My name is Claire Plaisted

Author Headshot

The warning bell rang out.  The villagers screamed in terror, mothers grabbing children, rushing into their homes, slamming doors, locking windows and hiding under tables, their bodies shaking in fright.  The men grabbed pitchforks and fighting sticks and marched to the edge of the village. Waiting silently their rage mounting in disbelief that the Indie’s would dare to intrude again.

“Bloody Indie Authors, which they’d go away and leave us be,” one man muttered.

“How they dare write their own stuff, in their own format and without permission of the big publishers is beyond me,” another murmured.

“Look there they are, all smiling and happy.  Get ready to attack, we can’t allow them entry to our minds,” shouted yet another man.

“Charge,” screamed a fourth man, “beat them back, keep our women and children safe, they mustn’t succeed.”

“Hey, hang on mate, who’s that over there, they look important.”

The men fell silent in disbelief as the woman stepped closer to the village, a stern look on her face.

“I don’t believe it,” said the village lord.  They’ve got a publisher.  An Indie Publisher at that!  We can’t stop them now, don’t you remember the law.  We have to listen to Publishers.”

“God help us all, we’re doomed.

They dropped their weapons, shoulders slumped, feet dragging, they returned to the village centre, tears pouring down their faces knowing they were beaten once and for all.

 

Hi.  My name is Claire Plaisted. 

I’m an Indie Publisher and proud to help Indie Authors get their wonderful books of all genres, be they novels, memoirs, family history books etc. online for avid readers to enjoy. 

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Plaisted Publishing House Ltd.  started as a professional formatting business to help all Indie Authors realise their dreams.  I’m an Indie Author as well, though helping others is my main business.

 

 

Why did I start this business?

It came about quite by accident.  I have always enjoyed formatting documents, be they newsletters, leaflets, family history or novels.  I like to see books set out to a high standard and, as my journey moved forward, I trained myself how to do this and share my experiences with others. I established my business in July 2014.  My experience stems from Family History Books and learning how to prepare a novel to send to agents and Publishing Houses. 

Traditional Publishing Houses! 

Out of the millions of fantastic writers only a few are accepted as worthy of being represented.  Only a few will become big names and manage to live off their skills due to this success.  Many of these authors write to a format the Publisher wants and if they dare step out of line – your contract could very well disappear – after all you’re not pulling your weight and doing as you’re told,so the public can read what they are told.

How did this Happen?

Now this, I struggle to understand and sadly there is no one alive today who can tell us.  History books may have been altered to fit what we’re told.  Who knows.

For at least eighteen centuries writers and authors were all Independent.  Yes, you heard me.  There were no Publishers to be seen, at least not as we know them today.

If you go back far enough we see many cultures start writing on walls, on animal skins, leather and later, paper.  They wrote with charcoal until such time as ink was invented.  Then along came the printing presses of history.  A writer would get a story printed on paper and it would be sold on the street corners for people to buy, or it was printed into leather bound books and sold to the wealthy.

I have no idea who picked up on the idea. However, suddenly publishing was born.  Publishing has been around for about one hundred and fifty years. (so much for it being Traditional!). They control what you read with their marketing hype, awarding said authors with honours and praise.  Many are brilliant, however what about those who have the same skills, the same brilliance, who don’t get the opportunity because the Publishing Houses deem them unfit to publish.

What does Un-fit to Publish Mean?

They don’t think they can make a profit out of your work, you don’t write the stories they want, nor do you write how they want, so they toss your brilliance to one side generally with a short letter or email

“Not suitable at this time.”  Whatever the hell that means.

Many readers and maybe some authors don’t realise they have read Independent work over the years.  This is because much has been re-published from the original prints.

Who are these authors?d4f39e4be1965d2032516bad71332757

The Bible – Over 2000 years old

Shakespeare

Mark Twain

Bronte Sisters

Edgar Allen Poe

Lewis Carrol

Beatrix Potter

Even John Grisham published on book independently.  The list goes on.

For the last ten years or so, Independent Authors have been fighting back to get their work published and in front of an audience who believes in them.  So called Traditional Publishing isn’t necessary.  History shows Authors once had full control of their work and now the time is here to take that control back.

At Plaisted Publishing House we format your books to a professional standard for a small cost.  Our professional standard – since Feb 2016 – has now passed the American Registered Copyright Approval (US Patent Office) – First time and with no changes.  The author owns full copyright at all times.

Costs to Authors

We charge $60.00 US for on-going consultation throughout for the work been done.  This includes emails, live chat and personal meetings where available.  We charge $4.00 US per thousand words with a 25% discount for a first time client.

This gives the Author full basic formatting, with two formatting edits to make sure it is what the client wants. The book is then formatted into either a PRINT or eBOOK. If both are required then an additional $20 US is required.  This deal also includes an interview and having their Bio and book cover on our business website.

