will marry the girl who saved him (remembering only the pocket watch).

Yes, yes – it’s a bit silly… But could be fun?


Unknown Title
Regency Historical Romance

Some people would say that love struck them like a bolt of lightning. This was not the case for Richard Dashwood. He had loved one woman his entire life, and he would never have her. She was the belle of the ball, the incomparable of the season, the daughter of an earl, an heiress… The list went on and on. She was also his friend. And she was in love with another man.

The first paragraph I wrote for this idea. (Yes, I have a thing for first paragraphs, so sue me!) The hero is friends with the woman as well as the man she’s interested in, and they both ask him to help facilitate their romance. Cue angst! I’m all for torturing people in my stories.


Unknown Title
Contemporary Romance

David Grant had been burnt by love. His last girlfriend left him mere weeks before their wedding to go back to her good-for-nothing ex. That wouldn’t have been so bad, had she not also taken the child David had helped raise for several years. Since then, David has ignored all things romance and thrown himself into his work.

Katie Davies is everything David doesn’t want. A single mom with her life in disarray. Yet he finds himself inexorably drawn to her and her warm smiles. Does he dare to open himself to that potential heartache again?

Okay, I realise that’s an absolutely awful “back-blurb”, but it’s the best I can do just like that, and I think it gives an idea of the story? I’ve never written a contemporary… But maybe it could be interesting.


Or maybe I could just write lots and lots and lots on my fanfiction. Does it count if it’s on two different stories?

Anyway, does anything here sound interesting at all?

Little Things

Something positive coming out of my renewed interest in fanfiction is that I’ve remembered how much I love writing. I’ve been writing upwards of 10 000 words the last few days, which admittely isn’t that much – but it’s more than I’ve written in years! So, I’m happy.

It’s also renewed my resolve in getting my novels out there. I think that the goal should be to publish the first novel no later than January 2016 (preferably before the end of this year, but January-16 works as well). That gives me the remainder of the year to proofread and edit it. I know grammar is one of my issues, and there are also some things in general that I want to change. Hopefully someone else is still up for helping me a bit with the grammar, once they’ve recovered from tax season?

cute-eyes-o

My sister also mentioned that she might be able to look over it during the summer, and I need all the help I can get, so I’m grateful for anyone willing to help.

The goal for myself is 1-2 chapters per week of editing, starting next week since this week is going to be insanely busy. That should have the editing done in enough time to still let me figure out how to convert it to Kindle format, make a cover etc. before the deadline. Fingers crossed I can keep this going!

I also created a Tumblr account, because reasons. Actually, basically I wanted somewhere that I can post the little, silly things that I find while browsing that just don’t need a whole blog post. Mainly focused on silly things like fandom etc. though, maybe some writing inspiration.

I’ve been browsing around a bit today, and OMG there are so many awesome Dragon Age screenshots and art out there that I’m squeeing at times.

Beautiful art by anivy.tumblr.com  /fans self

Beautiful art by anivy.tumblr.com /fans self

 

Oops…

After finishing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and loving the romance element so much, I wanted more. So I actually went onto fanfiction.net and read around a little. The quality of work there really varies a lot, but some of it is really quite good/interesting. By the way, I think we need more Duncan fanfic… The very first time I played Dragon Age, I was raging because Duncan wasn’t a love interest. I barely got anywhere that time though, because my hard drive died and I lost interest. (I don’t think I’d even done the battle at Ostagar, that’s how early in the game I was.)

I’ve especially enjoyed playing through both the Alistair romance and the Cullen romance. Sometimes I think I should try some of the others, and I do, at least for a while – but then I end up back with Alistair or Cullen anyway.

They’re just really well-written characters. Not that the rest of them aren’t. I don’t know, there’s just something about those two. At first glance one might think that they’re the same type of character. They do have similarities. They’re both blond, warrior type men. Both brought up in the Templar Order. But other than that, I think they’re actually quite different – and their romances reflect that.

