Last night I managed to get the fifth chapter of Earth, After Liberation done. I had to all but re-write it but I’m a lot happier with how it is now. It actually felt good getting stuck into it last night. This last month has been a bit of a write off when it comes to writing; I’ve barely done anything and when I have done some work it’s been like pulling teeth but last night it all came much easier, more natural.
I think part of it was seeing my local Kent NaNo group getting excited for the upcoming NaNoWriMo. I’ve been quite active in it since becoming single back in March and it’s been a great little support network and I’ve met some great people the. I knew from what other members had said though that some people only go there for NaNo and I’ve noticed an uprise in people posting and joint in with comments etc. and yesterday a few of these people were talking about how excited they were getting and I think this enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I was planning to write till 9pm last night but ended up writing till about 9:30 as I wanted to get the chapter done.
I’d like to say I’m going to do a chapter a day but when I’ve set myself goals in the past like this I’ve failed miserable so I’m going to take it easy and get done what I can when I can.
This month has probably been my least productive month of the year, definitely since March. I’m not sure if my lack of motivation is due to non-writing elements of my life or because it’s a case theres a lot of work I need to do on Earth, After Liberation (I’m fairly sure I’m going to have to all but re-write the second two thirds of the story) but whatever the reason I haven’t done much recently. Today I’ve tried to get back into it again a little. I’ve finished reading the first section of the book and I’ve started making the edits I’ve noted down. I’ve decided to break the story into three parts for the editing process. This is because I think the story will break down into these sections better and I’ll be able to focus on them and make them stronger.
I’m hoping to have this draft done before NaNoWriMo starts because I’ll be working on Earth, After Liberation’s sequel, and I’d like at least two weeks to work on planning that before NaNo starts.
I did feel pretty good over last weekend and the start of this week as I worked with Cat and Lynx Raven for interview (scroll down my homepage to find it). I really enjoyed thinking up the questions and then putting it all together. Cat and Lynx are amazing people and I’m really pleased with how well it all went.
Now I’m off to get two more chapters worth of changes made. I’ve red-penned up to chapter seventeen and I’ve made the changes on the first three chapters so far, so if I can get the the first five done then I’ll be happy :)
I first discovered Cat and Lynx Raven through our mutual friend Cinta Garcia de la Rosa and over the last few months in particular I’ve felt that I’ve gotten to know these two young ladies a little. Cat and Lynx are twins who combine to become the writer C L Raven. They also attempt to contact the dead with Calamityville Horror on their YouTube channel.
First of all, when did you start writing and was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
We started writing novels at 12 but we’d always loved creative writing in primary school. It’s something we’ve done every day since we were 12 but we hadn’t really considered doing it professionally. We had no idea how to make it happen.
As a writing duo, what is your writing process?
One of us writes 2 pages then we switch. It’s that simple. We don’t tell each other what we’ve done or what we think should happen.
Do you ever have creative differences?
What part of the writing process do you find the most difficult?
Sometimes it’s actually getting the ideas. We don’t wait for the muse to appear – if we did, we wouldn’t write anything. Sometimes we’ll have a vague idea like ‘ghost ship’ or ‘plague doctor’ then just start typing but starting is the hardest part.
I think a question which a lot of writers hate is the ‘Where do you get your ideas from?” and I believe a better question is what would you say have been the biggest influences on your writing?
Weirdly it’s bands. My Chemical Romance and Green Day have influenced a lot of our stuff. MCR’s The Black Parade album makes our imaginations tingle.
You’re book covers are fantastic and very memorable, did you create them or did you work with a cover artist and is there one that you are particularly fond of?
We have no artistic talent whatsoever! Nobody would be impressed at seeing stick people on book covers. We’ve used two cover artists, one (River Rose) who is an artist, rather than a cover artist. She painted Disenchanted’s cover in water colours and digitally painted Deadly Reflections. We’re in awe of her talent. Soul Asylum’s cover is actually a photo of Denbigh Asylum that we took ourselves. We did an 8 hour road trip for that photo. We don’t have a favourite cover.
Speaking of fondness, is there one book or story that is special to you?
Soul Asylum will always be special to us. It’s our first published novel but it’s not the first novel we’ve written. Gunning Down Romance started us on our self-publishing journey so that one’s special too.
Most of your work is horror and I was wondering if you’ve written in other genres or would like to one day?
We spent most of our teenage years writing crime but they were always with serial killers who did elaborate murders. We found the murders were our favourite part so we stuck with the killers and got rid of the police. We’ve now branched into historical horror which we’re enjoying as it combines our love of history with our love of horror.
I’d like to talk about C.A.T.S. Calamityville Horror now, how did it come about?
Weirdly, that came about through writing. We’d written a novel about ghost hunters and thought we should get some experience, so we bought a book on haunted places in south Wales and dragged our mum along to visit them. Then we bought tickets for an overnight ghost tour in Ruthin Gaol. A lot of people were telling us to get on YouTube to promote ourselves, so we thought a ghost hunting show would be fun.