Any extra work needed is $35 US an hour.

We also offer Indie Business links for Editors, Book Cover Artists, Beta Readers on our webesite etc.

You can find us at the below links

www.plaistedpublishinghouse.wordpress.com

plaistedpublishinghouse@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Plaisted-Publishing-House-249186435274458/?ref=hl

https://www.pinterest.com/rotosis/

https://twitter.com/rotosis1

 

 

 

 

Amassing the Arsenal.

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Once again I have been motivated to write by something I heard on the radio, a passing comment made during a documentary about playing bass guitar.

While on the surface one might ask what has a guitar, or playing music, got to do with writing fiction, or writing anything for that matter?

I agree that it is a valid question because when you play music you usually play in front of an audience. You may practice alone, or with a small group of musicians, but when it comes to getting your art ‘out there’ you seek an audience. It is a public performance.

Whereas, for us writers, we have a rather insular art form in comparison. We write alone, proofread alone, edit and re-write alone. Sometimes we may ask someone to read our work, to give feedback or to help proof it. But generally writing is a reclusive business. When our work is complete and published, it is read by one person at a time.

Well, that is generally the case. The author may give sample readings, a few paragraphs, chapters, or a selected portion of their latest novel during a promotional tour, or at a book signing. Reading or writing clubs may share a session, as may students, to analyse and critique your work. But these are rare examples. It is not customary for authors to perform on stage, reading aloud to an audience.

So where and how, I hear you ask, do I associate the comments in that radio broadcast about playing the bass guitar to writing.

It is quite simple. The remarks were about perfecting one’s art. The presenter spoke of how nice it is, and I quote,

‘To hear someone who knows what they are doing, doing the thing they do so well’.

The presenter then said that when a musician

let’s rip in one mad burst, it is a magnificent thing to behold’.

I shall not argue or decry those observations because I wholeheartedly agree. When a well-practised artist performs to the height of their ability it is a truly wonderful thing indeed.

But it is getting to that peek, reaching the level of talent and knowing when to use it to perform. That is the key to becoming excellent in your chosen field.

Before we can even consider getting up onto that stage and baring our artistic soul to the world at large, we must have ascertained the required skills and built up the confidence to stand there and strut our stuff, without the slightest doubt, without the possibility of making total fools out of ourselves.

To reach that objective we must practice and all practice is, is building up your creative arsenal, amassing the skills and techniques which will make you a creative force to be reckoned with.

If you are new, or relatively new, to the world of writing and publishing it is wise to remember that it is a very lonely and frustrating world at times, at most times.

If you are planning or writing a novel, you are biting off a huge chunk of optimistic expectation and while I do not want you to stop, or for these words to put you off writing, I do ask you this. Have you built up your arsenal of skills and talent to the level which you feel confident of standing before a crowd reading your work out aloud? Could you perform your work to an audience?

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I have been writing for some time, and I am working on another novel. Yet at this moment I do not have enough of it written to the standard so I would feel comfortable reading it out aloud, reading it to a critical group of spectators.

So, I carry on writing other works at the same time. I write poetry because that hones one’s skills at manipulating words to create imagery.

I also write Flash Fiction. I find it focuses the mind to explanation with the fewest words possible, challenges me to build quick twists and plots into a short paragraph or two.

I write Short Stories, sometimes these are expanded versions of my Flash Fictions or taken from the inspiration of a poem, either mine or someone else’s.

I also write Articles and Essays, which I suppose this ‘Rambling‘ is. They also present their own ordeals and criteria. So everything and anything I write is practice. I am still amassing my techniques. I am continually building my own arsenal of experience and skill.

Watch out, because one day I shall unleash it all in that mad burst of artistic showmanship. But not just yet, because the whole point of a skill is knowing when to use it and when not to.

I am not yet quite ready to get up on that stage………. not quite, yet!

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Thank you for reading this Rambling.

Note:

Since writing this, back in 2015, I now frequently read short stories to audiences in theatres in and around my home county. I have read my poetry on the local radio station.

Perhaps, tomorrow or the next day, maybe next week I’ll be ready to go national? who knows?

For now, I am happy practising on the local community.

For now, I am happily amassing my arsenal.


Have you read any of my short stories? I  have published several as

Electric Eclectic books which you can find HERE

EEpwbooks

Subject Matter

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I have written, in the past, about things that have inspired me as a writer, places, artworks, the weather, and many experiences, both good and bad.

Often ones inspiration comes from a collective of various and seemingly unconnected sources, which the writer mixes and melds into a single work.

Frequently the ingredients of this creativeness have fermented in the mind of the writer over assorted periods of time, before gelling into any particular form.

Yet inspiration alone is not the key to creating a good specimen of work, or even a mediocre scribbling.