Alistair is very funny, he likes to joke a lot – and when talking to him in DA:O and asking questions, he often won’t give you straight answers. If you’re nice to him, as a female, he will generally pursue you – despite being inexperienced at these things.

Cullen is a much more serious person, he has baggage. While I realise it’s partly because of the way the game is played, you have to pursue him rather than him coming to you. He admits to having liked you for a long time, but that he felt that it wasn’t his place to pursue you – since basically you’re his boss. You’re more or less friend-zoned in the first part of the game, only after nearly dying to a dragon does he seem to notice you.

Side note: The way the Inquisition romances play out… Does anyone else feel like we’re a law suit on sexual harrassment waiting to happen? As the Inquisitioner you’re basically everyone’s boss, and here you are, propositioning them left right and center! I also found some of the romance options to be very forward, and my characters are usually a bit less so. Alistair’s romance worked well for me that way, because I could be sweet to him and teasingly flirt a bit – and he’d come to me. With Inquisition I have to sometimes choose very forward options with the romanceable companions.

Anyway, this got a lot longer than planned. Basically, what I wanted to say was that after finishing Inquisition and thinking about Cullen as a character who has been with us all the way since Origins… I started going “what if..?” and then I couldn’t stop myself. So I started a fanfic. /facepalm

In the end though, I think it might be a good experience for me. I’ve not written properly in years, and I do want to get back into it and get my novels published (even if that means doing it myself as e-books). Writing this fanfic will hopefully get me back into the swing of things. Which is definitely needed, cause as I’m writing this little fanfic, I’m feeling very, very rusty!

 

NaNoWriMo

I was thinking about maybe taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, but now Blizzard has announced that the WoW expansion will hit on November 13th. Which means a fair amount of time will be spent playing the new game.

NaNoWriMo requires a lot of writing. 50 000 words in one month, which equals around 200 pages. That means between 6-7 pages per day. Something I suspect could be difficult if I’m spending time in a game at the same time.

Maybe I should make my own NaNoWriMo in October! It’s not the same though… I really don’t know what to do, because I was feeling quite hyped about maybe doing NaNo this year. But I know my guild in WoW is planning to begin raiding when they become released on December 2nd, which means I’d not be ready if I skip playing during November.

Oh, the choices…

Anyone else thinking about NaNoWriMo this year?

Chapter One

Because I’m so slow in getting everything ready for releasing my book(s) on Kindle or something similar, I decided to put the first chapter of the first book up on my (future) writer’s site. So, if anyone’s bored – feel free to check out the first chapter of As He Likes it.

In the meanwhile I’ll be busy turning into a pulp from sweating so much, since Sweden is insanely hot this summer. 30+ degrees is not something we’re too used to, and AC isn’t exactly common in our houses. So I’m sitting here with all windows open and a fan directed straight at me.

cover-ashelikesit3

 

What is a proper, young lady to do when she finds a strange man sleeping in her bed?

ANGELIQUE GRAFTON never imagined finding a stranger in her bed, let alone a Marquess. She knows that her family expects her to marry another, but every nerve in her body tells her that it’s a bad match. Always having been told that she’s not lovable, she feels that she should be grateful for the unofficial arrangement made by her late parents. But could she jeopardize her own happiness to fulfill her parents’ wish? Especially when she’s met a man who makes her very skin tingle in awareness.

NATHANIEL HOWERTY, the Marquess of Pensington, is not looking for love. In fact, he’d be quite happy never to find it. Having seen how his father was destroyed by losing the woman he loved, Nathaniel fears that the same would happen to him. But when he meets Angel Grafton he finds that he wants her more than anything else. Does he dare to leave himself vulnerable to a woman that might not only steal his kisses, but his heart as well?

Read Chapter One!
(Click here if you prefer to read it in PDF format.)

Update on the Wattpad

Wattpad is actually a pretty neat thing. It helps that I discovered that Jenny Trout is putting a novel up on it. It’s YA horror or something, which isn’t quite my normal reading. But I like her writing, so I will give it a try.

