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.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Interview - Charlotte Summers





Welcome back,


This month we have Charlotte Summers, the young author behind A Different Kind of Hell novella series. She kindly volunteered as I was searching for interview candidates on Facebook. I’m glad to have her on my blog, sharing her insight with us.

 

     
    

 

Short Bio: I am a young author and writer with a passion for my work. I love nothing more than to sit by the fire with my two dogs and write to my heart's content. This passion of mine started when I was around 13, going through a traumatic situation lead me to start reading and I found that I could write my own worlds to escape - if only for a little while- the real world.

 
Published Works: I have a novella series called A different Kind of hell and a new novel called Trusting Your Instincts

 

Current Projects: I am currently doing the third book in the different kind of hell series.

 


 

When did you begin writing?

 

I begin writing at the age of 13 and have been doing ever since.

 

Did you receive any special training or attend a school?

 

I didn’t have any training and to be honest I couldn’t even read until I was 12 as for writing I didn’t know how to do it right until I started doing it. I self-taught myself to read and then to write.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

I get mine from my mother who passed away when I was 12, I know she would want me to carry on with my work. I also get inspiration from my favourite author, Cheree Alsop.

 

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

 

I use Grammarly and Google docs but that’s about it.

 

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

 

The most important thing is editing. I know you cannot forget it however you need to remember to edit and edit some more during writing and during drafting.

 

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

 

I think the most challenging for me is writer's block and once I have it I find it really hard to overcome. Normally to overcome it I read a book by my favourite author and listen to music.

 

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

 

No, I didn’t use an agent as I wanted to do it all myself, I’m a self-published author so didn’t really need an agent.

 

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

 

I edited myself, however, I did get my father to edit (he is an editor by profession). The key thing is to use more than one editor, I used three editor programs and got my dad to do it as well. You can never be too careful.

 

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

 

I self-published all my books.

 

Do you handle your own marketing?

 

Yes, I do however it’s a lot harder than people make it out to be.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

 

Get your work out there as much as you possibly can. Set up twitter, facebook and any other social media you can think of.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

 

Keep writing, even when you feel like quitting; Keep going. Also never feel like a failure, everyone has been where you are and has overcome it. You can too.

 

In closing, I would like to thank Charlotte for doing this interview. As someone who is still in the process of writing his first book, I found this interview to be an eye opening experience. The amount of work she has produced at her age is truly inspiring. I look forward to hearing more about her in the future.

 

Until Next time,

 

Cheers,

 

Patrick Osborne









Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Current Projects part 36



Welcome back,

           Progress report number thirty six. I have now been doing this for three full years; researching material on creative writing, seeking inspiration, talking to authors and trying to put together my own book. Time sure does fly by.

                           

           As I look back on 2017 and everything that has changed in my life since late 2016, I can’t help but feel grateful to those that helped me get through some rough times. Furthermore, all of these changes have made me take good, hard look at myself. This moment of introspection has helped me get a better idea of what I wanted out of life, and where I should start going.

‘’You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance at doing what you love’’ - Jim Carrey.

           When I made the decision to make a serious effort a writing a novel, I started doing research, asking for advice and paid for online classes. A major point that came up was that authors have a better chance at success if they already have a following by the time they write their fist book. This is what motivated me to create this blog; it was a tool meant to document my progress and what I learned, as well as (hopefully) gather an audience. Three years in, and I can see the progress I’ve made thanks to this blog, which is encouraging.

           However, this came at a price. The time I’ve dedicated to the blog has taken my attention away from my book. As I mentioned last month, the overall amount of content I created for my book is roughly 85 pages long. Though I find it pretty impressive, it’s pales in comparison the time spent on my blog. In the past three years, I have written a total of 177 articles, averaging two pages each. That means I have written around 354 pages for my blog since I started. Add that to the work I have actually done for my book, and we are looking at an estimated total of 439 pages… Had I focused on my book from the start, I would probably be done by now, rather than still chipping away at chapter two.

           With this realisation in mind, I decided to change my focus come 2018. I feel that after three years of posting material, I have a solid foundation to help other writers, so I will be adding new content less frequently in order to help me concentrate on my actual work. My updates may be bi-monthly, with other articles appearing when I have time to work on them.

