I feel so guilty. I cannot even remember the last time I published something.
But life is pretty hectic as it is… as you all might know.
A few months ago we had loadshedding which means they switch your electricity off according to a schedule, so I could not risk trying to go on the internet.
Now, we are in lockdown because of youknowwhat. I work at a newspaper and all we ever write about these days is the stupid virus. I’m so sick of it!
Anyway, so this is what is keeping me busy this year:
I’m trying to write a film script based on my grandmother’s life. But I’m REALLY struggling.
At first it was sort of easy because the competition I’m doing it for only required a partial script (20 pages) for a short film but I started too late last year and it was not close to finished.
So, I figured I could just carry on and enter this year. Until I found out they changed the brief: now they want a full script of 90 pages!!!
I have this awful feeling I won’t be able to finish it – even if I throw all my ideas together I still won’t have even close to enough pages.
Plus, I basically only have an outline of my grandmother’s life and it’s not like I can just ask her about it, because she passed away in 2016.
So why am I doing it you ask?
Well, it’s actually my aunt’s idea. She figured my grandmother’s life story could make for some riveting screen time and because I have a knack at writing, I am the lucky winner.
So yeah that’s what I have been up to the last year.
And oh wait, I also started a book club with a university pal of mine. It’s still early days, but it’s really fun. That’s why I haven’t really been posting book reviews here lately. Or maybe I’m just a bit over it? I don’t know. I’m taking a break from that.
I’m currently reading the classic thriller “Strangers on a train”. But I think I’m going to finish it tonight. Very easy read.
I’m so frustrated with myself. I can’t seem to finish anything I start.
The whole point of last year’s NaNoWriMo was to try to finish a story that’s been unfinished for a decade. And could I do it? No.
I can’t make up my mind about anything and the ending seems to be the hardest part.
Also, it seems the only time I still write something on my blog is about a book that I’ve read.
But there is so much more I want to do! And then I don’t do it. Arrrrgggghhh!
What’s wrong with me?
This chapter was never finished.
I was seriously contemplating ending my story with this, because I just can’t think of an appropriate ending.
Until last night. I got a vague idea now. I just have to finish writing the trial scene to see if it plays out.
While I’m writing the trial and thinking of the ending, I started rewriting some of the other chapters.
Writing is like drawing and colouring in a picture, but instead of using crayons you use words. The plot is the outline, then colour and shading based on how your character develops.
I’ve written Chapter 2’s outline (plot) today.
Last time I ended with the teens in the house. Then I had to figure out how to introduce the house characters to them, also which room they are in.
Plot outline: Hallway, sitting room, playroom, bathroom, dining room, hallway, library.
The teens are locked up in the bathroom right now, trying to figure out how to escape.
Here is a thought: when does one plan the chapters? Beforehand? While you’re writing? Or afterwards when the story is finished?
Because I think I’m finished with Chapter 1 and started with Chapter 2. The teens are in the house now and meets the man.
Obviously it’s not perfect. It still needs a lot of rewriting, but I’ll work on that later. Otherwise I’ll never reach the ending.
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t made any real progress so far this week. I couldn’t do anything on Day 9 and Day 10 and yesterday I only made a small, rudimentary drawing of the interior of the house.
I’m so annoyed with myself. I know I should just start writing now. So without further ado, I’d like to say:
Let the writing commence!
I’ve decided to get some inspiration for my characters, because I’m really struggling with this.
First, I wrote down all my friends’ names and their characteristics. But now I can’t even figure out what is our common interest???
The only stories that I know of that has a group of friends is The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Scooby Doo.
Famous Five: 2 boys, 2 girls, younger, and a dog.
Secret Seven: 4 boys, 3 girls, older, some are related.
Scooby Doo: 2 boys, 2 girls, older (students) and a dog.
Maybe I don’t need to have 5 characters, maybe 4 is enough?
I’ve picked random names just so I can differentiate between the characters for now – it can always change later on. (I’m so TERRIBLE with giving names to my characters).
Sometimes I think this whole thing is a waste of time and I’ll never be able to pull it off. And then I get a crazy idea that might just work.
Okay, so if I am going to try to write a farce I need to figure out what I am going to make absurd in the story. And it’s okay if my characters are stereotypes.
I’ve also started writing the beginning of the story. So far it’s only dialogue, I will fill in the blanks later.
I remember long ago, I also tried to write a beginning to the story. I should find my notes and see if I can use something from that as well.
So I have 5 characters (that I still have to figure out). I’m placing them in the woods, but where? USA, UK, South Africa or entirely fictional?
They come across a house. What does it look like? White, old, dilapidated comes to mind. Shuttered windows perhaps? Roof is black.
Is there a garden? Trees?
Is the house surrounded by a wall or a fence? Does it have a gate?
How many storeys? 2 or 3?
Is the door unlocked? Yes
Is the house spooky or charming? Maybe a bit of both.
Is the house real or enchanted?
How many rooms does it have? Hallway, sitting room with grandfather clock and piano, heavy furniture, staircase, dining room, library, kitchen, scullery, two bedrooms, bathroom, study, hall closet, games/play room. I’m going to have to make a drawing with the layout of the house (another day perhaps).
There is a sign with a warning not to trespass. This sign will start a debate where the ‘moral compass’ will tell the others it’s a bad idea to check out the house and another character saying what harm could it do? Maybe calling the ‘moral compass’ character a chicken.
Once they are inside the house, it’s as if they stepped into another time. They see a vicious looking dog/wolf patrolling the grounds outside.
I’m not sure how comfortable I am in publishing these details. I hate for someone to read it and steal my ideas.
I’ve decided I want a group of friends to feature in the story. At first I couldn’t decide if it should be 5 or 7 friends – I also thought I could make it interesting and base each character’s personality on one of the deadly sins (that is if I chose 7) but I realised I was making it too complicated for myself so I’m sticking with 5.
The next problem I have is that I can’t decide on the age group: should they be older teenagers or younger? I can’t really work on their personalities and common interest until I’ve decided that.
Also: how many boys and girls in the group of friends? Are there some that are dating? Are they brothers and sisters? Maybe they don’t all have to be the same age?
I have to say I really like this approach of working on one specific story element each day. But it is also very overwhelming, because right now I end up with more unanswered questions.
I have a general idea of some of the characters. There should be someone in the group who is the ‘moral compass’, a goodie-two-shoes; someone who doesn’t like to get into trouble. Maybe a bit of a know-it-all.
There should be a clown or joker in the group: someone who always joke and fools around, seeing the lighter side of things.
Also: a superficial character. This one will definitely be a girl. Someone who is obsessed with themselves and material things. Maybe a little greedy.
The other two I haven’t really decided on yet: one can be chubby or geeky?
I’ve often found myself in a ‘bilingual dilemma’. I usually write in my second language: English, but sometimes I really want to write something in my Mother tongue: Afrikaans. But sometimes something sounds better in English than in Afrikaans. And vice versa.
What am I to do? I suppose I could just do whatever I want seeing as this is my blog. But I wonder: do my only-English-speaking friends ever try to read my Afrikaans posts? How many of you will try to read/understand something that is not written in your native language?
Technically I can also read Dutch, but I cannot speak or write it. I can also understand Flemish and German when it is spoken, but I cannot speak or write in it myself.
How many languages do you know and understand?