A small update on the previous Wattpad disaster story that I was reading.. Yes, it turns out that he does have a tobacco plantation in the UK. With slaves. Methinks the writer is confusing the south of the UK to the south of the US. The story itself reminds me a little bit of the old bodice ripper books, back in the day. It’s not actually gotten that far yet though, but the attitude of the hero certainly seems suitable enough to one of those.

I’m not trying to bash the story. It’s not awful. Some people seem to really enjoy it. I think I’m just trying to say that… Research, people. Research. Even if it’s a story that you’re providing people for free. For your own integrity as a writer. Please, do at least a little bit of research.

I don’t care if some mistakes are there. But the existance of slaves in the UK during the Regency era… and tobacco plantations that sound like they’ve been picked up from South Carolina and just dropped down in the UK… It’s asking me to suspend belief a little bit too much.

Also. Proofreading and revision!

I remember reading somewhere that someone who’s been picked up for her writing (fan fiction, now being published as a book), was saying that she never revises or proofreads. Because it would ruin her creativity. Or something. I’ve read my stuff before proofing/revising. Trust me. It needs to be done. (Something I think she will realise now that she has an editor! Which is good. She can grow as a writer.)

In this novel I’m reading on Wattpad.. There’s a lot of mistaken then instead of than, and vice versa. To instead of too. You know, the typical ones.

So, let’s just agree that proofreading and revising is a good thing. I’m re-reading my first novel now, I’ve already proofread it a couple of times before, and I’m still finding mistakes!

Wattpad Thoughts

The other day I found myself bored and sitting in a waiting room for an undetermined time. Feedly was down, so I decided to try Wattpad – since I’ve been hearing about it lately. It seems like an interesting idea. From what I understand, it allows anyone to publish anything basically, on their site. I’m all for free books!

However, this of course means that you get all levels of writing. And research. Oh my, the research.

I started reading a regency novel that was talking about the man being a slave trader. Which I guess was still ongoing at that time, in the West Indies and such. And he did travel a lot. Sometimes it makes it sound like he’s keeping slaves in the UK, but I’m sure I’m just misunderstanding it. Since I’m pretty sure there was no local slavery in the UK around that time. He has a plantation where he grows tobacco that he exports. Can you grow tobacco in the UK? Or is that again a misunderstanding perhaps, and he actually grows the tobacco in the West Indies (I’d assume so). Even if the tobacco-growing is in the West Indies, they still call his home in the UK a plantation. What do I know… Maybe the UK had/has plantations. I’m just damaged into always thinking about them as the typical American ones in the south. The description even makes the house itself sound like the typical one you’d see in a US movie…

How I see the house described.

How I see the house described.

There are some things I know for a fact are wrong. Like them calling the hero a “Laird”. This would be fine if they were in Scotland, but they’re supposedly close to London. And they’re not Scottish. In fact, they speak a bit of French it seems. Which brings us to the second mistake; the French. I’m no expert, but I remember enough to know that you don’t say “mon cheri” to a female.

Yes, yes… I know I’m nitpicking. But really, if you’re going to add a second language to your books – make sure you do it right!

I’m sure there are factual errors in my books. I remember removing a scene where my hero and heroine were waltzing, because I discovered that the waltz was still pretty much banned as “too inappropriate” still at the year the story takes place. And I’m sure there are lots of other things still in there that aren’t entirely correct. And I can live with some of it, both in my own books and others. As long as it’s not too glaringly obvious.

Now, I must return to this story to see how it turns out. If nothing else, I want to figure out if he has these slaves in the UK or West Indies!

Book Blurbs

Because actually writing and revising is hard work, I’m currently trying to think of the back blurbs for the books. It’s incredibly difficult. I don’t understand how anyone can do that stuff.

Somehow I don’t think that: “Jacob Hurst is a rake with daddy issues”, is quite appropriate for the genre I’m writing. It’s totally true though!

I think that books generally need to have a good back blurb at the back cover, or no one’s going to bother reading it. But to figure out what to write there, not quite so easy… So instead, let’s think of silly ones like the one above!