Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Interview - Kirsty Ferguson

Welcome back,


Welcome to this month's writer interview. While networking, I got the honor of meeting Kirsty Ferguson, author of the Little Girl series, who kindly volunteered to answer some of my questions. During my short interactions with her, she came across as a very kind and polite person, quite willing to assist other writers on their journey. I am delighted for the opportunity to have her on my blog.




Short Bio: Kirsty Ferguson is a freelance Australian writer who bases her books in rural Australian towns. She writes in multiple genres including, thrillers, crime, mystery and paranormal. Kirsty has released three crime and mystery books, two as part of a four-book series (Little Girl Dead and Little Girl Revenge) and one stand-alone cozy mystery (Severed Heart). Kirsty has studied a Diploma in Editing and is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Professional Writing and Publishing. She uses her Diploma to edit and proofread other independent authors’ work. Her greatest love is her autistic son Connor and in her spare time she reviews books and movies and writes dark poetry. She also has a great sense of humour and enjoys a good laugh.




Published Works: Little Girl Dead, Little Girl Revenge, Severed Heart


Current Projects: Upcoming books in 2018. I am currently working on What Lies Beneath Us, a crime novel about a woman accused of killing her nine-month- old baby, and The Reckoning – A paranormal novella about a woman who discovers the power within.




Contacts


When did you begin writing?


I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. My mum always encouraged reading and writing and I learnt at a young age that I could create worlds of my own.


Did you receive any special training or attend a school?


I have a Diploma in Editing and I am currently in my final year of a degree in Professional Writing and Publishing. I have found both of these courses very helpful in learning the mechanics of writing and they have helped improve my storytelling skills.


Where do you get your inspiration from?


My inspiration comes from everywhere, my imagination, nightmares, the news, the world around me.


Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs, etc)


No, it’s just me and my laptop. When I need to research, I make use of books and the internet. When writing Mayday, a novella about a man in an asylum, I went to the asylum I set the story in, for research purposes. I even stayed overnight and did the ghost tour. Shout out to Mayday Hills/Beechworth Asylum.


What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?


I think it’s important to be true to your characters. To their story arcs and development. You need to become one with the characters for it to be realistic for the reader. It’s important because without that connection, the story falls apart.


What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?


One of the most challenging parts of writing for me is to work on one project at a time. I tend to have many ideas and many open novels. I try to combat this by immersing myself in one particular world. For example, I drive to the town my story is set in for finer details, or I contact an expert for additional information to reinvigorate me. Sometimes it’s just a battle of wills. As in I will finish this novel.


Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)


I don’t have an agent, I would like to have one but honestly, I haven’t spent much time looking for one just yet. I am more focused on writing, which is what I’m best at. I see the benefits of having an agent, of course, your work gets put in front of publishers who might pick it up. Currently, I’m happy to be an indie author.


Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?


No, I haven’t used an editor in my early works, I relied on beta readers to help with the editing process and my own skill set. However, in my latest book, What Lies Beneath Us, I have teamed up with an editor, so we’ll see how that goes.


How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).


My books have been self-published so far. There is a lot of freedom with self-publishing, with covers, editing, release dates, etc, however, I would not rule out traditional publishing in the future.


Do you handle your own marketing?


I must admit I’m not very good at marketing. I struggle to talk about my own work, which is a downfall of mine that I am working on. Also, I’m not very good with social media, although I love Twitter.


What is your best marketing tip?


I have written a series called Little Girl Dead series (five books) and I have released two, and I did find that making the first one free for a time helped downloads immensely.


Do you have any advice for other writers?


Work hard at what you have and refine it, but put it away for a while before you edit it. The ideas will percolate and you’ll have a better book. Also, choose carefully when you are going to release your book, the timing matters.


In closing, I would like to thank Kirsty for doing this interview. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I found this interview very helpful and informative. I look forward to hearing more about her in the future.


Until Next time,


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Friday, December 1, 2017

Current Projects part 35

Welcome back,


            Being a little proactive this month by working on my upcoming articles a few weeks in advance. Managed to get everything done an entire week before the arrival of December, which is great, considering I was super busy with big lifestyles changes in November and upcoming preparations for the holidays. I will go into further details on what I have been going through in next month's progress update.