Have you found that ghost hunting has influenced your writing?
Yes – Deadly Reflections is a collection of ghost stories. Some were set in places we’ve visited or the stories are adapted from ghost stories we’ve found during research. And we now write articles about our ghost hunting for Haunted Digital Magazine. They found us through Calamityville and asked us to write for them.
I’ve learnt a lot about the histories of the places Calamityville has visited and I was wondering if there was something you discovered that you found particularly odd or surprising?
Ooh that’s a really good question. We haven’t been asked that before. A few times we’ve discovered that some of the ghost stories aren’t true and we find that disappointing. Most of the Skirrid Inn’s ghost stories or historical stories aren’t true. One of the oddest stories has to be Carew Castle – it’s haunted by a Barbury ape, Satan. His owner Roland had trained him to attack people and one night he attacked a Flemish tradesman. The next morning, Roland was found with his throat slit and the ape was dead in the fireplace.
In the end credits of Calamityville there is the line ‘No C.A.T.S. were harmed in the making of this show’ Have you ever had to take that off due to an injury?
We’ve never taken it off, though we should as we have all picked up injuries on the show! We seem to be clumsier when there’s a camera pointed at us. Fortunately it’s mostly minor injuries that come from us messing around.
Can you tell me about The Animal Army, and are they part of a plan for world domination?
They’re a major part of the world domination plans. The cats are in charge of the whole thing. We have 4 cats – Spectre, Warlock, Ebony and the visiting stray, Mousaffa; 2 rabbits – Drogo and Ghost; an iguana, Kyler; a duck, Peking; a corn snake, Charlie; 4 African snails – Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Kenya and Zambia; and our new addition, a 6 month old Lurcher pup, Bandit. Most of our animals seem to be either rescue pets or unwanted pets.
What are you’re favourite Movies, TV Shows and Music?
Films – Nightmare Before Christmas. We love anything by Tim Burton and horror in general. We only own horror films. TV shows – Sleepy Hollow, Bones, Criminal Minds, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Grimm, Ghost Adventures. Music – My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Rise Against, Linkin Park.
And lastly, what has been the most pleasant surprise you’ve had since you published your first book?
That people actually read them and enjoy them. We’re used to just having our mum read them. And we got invited to read at a literary festival in East Budleigh, Devon. That was unexpected because we’re completely unknown. Best-selling crime writer Graham Hurley said we upstaged him. All we did was talk about failing to find Sir Walter Raleigh’s house, getting caught in a downpour and smelling of farm animals. People seemed to enjoy that.
Twitter – @clraven @CalamityHorror
Facebook – C L Raven fan club https://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Raven-Fanclub/117592995008142?ref=hl
Calamityville Horror fan page https://www.facebook.com/CatsTalesOfTerror?ref=hl
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about these fantastic ladies. If you’d like to know more then please click on the links they’ve provided and explore their sites, their WordPress site is fantastic! Calamityville is a whole lot of fun to watch as well and I’ve enjoyed their fiction and I’m looking forward to reading more of it.
The last two, three weeks I’ve really struggled to get going with anything, not just writing. Aside from the day job it feels like I’ve not got anything done for the last few weeks, well, aside from playing GTAV that is. I’m not sure why I’ve been like this, at the moment I’m thinking it’s just a case of life stuff maybe having more of an effect on me then it normally does.
I really going to try and get my arse into gear this week. I should be done with this read-through of Earth, After Liberation but I’m only up to Chapter 11.
That’s basically what I’m going to try and do this week, get my head back into it and get these notes made on Earth, After Liberation. I’ve got a lot of writing on it to do, which once I get there I know I’ll love but I’ve got to get the red-penning done before I can get there.
I’ve not even read much or watched many movies in the last couple of weeks either.
I need to get blogging regularly again as well. I feel like I’ve neglected it over the last few weeks. I’ve got something a little different to what I normally do in the pipelines which’ll be posted in the near future.
Today is the start of a new week and I’m determined to get back on track!
I know I said I wasn’t going to update here daily about my attempt to work for one hour a day no matter what on my writing but seeing as today was the first day I’ve tried it I just thought I’ll let y’all know how it went. It went quite well, I managed to get twelve chapters of Earth, After Liberation read through in an hour and fifteen minutes, which I’m quite chuffed about. During that time I did pause the timer and grabbed a drink or replied to a comment on Facebook and then just stated the timer again and got going once more. I didn’t have the TV on or any music or the radio on in the back round, I literally just cracked on which proved to be very productive, not only in getting a lot of pages worked through but I’ve figured out how to make Earth, After Liberation work a lot better. I’m going to have to cut a lot, re-write a lot more and add even more but I can see quite clearly in my head how it needs to be structured.