           This will also allow me to work on a second side project I have been considering lately; creating a Patreon page. After posting pictures of recent artwork, I have had two requests from paying customers. I will therefore be trying to generate additional revenue through my painting and sculptures. As usual, you can expect more details as I make progress.


                                        


           Though I am no longer working on this project, I am still supporting it, as I did contribute a lot of time and material. Missing Worlds Media has releases two updates in the past month: one regarding character modeling an another about story progression. You can read the full articles on their kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/missingworldsmedia/the-phoenix-project-city-of-titans/posts/2059888

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/missingworldsmedia/the-phoenix-project-city-of-titans/posts/2066126

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

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/bookmarkboundPMosborne/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter: @OzmosisCoH
Google+:
https://plus.google.com/+PatrickOsborneOzmosis




                                         



           That is all I have for this month. Thank you all for listening, 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 New Year!

Until then.

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne








Friday, December 22, 2017

By the Book - Covert Christmas


Welcome back,


Books with Christmas themes can be hard to find, so when I came across ‘’Covert Christmas’’, I thought to myself it might make a good book review for December. So here is my review of this novel, written by suspense writer Hope White.


I found this novel in a used bookstore while I was shopping around for reading material.  This is not the type of book I would normally go for, but thought it would work well for future themed book reviews. Coincidently, it is also about suspense, a literary genre I covered just  recently.


           The story is about an ex-police-officer named Scott turned private security agent, who is investigating his employers shady activities. While trying to escape some hired thugs, Scott bumps his head and loses his short term memory. Luckily for him, he is saved by a local search-and-rescue trainer named Breanna, who nurses him back to health. Together, they work on getting Scott’s memories back, and uncovering what illegal activities are going on in the area. As the cover says, this novel is a love inspired suspense, so the story focuses a lot on Scott and Breanna’s feelings for each other as the plot progresses.




Back of the book:
DIAGNOSIS: AMNESIA


A man has been shot and left for dead on Echo Mountain, and Search and Rescue K-9 handler Breanna McBride wants answers. With no memory, all the injured man can recall is that his first name is Scott, and that someone wants him silenced. Scott knows better than to depend on strangers, yet he finds himself falling for his captivating protector. And although Breanna won't rest until she helps him piece together the rest of his past, she vows to ignore the attraction between them. But as they close in on the truth, she becomes the killer's next target. Now the pursuers will stop at nothing to ensure the pair is six feet under by Christmas.


Echo Mountain: Saving lives and finding love in the mountains of Washington State


What I learned from this book:
  • Cliff hanger: The author successfully kept the audience engaged in the story by having some pretty intense cliff hangers at the end of every chapter. Random events, such as the unexpected appearance of a lost loved one or sudden gunfire was effective in keeping the readers hooked and wanting to move on immediately to the next chapter.
  • Amnesia as a plot tool: Having the main character suffer from amnesia was a creative way of drip feeding information to the audience while explaining how the protagonist didn't have this information himself. This was also effective in making the protagonist vulnerable, and open to receive help from the love interest character, Breanna. However, I felt that amnesia in a love story sounded a bit cliché, reminiscent of old TV soap operas.
  • Romance: This being the closest to an actual romance novel I have ever read, it turned out to be a great learning experience. I saw how the author built the relationship between Scott and Breanna little by little, using a combination of simple, causal actions (such as longing stares, honest conversation, etc.) and a dramatic situation (in this case, Scott’s amnesia and being pursued by killers).


Hope White was born and raised in the Midwest and migrated to the Pacific Northwest as an adult. Her hobbies include hiking in the mountains, enjoying a fine cup of tea with friends, or going to the movie theatre.


For those interested in reading more books from Hope White, please check out his website at http://www.hopewhiteauthor.com/


For those interested in learning more about her work on the Love Inspired Suspense series, you can check out this extensive wiki page:


In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.


Until next time!


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

BOOT CAMP LESSON 1: Motivation

Welcome to BOOTCAMP!


As I mentioned in my original post, I have been writing content for Missing Worlds Media, a volunteer based company, for the past three or so years. While working with the Composition Department, I was asked to come up with some writing games for future writers as well as for our fan base. These exercises are what originally gave me the idea to create this blog.


So it is with great joy that I get to share these games with you now!


Lesson 1: Character Motivation


Today’s game is about being creative with a character's motivation.


