Monday, 28 March 2011

Audible inspiration

My target of 10,000 words over the weekend was laughably ambitious but I have finally moved onto the hero's POV and the first draft is officially started. I may have trouble getting the story down on paper (actually on screen, I type) but the idea, the characters and the plot are all firmly fixed in my head.
One of the things we covered on the course was where to get ideas from. Jessica said hers all came from asking herself the question "what if", watching films, reading books, people watching, catching momentary interactions and weaving stories about them. Now coming up with the stories has never been my problem, since I was tiny I have been "what iffing" and making up stories, wandering round in a day dream, weaving scenes far from my every day life.
My current work in progress was inspired by several different sources. The first is a song "Dakota" by the Stereophonics. I love this song, and despite being neither welsh or gravelly like to think I have made it peculiarly my own on the Wii Sing It. It's a song about looking back, about first love and summer. When I hear it I can smell cut grass, feel a warm summer breeze and momentarily, just for a split second experience that heady, intense yearning of teenage attraction. But the bit that really gets me every time is this verse:
"I wonder if we'll meet again
And talk about life since then
Talk about why did it end

You made me feel like the one
You made me feel like the one
The one"

I want to answer those questions, talk about life since then, talk about why it ended. And so, slowly, the plot to my WIP was born.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Just write the damn book

I haven't posted for 6 weeks because I am mortified at a complete lack of progress and am boring even myself with my procrastination...
These are my pathetic excuses:
1. Work - it's not going anywhere so I need to deal with it
2. Family - ditto (thank goodness)
3. Finishing my course (see the lovely every week I learnt something new that sent me back to the drawing board
4. Sidetracked by a Valentine's competition on Harlequin (see below for my attempt; it had to be 1000 word beginning of a secret baby Valentine themed book)
5. Freezing feelings of inadequacy from SYTYCW
I have made some decisions though. Three weeks ago we were asked to read out our first page incorporating all the things we had learned and I just couldn't get Write to Love to work. I had decided to start it around chapter 5, where Tabby began to shadow James at work, I took out the book writing theme, turned their son into a younger brother and it STILL didn't flow. I contemplated using my Valentine's entry instead but after all the comments questioning why he invited her in for wine I lost all confidence in that. I must be a complete lush because tbh it didn't even occur to me that that might be odd behaviour - let me know your thoughts.
So I have made a difficult decision, put all that Nano work to one side and started something new...
I have a first page, backstory, motivations, visuals AND a plot but I am still not writing it. The last ten days I have blamed my cold but really I am just frightened, what if I can't do it? Must Write Through The Fear. Wish me luck x

My Valentine's Comp Entry
What was that?The insistent chime sounded again, and with a sigh, Kester Lawrence heaved himself to his feet and marched to the front door.
“Yes?” he demanded as he wrenched the door open, glaring at the unwanted intruder. “I’m not buying, selling or converting so you’re wasting your time.”
He made to shut the door in the young woman’s face, but to his surprise she put out a hand, pushing the door firmly open again.
“I’m not,” she began, then, “I’m sorry, but I really need to speak to you. It’s very important...” Her voice broke on the last word. Good God, was the woman on the verge of tears? A foot followed the hand, edging itself into the hall.
He looked pointedly at the small foot, his gaze travelling slowly up long, denim clad legs, over the green velvet coat wrapped around a slim figure to the pleading face upturned to his. Honey coloured hair pulled back into a messy bun, high cheekbones in a heart shaped face, soft pink lips. “Have we met?” he asked abruptly, something about the shape of that wide, generous mouth, the long lashes framing dark grey eyes tugging at his memory.
“It’s a long story,” she said, looking away from his intense gaze. “Look, I know this is an imposition, but could I come in? I won’t take up too much of your time, I promise.” She shivered as a gust of icy wind moaned down the street and he was suddenly aware of how much the temperature had dropped.
“Five minutes,” he said, moving away from the door, leaving her to follow. He could hear her scampering to keep up with his long stride as he led her down the wide, tiled hall to the dining kitchen that took up the entire back of the house.
“Wine?” he asked, as he opened the fridge and took out the bottle of Chablis; at her nod he poured out two generous glassfuls and handed one over. He leant against the gleaming marble worktop and raised a quizzical eyebrow. “So?”
She took a sip of the wine, then looked up at him, a faint colour staining her cheeks. “This is pretty embarrassing,” she said, “so I am just going to come out with it. We met three years ago, on Valentine’s Day, in the bar at the Savoy and I was wearing...”
“A red dress,” he finished for her. An image flashed through his brain. Tumbling curls framing laughing face. Red silk cut low at the back, flaring out at the waist. Unzipping the dress to reveal creamy curves encased in black lace. A Valentine’s erotic dream. He gulped his wine, hurriedly. “Viola? I would never have recognised you.”
She flinched. “A lot’s happened since.”
He laughed, abruptly. “Nights like that don’t come along too often, but after waking to find you gone I didn’t think I would ever see you again. Yet here you are. What do you want? Money? You will find the tabloids will pay you better, I don't care for blackmail.”
“That's not why I'm here!”
“Did you marry him,” he asked suddenly. “Your fiance?” Not that he cared, but any guy who could stand up a girl like this, on Valentine’s night no less, didn’t deserve the right to come home to her, to hold those luscious curves, kiss that full mouth. His gaze lingered on plump lips, remembering their feel, her heat and passion.
“Hugo? No. Not after what he did, not after what we did.” Her voice was low, those stormy grey eyes dark silver. Ah, so she’s remembering too.
“Well, lovely as it is to see you again I’m sure you haven’t travelled all this way just to celebrate our anniversary,” he said, eyes flicking to the date on the digital clock by the door. “You’re a day early. Or did you want to deliver a Valentine in person? I might even have some champagne.”
She was looking away from him, cheeks a scarlet hue, reminding him of his first glimpse of her, all dressed up and alone at the bar. Her eyes had been lowered in embarrassment as she constantly checked her phone, looking up eagerly every time someone walked into the room, only to droop in disappointment as they walked straight past. Was it chivalry or devilry that prompted him to send over that first glass of champagne? Devilry certainly, when he bought the first bottle, as for the second and the suggestion that they retire to his room...
“I’m sorry that I just left,” she attempted a smile. “I had never done anything like that before. And afterwards, after Hugo and I had broken up, I didn’t know if you would even want to see me again. I mean, you're Kester Lawrence – you could have anyone, and me? I'm nobody.”
“And yet here you are,” he said, his tone casual but his body tense. What had brought this girl to his door after all this time?
She didn’t speak but, fumbling in her bag, produced a photo which she slid over the marble counter towards him. Kester didn’t pick it up, just looked at it as it lay there. A small girl beamed out; high cheekbones in a heart-shaped face proclaimed her relationship with the woman sat opposite him but the deep blue eyes and straight black hair were identical to those he saw in the mirror every day. He looked at her wordlessly.
“She’s two, and maybe I should have told you before,” she stopped suddenly, the stormy eyes bright with unshed tears. “I’m not compatible but they said her father might be. Katy needs a kidney. She needs your kidney.”