Sunday, 25 August 2013

Happy Holiday...

We had a terrific holiday in Northumberland, and I thought I'd bore...I mean, share a few pictures with you.

Alnwick Castle.
 
Has anyone seen Hagrid and Harry? Oh yes, there they are!
 
 
You don't have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy Alnwick's wonderful castle. The entrance fee is a bit steep, but it's well worth it, imo. The kids LOVED it. There was so much fun stuff for them to do.
 
Next up: Lovely Lindisfarne Island.
 
Here's a view towards the castle. Although I've visited the island several times, I've never actually made it as far as the castle. Because the causeway on and off the island is subject to the whims of the tide, there's never enough time to see everything. I prefer to get clear of the herd and make for the shore.
 
There are lots of rock pools to keep the kids entertained while I sit back and soak in the tranquillity of Lindisfarne.
 
A few brief hours later and it's a mad dash to the car and off the island before the tide turns. I heard that every month, at least one car falls victim to the causeway. The sea comes in very quickly. On the day we visited, I learned that the sea had claimed two more cars. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
 
Here's a shot of the mist as it billowed towards us as we were leaving the island.
 
Can you see it on the horizon? Not sure the photo does it justice, but it was a very atmospheric end to a magical day.




Thursday, 15 August 2013

Holy Island.

Guess where we're heading next week?

 
 
If you've watched 'Vikings', you should recognise it. Yep. It's the beautiful island of Lindisfarne.
 
Despite the famous violent events in Lindisfarne's past, it's an incredibly peaceful place, and one that I never grow tired of visiting. My muse loves the island as much as I do. It's like a petrol/gas station for my flashing-empty creativity tank. (Fill her up!)
 
Even better, this'll be our kids' first visit to Lindisfarne. Seeing familiar things from the perspective of their wide and shining eyes is always a real treat for me. I can hardly wait!
 
 
 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Dirty Talk...

No. The title of this post isn't an invitation to indulge in a session of heavy-breathing web-perviness--I'm(occasionally!)very happily married, thanks very much! :)

What I want to talk about today is 'bathroom action' and other unmentionable stuff.



I always get annoyed when watching a film where the heroine wakes up in a morning with her make-up still flawlessly intact. This isn't so much of a problem in books, I admit, but there is still other stuff that bugs me in a similar way.

As writers, we're always told to write 3D characters(or 'people'), to make their voices so unique that dialogue tags are superfluous. (See 'The Rules' pg 314 section 23.6!) Our characters should be as real as we are. A worthy aim, eh? So, why not let them have the same bodily functions as the rest of us?

I'm not saying I want to peer down into the toilet bowl and study the products of a character's imaginary bowels, but the occasional mention of a bathroom, or of Aunt Flo's monthly visit, wouldn't hurt either. Details like these make me believe in the person on the page.

When I read historical fiction, I want to know how the heroine deals with her period. I don't want her swanning around chasing after some burly knight or other with her perfectly flat stomach and a sweet and lusty disposition--not when she's on her period. I wanna see her bloated and snappish, and stuffing her face with sweetmeats (in lieu of a chocolate bar :))  That's the kind of thing that interests me and makes me give a damn. How does she (or does she?) stay sweet-smelling? Does she use soap? Where does she buy it from? How is it made?

I read recently that internal parasites killed off many crusading knights before they even saw a battle. Their rehydrated faeces was apparently teeming with the eggs of wormy parasites. Yuk! But isn't that pure, undiluted thought fuel? This discovery adds a layer of flesh to the long-dead bones of these people. In my mind, they're no longer just a pile of mouldy old bones.

Would adding this kind of detail help to flesh out my characters? Time (and reviews) will tell.

How about you? What makes a character 'breathe' for you?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

What's your point of view?

If, like me, you've ever stumbled over story PoV's, check out this wonderful link someone posted on the CC forum from The Editor's Blog:Deep POV--What's so deep about it?

When I read it, I had an epiphany, a total eureka moment! Now I see why I've been struggling lately. Left to my own devices, I naturally write third-person subjective, but some critters mistook it for 'third-person deep'. Because I didn't know any better, I took their advice and soon found myself getting confuzzlated and tied up in knots. Now I know the subtle differences, I'll continue to use both PoV's, BUT I won't be using them at the same time.

I'll remember it by thinking of third-person deep as a close up shot and straight third person as a wider camera angle. Mix and match. Mmm...hmm! That's the key. :)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A riddle...

Q: When is a kitchen not a kitchen?

A: When my kids have used every chair and turned it into a train!

Ah, the joy of school holidays! :)

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