In my previous post, “Getting to know the players”, I already discussed the various types and purposes characters may have in stories. An important thing that a writer needs to remember, is why the character wants to be there. Every character in a story should have a motivation, something that drives them forward, makes them want to risk it all, that gives them a reason to want to face the Conflict in the story. Simply put; motivation is what makes a character do what they do.


The goal of this exercise to practice writing a backstory for a character. To make things more challenging, you will be creating a backstory and motivation for characters that you did not come up with.


Rules:
  1. Below are 5 candidates, with only a name and a job assigned to them. Select ONE of the 5 photos to work with.
  2. Write three different backgrounds for the candidate you selected: Who is this person if they were a Superhero. Who is this person if they were a Super Villain. Who is this person if they were a Civilian.
  3. All 3 backgrounds must have a limit of 30 phrases each!
  4. Within each background, you must include WHO the character is, WHERE they are from, WHAT do they do, HOW do they do it, and most importantly WHY do they do it.


Candidates:


  1. Name: Saruwatari Profession: Male Model.
  2. Name: Tessa Profession: Child care.
  3. Name: Olaf Profession: Business man.
  4. Name: Melina Profession: Musician.
  5. Name: Marco Profession: Plumber.


When posting your separate bios, please do so as such:
  1. Who is this person as a Hero:
  2. Who is this person as a Villain.:
  3. Who is this person as a Civilian.:


         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 peoples entries.


Hope you have fun giving this exercise a try. Until next time!


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Friday, December 15, 2017

Inspiration part 24 - Ice Rinks


Welcome back,



While looking through my old files, I found more unused photos from my urban explorations. Given that winter is just around the corner, I thought it was the opportune moment to showcase these photos I had taken of an ice rink back in 2015.


An ice skating rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can ice skate or play winter sports. There are two types of rinks in prevalent use today: natural (where freezing occurs from cold ambient temperatures) and artificial (where freezing the water surface is achieved mechanically or with chemical/coolants). There are also synthetic ice rinks where skating surfaces are made out of plastics.


In this case, my pictures are about an indoor ice rink. The following pictures give an idea of how the location looks like from a spectators point of view.


IMG_2599[1].JPG

IMG_2600[1].JPG


Besides recreational ice skating, ice rinks can be used for other sports, such as ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, and curling. It can also be used for activities like exhibitions, contests, concerts and ice shows. Below we can see a few images of a junior ice hockey league game in progress.


IMG_2605[1].JPG


IMG_2607[1].JPG

IMG_2608[1].JPG


    Besides the rink itself, this location has other aspects to it. Below you can see a small section of the spectator seats, which are set up in different layers and sections. I also took a picture of the scoreboard, which keeps track of important information during a hockey game. Not seen in these photos are the many service corridors leading to locker rooms for the players, or loading docks for the vendors. These locations are not usually open t the general public, so I couldn’t take pictures of them.
IMG_2606[1].JPG


IMG_2603[1].JPG


    Something else we are accustomed to see in a hockey arena, is a ice-resurfacer, more commonly referred to as a Zamboni machine. The ice resurfacer was the brainchild of Frank J. Zamboni, who was originally in the refrigeration business. Zamboni created a plant for making ice blocks that could be used in refrigeration techniques. As the demand for ice blocks waned, he looked for another way to capitalize on his expertise with ice. In 1939, Zamboni created the Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, California. From 1942 to 1947, he tried, fruitlessly, to develop a vehicle that could cut down on ice resurfacing time, until 1947, when he created a machine that would shave, wash and squeegee the ice. This machine was mounted on an army surplus vehicle chassis. (for more info, visit wikipedia).


IMG_2601[1].JPG


IMG_2602[1].JPG


IMG_2604[1].JPG


As you can see, a trip to the local rink can be beneficial for any writer. Maybe you are searching for references on the setting of a ice rink for a story about an up and coming hockey player. Maybe it will be the location for a particular fight scene in an action story. Or perhaps the rink is simply for one scene in a romantic Christmas story, where the protagonist and the love interest character share a tender moment. Good examples of movies/stories that have ice rinks, are Mighty Ducks, Slap Shot, Elf and Sudden Death.


I hope you enjoyed this month's inspiration post and that I encouraged you to go out there and experience it for yourself.


Until next time.


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne