Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Live Chat And Other Stuff

Quite an exciting day today on the writing front. The first of my biographical articles on Great Scottish Authors was published in today's KIC Weekly Newsletter. Click on the following link (and scroll about half way down) to read about the life of Robert Louis Stevenson, one of my greatest personal influences.

Great Scottish Authors 1 - RLS

Over lunch I did a bit of reading and some research for the Great Scottish Authors series. I also clicked on the link to the left that says "Who Links Here?" and found this site:

TF Torrey

It's the blog of author TF Torrey, who I discovered also writes for KIC, but more excitingly, subscribes to Hunting Jack! Fantastic! Thank you! You can check out his serial from KIC called Crusader at Link to Crusader and he also has some links to some of his impressive published short stories.

Of the exciting opportunity I referred to yesterday, the final confirmation has now come through. It is set in stone (as much as something like this can ever be) and so I have two weeks to prepare for the event itself. There is LOADS to do to prepare for this and I am very excited about it.

Tonight was my very first KIC Live Chat. With the time difference being what it is, some writing friends couldn't make it due to work commitments but of those who popped in it was a good laugh and an interesting chat. I kept the full transcript and I have edited into a more understandable form for reading from the blog.

Devon: ;0 So, Colin, how's it at the Festival? Crazy?
Colin: It's hectic! I'm going to miss it though till next year, because I did so much.
Devon: The last time I was there, there were 1280 shows in 200 venues. It was nuts! Have you met a few real-life Jackies this year?
Colin: Funny you should mention that, but yes. There's bloke I keep seeing at the top of Leith Walk.... no Rod Stewart impersonators though! :-)
Devon: Have you gotten ideas for new stories from wandering around the streets during Festival time?
Colin: Loads. I was mainly looking for poetry inspiration and photograph opportunities. I have 300 pictures so far and about 30 poems, but there are some stories too that have come about from that as well. It's an exciting time just now here
Devon: Do you sometimes get overwhelmed, looking at your notes, wondering how to fit it all in?
Colin: Not really.... if its good enough to go in as an appendage to something else or on its own then I'll use it - somehow, somewhere, sometime :-)
Devon: How's the leafleting going? Does it help to do "exchanges"?
Colin: I got a different reaction to people when I asked them to take one of mine. Like I had crossed from possible ticket sale to one of them...but it worked - people asking what it was about etc.
Devon: I'm homesick for the Fringe and asking questions about this year's festival -- Angela, jump in anytime!
AngelaM: Col, you mentioned photography... how long have you been doing that and how does it compliment your writing?
Colin: Not long started with the photography. It only came about earlier this year when I thought it would be good to stick pictures to some poems. Now I want a proper camera and to go on field trips etc. It def works well though - I enjoy it
Devon: It's kind of cool to get that give-and-take, isn't it? We made lots of new friends that way.
Colin: If some of the people I handed leaflets to get back I'll be chuffed :-)
Devon: We ended up going to the pub with lots of them, Colin.
Colin: Devon - Last Drop per chance?
Devon: Last Drop, Bannerman's, The Ox, The Jolly Judge, the . . . so what's next, writing wise? Now that HJ is complete?
Colin: Finish and publish the Fringe chapbook; complete the Great Scottish Authors series and complete my first novel WIP (while HJ is still contracted) everything else
startrekfanbob: Colin, I forgot to let you know that a new series started on BBC2 about the Scottish language. Can't remember for the life of me what it is called. Thought it might be your kind of thing.
Devon: At least there's a lot going on, right? Oh, if you're interested in the development of language, Steven Pinker has a good one called Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language. I bought it at the Museum of Natural History, of all places.
Colin: Glad to be busy. My writing life is as exciting just now more then it ever has been. Cheers Bob! I'll look into it.
Devon: Can you tell us a bit about the WIP? Or is it still in a delicate state?
Colin: Dev - well, it is set in Glasgow mid 1990's. It involves three friends and a girl. The girl is murdered and the plot develops in such a way that each of the friends is discovered to have a motive. Mistrust grows and friendships tested. Apart from the murder - it is based on a real-life situation...except I've used a ton of "artistic license"
Devon: Sounds fascinating. Artistic license is the way to go in fiction. Saves lawsuits! Are you going to go back to Glasgow to do some research, or can you do everything from Edinburgh?
Colin: The research was done a long time ago. In fact - I started writing this about 6 years ago but stopped when I did a writing course with the OCA. So it's been half written for a long time - the story mapped in my head for years - and the characters developed to an extent that all I need to do now is get my head down.
Devon: That's great -- and sometimes the hardest part of it!
Colin: I think because the characters have matured in my head before they got to paper I find it easier to see their differences and interactions
Devon: Have you set a goal by when you wish to finish? Or are you letting the book take its own time?
Colin: I want it finished before the end of the year - well before if I can manage it. It's finding the time at the moment. August is dedicated to the poetry book and so next month I should be able to hit the pages again.
Devon: Are you using multiple points of view, or one?
Colin: Originally it was written in 1st pov - didn't work though. Then 3rd. And then multiple - so I have options :-) I'm getting more adept at 1st pov now though, so maybe....
Devon: yeah, it's weird how it morphs, isn't it? I get so annoyed when I want to write in third, but certain sections come out in first.
AngelaM: that hasn't happened to me yet
Devon: In Widow's Chamber, I wanted it to be in first, but I also figured I might need to veer away from Nora, so I wrote in third. But it's turned out to be in third, but mostly through her eyes anyway.
Colin: A lot of it depends on who the main character is and how they want the story to be told. If it is a suspense thing it can be easy to decide but sometimes you just have to try them all out - as in this case
Devon: Oh, Angela, don't worry, it will. And then you'll remember this conversation and laugh! Yeah -- rewrite the chapter from every possible viewpoint and see what works the best.
Colin: In WC, there were times I could sense where the decisions were made. It was seamless though
Devon: It'll be even better when it's cleaned up!
Colin: The thing about the KIC format is it makes a great serial but effectively, It's only the first draft of a book - so I always question how good it could really be compared to what being in a novel format can give it
Devon: Yeah, Tapestry is smoother, because I had four or five drafts of the first big arc -- the one where she's working the temp job -- before it became a serial. I used what I learned in the interim, though. The first section of WC was rewritten a lot, but the farther along one gets, the harder it is to do more than one or two rewrites -- and I like to do four or five.
Devon: I am the Rewrite queen. I'll keep rewriting until the editor rips it out of my ink-stained fingers.
AngelaM: my serial is based on the first draft of the WriLiMarCha thing but it's changed a lot
Colin: I think Tapestry and Charlotte are my favourites of your serials because the characters are so strong. In fact, I was watching that new programme Lost the other night and the girl in it - cant remember her name - reminded me of Nina
Devon: Also, there are things coming up now in the serial that I wish I could go back and set up differently or change earlier. But it's too late.
Devon: Evangeline Lilly -- the one who plays Kate?
Colin: Same here - like the geographical errors for one doh!
Devon: Oh, now all those entries about Lost made sense?
Colin: Yeah - Kate - her that is on the run. Nina in my mind, to a 'T'
Devon: Yeah -- and in WC, I changed someone's name by accident -- but didn't catch it until it's too late. So I'm calling it "The collector's edition" -- like a book edition where limited copies were run and its worth something.
AngelaM: There are things I'd change in the serial if I could, too. In the meantime I've marked them on my hardcopy
Devon: Yeah, I keep running notes.
Colin: That's one reason I am looking forward to "novelising" my serial - to change the mistakes and bits I don't like
Devon: Yeah -- sometimes I look back and want to cringe! I started making character charts, but got behind.
Colin: And I still have ideas for e-book based on HJ
Devon: I want it! (jumping up and down, eagerly)
Colin: You want the e-book?
Devon: Yes, as soon as it's published, I'll buy it! First in line! I like Jackie -- I want to see more of him.
Colin: LOL! Cheers! I better start writing then. I have two ideas - one based on the origins how Jackie was adopted and one based around Victor. How did you like him by the way? Did he fit or was he a dud character?
Devon: I want to know more about Vic.
Colin: Jackie's the most important character I've written about. Shame we never got to write the combined scene with him and Nina
Devon: I still want to do it when she gets to Edinburgh
Colin: Dev - No problemo! Love to do it - it's a great idea
Devon: Of course, it's taking her a year longer than I expected.
Colin: Dev - Jackie's got time - he's taking a break lol!
AngelaM: so Jackie will appear in future work for you, Col? Any idea what format?
Colin: I can see Jackie getting involved in some short stories, Angela, plus the KIC novellas and more than likely another novel at some point. He's only 16 and got lots to do. Lots to go wrong as well. Then there's Katie - she'll keep him on his toes!
Devon: Col -- research is sometimes the most fun and the most frustrating. I always find it takes me down so many different paths, and I'm afraid I'll lose something if I don't explore every single one.
Colin: I think of research as being lie those Grail Quest books - I could never do them right because I had to see where each avenue led....
AngelaM: hey Col, if you were going to use a pseudonym what would it be?
Colin: there's a question...hmm...let me think...maybe Campbell Currie...bit poor that perhaps though
AngelaM: Col that name makes me think of soup for some reason
Colin: LOL! Campbell is my middle name you see but is getting quite popular over here as a first name. And Currie is my father's middle name. Put the two together...

