Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ordinary things

Usually I create a story by taking something ordinary and twisting it around and around. So I often take an ordinary event in my life, then twist and turn it, add excitement, sex, a myriad of emotions, and events that didn't happen and voila, a story.

The scary thing is when people know me. They know I did that thing (e.g. went to the Daintree). Because they know I did that, then they assume all the rest is factual too. *sigh* If only!

I didn't think this bothered me until Pain Surfer was published. Just a short story, but next time I was at the beach watching the kids surfing (we mostly have kids surfing here) I felt a little creepy. What if someone knew I wrote that story, would they assume I was having wicked thoughts about kids? That kind of worries me. But if I wrote murder mysteries, and set them in places I'd lived, would people assume I was a killer?

I have to get over this.

But... I was at the butcher's the other day. Butcher's shops are such male dominated, raw environments, which had me thinking... what if I set a story at a butcher's shop? And then I walked away with my steak under my arm and reality hit me. Could I ever shop at the butcher's again without blushing? Could I ever ask for sausages without hearing the double entendre?

Using ordinary things, ordinary places, and events in my life, might make writing the story more interesting, but can I live with the questions people will ask and the innuendo? Will I be able to walk into the butcher's without a huge smile on my face? Does it matter if I'm having fun?

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Tense Dilemma

Most books are written in past tense (eg I walked along the street admiring the ocean views...) but for some reason, my brain writes in present tense (eg I walk along the street where ocean views capture my attention). It seems more active to me. I make different word choices (like the above - no thought given to either that's just how they come out when I think in different tenses).

Of course, since the majority of people write in past tense, my style jars readers/contest judges. But in my mind, it sounds fine.

So, another dilemma for me... do I conform to past tense? Or do I stay doing what I like to write?

My gut instinct is to stick with what I like. Writing wisdom says what you like is your unique style. My concern is that I have two things that jar the majority of people - 1st person AND present tense. (I also used to write from multiple viewpoints, but I've curtailed that to just one.)

So maybe that's the answer. I had three different things. I changed one. Maybe I keep the other two.

Who knew this would be so difficult? Who knew I bucked the system so much (oh, okay, maybe I knew that bit!).

Dare to be different.

Maybe that should be my tagline :) Or maybe I'm just too different to be accepted.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Person POV

I write in first person POV, which means my stories are "I did..." and "The water brushed my toes...". I like to think that the reader might be listening to someone telling them the story.


I have people read my work and hate it with a passion. The comments are: It's too personal. You can't read a sex scene where you're in it. You can't develop characters in first person (even though she liked my hero, who was not the story teller).

It's been a huge debate for me whether to continue with this way of writing or to change. In the last 2 years I've made a commitment to continue with first person, but some days my commitment wavers in the face of strong criticism.

I want to write in the first person because I strongly believe in it as a form of communication. In reality, you only ever know one person's side to any story - yours. You hear other people speak their side, but you still interpret it your way. So, to me, first person is closest to reality.

Most romances aren't written in first person and I wonder if that's because we don't want romance to be real. We want the story where we know how each person loves the other and we fight for both of them to overcome their hurdles to end up together.

I think my romances are real... but I have to admit I struggle getting the happily ever after ending. I go for the happy for now ending - it's more realistic :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hope this story is true...

My Dad gave the little book of stories (Gotta Have It: 69 stories of sudden sex) that I’m published in to one of his mates months ago at a “do”. Dad wouldn’t tell him which story was mine and told him he had to guess. Yesterday he went to the next "do", and his mate returned the book in a brown paper bag!!! He told Dad he and his girlfriend thoroughly enjoyed it but he had no idea which story I could have possibly written (when he last saw me, I would have been... hmmm... maybe 15). However, they had a favourite, one about a surfer. Dad looks at him and says, “Gee, I think Cate’s was about a surfer.” Dad fumbles through the book to find me (he thinks my name is Eltink or Ellitink or something) and they stumble across me. Much to the mate’s embarrassment and Dad’s pride, it’s the same story - Pain Surfer.

I'm on cloud 9. I just hope Dad hasn't invented his tale!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Contest feedback

I entered my "black moment" into a contest and got some good scores and a not so good one... but the not so good one was the best of that kind, so that's a plus!

First person, present tense throws people completely. But I like writing like that. Do I persist or do I give in and change? I'm a stubborn thing and I like to do things differently. I think for now I'll persist.

And I need a bit more scenery and emotion. Too easy!

Now, just waiting on the contest feedback for the beginning. I hope it's as positive.