Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What's Up Wednesday! | 18/02/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

I haven't been reading too much this past week. I'm still enjoying Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland, and at work I got to read Judas by Damian Walford Davies.

What I'm Writing

I think I'm going to start a new project. Famous last words.

I am by no means giving up on Bloodroot and Bracken, I still fully intend to finish it, but I've had an idea for another novel that's been rattling around in my head since the middle of last year, and a thought suddenly occurred to me the other day: what am I waiting for?

I like this idea, but I also like how completely unfamiliar to me it is. Like Bloodroot and Bracken it's historical fiction with fantastical elements, but it's set during a period of history I know little about, involving real historical figures I know next to nothing about, in an area of Britain whose history I know virtually nothing about, including fantastical creatures I'm surprisingly unfamiliar with. At its heart it's a story set in Medieval Wales involving dragons and girl power.

It's going to be a huge undertaking - there's a lot of research that I need to do - but I'm excited about it, and after how low I was feeling last week creatively it's so good to feel this way about a project.

So am I writing? I'm still working on short fiction and every now and then I chip away at Bloodroot and Bracken, but for now the majority of my writing is going to be research, because I need to start collecting a lot of it!

What Works For Me

Improv. When I was at school my favourite subject was Drama; I did it at GCSE and A Level and loved it so much, and to be honest I really miss those lessons.

Anyway, there have often been times where I know I need to write a scene in which something big happens, but I have no idea how to go about it or what's going to be said. So I do a bit of improv. With myself.

I know that probably sounds really weird, but I've mentioned before how I find talking to myself useful in that it helps me write natural dialogue because I can hear how a sentence would sound, and whether it sounds like something a person would actually say. This works in a very similar way; when you need to write a dramatic scene it can be really easy to slip into cliche language, so improv helps me a lot in finding that happy medium between 'engaging' and 'real'.

What Else Is New

I'm still hoping people will start signing up for my Forgotten Histories Reading Challenge! *wink wink nudge nudge*

Other than that, not too much! Work's starting to get busier now, and it's my sister's birthday - she's 34 today! I never know what to get my sisters when their birthdays roll around, but this year I got my oldest sister and I tickets to go and see Imagine Dragons in Cardiff in November. I'm really excited!

What's new with you?


  1. Good luck with the new idea :D Sounds exciting!

  2. Ha, you had me at dragons and girl power! That sounds like an awesome story, good luck with it!

  3. Good luck with the new idea and research. Dragons and girl power FTW!!!!

  4. Good luck with your new project! Doing research is such a fun part of writing, particularly when it's on something we haven't written or read much about. It's like starting off with a beautiful blank slate.

    1. Thanks! You're right, it is really fun. =) One of the best things about writing historical fiction is how much you end up learning during research, it's just a shame that, nine times out of ten, you can't actually use all the amazing research you've found in your story!

  5. Good luck with your new story. Sometimes it's good to start fresh, get your mind off of the other MS and then come back later with fresh eyes. Thanks for sharing. :D

  6. That's really awesome that you are delving into such a research-based project. I love writing as a way to's fun and interesting and useful all at once. Good luck, =)

  7. Wahoo for the new project! That sounds like a blast. It also sounds like the place I was at thirteen years ago when struggling to pen out my now published debut novel, Moonless. It only took 5 years of consistent research to feel like I knew the era. LOL! I'm sure you'll get there much faster. Enjoy the research!

  8. I do something similar when I'm writing dialogue. In order to get the right flow and for it to sound natural, for me, there's no better approach than to read it aloud. Awesome about the new project idea! I was on the #MSWL feed on Twitter and there were some agents talking about how they think that this is the time for YA Historical with a twist. Sounds exactly like your latest endeavour! New projects and researching are just the best. Hope you have a wonderful week, Jess! :D

  9. Dragons and girl power sounds awesome! If you're in the mood to write it, then go for it. Have a great week! :)

  10. Sounds like you have a lot of fun research ahead of you! Wa-hoo! I love research!

  11. First of all, I'm SO jealous of your Imagine Dragons tickets! Hope you and your sister have a blast at the concert!

    Your improv idea is fantastic! When I did drama in college, I was always squeamish about improv because it's so much pressure to think on your toes, but using it as an organized way of talking to yourself is a different story lol. I can totally see how that would work!

    Good luck jumping into all this research and starting a new WIP! :)

  12. Ooh, so jealous you're going to Imagine Dragons. They're coming here to Calgary and I'm *hoping* I'll get to see them.
    I do something similar to improv if I need to describe certain body movements- like if someone is being tackled and they have to get up a certain way, I'll totally lay down on the floor and figure out how my body would get out of that situation so I can describe it better!
    Have a great week! And your new WIP sounds fantastic!

  13. I took a drama/screenwriting class in college and that really helped my writing. I think writers should take some sort of drama class. I think that really helps. Have a great week!