            Given that the holidays are just a few short weeks away, I did my best to have holiday inspired content for December. My inspiration post will be about a location I explored back in early 2016. This type of location has appeared in multiple Christmas stories, so it can prove to be useful to anyone looking for a fitting setting.


Also, my book review for December will be on a novel called Covert Christmas, a suspense story which takes place during the holidays. I’m super excited about it, because I managed to contact the books author, Hope White, and she will be the spotlight of my January interview! This will be a first for me, so I’m looking forward to it.


In regards to my story, I am still working on the character sheet of my main antagonist, Lord Decay. I’ve been at it for over two months now, but given his importance to the story, I believe he is well worth it. I’m currently filling in some details to his backstory, which is pretty extensive. Unfortunately, that is the extent of the progress I made on my story this month.


That being said, I went over all of my material this month, and came to a surprising realization;  not counting my research notes and timeline, I have more than 85 pages written. When you think about it, that is about a third of a novel, which is probably the most I've ever written on one subject in my entire life (not counting my work for Missing Worlds Media, of course). I thought that was quite the milestone for me, and felt I needed to share!


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    Speaking of Missing Worlds Media, there has only been one releases in the past month: an introduction to one of our artists and content designer, Gerard Michael Tupaz (a.k.a. Witchikin). The article also shows some of his work, detailing some of the characters that will be present in game (please keep in mind, these are still in the early phases, and may be subject to change).  You can read the full articles on our Kickstarter page:




Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I can be reached via the following social media:


Twitter: @OzmosisCoH


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That is all I have for this month. Thank you all for dropping by, as your continued support is always appreciated. I hope to see you all at next month's progress update, and most importantly, have a Happy Holidays!


            Until then.


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 24, 2017

Inspiration part 23 - Graffiti

Welcome back,


This article will feature photographs taken earlier this year, and focus on a form of urban art known as graffiti. I discovered this location while out travelling some local trails.


**Please note, that certain areas can be dangerous and one should not travel there alone, or if the area is private property, then permission or supervision may be required. These photos were taken during the day and while in company of friends.**


Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted on a wall or other surface, and range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Spray paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials in modern times. A whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles; it is a rapidly developing art form with many different types and styles.


Graffiti can be used to express underlying social and political messages, or to mark territory of gang-related activities, which is why they are often in plain view of the public. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.


Which brings me to the first aspect of graffiti: location. The graffiti in the photos below were taken just off a bike path that passed under a bridge. The bridge itself is a simple urban location, but in these images, you can see how simply adding graffiti completely changes the atmosphere. Keep this in mind when adding this detail in a setting.


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    Then we take a look at the graffiti itself. There are virtually hundreds of different styles when it comes to this form of street art; from abstract to photorealistic, from serious to satire. The images below show a lot of abstract art, but is mainly tagging, which is the act of writing one’s pseudonym or ‘’key word’’ used only by the artists, or in some cases, the artists affiliates (i.e. gangs).


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Besides their political aspect, graffiti can be inspiration for writing as well. They can the perfect detail in a setting for a variety of stories. Perhaps you are writing an urban fiction (a.k.a. Street lit) that contains a street gang tagging their territory, or graffiti could be a background detail at a murder scene in a mystery, or maybe you could write a story about a troubled youth that expresses themselves through art. Graffiti can be very versatile in writing, and can been used in many different genres.


Hope you enjoyed today’s exploration. I had a great time, and maybe these images will come in handy for your next story. Remember to always exercise caution while exploring.  


Now get out there and get inspired!


Cheers!


Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 17, 2017

Interview 23 - Mark Alan Smith



Welcome back,
               For this month's interview, we have the pleasure of meeting published author, Mark Alan Smith. I have met Mark on one of the many Facebook writing pages. He has written many different types of publications, both in fiction and nonfiction.

               On to the interview!
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Short Bio: Former firefighter, emergency medical technician and corrections officer who also served in the United States Marine Corps. I have authored a variety of articles on a wide range of topics and I’m currently working on several writing projects. These include a non fiction preparedness guide and a fiction/fantasy series titled The Tales of Dohrya. I reside in western Oklahoma and enjoys hunting, cooking and taking part in IDPA pistol matches as I can.

Published Works: Roma Victrix (an alternative history novella) Preparedness The Basics and Beyond, The Tales of Dohrya The Southern War (Book one of a six book series)

Current Projects: I am currently writing 11 full length books and a number of short stories


When did you begin writing?

