Is my heart still in it?| Writing Fiction

I’ve always written for self-fulfillment more than anything else. This I’ve said a gajillion times, and nothing’s going to change that. It’s been almost four years since I’ve been considering publishing, and I’ve been faced with many highs and many lows. I understand it all comes with the territory of writing. It’s no easy feat to plot and write a book. And I thoroughly admire those who do it prolifically.

It’s been getting easier with my second child being a toddler, to find more time to write, and that I’ve been doing relentlessly. I have many storylines outlined and plotted waiting to be worked on. Last December, I told myself no more BS. I need to really get these stories out of my head and uniformed into a readable format.

It’s been going well so far, but I’ve been feeling like giving up. It’s not fear of rejection that’s been causing this, it’s lack of passion. Most of the stories I’ve been working on since has some kind of romance surrounding it, whether it be fantasy, paranormal or just contemporary. Honestly, I’m not feeling it anymore.

Some days I wake up and I feel exhausted of writing romance, like it’s not for me. Like it’s not what I want to produce. Don’t get me wrong, these stories are near and dear to my heart and I’ve spend so much time invested in them, but I just can’t help but think I should venture into another genre. I’ve always plotted other kinds of stories, being a horror fan, specifically based around paranormal and supernatural. But I never took it as seriously as I take my contemporary storylines.

I think I need a time out and it’s driving me insane. I’ve been working so hard these last three months and I can’t type those little two words yet, “The End.” I feel incompetent in a field that I’ve always loved and enjoyed being a part of. Pieces of myself are withering away just thinking about giving up.

Stories are my passion, and will always be.

I hope everyone’s having an amazing and productive weekend thus far.

Xo Kat

Is Third Person POV Dead?|Writing Fiction

Just like anything, I’ve come to realize that writing books is a business in itself. At the end of the day we all want to be our authentic selves in hopes that at least one person will receive it positively but it’s also true that we write for an audience. Particularly in the romantic genres, in the last few years I’ve been seeing a lot of first person present tense POVs. I read it but it doesn’t always read well to me, because that’s my preference. Everybody has their own tastes even when it comes to reading.

I’ve asked the question first person vs third person in a couple of writing groups and the group with majorly romance writers and readers favored first person. Recently I read on a blog that reading in first person helps the reader connect to a character better as it reads like you’re inside of the person’s head. The blog also went on to say that when something reads like a chick diary it’s more relatable. While that may be true, authors who write in third person are still successful in publishing. Some of which I enjoy quite a bit, like Nora Roberts, Susan Mallory.

It’s mostly on the indie scene I see first person being more preferable and that’s scary for someone like me who is choosing to go the self-publishing route. I have written in first person, I’ve switched entire books in first person but I’ll tell you where it goes wrong for me.

I spend a few sentences throughout my story noticing things that my characters may not necessarily notice. For instance, my MC who is a guy may not care what the color of a curtain is or the set up of a bedroom. There’s also the self-description thing that makes me cringe. Personally, I find it hard to describe myself or brag about myself and again, not all of my characters care what they look like but I do want my readers to have a feature or two in mind. And I find that reflection thing that I see ever so often in other books is not really my thing.

My writing voice is also not my character’s voice. I enjoy using different words to describe and elaborate on things and I can assure you my main character may not always share that vocabulary. So it’s hard for me to articulate the story that I want in my main character’s voice. I don’t head hop because it’s confusing to readers and even me as a writer. I do focus on one character at a time but just in third person POV. It’s called third person limited whereas the other is called third person omniscient. This I will cover in another blog post so stay tuned for that one.

Lastly, I have been writing in third person POV as early as the age of seven. In school, I had tons and tons of essays to write and I even started writing my own stories so I had time and practice with writing in third person. It’s why it comes more naturally to me as a narrator.

What POV do you prefer and what are the challenges you face? Why is one or the other easier for you?

As always thanks for stopping by. Here’s the link for my newly created Facebook Page if you want to keep up with me there. https://www.facebook.com/Bookish-Kat-582027968799821/ I always love discussing bookish things with bookish people! Find me on Instagram @bookishkat7

xo Kat

 

 

Where Do You Get Your Writing Ideas?

Where do you get your ideas?

Not very often I might be engaged in a conversation with another human, and I might reveal the fact that I write stories. Mostly it won’t be an interesting topic for them and they’ll likely move on but sometimes I get asked, “What do you write about?” My tongue gets caught for a moment because, while I do have a lot of ideas, I have been writing romance for the past year and people react strange when I say this. I’m focused on romance currently because it’s easier to navigate through the story and less research goes into it compared to my fantasy and thriller ideas. Those take quite a bit more planning and may take years to complete.

The question that follows the first one is, “Where do you get your ideas?” or “How do you come up with these ideas?” It seems unnatural to people who don’t see a story in every feature of their day, and sometimes it surprises me. What do non-writers even think about? I don’t know anymore. The moment I made the commitment to become a storyteller, most of my spare thoughts are focused on my characters or plot.