We all collect ideas, notions and have basic concepts. We all hold beliefs and opinions which lend themselves to our own mindset regarding personal viewpoints, even philosophies.

All and any combination of these can form outlines or sketches for future efforts, they can be the précises and plans for the next chapter, a new novel, or a poetic masterpiece.

They can, but are often not!

I hear that writers get something called ‘block’. I have never understood this term, except as a feeble excuse to dillydally.

To write one must write.

That is to sit and jot down any and every word that comes to mind, string your thoughts out onto paper. It is totally irrelevant if there is anything remotely cohesive or comprehensible as a result. The fact is that you are writing and by doing so you will inevitably start to create something tangible.

In all probability, it will need to be re-worked, re-written and edited. But then what efforts do not?

Now, disregarding the incohesive jottings from a stagnant mind, what of your subject? What, you ponder, shall you write about today?

This should not be that difficult really, you already have a wealth of ideas, many rough outlines and frameworks to choose from, and yet nothing feels acceptable to you at this moment. You could do as I advised above and just scrawl, but you have sat down today with intent and purpose so you are, come what may, going to write something worthwhile, Aren’t you?

Taking the above on-board, it is clear that inspiration from whatever foundation, may not be enough on its own to germinate that much-needed seed of for selecting a subject to write about, because your inspirational suggestive is not necessarily that of any particular matter, it could be used within the text, as a plot, or a description of a place.

So even with all those wonderful conceptions and tasty ideas floating on the bouillabaisse of your creative mind, not one single word will you write until you have a topic to adhere to.

I shall let you into a little secret of mine, a way that on a daily basis I collect a whole host of subjects to write about.

  I read and I listen.

I read the papers, not the daily comic style rags, but the more serious broadsheets. I read about business and stock markets, science and medicine. I am not reading these just for the reports, I am looking for the human factors involved.

The same is with the radio, I listen to the interviews and the plays, the documentary productions, literary and theatre reviews. Once again it is the social and personal aspects that I seek for subject matter in my own writings.

Allow me to give a couple of examples by way of explanation.

A few days ago while driving home I tuned into a programme that was delving into the issue of female autism. This report was enlightening enough regarding the subject itself and was full of stimulating information which I could, and still can use in the future.

However, one particular statement touched me to such a degree that I knew I had found a wonderful gem which I shall use in the near future.

One of the experts told of an interview with a young sufferer who, upon being diagnosed, said with much relief. ‘It felt as if I had a black spot inside of me. I thought it would never go away’.

That one simple sentence was, for me, like finding a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. Those of you who are artistically minded will for certain understand the enormity of such a stimulus.

Another example, which I have already taken advantage of by writing a poem I called ‘My heart’, and posted on the 26th of June 2014, was during a play where one of the lines was about skeletons ‘kissing with their skulls’. I wrote the poem shortly after arriving home that evening.

(I have included that poem at the end of this post, as I am sure you would have some problem scouring the net for a single piece of poetry posted on a social network several months ago. You see how good I am to you)!

These are one way I find my subject matter for the day, or project, or book. It is also why my posts are quite wide and varied, and often seem to be associated or themed for a period of time.

Once I have decided on my subject, I then draw on my inspiration and experiences to create a unique, personal and original piece of work, which I hope that you will enjoy reading.

I also hope that my writings, my blog’s, the flash fiction, poetry, (and very soon), my new novel, does and will continue to connect with your own inner person, much in the way I was touched by the stimulus that enabled me to create my work in the first instance.

Here is that poem I promised you earlier.

skeleton-sex-energy-transfer

My Heart

My heart is a grave for lovers

Where skeletons embrace ever crumbling lust,

And skulls kiss in breathless anguish.

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Scarlet blood long soaked into the ashes,

Forgotten passions abandon, the cast off flesh,

Sensuous agonies of the soul

Haunt faded moments embezzled by time.

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Rise up from the earth,

Stand upon your tombstone,

Seek your absent self, your withered spirit

Wandering aimlessly in immortal eternity.

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But look not within my heart,

For it is but a grave for lovers.

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This poem and many others can be found in my book ‘Shadows of Emotion’

SHADOWS of EMOTION is available for Kindle / eBook or as a Paperback

UK. 

Paperback http://amzn.to/2ARTthy

Kindle http://amzn.to/2hKrpc8

USA. 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=shadows+of+emotion 

OR simply paste this  ISBN-13: 978-1500510312 into your search bar

shadows

 

Down by the Dockside

  I am not usually taken to reviewing books, or recommending those from well-established mainstream authors, instead I like to support and promote the hard working, inspiring and enthusiastic Indie Author.

However, I am often asked which books I read, what novels inspire me personally, which Authors I like and lots of stuff like that. So I have broken my usual reserve and for once shall reveal a book which had a profound effect on me as a writer, albeit the young, and not very good writer, I was at the time!

