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 Days 19, 20 & 21

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Okay, interesting few days. I haven’t posted on here about my progress due to having slight writer’s block on how to proceed and family duties to attend to. It has led to me struggling to get much written but things are improving.

I have gone from struggling to get on with the novel to suddenly getting a break through by thinking I might as well just write notes about the sections I am struggling to write and get to the sections I feel confident I could write.

Day 19, Friday, I sat struggling and managed to just about write the sentencing part of the trial and different character’s reactions to the sentence. This included the detectives decision to open an investigation into it. The detectives at least will give me a storyline to write with if I get struck. I also was on babysitting duty with my two nephews so couldn’t settle down to do much writing anyway with a baby and little boy wanting me to play with them both.

Saturday, day 20, I headed to a local library where I knew I could spend at least an hour on a computer just doing some quick writing to try to get further in the novel. Reason I headed to the library to write is that I actually find it a lot easier to write at a desk and not, as I do at home, with my laptop on my legs sat on the sofa. It proved effective as, after doing a few notes to cross a certain part, I realise that I could move the two characters meeting again to an earlier point during the transfer to Alcatraz prison. This move to the library proved to be a good idea as I ended up writing for an hour and 40 minutes and managed to get 824 words written. That is far more than what I can get done in the same amount of time at home. It also confirmed in my mind that I am going to have to have a proper desk to work at if and when I move out.

I did do a little writing once I got home but since most of my afternoon and evening was taken up by babysitting nephews again and having one fall asleep in my arms, it was less than maybe what I could have gotten done otherwise. I could get a little planning done though due to having the television on and one of the programmes featured a prison riot story. Watching it, it made me realise that for both of my characters to get out of prison, then they would need to start a prison riot of some sort to cover their tracks. They could also enlist the help of other prisoners to help with that and maybe help the prisoners with getting what they want inside the prison…if that makes sense… Yeah, in my imagined criminal world, a lot of deals, etc. get struck.

Day 21, was a Sunday and as I have said before, I don’t tend to write much on a Sunday as it is a family day. This was especially so yesterday since my great-uncle and aunt were visiting my nanan and granddad and my nanan has been in hospital lately so it is little wonder that, whilst getting some writing done, it wasn’t too much. It kept me on target though to finish this month on 35,000 words.

So that’s the update on what has happened over the weekend. Sorry for the lack of updates. It was necessary though for me to get back on track.

Word counts:

Day 19: 22,886 words

Day 20: 23,729 words

Day 21: 24,255 words


Camp NaNoWriMo Day 11

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Okay, this is my attempt to chill myself out before settling back down to write. Whether that works or not, we will see.

So the main thing that happened yesterday is that I discovered part of my research was incorrect… Not too badly incorrect but I discovered I have been looking at the wrong building for the International Criminal Court on Google Maps. Seems I have been looking at the building for the International Court of Justice, not the Criminal Court.

I discovered this by accident when I was having a quick planning session before getting on with writing about one of my characters being light-fingered and stealing the disguises he needs for himself and a couple of other characters for the next part of my novel. Not a big problem but the planning session ended up mingling with my writing time whilst I worked on that section.

Writing the character‘s light fingered…ness… has given rise to a possible comedy moment which will make my character hate me even more than he already does. He is taking his revenge by being a tad dirty minded… I have a few words for him. None of them are repeatable.

Today (12/07/2013), I finally got a book I had ordered from the library and after a quick flick through and read of a few sections, if I ever edit this novel, I think I need to seriously consider creating a fictional court for my character to be tried in. For now though, I will just have to work around certain matters using creative license and the fact that it is NaNo! So some research just does not and will not happen!

Either way, that section and possibly my fight with the character may yet help me at least hit today’s wc.

Word count: 17,375 words

 Ashes Cricket Update:

England are 302 for 6, leading Australia by 237 runs with 4 wickets to go!


Camp NaNoWriMo Day 10

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Okay, yesterday was pretty good. Cut my deficit down but still got 2002 words to do today if I want to catch up.

I probably could have done more but I have had an issue with my laptop and where things are saved to. Suffice it to say that there are copies of pretty much all of my important files on various web-based storage systems and on some external hard drives thank goodness. However, because I was having to deal with that problem, it meant I lost some time writing yesterday.