By the time I brush my teeth in the morning I have three or four things to write down that I may or may not use in a story. By the time I drop my kid of to school, I’ve made about ten mental notes to explore with an idea.

My ideas come from everywhere, and everyone. I’ve always been observant about people and the way they are, fascinated by the things they do and what drives them. I don’t judge people based on anything whether it be race, religion, choices…and that’s a plus if you’re a writer because you can explore a character in a non-biased way. I don’t exactly copy anyone’s physical attributes or their demeanor but closely paying attention can help you shape your characters in a relatable way.

Story ideas are always brewing in my head. No process or major thinking goes into the core idea of a story. The hard work comes when the writing starts but plotting the story just happens and it can be triggered by anything. Any thought or action can bear fruit into an idea for a story. It’s how story telling works. If someone pisses you off write about them. If you feel an emotion deeply, use that also in your writing. Anything and everything is part of a story. I have this book that I literally label book idea #1, book idea #2 etc. I’m sure I won’t use all of it, but brainstorming for ideas and plots is one of the best things you can do to let your ideas run freely.

xo

At Twelve I Wanted to Be a Script Writer

This is something I was laughed at for, a lot. Growing up in the Caribbean in the nineties and early 2000s, there really was no creative opportunity at school. Almost everyone took an academic route such as accounting, business management, sciences etc. Computers and information technology was on the rise so everyone rushed to do that including myself. I was not advised according to my true skills and desires, hence I’m here as an adult, still trying to chase dreams.

Professing my desire to create something was a bit of a joke back then because there really was no way to make it happen. The avenues were far apart and unavailable to a wide audience and especially little old me with a middle class background and no influence. Who was going to encourage this bout of creativity in me?

I posted earlier how I escaped in my imagination, in worlds with different characters but I also escaped by watching a lot of movies. I just fell in love with carving a story, the beginning, the end and all the good stuff in the middle. This is what drew me in, the characters and the different stories that they had to tell. I also read some Shakespeare at a young age as we studied his work in Literature class and I was also gifted some of his books by my parents at Christmastime.

I self-learned how to put together my stories in mostly dialogues, and not descriptive. I genuinely wanted to write stories that you could see on a screen or a stage. I still do but as I got older, I have a better understanding of my capability and reality. This is something that has a slim to zero chance of ever happening but at twelve years old, it was a new dream, a pure dream. One that I had to suppress because I couldn’t foresee a way to make it happen. No tools or opportunities were available for me to learn this craft.

Whatever I know today is self-taught and I do intend to keep working towards just getting some good stories out.

xo Coffee Doll

World Building As a Child

Until not too long ago, I thought something was wrong with me. I was actually embarrassed of the extent to which I created imaginary worlds and friends since childhood. Like any child, I did a lot of pretend play with my dolls, toys and I created imaginary friends.

I thought all of this was a normal thing to do because most children did it and it was normal. No doubt about that. But then I started keeping a journal of people’s names and descriptions and what they did on a daily basis. I think the last time that I saw that journal I was around fourteen years old and by that time I had over one hundred names in it.

I hid this book very well, though I’m not quite sure how I had misplaced it. Into adolescence I retained a lot of what I created in my head and I thought it was a childish thing to keep entertaining so I didn’t miss the book. But growing up, I had this fear inside of me that I’d lose memory of every little thing that I wrote down in this book. I was deeply attached to whatever characters and stories I had created.

Some worlds that I created was sci-fi or fantasy based. I remember getting a tiny finger sized alien figurine from an arcade and I built an entire world and story based on him. It was entertaining to review those scenes in my head. I really had some type of fun with all of this.

The biggest world I created is one like this one that we live in. There was an entire system in place. Families, people connected to one another. Whatever job you can think of, I had a character that did it. There was also an entire school system, a hospital and people who worked and lived there. I’d have been mortified if anyone found that book and read it.

Fast forward to years later, and that world flickered in my mind, so I decided to google world building. I can’t exactly remember what words I used in the search but it definitely wasn’t world building. I found out that this is quite a common thing among people, especially writers. That definitely piqued my interest as I’ve always wanted to write stories. I will detail in another post the history of my love of storytelling.

For a while I thought it was an unhealthy thing to use my imagination so hard but it’s how I escaped life, escaped this world so I could create my own reality where I felt like someone significant. Just to add in, I was a sad and insecure child and teenager. Depression hit me hard and I felt like everyone around me loathed my existence, so I then began to loathe my existence to the point that I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore.

I think subconsciously I imagined an entire world where I could be myself, where I could be free from whatever held me back. A place where things happened fairly and people weren’t so mean. And I believe that a lot of my characters stem from something deep within me, parts that always have something to articulate.

xo Coffee Doll