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Down by the Dockside by ‘Criena Rohan’

A review by Paul White.

Sometimes and for some unknown reason a book resonates within your soul, this is one such book that did, and still does resonate within me.

Down by the Dockside is a too long unrecognised Australian urban classic. Compassionate and sympathetic to the working class in post war Australia.

I first read this years ago, (circa 1975). It is about a plucky, literate girl who grows up in poverty in Port Melbourne during the Depression, marries a sailor during the war and loses him in a fight at Christmas in 1946, teaches dance and consorts with the criminals her childhood pals have become, it’s a lively and endearing tale of Australia in the 1930s and 1940s.

You may encounter problems when searching for biography on Criena Rohan, because this was her Irish pseudonym. Her real name was Deirdre Cash (1924-1963), novelist, was born on 16 July 1924 at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Criena’s first book was The Delinquents (1962). A compassionate tale, set in the 1950s, of defiant, street-wise, ‘bodgie-5767203widgie’ teenagers oppressed by their elders and the welfare state, it was dubbed ‘a back-street Tristan and Isolde’ by London’s Daily Mail. The Times Literary Supplement called the characterization of the heroine Lola ‘a triumph’. In 1989 The Delinquents became a teenage cult film with Kylie Minogue as Lola.

As poignant and harsh as the life and stories of her characters, so was Deirdre’s own life.

Deirdre was pregnant when, on 4 February 1948, she married a law student Michael Damien Blackall at St Augustine’s Church, Melbourne, but she was also lunging at a gentility she could not sustain. Leaving her husband and son, she earned a living as a torch-singer and ballroom-dancing teacher, occasionally on the fringe of the demi-monde. Although the autobiographical glow of her novels suggests otherwise, she was teetotal, earthy but not indecent in speech, and never in trouble with the police. Similarly, her fictional, family-based portraits are sometimes romanticized, sometimes cruel. In 1954 she met her true inamorato, a coastal seaman Otto Ole Distler Olsen, whom she followed to various ports. Her divorce having been granted on 18 October 1956, she married him eleven days later in the office of the government statist, Melbourne.

Cash was dying from a now correctly diagnosed colonic carcinoma when she finalized her second novel, Down by the Dockside (London, 1963), which attempted a more complex characterization of alienated, working-class people in wartime Melbourne. While her often sentimental and melodramatic social realism lacks literary polish and form, this weakness is offset by Dickensian humour, sharp dialogue, throwaway gibes and a gutsy narrative style. She allegedly wrote a third novel, ‘The House with the Golden Door’, but, if so, the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. Survived by her husband and their daughter, and by the son of her first marriage, Cash died on 11 March 1963 at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, and was buried in Fawkner cemetery.

This is not a literary masterpiece in the common sense, even being rejected by several Australian publishers whom she subsequently scorned as jingoistic. But it is haunting and touching and should be on every ones ‘Must Read’ list.

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Thank you for taking your time to read this. Should you ever get yourself a copy I would love to know your thoughts on it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Down-Dockside-Criena-Rohan/dp/1863401032/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419354395&sr=1-8&keywords=Down+by+the+Dockside

In the Darkness of Illusion

 

writers-block

It is two thirty in the morning.

I should be sleeping.

But like many writers, it is in these ‘wee hours’ that our minds race, that our thoughts begin to gel into some recognisable form of understanding. Thoughts that we must ‘get down on paper’ NOW.

Not later. Later is no good.

By later the concepts, the feelings, the ideas will have shrivelled like the skin of a rotting fruit. No longer will these ideas have the shiny skin of freshness. No longer will each sentence be sweet with the flowing fructose of conception. So now is the time to allow our words to freely spill onto those blank pages, pages of lingering anticipation.

By sunrise, sleep has yet again passed us by. Another coffee and a cool shower invigorates, just enough to face the daylight hours which queue before us, clambering for our attention, calling us to deal with the mundane tasks of reality, the chores of daily living.

Distracted our thoughts, our fantasies and whimsies sink into the subconscious. Some hide in the darker shadows, others play truant, while many are lost forever. Those dark hours, the late nights and early mornings are the vampiric lairs of the writer.

Sunrise brings only loss of procession, a stilling of conscious reasoning, a slowing of creativity. Staggering along throughout the day we long for the sun to set, look towards the dusk with wistful eyes, longing for the darkness to envelop once us once more, to fold us in its soft cloak of imagination.

Because here in the quiet, in the still of the night, is where the bats of illusion flit freely in the caverns of our minds. All that is witnessed, touched, seen, tasted and heard during the day is fired in the cauldron of concept and fantastical prophecy. This is the time when mystical worlds are created from a scattering of magical runes and symbols we call letters.

Twenty Six7f3f9ede89ac78685ce79af4fbeffb18 tiny marks which have the power to enter the mind and take control of whoever is reading, whisking reality away and replacing it with netherworld where all is possible and perception an illusion.

Yet it takes a mighty wizard of the quill to cast such formidable spells from so few tiny symbols. The craft of wordsmithing is often a lonely and long journey through the forests of despair and foreboding.

Yet when the daylight of publication looms bright, the rewards of satisfaction bring the cost of toiling through those darkest of late nights, the journey of self-doubt and inner loathing, well worth the pain and agony’s suffered.

The price can be high, but the rewards glorious.

Thank you for walking through the forests with me tonight, Paul.

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While you are here why not grab a copy of the award-winning Dark Words, You can find it on Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2GOuHq0

or in the USA at,  https://goo.gl/X8Q1dX

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Telekinetic creative cognitive imagery

Ramblings from a writers mind

   Those of you who have read my irregular scribbling’s which I post under this title will know that each post focuses on a particular, although random topic.

   Each post is written without any formal structure, hence my use of the word ‘ramblings’.

   These posts are not intended to be or give a definitive, they are just my own personal view regarding the subject of choice.

However I do hope that these posts stimulate your mind and create discussion, even debate.

   Bearing that in mind please feel free to add your own observations, views and opinions to each and any of my ‘Rambling’s’ posts.

Today’s subject is a little more direct than most of my previous posts, it is about the writer’s ability (or inability) to create the right form of imagery in their reader’s minds.

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Making you see it

[Telekinetic creative cognitive imagery]

One of the major tasks for a writer is to capture the mind of the reader right at the beginning of the book and to keep that attention throughout, right to the very last word on the final page and even beyond, so that the feeling that the story created remains embedded in the readers mind for ever.

This is what every author seeks, to deliver a memorable, unforgettable story that will be the next global blockbuster, and by doing so win new readers who will seek out the authors other works and be eager for the next new novel to be published.

So here you are, sat at your computer, or typewriter, or poised over your desk with quill in hand ready to start writing the first words of your story….what now?  You know what you want to say, but somehow everything you write seems either poor or overly complicated, and neither deliver your thoughts the way you imagine them yourself.

This is where I find it best to ‘live’ the part, become the scene or character; drive that car, get shot, stabbed, or have a screaming argument with the wife, mistress, boss, or coked-up street junkie. Then use the feelings, the images that you felt and saw while ‘living’ that scene, in short ‘takes’, like each edit in a film clip, to slowly build that small part of your story.

Using this method will allow you to ‘transfer’ much more of your own visual imagery to the reader, remembering that you will only be suggesting and guiding the reader to ‘see’ what you are writing, you will never be able to transfer the precise imagery you have in your mind to another, and even if that were possible it would destroy the very basic reasons for reading in the first instance.

At this point I think I should explain what I refer to as mental imagery.

A mental image is the representation in a person’s mind of the physical world outside of that person. It is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present to the senses.

Common examples of mental images include daydreaming and the mental visualization that occurs while reading a book.

According to psychologists and cognitive scientists our experiences of the world are represented in our minds as mental images. These mental images can then be associated and compared with others, and can be used to synthesize completely new images.

Now that is clear, how much detail you add will depend, in part, on whether you are writing a short story or a novel, also much will depend on just how important this particular ‘scene’ is in the chapter or to the entire plot.

As an example I will take the ‘drive that car’ from the above paragraph. In a short story like a flash fiction you will not have time to describe too much detail, (unless the car is the main character or a very pertinent feature). So something along this line would most probably suffice…..

   ‘The car came around the corner at high speed and pulled up next to me. The door opened and he called out my name’.

That short sentence creates just enough imagery for you to transfer your thoughts to the reader as a visual image. That is enough for a very short piece where the writer has to ‘edit’ the work to the length of the story.

However, unless the writer wishes to be vague in this instance, I do not believe that this sentence would be suitable when writing a full length novel where the detail is not only requisite but also allows the writer greater scope for creativity. Therefore I would suggest that the same scene would be written along these lines……

   ‘The black limousine’s tyres squealed as it sped around the corner of Liberty Avenue onto Main Street and headed directly towards the fire hydrant where I was sitting. I knew it would be him, it always was. As the car lurched to a sudden stop next to me the door opened and he called to me.

‘Get in the car now, Sally’ he commanded.

Here I have added just enough detail to transfer a lot more of my own mental imagery to the reader. The reader now knows that the car is a black limo and the speed it was travelling was fast enough to make the tyres squeal. The place (setting) is urban, the street names and the use of the words ‘fire hydrant’ suggest an American city.

In this version the reader is also aware that the character on the sidewalk is female, this was not revealed in the first version.

black-limo-night-out

The real skill of the writer is to know how much detail is required, to what proportion and in which instances. Many new writers either give far too much detail on irrelevant or less important items, which then detracts from the gist of the work, or not nearly enough which in turn leaves the reader at a loss as to the actual meaning, or content of the work.