My locked up character has had a nasty shock and discovered that she has a murder charge against her (not everything is as it seems with that one!) and my other character is learning that their joint past is coming back to haunt them and that he is going to have to work fast if he plans on saving her from being a sitting duck in prison.

I will leave it to any of you out there, who are interested, to try to figure out what I am up to when I say sitting duck.

I am also experiencing a slight character rebellion with one of my characters. The one who is free is trying to either make me take him to Amsterdam (I won’t say for what!) or have me let him make an attempt to bust the locked up character out of the Detention Centre. I know for definite he is not going to Amsterdam but the character is slowly beginning to sway me towards letting him go to the Detention Centre.

If he is lucky today, I might let him but for now…

Word Count: 15,739 words

And a quick Ashes cricket update:

England were bowled out for 215 runs. They then bowled Australia out for 280. In their second innings, England are now 11 runs for 2 wickets, trailing Australia by 54 runs with 8 wickets to go. (15:59, 11/07/2013)


Camp NaNoWriMo Days 8 and 9

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Sorry. I know I haven’t posted but I’ve been hit by the second week slump. That, combined with other things in life, have left me struggling to write a bit and I am about 3,096 words behind. Quite a deficit but I think last night I’ve got past the part that has worsened the slump and have got into a more action sequence. Certainly, readers will see a character who hasn’t been the most active become much more so and maybe change a few perceptions that the character in question is the more independent and a much more capable thief than what he would at first  appear to be.

I also certainly know that I’ve hit something of a stride now and can get moving with the story. Mainly because my character decided to nap/ramble about how his life story, how he got mixed up with crime and first met my other character then how he ended up leaving his gang to form a partnership with her. He’s now doing what I should have written yesterday and I am planning to do at least a couple of paragraphs with the other character who is in the Detention Centre. I think that scene is going to mainly consist of her talking to a lawyer assigned to represent her and them talking but other than that… Well, at least it will be words and I might yet catch my deficit.

The next slump I expect will be the trial, mainly because my only real experience with courts has been during work experience when I did a week in the local law and coroner courts. Somehow, I don’t think the International Criminal Court will work the same way a UK court does, even though I am using some creative license with it. I do know it does not look like a UK court room and I expect, if I ever do go back and edit this novel, I will have to do some closer research into international law as I can only find books on UK law and I am going to work with the UK law when I do her trial. That’s a bit easier to find than how the court actually works, procedure and protocol!

I am hoping to catch up my deficit and at least cut it down some today to hopefully make it easier for me when I start writing on week 3 (which is easier). Somehow though, I don’t think I am going to hit 50,000 words before or on July 25th. I was hoping that I would be so I could get the next Ben Aaronovitch book, Broken Homes, as a reward so unless I wait until August 1st to pick it up, I can’t see that happening.

Well, I have started writing a section which is much easier to be getting on with so it should prove much more plainer sailing; I might yet get the next Aaronovitch book as reward to myself… Fingers crossed?

Day 8: 11,199 words

Day 9: 12,952 words

P.S.: Sorry, I’ve rambled a bit in here…

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 4 Update

Word Count: 5,508 words

I know, I am posting this on Day 5 of this session but I got distracted for the last hour or so of last night. One of my characters got arrested and because of who the character is, it led to me having to stop writing and do some research to figure out a few definites for me to continue writing.

This research included figuring out which court would try the character. Turns out the answer is the International Criminal Court or the Hague. This led to having to look on the ICC’s website to read up on it and have a look at the virtual tours of various locations in the court. I will no doubt go back to look at these once I get to writing those scenes and I have also ordered a book from the library today to do a bit more research. I also am going to have to remember that ICC in this case means International Criminal Court, NOT the International Cricket Committee. (Yes, I am a cricket fan!)

I’ve also had to look at what laws and crimes exactly she would be tried for. I am basing this on UK laws as I am a Brit and it is just easier for me to work on this basis. I think I am fine in saying that there will be similar offensives in most countries in the world. I think the offences she will be tried for several counts of theft, trespassing, gaining property by deception and possibly even a count of involuntary manslaughter.

I will probably have to do even more research as I continue writing but those above have certainly been unique. I even confused and made the staff in a local library laugh when I went up to them asking about the ICC. I mean, it’s not an enquiry you get everyday. I should know. I’ve spent some time volunteering and working in my local library!