Writer Problems: Weird Searches

I think a lot of writers can relate to this. I do worry about what certain people would make of my searches, like baby name websites, the location and structure of The International Criminal Court and it’s associated prison and just what is the most common drug to be used in my local area, and that’s just for the crime elements of my stories!

Where Landsquid Fear to Tread

Sometimes, Squiders, I’m thankful I’m a fantasy author. Well, a lot of the time. But, in this case, I get to avoid some of the more macabre searches that mystery and other genre authors probably have to do.

Luckily, in this day and age, your search history is between you and the NSA, and you don’t have to, I don’t know, make friends with police officers or surgeons or undertakers to get information or whatever it was people did before the Internet existed.

But we still need information, and in order to make stories interesting, sometimes we need really strange and disturbing information that would make people think you were a serial killer if you brought it up in normal conversation.

I imagine mystery/thriller writers have it the worse, what with having to come up with new and inventive ways to kill people. But I’ve had to make some odd…

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 4

Okay, 4 days in and this is my first blog about it. Sorry but already I have had some interesting developments with it, not least changing what I am writing this month.

I was planning on spending the month rewriting and doubling the word count (wc) of a novella I have been working on for some time already however on the first day, it quickly became clear that I could not possibly do what I wanted to it and do it to the standard that I wanted to do it and finish NaNoWriMo. Being a rather competitive person, quitting NaNo was not an option. So on day 1, I managed 1,371 words, not even hitting the days wc.

I spent day 2 trying to figure out what I could write instead for this month, watching the seconds, minutes and hours of the day run down. I knew there was a story that I could easily tell for this month and it was whilst I was thinking about this that in I was reading my local paper (dated 27/06/2013) I found an article by a local author called Ian Clayton talking about books and why everyone ought to write.

Local Author, Ian Clayton

He initially talks about not judging a book by its cover then about people he has met in book shops whilst signing his books. (Many of the examples he gives would fit in perfectly with Jen Campbell’s books, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops). He then went on to talk about how many books he has worked on, which ones he is proud of  then, at the end of the article, he talks about what books are for and who should write them.

He states that he thinks books are for people to tell stories to those people they haven’t met. He then goes on to say who he thinks the people who should write books: “well I think everybody should, because we all have a story or two to tell.” He talks about how he has inherited different things from his family but he has not received any written words from those same family members. He thinks that it is another good reason we need books, to tell future generations about how people lived in the past. He concludes saying that whilst we will not all be published, we can be our own publisher and the best books are those that are made specially for you.

I would post a link to the article but unfortunately, it does not seem to have been published on the paper’s website.

I found this article very interesting and he makes some good points about why people should write, echoing the words of NaNo’s founder, Chris Baty, about the fact that we . They are certainly relevant to NaNoWriMo and, whilst he might not know about Camp, I think it is ironic he should write this article, and that it would be published, in the days leading up to NaNoWriMo. I know it certainly encouraged me during my uncertainty of day 2, when I found myself stuck and unsure what to write.

Just as I thought I would be going into day 3 with a day and a bit’s wc deficit to be made up for, I remembered an old partially planned story I have had in my head for at least a year, working with characters I have used for a script for university (formed part of my Script Frenzy win for 2012) and have posted a short story with over on dA (deviantART).

Forgive me, I am about to try to write a synopsis for it!

Flo (short for Florence) Merlo, a former Camorra member and Italian thief, and her partner Lukas Jansen, a Dutch former gangster and a thief, are arguing again over a Job they, well, she, is planning. Unlike before, when it would cause friction in their relationship, they take it as just being part and parcel of their professional (and romantic) relationship.

The Job looks easy enough, just a simple “liberating” a jewellery box in Northern Italy. Too easy for Lukas’s liking and he also does not like being even this close to Naples, after the problems they had there just a few months ago!

He’s proved right that things are not all that they seem when the Job goes wrong and it’s revealed to be a set up by Interpol Agent, Amy “Shorty” Martin, and Flo is finally arrested after many years of being on the run. Lukas knows he could continue to work on his own but decides instead to break Flo out of the maximum security prison she has been sent to. After all, they are partners!

But he soon discovers that it won’t be quite as easy as he thought it would be, especially when he learns that the Camorra have decided to take advantage of her sitting duck status in prison and are going to attempt to assassinate her, one way or another!

For once, he would just love it if Flo would listen. They wouldn’t get into half of the scrapes they do if she would just LISTEN!

Yes, I am terrible at synopsis’. I can’t write them!

I decided it was a worth a shot to at least write a little and as soon as I did, I remembered why I adored the characters. The banter between the two characters seems to just write itself and I remembered my scriptwriting tutor actually laughing in class reading my script (not exactly an easy task to do). It certainly got me writing a little and I managed to finish day 2 on 1,653 words.

Yesterday was day 3 and, now knowing what I wanted to write for this session, I decided to go to a local library and pick up a couple of books on crime writing, detectives and police procedurals (one of them is The Crime Writer’s Guide to Police Practice and Procedure, which has been previously reviewed on this website). Since I have changed to a genre that I do not normally write in, I figured forgoing a few hours writing to find some books to help with finding some research materials for me to refer to and read when needed and I want to. It was worth it in my opinion and even after just writing for a few hours last night, I did manage to catch some of my deficit up and ended yesterday on 3,458 words.

Due to the way that the website works, I did write on into the first hour of today, meaning my current total is 3,703 words therefore, I arguably should give this as being the total for yesterday but I’ve decided to just leave it as it is according to the website today because, as long the words are recorded, that’s a good thing right?

I do have another question. Why does Open Office and the Camp website give 2 different totals? There’s a 41 word difference I have noticed and I know some discrepancies are normal but, still, I am just curious.

Anyway, that’s where I am now, 15:16PM (BST) on July 4th. (HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICANS!) Now, I really should get down to writing!