Now though, I’m going to play some Xbox and chill out as I’m back at work tomorrow but I’ll be making sure I get my hour in no matter what. As I’m reading through Earth, After Liberation on screen I’ll probably get the hour made up in the evening but once I’ve done this read though and I have a paper copy printed I’ll be able to be a little more flexible with when I’m working on it :)
Okay guys, I am going to make a commitment here; I am going to write or edit or do plotting stuff for an hour a day. That’s every day, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Christmas day, or my birthday, or a thursday, I’m going to work on something to do with my writing for an hour a day no matter what. It doesn’t have to be all in one go but it has to be an hour minimum.
I’ve made these declarations before; ‘I’m going to write 500 words a day’ ‘I’ll have my first book out this year’ (I’m pretty sure I’ve said that for the last three years). But this I’m really determined to do. The only reason I can’t do this is me, there is no other reason at all. I’m going to use the timer on my fine to keep track of how much time I spend working if it’s not all in one go.
I’m going to update my Facebook ‘Like’ page on how I’m doing with this, I was going to blog but that may get a little tedious as there’d be a lot of short posts. (The link to the ‘Like’ page is on the right of the screen).
I can do this, I just need to get going and get it into being a habit.
Tomorrow is day one.
I’ve been trying to get some work done on Earth, After Liberation today but I just can’t get going on it. Instead of making changes I seem to have been just skimming through it. I think a little of this is the sheer amount of work I’ve got to do to get it into a reasonable condition which is disheartening but I think a little of it is also I’ve been doing work on Project Apollo and have spent some time on Skype talking to Chrystalyn about The Residents this week. So that’s been on my mind a fair bit too.
Although I have done some writing work this week I’m also thinking that I’ve been on holiday mode. I’m off from the day job this week so most of my thoughts are drifting to chilling out and watching movies (been to the cinema twice this week).
I’ve needed the rest if I’m honest, I’ve been feeling the fatigue of every day life recently and although I feel bad I could do with the chilling out time. (that said give it an hour and I’ll be working on something again).
Earth, After Liberation is troubling me, I know there’s a good story there but it’s a lot of work to tidy it up. I know I’ll get there but it just feels ‘Meh’ at the moment.
I’ll stop whining now :P
Originally posted on Cinta's Corner:
We writers would be nothing without you, the Reader. Apart from being an author, I am also an avid reader, so I love it when people recommend books to me (except when people recommend me their own books; that’s beyond pretentious). So I just wanted to recommend some great books to you, so you can choose a great read for the weekend. Have a look at them, enjoy, comment, share, and as usual, just be happy and awesome!
- Four From Below, by Daniel Coffman. This book is a collection of horror tales -a novella and three short stories- about ordinary people faced with extraordinary and terrifying circumstances. Who are the real monsters? Buy the book here.
- Trailer Trash With a Girl’s Name, by Stacey Roberts. “A family where the women are crazy and the men die young.” Buy the book here.
- How To Survive the Worst that Can…
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It’s the second day of my week off from the day job and after flaking out for most of yesterday I’m going to get cracking with putting a dent into this edit pass of Earth, After Liberation. I’m up to chapter eleven and I’d like to think that I’m going to hit chapter thirty by the end of the day.
I will be taking a few minutes (it’ll probably be much more then a few minutes to be honest) out to have a chat with Chrystalyn about The Residents.
It would be great if I could spend a lot of time on getting a lot of progress made on various projects this week, but I’ve got to take into consideration that I haven’t had a week off since last summer (2013). I’ve hd a few days here and there and a couple of weekends away but none of those I really took the time to relax. So this week I am going to focus on resting my body, mind and soul. This year has been one of the most up and down of my life so I’m going to take these few days and recharge. In November I’ve got another week off and that will be focused on writing as November is, of course, NaNoWriMo.
Now I’m going to get cracking with this edit pass. What are you ladies and gents up to today?
I’m not a big drinker, never have and I doubt I ever will be. That said I rarely ever do drink, as of writing this I can’t remember the last time I had a drink. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind a Smirnoff Ice once in a while, I’ve even been known to enjoy a cider on occasion but its not something that I really enjoy. The only time I really do drink is at our work’s christmas party’s (to be fair, it’s all but mandatory at the works do ;) )
The worst I’ve drank is a few years ago whilst staying with an ex-girlfriends friend. I made the mistake in having my Smirnoff Ice and then four or five Jaeger Bombs, and then a few slices of a greasy pizza. Now as I said, I’m not a drinker, and this really knocked me off my feet. I spent about the next hour or so being sick and then fell asleep.
And I don’t see the point in hangovers, to me it’s just a wasted day. There’s also the mentality of it not being a ‘Good Night’ if you can remember it. I want to be able to remember if I had fun.
So basically, I don’t drink. Just thought I’d share this little piece of information about myself :D