I started writing Dohrya in high school as well as original poetry and then slowly expanded my writing to included technical articles.

Did you receive any special training or attend a school?

No.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

With the poetry it was a form of therapy, I suffer from depression and the poetry was a form of self therapy. The poems were not dark, quite the opposite in fact, writing helped me to pull myself out of the depression. Writing fiction fantasy (which I was a huge fan of and still am) was an outlet for my creative side.

What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?

A key piece of advice that a friend of mine gave me years ago that I often remind myself of when I am writing dialogue is that not everyone talks the same. I had a tendency for all my characters to have the same inflection, the same syntax etc. After he told me that it was as if I was suddenly seeing the writing in a whole new light and it really helped me grow as a writer.

What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?

Staying true to who you are as a writer, I’ve written a number of different articles, poems and several books all the while not changing my core principles or beliefs. If I do that then I feel I can’t be true to who I am and therefore what I’m writing isn’t as good.

Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)

I do have a publisher.

Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?

I have changed how I edit. I formerly did it electronically, just read through it on the computer and made the changes there but with my current project (a three book series) I’ve taken to printing it out and going through the printed pages with a red pen and then making the necessary changes in the digital copy after. Yes it does take longer but for me seeing it in the hard copy printed format I am able to better visualize the story and I can do a better job of editing.  

How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).

I am fortunate to have a friend who owns a publishing company and have a contract through her.

Do you handle your own marketing?

I do some of it but mainly my publisher (Auctoritas Publishing) handles it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stay the course (pardon the cliché’) and keep writing.

I found Mark’s life experience and how it reflected in his work to be inspiring. I hope everyone found this interview informative, and I would like to thank Mark Alan Smith for taking the time to take this interview. Your participation was very much appreciated.

Until Next time.

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 10, 2017

BOOTCAMP LESSON 20: Cross-Genre


Welcome back!



This latest edition of Bootcamp will be an exercise in Cross-Genre, the mixing of multiple literary genres into one story, and how it can be applied to your work. The purpose of this writing prompt is to help us experiment with different genre combinations, and how those pairings can affect a story’s setting and characters.

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Lesson 20: Crossing literary genres


The basics of a story is a plotline which follows the exploits of the main characters as they attempt to resolve a conflict while making their way to their intended goal. A genre is a label that characterizes artistic composition of a literary work by analyzing different elements like form, style, or subject matter.


As opposed to the conservatism of most single genre fiction, cross-genre writing offers opportunities for different approaches to telling a story, which can be both fun and a challenge. In the following exercise, you will have to create a synopsis of a story that has two different genres.


So, here are today's guidelines!


  • Below is a list of seven literary genres, pick two to work with.
  • Following the basics of a storyline, create a short summary which must include;
    • A protagonist
    • A sidekick
    • An antagonist
    • An obstacle
    • A goal
  • Demonstrate how your story is inspired from the two different genres you had selected.
  • The summary must be five hundred words or less.


Genres
  1. Action & Adventure: Story where a protagonist is placed in a desperate situation while facing seemingly insurmountable odds while trying to accomplish a specific goal.
  2. Comedy: Story where the events are told in a funny or comical manner. Comedy is versatile and can easily be merged with other genres.
  3. Fantasy: Story based on magic or supernatural elements, relating to outworldly characters and settings. Good examples would be Fairy Tales, Fables and Legends.
  4. Historical: Story which focuses on a real person or event. Often used in non fictional literature like biographies.
  5. Horror / Thriller: Story where harm and misfortune risk affecting the protagonist(s), told to deliberately evoke a feeling of dread and fear, through suspense, violence or shock.  The protagonist is often pitted against an unbeatable force;  common examples are ghosts, monsters or a merciless psychopath.
  6. Romance: Story involving a character's relationships or love interest. This genre is commonly seen combined with other genres.
  7. Science fiction: Story based on the impacts of actual, imagined or potential science (be it realistic or not). Common elements are futuristic settings or alien beings. Most notable space themed storylines are those set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.


For those who aren’t afraid to share their entries, feel free to submit your backstories as a reply to this post. Remember, this is a game, so no posting bad comments about other people's entries.


Now go! Create! And I hope you have fun giving this exercise a try.


Until next time!


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne