Well the long list nominees for the Bath Novel Award are up and my book is not on there. I'm not totally shocked, but it is a little disappointing... will have to try again next year...
This is from the first draft of book 2, but I wanted to share:
“So what do you intend to do?” Hugh asked Emily as he sank into the soft cushioned chair with a sigh of gratitude. They had returned to Emily’s current home and were sitting in comfort within a large parlour. “Now you've openly declared your colours.” A quiet servant brought over a tray of drinks and pastries and retreated quietly from view.
Emily waited until the parlour door shut behind the maid before she settled herself on the chair opposite Hugh and rearranged her skirts. “I fancy I shall have to watch out for John.”
“Well that is rather obvious.” Hugh replied as he picked up his quizzing glass and began to polish it with a finely embroidered handkerchief. “But I’m interested in your more immediate concerns and plans.” He breathed lightly on the lens and regarded the blonde steadily. “Your actions this night will not have found favour with Justin. I fancy he will be upset with you.”
“As I’ve already said Hugh.” She reached out and picked up a pastry from the table beside her. “I don’t care if I have made friends or not.” Biting into the flaky confection, she chewed carefully, ignoring Hugh’s exasperated tut. “Justin needed the De Vire girl,” She announced as she brushed the crumbs from her skirts. “And not just for companionship, if it were only sex I wouldn't be going to the trouble.”
“Would that be because you serve as his lover from time to time?” Hugh returned the handkerchief to his pocket and flourished his quizzing glass with the other hand.
“Don’t be a bore Hugh.” Emily replied with a petulant twist to her lips. “Yes Justin and I have been lovers over the years. We are not in love.” She stood and walked over to the fireplace. She poked the embers with the nearby poker and stared into the glowing coals, a faraway look on her face.
“Then what is it between you two?” Hugh asked as he leant forward, trying to see the expression on her face. “Don’t forget how long I've known you.” He reached out for a glass of brandy and took a small sip. “If you aren't in love with him, then why are you so bitter towards the De Vire girl?” He didn't miss the tension in her body as she listened to his words. Emily liked to think that people could not see her emotions, but he could read her like a book. The silence lengthened as she stared into the fire, trying to avoid answering his questions. With a sigh, he pulled himself from the chair and walked over to her. As he reached her side, he caught hold of her arm and slowly turned her to face him. “and why would you change her if you would prefer to keep Justin for yourself?” Hugh watched her expressive blue eyes change with interest and waited for her to speak.
My first novel, 'The Black Lotus' is currently available on price promotion at Amazon.co.uk. Grab a copy of the first book in the Night Flower series for 99p (only available for the next 4 days)
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I think the utter shambles (though it looked good) that was Jupiter Ascending has brought up something quite interesting to my writer's brain. Jupiter Ascending had so much potential, there was so much it could have done. I think the reason that I am so disappointed by this movie, is that I loved the concepts, the cast (Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, a 'living' Sean Bean and a very sexy Douglas Booth) the visual and the ideas behind it. The film, however, is so poorly executed that I wanted to find the writers and cut off their hands to prevent them ever writing again.
I think the issue lies with the fact that the writers didn't let the characters speak. By that I mean, when I write I listen to my characters, I let them breathe. If the people that live in my head didn't want to do something, I didn't make them do it. As an example, Justin was originally going to curse Melissa in a fit of anger. It would have made for future angst and trouble and I would have had so much fun with it. However when writing Justin, I realized something. Justin would not curse another, not for any reason. He spoke very clearly to me about that, so I had to think of something else.
In Jupiter Ascending, Jupiter and Caine end up together, purely because the plot said so. Leaving aside the 'we spent two hours together and now it's love', there is very little chemistry between them and every bit of dialogue they utter on the subject seems forced and unnatural. I could have got behind sexual attraction (not that there was any signs of that) but not 'love'. Hell Jupiter even seems strangely okay with what's happened to her. I could have got behind building interest (see Replacement Killers for how you write growing attraction) Christ even Terminator managed to pull off a relationship that seemed natural. Possibly because Sarah Connor was confused and angered by the whole experience and she did step up and actually find her own salvation.
So what I'm really saying, if you genuinely want something to happen in your plot, don't force the characters into it. Actually step into their heads and work out how they would get there, don't make them walk where it makes no sense for them to walk.
And I know I'm a self published author but I would never do what the Warchowski's did. They could have had a brilliant sci-fi movie. They could have had a surefire hit on their hands, but they fluffed it. The writing is sub par, the 'romance' is risible and they waste plot threads.
What has Jupiter Ascending taught me? It's taught me to be logical and listen to my characters, not to get so carried away with my original idea, that my writing tanks out.
I have entered the competition. Feeling relieved yet nervous.. Hoping that I get past the first round.
Or rather... into the world of entering competitions. I have decided to enlist my book in the Bath Novel Award. I don't know if I'll place but I'm going to give it a shot. Wish me luck
I think books can take you anywhere. They can make you laugh and cry.. they can show you other worlds and places. You can see so much more through a good book.