The above method works well for ‘scenes’ and ‘action’ sequences. For character description I use a number of various methods to deliver my cast members to my reader’s cognitive conscience.

In my shortest works, like flash fiction, I find that it is not always necessary for any description whatsoever, I often leave the reader to create the characters physical image themselves. In short stories I give just enough detail to outline a characters physical attributes and, or their personality traits, once again leaving a good deal for the readers to create themselves.

In a piece of full length writing I tend to use one of two methods to reveal my characters, the first is what I call the ‘Biographical introduction’, something Stephen King excels at. This is where the character is brought into the story through a lengthy introduction starting at some point in the past and ending when they (the character in question) becomes part of the books plot.

This method allows great detail to be given about any particular character so when they enter the plot the reader is already familiar with their characteristics.

The second, and the method I use most, because most of my stories are character driven, is introduction by ‘drip feed’. This is giving a little of each characters traits a little at a time through a large, if not all of the novel.

I find this method has the effect of the reader ‘getting to know’ the person much as one would do in real life.

Of course a little of both of these methods also works quite well.

At the end of the day it is up to you, the writer and creator of your fantasy world, a world where you are the puppeteer of those characters and the situations they encounter, who has the choice of how you transfer your mindful images into the heads of your readers.

I do hope however, that this rather odd rambling has stimulated you to try to write something in a format that you have not previously done, or at the very least you enjoyed reading my drivel!

Enjoy your day

Paul.

© Paul White 2014

http://paulznewpostbox.wix.com/paul-white-writer

Clearing out the closet

But first a note,

    When I first started to write my Ramblings the idea was just to jot down my thoughts, feelings and viewpoints of whatever was foremost in my mind at the time, which is in essence still what I am doing.

However my Ramblings have seemed to have naturally divided themselves into two distinct, or should that be indistinct, areas.

Firstly those Ramblings which focus on writing; where I hope to offer encouragement, insight and tips of this black art to other writers and would be penmen, (if I can say that without being politically incorrect?), and tell of my struggles, fears and incidents along the way. (Writing can be isolating and lonely at times). In hindsight I should have known that many of my Ramblings would take this path, after all I am a writer. It is what I do.

The second avenue of my Ramblings are more in tune with my original intention to waffle-on about a varied assortment of unconnected and random topics, like this one!

So I have, in a rather arbitrary manner, separated the two prime themes; from now on my writing centred Ramblings will published on this Blog ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com.

Leaving me free to post my arbitrary scribbling about everything and nothing on a separate blog which is simply entitled furtherramblings.wordpress.com

For those of you who enjoy reading fiction, then please take a peek at alittlemorefiction.wordpress.com where you will find a collection of my Flash Fiction, enjoy.

I am glad to have cleared that up! ………………..and cleaning up is the topic of today’s Rambling.

In fact what I have done is an actually clean up what was becoming a bit of a mess. Having a clean out, tidying up the mess and confusion which seems to inexorably grow about us on a daily basis, is a liberating and satisfying experience.

This is also about getting rid of annoying and irritating entities which we can quite easily and happily live without.

Let me explain, if I may.

I have renewed / re-modelled my webpage recently. The original design was looking amateurish and had had so many alterations over time it was also looking scraggy. So I scrapped everything and started again from scratch.

On completion of this task I was overcome by a host of silver angels descending from the clouds and blowing upon golden trumpets tunes of joy and salvation.

OK, it was not quite an epiphany, but you get my drift!

So I went to work on my computer itself, deleting a number of old and ancient photos on my files, on Picasso, on Keepthatshityou’llneverwant dot com, and some other Cloud crap that I never use. I then started re-arranging my files, because if my storage systems were an actual office it would look much like that Japanese one in the You-Tube video during the earthquake, or rather like the office did in the aftermath.

Now I am rather good at keeping my hard drive optimised, I have high quality programmes to check, clean, defragment, compress and goodness knows what. Other software ensures that no silicone version of ‘Ebola’ is infecting any file or the path it is strolling along. I have vaults and antidotes, and little ninja killers jumping and climbing through every download and external device to ensure that nothing has snuck passed the x-ray machines and strip searches in my computers airport security lounge, or was that suite?

None of the above however lends itself to getting out the vacuum cleaner or polishing cloth, not one killer ninja will, on its day off, pick up the debris and waste of underused, misnamed or forgotten files. Nothing will automatically organise your documents in the clear and precise way you have just decided you want them.

No. These are things you have to get of your backside and do yourself, or possibly sit down, on your backside and do……well, you understand. So that was my second task of the day. A task that actually took a week!

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Yep a week! I was amazed at how many duplicated, or just so very slightly similar, documents and images I had.

I know why.

I do a lot of things a lot of the time, saving constantly so I do not lose all the work I have just completed. You know…like you did when you clicked on….ahh yes, you remember that don’t you! The problem is once the task is completed, the final work saved, sent, stored, printed or whatever,  I do not always remember, or cannot usually be arsed to double check the copied and saved files that I created along the long and bumpy yellow rubble path of getting the job done.

So those files languish in luxury at the poolside of the internet highway hotel, retired forever, relaxing in the heat under the multiple core silicone sun.

But now I have kicked these lazy residents out and closed the hotel. The space I have newly created will become the foundations on which I shall now erect structures of new creativity and technical beauty…..or not. But once again a good old clean out is really quite a healthy thing to do, not only for you PC or laptop, but for you too. I now have a feel good factor, and that feels good.

By this time tomorrow evening I should have a few black plastic bags full of old Sh*t to chuck in the  interweb dumpster, a fresh and clean living space to work within.

I do not know if this will enable me to write any better, or shall unleash some unknown, some latent talent which has been hiding beneath the keys, but I know that it feels as if I have performed a catharsis, something which has not only cleared the capacity of memory storage within this infernal machine, but has also strangely lifted my own mental spirits somewhat.

Maybe you should have your own clean out, it actually feels really good, even liberating, like a cool lemon scented shower….or a soak in a hot bath full of bubbles and little yellow squeaky ducks….if you prefer that!

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As all this scrubbing and cleaning has worn me out I have decided to take myself off to bed, for a comforting and relaxing sleep.

I wish you the same when night arrives in your part of the world, and hope that the thought of living with an overloaded storage space, full of unwanted, unneeded and useless files which is slowing down your operating system, will not keep you lying awake all night with undue concern.

In fact I shall not even mention it, should I by doing so, place any doubt whatsoever within your mind!

Thank you for reading, Paul.

The Secret Entity

Books, novels, novellas, whatever term you use it does not really matter. Neither does it matter, in this instance, if you are reading a hardcover book, a paperback or even an e-reader. Because this post is about the story that lays within, not the format, the genre or classification of the book.

A story is a most wondrous gift which can be bestowed on anyone. It affords an avenue of escapism from life, from reality. A tale can whisk you away to worlds which do not exist but feel real, feel true as you read and absorb each word on each and every page.

A great story will draw you in, make you part of its netherworld, a place where you can battle the bad guys, or be the bad guy, or girl, or dog or horse… or simply watch, from your lofty viewpoint, all that transpires below.

No matter if you love a twisted plot of dirty deeds, or raunchy romance, fast action with death and destruction, a private detective prying into everyone’s business, or a love and betrayal saga of family and ever-changing fortunes;  as a reader you must consider how the author weaves such magic, how they are able to draw you into their fiction, into their deep mindbending imagination.

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Whether you are laying on a recliner by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or simply curled up in your armchair at home, a book is a magical portal, a gateway to another life, through which you can escape the humdrum of everyday tasks, at least for a while.

When you immerse yourself into a story the mundane evaporates, it disappears into the shadows of forgotten responsibilities, while you become absorbed into your own private world, a world that no other person can ever become part of.

Now, you may find my last statement somewhat beguiling.

Why would I say no other person could possibly enter the same world as you? After all you are reading just one copy, a single edition of a book. Many other people are, or must have, read the same story? They too must have visited this fantastical world you now find yourself in?

WRONG.

Unlike watching the television, a downloaded video, or visiting the cinema where you sit with family and friends watching precisely the same action, hearing the same sounds, the same voices, a book is a far more personal experience.

It is a unique individual encounter.

When you read a story your eyes will be scanning the chains of words which are sequenced by the author. Yet it is not the author who is telling you the story. It is not these chains of words, mere ink blobs on the pages which paint those pictures in your mind. It is not they which lead you from one scene to another.

You see, in between the words there lies an invisible entity.

It is this entity which connects your mind to the authors, no matter how far away they may be in distance or time. Alive or long dead… you will become connected.

It is this which is the true magic of a book.

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Wonderful plays and fantastic films work from the basis of good creative script writing, however, assisting the scriptwriters to deliver the words to an audience, in a manner the will capture their attention are the actors and actresses. Their ability to deliver a speech or to convey dialogue convincingly is a wonderful skill.

Cameramen, directors, special effects, best boy’s and grips… and so on produce the scenes and effects. But that vision, the moving images on the screen and the actor’s voices are not your story; they are the director’s interpretation of the screen-writers construal of the original play, which is based on the television series of the original book written by… whoever it may be.

I prefer a direct connection to the author, one without the intervention of another person’s personal translation being foisted upon me.

Without becoming too technical, I am writing this post in a style far removed from the one I am using to write my novel. The way you are reading this is the way I have deliberately formatted my narration. In this instance as if I am speaking, talking directly to you personally.