End of transcript


Devon Ellington publishes under a half a dozen names in various genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Visit her website; her blog, Ink In My Coffee, with its feature, Racing Ink, and participate in her brand new project, The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project (sports fans welcomed and encouraged).

Devon's serials at KIC are:
Cutthroat Charlotte
The Widows Chamber

Angela Miller was raised in Sawmills, a small town nestled in foothills of the western North Carolina mountains. She fell in love with reading early and was introduced to the romance genre at age nine when her grandmother gave her some old Emilie Loring novels. Through the years she devoured countless books and spent many hours daydreaming. She wrote her first novel in a notebook during high school but the work was mostly forgotten during college and the early years of marriage. She started writing again in 2003 and has since completed two novels.

She has a deep love for the mountains and hopes one day to call the Great Smoky Mountains home. In the meantime, she takes trips to the Blue Ridge Parkway as often as possible.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Gardner-Webb University and worked briefly in retail before she resigned to be home with her children. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Hickory, North Carolina.

Read her serial here: Fate Steps In

Bobby Mackerel is an old friend of Colin's - in fact he used to be his boss. Their love blossomed in the chiller of a Safeway store in Renfrewshire, Scotland and has remained as strong as ever since. Visit Bob’s blog at What You Leave Behind
Colin 11:31 am


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