Saturday, 26 March 2016

Beautiful People: March Edition




So this week, I've decided to do another of these things. I should probably do these more often, but I keep forgetting they exist. 
So this is a link-up hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In in which you answer the questions then put your blog-link into the post in question. Something which, incidentally, I forgot to do last time. 
So this month, I've chosen to answer these questions for one of my characters from The Gatekeeper Chronicles. Specifically the main character, Hubert Herrman. 


What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off? 
I don't really remember who he was originally inspired by, it was a few years ago that I first had the idea. But I can tell you that his name was originally Ivo and he was a World War Two veteran with a missing leg. Now he's Hubert and he's never been in a war and will probably start crying as soon as I throw him into one. And he has both legs. Yeah, things have changed an awful lot.
I think I took a lot of inspiration originally from the trailer for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. But I don't remember that well and literally nothing from that has stayed in the story it is now, so I don't really know. 

Describe their daily routine.
It really depends on which point in the story. If you're talking pre-story, then he'd wake up around seven-ish, head to work at the newpaper for about half-eight then come home for tea at six. That's a fairly regular thing. And he'd spend far more of his free time than is actually healthy at the library. 
During the story, basically trying not to die. And that is really a harder task than it sounds.


If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
Okay, so I'm not in school, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. I'll probably just go with film-stereotypes here. Hubert would be the weird nerd who always hangs out in the library and hides from everyone. But who is actually super-nice and is probably also pretty popular. He'd have an unreasonable amount of friends for someone who never talks to anyone. 

Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives...
His little sister, being the centre of attention (or any attention at all), mashed potato.

How do they react in awkward silences?
He'd get out of the situation as soon as possible. Whether he'd pull out the book he's inevitably been carrying, sneak away or loudly announce that he wants to become a librarian, he'd find someway to escape. 

Can they swim? If so, how did they learn? 
I'm pretty sure that he can, but it's not something he does an awful lot, so he's not very good at it.

What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
The murder of his other little sister was a big thing that changed him. It's impacted a lot of his actions throughout his life and the story. 

What things do they value most in life?
Majorly, his family. Hubert loves his family and would do anything for them. The same is true for the few friends that he starts out with and the friends he later finds. 
Also, he really values historical artefacts and monuments. He gets really annoyed when people hurt them. And books. Books are important in life. 

Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
Yes, Hubert believes very firmly in second chances. He's always the first to forgive. He does have some major trust issues, but he doesn't let them get in the way of forgiving people. 

Your character is having a rough day...what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
He'd read. Definitely. But spending time with his alive-sister would rate pretty high on the list. And spending time with his best friends. And also his girlfriend. He just likes people. But not necessarily a lot of people.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Writer's Block

Recently, I've been attempting (keyword: attempting) to continue with the second draft of the first book of The Gatekeeper Chronicles.
And it hasn't been going too well. I was hoping to get a second draft done by June, but that's not happening. I started out the year with about 17000 words and I've now got nearly 19000. 
Sherlock gifs are very appropriate for this post. And this one in particular.
I could come up with any number of reasons for this, I've had assignments to write for my Open University degree, I often didn't feel well and so on. 
But the truth is I've just been having some real trouble. Every time I sat down to write it, I'd end up cringing at every single word I'd written then deleting them. Nothing felt right. I regretted writing historical fantasy, writing a character with a concussion and literally everything. 
Me. Also, more Sherlock gifs. Yay!

So, I started avoiding it. I procrastinated on Pinterest. I started watching Man from UNCLE and Hornblower, as my last post stated. I started about three new stories. I read books. I read writing blogs. 
I did not, however, play the violin. Though I could. I also procrastinate that as well. 
I began to be almost afraid of opening up the document. And I hated it. 
Because I love this story. It's probably my favourite of all the ones I've written. I don't love any of my characters the way I do this bunch. I love writing it. I love the world. I love everything about it. And suddenly, I couldn't write it. 
I too become a murderous sociopath when I can't write.
And it was really starting to get to me. 
But then today, I opened up Scrivener and opened the document on an impulse. I started typing a few words, again groaning as I wrote them. Then I got an idea. 
You see, at the point that I was stuck, I was in the middle of an action scene that just wasn't happening. And there's this character that I was going to introduce later in the series. And I thought, well, try throwing him in. It might just solve the problem. 
And it did. 
This was basically me.
I realised that I'd been going about it all wrong. I was trying to force a fight scene that wasn't working, whilst also insisting to myself that this character shouldn't appear yet even though I had no idea when I was going to introduce him. 
But I put him in and suddenly everything made sense. I won't go into details, but I'm excited about this story for the first time in months. And it's the best. 
Me right now.
But what's the point of this post? What am I getting at here, you ask? 
Well, here's the thing. All us writers know what writing block is like. And we all know what it's like to not have that scene going right. We know what it's like to be lying awake at night desperately trying to puzzle out how to write it correctly. 
We are all Sherlock.

But tell me this, have you looked at it differently? Is there something that you're saving, either for the end of the novel or later in your book series that you could toss in there? Are your character motivations on point?
Mine weren't. I thought my characters were being chased by bad guys, but it turns out that nope! They were good guys. 
My characters are the 'he' in question.
It was very confusing. And surprising. But also awesome. (On the downside, I now have yet another side in the story's conflict to write about).
So, in summary, don't give up. Try thinking differently, throwing things in that you didn't plan (I'm looking at you, planners). Nothing's set in stone, just because it wasn't what you originally wanted doesn't mean that it won't make your story better as a whole. 
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say to you today. So, I say goodbye now!
And leave you with another Sherlock gif.
What do you mean, this has nothing to do with anything?