Learning about Blue


As an update for my writing, I can only admit to one thing – inlaw visits and writing just don’t mix. I don’t know how I couldn’t have fathomed this earlier – there’s nothing much wrong with my inlaws, I’ve had them visit me before, have holidayed with them, and I’ve lived with them for six months when freshly moved to the UK. But somehow, everytime I’m living with them again, I find that I’d forgotten just how they are.

Without bringing up a whole heap of repressed annoyances and current irritations, they are — er, demanding. All day.

What I have managed to do is start casting around on my next project. I’m doing a SavvyAuthors.com course called The Plotting Wheel, run by Sue Viders and Becky Martinez. The course basically takes everything I and you may call inciting incidents, conflict, motivation, climaxes and the rest found in basic plotting structure and bases it around words starting with C (if not already). The Inciting Incident becomes the catastrophre, motivation becomes cause… and climax is…wait…with an overall construct sitting at the character level.

It’s a really good way to remember everything, and so far I would thoroughly recommend the course if you ever get the chance to take it. SavvyAuthors provides numerous online workshops for basically a pittance. The Plotting Wheel runs for a full month, and so far has already got me thinking.

I’m using the course to work though at a very high level on my next novel up – Blue Popcorn. I also intend taking the same novel through more plotting structure in October’s SavvyAuthor’s course, Make the Most of NaNo, run by Todd Stone, author of The Writer’s Bootcamp, which sadly isn’t available as an ebook otherwise I’d buy it. This may seem an overlap with the Plotting Wheel course regarding structuring my NaNo attempt, but I’ve found that every course faciliator provides something else for me as a take-away. I’m actually interested in doing Todd’s later course on editing the NaNo novel due in January next year through SavvyAuthors also.

Lecture Two of The Plotting Wheel was a difficult one for me. I had a general starter concept for the novel, definately. This is based around the catastrophre (or inciting incident). But by L2, I was asked to come up with the crusade and cause (or motivation for it) from the main character’s viewpoint. And for the last few days, I struggled.

My attempt was cut down to size thanks to Sue. She pointed out that what I thought was crusade at a personal level was actually the cause. I’d been thinking so deeply about the hidden faults behind my MC’s character that it had salted the whole novel approach.

But it helped to get a better grip of Blue. And the little bit of journal writing that I’ve been doing in her voice is also helping.

What I am edging around is that Blue Daisies needs a rewrite in several places to bring in that voice. But with a lack of time to myself now is not the time or place to do this. I’ll hope that my inlaws will settle into a more independent routine soon – it’s only early days yet, and coming 10,000 miles across the world is daunting for anybody.

So, I’m still working, thinking, plotting, planning, and mostly, learning – just at a slower pace than expected.

Image used – actually, in Second Life I created Blue as an avatar. That’s her there. It’s the only time I can walk around in her high heels without twisting my ankle, and the only time I can be blonde.

Do blondes have more fun? Actually – no. Not in my version of Second Life, anyway. The Hunter-attired avatar owns a writing studio and several living potplants and cute kittycats. The Blue-avatar owns nothing but her clothes, poor thing. And neither of us spends that long in there anyway. Just enough time to water the plants, feed the cats and attend a couple of writing meets where people blast out wordcount.

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