Inspiration & Motivation

“I write my characters with a need for God’s intervention and then wait for them to recognise His presence as their story unfolds.” from Butterfly Prayer House, Facebook, October 1 2018.

Making Each Word Count

“You write long,” my editor said. I looked closely at her more detailed comments. I had only sent her the first 20 pages. At that time, my first manuscript White Rose of Promise was at 120,000 words and still growing.

I went back to my Work In Progress (WIP) and cut, cut, cut.

There were scenes where I told the same story from three different viewpoints. It was easy to choose one and then describe the responses of the other characters. 

I had mountains of backstory details to deal with, and I turned them instead into little speedbumps on the journey of discovery.

By the time I finished, I had brought the manuscript back to 63,000 words. My manuscript has been away with the editor preparing to be Copy Edited.

I am waiting to see how much more the editor found to trim.

When God chooses the theme

I am following lots of ‘how to be a successful author’ Blogs. They tell me to start thinking about my branding, about what message I want my readers to gain from the different platforms where I share my voice.

Somewhere I read that I should pick five or six key points and stick to them.

For someone who took 139,000 digital photos for a single four-day exhibition, finding only five or six points is a monumental challenge.

one of thousands from blueskies 2017

Am I listening?

Into my overflowing email inbox came the following treasure:

“What is flash fiction and what can it teach us?” Louise Harnby, Blog, 24/9/2018.

Flash Fiction  I had never heard the term before. It refers to a writing challenge where the whole story, beginning, middle and end are all accomplished in a tiny word count.

Definitely not something that I could possibly consider – remember I multiply everything I touch, words, photos, everything.

If this new direction was from God, then I should keep my eyes open. 

Here is the official list for Inktober.

For the past 2 years, I have participated in a drawing challenge Inktober. The aim is to draw something each day in October and share on social media.

I downloaded the 2018 list of official words to be used for inspiration, then prayed about what I should draw. 
I have been so steeped in my creative writing, only ideas from my two WIP came to mind. 

These ideas wouldn’t go away.

On Day 1, a story idea – not a drawing idea – came to me for the first word: poisonous. It was an unknown detail from the heroine’s backstory (remember I had cut all of that out of White Rose of Promise). The tiny story poured onto the blank page, and I worked on it for an hour. It came in at 200 words. Now I knew I had a new challenge, a theme and very specific guidance to take me through Inktober.

I was amazed and delighted. The accompanying drawing was easy to accomplish. I moved on to the next drawing, without writing a Flash Fiction story, and the difference in style and execution is remarkable. 
#inktober #inktober2018 #WRoPwritingChallenge

Day 1: poisonous

The door slammed. Maria Evangelina collapsed onto the single bed. The room was tiny, the curtains drawn. Her past life was over, and even the solo flight from Melbourne to Sydney was fading from memory. Zietta Maria’s poisonous words had found fertile ground. The teenager cried herself to sleep.
Too soon it was morning. That door opened again. “It’s time to go to Mass. Nonna is waiting.” Maria Evangelina obeyed. Now she sat in the Cathedral, overwhelmed by doubt and fear. The weight of her sin was heavy on her soul.
The priest approached. Her aunt broke the silence with the younger Maria’s shameful story. The devastated teenager looked away. Morning light streamed through a stained-glass window. The brightness shone directly in her face. She gasped in astonishment. It was as if she had stepped from this trouble into God’s presence. Her heart fluttered in her chest. God knew it all, and she still lived.
Father Finnegan placed his hand on her head. Did he know what had happened? He smiled. He asked her to receive God’s forgiveness in return for her promise to be obedient. The teenager nodded. Hope blossomed and the darkness fled. So began her new life. 

Day 2: tranquil

Would you like to take the Inktober challenge with me? Add your drawings to the comments section, or visit me on facebook