In my stories the voice you hear is inside your own head, it may be omnipotent, or it may seem as if one of the characters is speaking, telling you the tale; it depends on how I intend you to hear my story.

I hope I have explained that clearly?

 

The second reason reading a book is such a personal experience is, as you read your mind creates a world so real and so detailed and in such a subjective form, it is only possible for it to exist in your own imagination.

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Take a simple statement:

The long black sedan drew up to the pavement outside the hotel.

Simple?

Yes?

No.

If it were a film I would agree because we would have both seen the same car, drive up to the same hotel, from the same direction, in the same weather conditions, at the same time of day….same….same…same.

However, when you are absorbed into the story of a book, you have to create the car yourself, imagine which direction it is driving, how the daylight reflects from its bodywork, or the lights glint on its polished paintwork as it drives under the portico of the main entrance… oh wait, your hotel did not have a portico? And it was not in a city centre… well, that’s ok, because this is your story and yours alone.

In mine it was night, the car was a dark blue stretched Bentley continental, what make was it in yours?  Was it a stretch, was it blue or black… or white? What time of day, or night did you create for your story? Was it Chauffeur driven?

This is the reason you cannot read the same story as your friends, your mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or Little Lord Fauntleroy. You can read the same book, but you can never experience the same story.

Ahh, now you are beginning to understand the true magic of a book, the amazing mystical power of narration.

It is something unique, something no other medium can offer.

Which is why I love the written word, why I love books above and beyond any other form of media for regaling a great story.

It is why I love to write.

Talking about writing… have you read any of my Electric Eclectic novelettes yet?

If not, you are missing a treat; Electric Eclectic novelettes contain an amazing and captivating short story.

Each novelette is written as introductory book so you can experience my writing style, which I hope you will like so much you will then grab more of my books!

With each Electric Eclectic novelette cosing a mere 1.00, you could try two or three, or more, Electric Eclectic authors novelettes, you may even find your ‘next favourite author’ among them. 

I hope so.

Visit the Electric Eclectic website HERE

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Your Story

 

                             

Once again I sit here with a vague idea running through my mind, yet I have an uncertainty of how I am going to transfer my thoughts onto the page.

I do not view this predicament as a problem because this is one of my Ramblings and, the whole point of writing a Rambling, is I take a loose concept and start writing without any structured plan.

On good days the whole thing sort of stitches itself into a passable tapestry of cohesive substance.

I hope today is a good day.

Although, I have often heard people say ‘I could write a book about.. this or that’, or ‘that would make a fantastic story’, I rarely, if ever, find any of the people expressing such actually write a darned thing, about anything, ever.

It is all too easy to say such and such would make an interesting story, but far, far harder to write it and, I am not speaking of the technical aspects of creative prose, simply the act of putting pen to paper and jotting out more than a few paragraphs.

In fact, one of the most difficult things to do is to start writing a story, your story. I have known people who have journals, diaries and vast libraries of notes, all ready to start writing their story. Ten years later those notes have vanished, the diaries are collecting dust in the loft and the journals long forgotten.

But none of that matters because… ‘it’s all here in my head’, ‘it’s my life story, so I know it anyway’, or ‘I plan on starting it after………….’

I have heard it all.

In fact once upon a time, I used the same lame excuses to procrastinate about writing the stuff I had bobbling around in my own head. Now, if I go a day without writing at least a few paragraphs, a short story, a poem or one of these Ramblings, I get tetchy and irritable.

I honestly suffer withdrawal symptoms.

It is my love of writing and by writing, I mean actually transcribing words onto paper, (or in this modern world, onto a computer screen); the more I write, the more I need to write. The more I write, the more I learn about writing, about words, syntax and grammar.

But most of all, I learn about the pliability of words, how they can be moulded and shaped, crafted as a glassblower would fashion his works from a semi-molten liquid into goblets and vases. It is akin to a cabinet maker taking great lumps of raw wood and, carefully whittling and chiselling away until an intricately polished dresser stands proudly displayed.

Words can be shaped and formed in a million and more ways, they are the basic raw materials of a writer’s art, the fundamental building blocks for wordsmiths, the elemental ingredient of the author’s labour.

What is more, these words are free. They cost nothing and are readily available to everyone, including you.

So why not take advantage of this?

Now is the time to clamber into the loft and bring those diaries into the daylight, time to dust off your old journals and to recall your history. Now is the time to sharpen your quill, your pencil, or charge up that laptop and start to write the story you have within yourself.

I shall leave you with this wonderful quotation from ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ by Maya Angelou,

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Thank you for reading this Rambling, Paul.

Like to learn more about me? Then why not check out my webpage

http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white 

Paul White

Looking for tips on writing and publishing? Then you have come to the right place.

Grab yourself a copy of ‘The Frugal Author‘ today.

TFAcover