When a new project begins

writing-bagI’m so excited, I always am when I’m about to start a new project I’ve been mulling over in my head.

The plan was to start the new project in January, but sickness in us and various members of the family put paid to that.

So then the plan moved to February, but then I received a client editing job that is taking longer than I originally imagined it would.

BUT … yesterday I submitted the author questions before I continue, and while I wait for the replies, I can finally write!

I’ve been digesting loads and loads of writing books and guides (and yes, I’m behind on the 52 books in 52 weeks again, but bear with me …), and I really have been thinking about this story for a long time, with two short stories already written featuring some of the characters. These will be manipulated to suit future omnibus short story editions once I have enough material for a complete suit …

… yes, suit. Because I’m finally starting my Stevie Tarot series, beginning with The Fool, which is the start of a new journey, a leap of faith.

The picture above shows what is currently going into the writing bag. Everyone has a writing bag, right? Anyway, from top left and working clockwise, it consists of:

  • the bag itself, bought a long time ago from Sheffield Hallam University book shop
  • my Monsters Inc pencil tin, containing pens in green, red, blue and black, a small ruler, pencils, pencil sharpener, pencil eraser, mini stapler and mini staples
  • a small book of assorted sticky tags the poet brought home for me one day a long time ago
  • tarot card no 0 – The Fool (a colour copy of this is pasted into the front of the notebook)
  • The Tarot Bible by Sarah Bartlett
  • an A5, touchy feely lined notebook from Paperchase
  • Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron (I have the latest version of this book, now updated, on the Kindle)

ALL of my planning notes and maps and diagrams and pictures will go into this A5 notebook. The chapter-by-chapter breakdown, character notes, world notes, tarot notes, everything will go into this book.

When the planning stage is complete, a shorthand notebook will be added to the bag for the first draft. When I move onto another draft, an A4 notebook will be added, and a 12″ ruler. (Yes, I call it a ruler because I’m a Brummie and that’s just the way we roll.)

While I work on this, then, I’ll also be editing a hard copy of my NaNoWriMo 2015 project, Mardi Gras. At the same time I’m polishing the exercises for Diary of a Scaredy Cat. And in between all of that, I edit and proofread books for clients and I write short stories …

So tell me, how do you work?

Writer at Work- writing CATCH THE RAINBOW: characters

I’m currently typing CATCH THE RAINBOW onto Scrivener, the writing software I wish I’d discovered 30 years ago. I’m loving all of the gimmicks and gadgets that help to make the writing fun, interesting and motivating.

Yesterday I moved a few scenes around using index cards … and there they were already moved in the text part of the story too. All I had to do was change the scene numbers. I can move different scenes into different chapters at the sweep of a mouse. It’s blummin bostin!

Today, I’ve added a new character picture, using a photograph of Duane “Dog” Chapman (aka the bounty hunter). I can attach this picture to both the character index card and any chapters I’m writing where I need his image in front of me. And the index card has been duplicated, because the same character appears in a Marcie Craig story, THE BEAST WITHIN, more than 20 years later.

This character’s real name is Frankie, and the Duane Chapman image is attached to the 1974 story, CATCH THE RAINBOW. But in THE BEAST WITHIN, he looks more like Cat Weasel, and he’s now known as “Popeye”.

Here, then, for my indulgence, are some of the characters who appear in CATCH THE RAINBOW. Lenny is the main character, Jack is her best friend, Nicky and Shaun are twins, and Frankie you’ve already “met”. For fun, I’ve also included “Popeye”:

Lenny

Elaine “Lenny” Moxon (surname may change)

Shaun 1

Shaun O’Flaherty

Nicky

Nicky O’Flaherty

jack2

Jacqueline “Jack” Hardy

Popeye

Frankie

Popeye

“Popeye” (imagine him with an eye missing …)

Thank you for reading. 🙂