Dragon Sketching

I took some time out today to start sketching some dragons. It was a lot of fun to get back into my art and enjoy the process of creating on the page.

Below are some photos of my first dragon portrait. It’s an idea that I’m developing and hope to create a far more intricate image in the coming months. But for now, this drawing is about exploring possibilities.

Exploring possibilities is part of the fun of developing my artistic/creative expression. It also gives my left brain a break and allows my right brain the opportunity to take the driver’s seat.

I’m pretty happy with my dragon line drawing and I am looking forward to developing her further.

The second dragon I sketched today took about an hour and a half to create. I’m also rather happy with how the image turned out.

Dragon_2_04082018I think that this sketch can be developed further and more depth given to it, but for now, I am happy with the results of my time playing on water paper.

I chose not add water or colour to the sketch. I wanted to spend my time developing a dragon from my imagination and seeing how it came out on the page.

Today, it’s Saturday in Australia and I’m now two weeks away from my trip to the UK. I finally gave in and got myself a ‘selfie stick’ so maybe when I get back home at the end of September, I’ll have some other photos to share. I also hope this trip fills up my creative bucket with new ideas for creative writing.

15 days and counting down.

Have a great creative day (or night)!

Writing – Paranormal and Fantasy Fiction

soul seeker 1A couple of weeks ago a new character came into my imagination. I knew what she looked like and I had a good sense of who she was. It was like being visited by a the soul of a real person.

I grabbed my iPad, opened a new Scrivener project and jotted down everything I’d seen, heard, smelled and tasted in that first meeting. It got me excited because I loved this character immediately and I wanted to know more, to learn more and experience more of her paranormal/normal life. I wanted to learn more about the conflicts she has over her abilities and how her paranormal abilities complicate her career, her love life, her sense of self.

On and off since the first time she showed up, I’ve had visits from her and each time I learn a little more about who she is as a ‘real person’ in my imagination.

Then last night an antagonist walked out of the mist of my imagination and I saw exactly what he was wearing, the gate of his stride, the tilt of his fine boned face.

So once again, I opened my scrivener file and jotted what I’d experienced down. I don’t have his name yet but I’ve got the essence of who he is and the darkness that emanates from him in a seductive manner. And I know he is the opposing force to my female protagonist.

I love it when this type of thing happens. For me this is part of magic of writing fiction. I’m always learning and growing as a writer and story teller, and when a character comes forward and wants to be put down on the page, I get excited. It’s almost as if the character is whispering in my inner ear and I am writing their story from their perspective.

So, now I am a bit over three weeks away from my trip to the UK and I now have two stories growing inside my mind. After a period of feeling creatively fallow, these ideas are a delight.

One of my stories is a paranormal romance, which is probably my absolute favourite genre to write, and if this story goes the way I am plotting it, then it will be my third paranormal story with romance beats. I’m excited to write this story.

The second story is my fantasy novel which features dragons and a few humans that can use magic. I’m enjoying learning how to put an epic fantasy story together. I’m not yet sure how this story will go. Sometimes I feel frustrated that I don’t have all the puzzle pieces and other times I feel inspired by the ideas I have. Most of the time I am considering: How can I take this idea beyond cliche?

So far I have discovered writing a fantasy world is an in-depth adventure in itself. There is so much for me to think about, to brainstorm and to create. My thinking includes:

  • Characters – who is my protagonist, my antagonist and other roles
  • Conflicts – the major conflict and smaller conflicts for all characters and how they will play out
  • World building – there is so much involved in this part, sometimes I feel overwhelmed
  • Plotting how it will all pan out
  • Themes I want to touch on
  • Treatment – do I want to write this story from first person point of view or third person point of view?

So I am going to really enjoy my Fantasy Fiction writing course with David Farland in Oxford, and I am very much looking forward to learning about all the layers and nuances I need to consider to bring my ideas to life and create a believable fantasy fiction world that readers will want to experience via my characters.

When I return from the UK, I hope to finish writing these stories and to work on editing Tuppence Weatherstorm and The Living Death of Toddy James so that I can move them toward publication. It would be good move my writing to the next level, even if being published is a scary step.

 

29 Days and Counting Down

Stonehenge by Kit-Ko from Unsplash.com
Stonehenge by Kit-Ko from Unsplash.com

I’m 29 days away from flying from Australia to England to attend David Farland‘s Fantasy Fiction Writing Course.

I am excited and still catching up on all the work I need to do to be fully prepped for the course.

I have been creating characters, working on my settings and figuring out the main conflicts for the characters I have so far. At this point, I haven’t started to explore the themes I want to bring out in the story as it is very early days.

In my story, I have dragons and people. That’s what I can tell you. The rest I’m keeping close to my heart because my story is like a newly conceived baby and I want to protect it while it grows into a being in its own right.

I’m very much looking forward to the course and the three week holiday I am going to have after the course is finished. I’ve never been to the UK, unless I count going through London Heathrow Airport on my way to Barcelona when I was fortunate enough to go for work reasons in the early 2000’s.

It’s going to be excellent for me to immerse myself into a different culture and to see the history of the United Kingdom. I’ll be going to Oxford, London, a number of stops throughout England, then through Scotland, down to Wales and to a number of stops in Ireland.

It feels so surreal at the moment but before I know it, I will be on the plane and in new countries.

During my holiday, my partner, David, will be flying over (for our three week holiday) and we’ll be taking a day trip over to Paris too. I’m very excited to see all these places. And I hope each new experience inspires my imagination to new heights and helps me to become a more entertaining and interesting genre fiction writer, as well as adding to my personal experience as a human being.

I’m certainly stepping out of my comfort zone on this trip. And I am staying positive about it.

29 days and counting down until a brand new life experience comes my way!

Brainstorming – Fantasy Novel Setting

IMG_0081

As I’m going to the UK for a holiday in August and I’ll also be doing a writing course with David Farland, I’m preparing my story and brainstorming in advance.

One of the things I’ve had to work out is the setting.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried to create a complete fantasy world and I want dragons to be a big part of the story so the setting has to have dragon territory in it.

Without giving away too much of my thinking on who my characters are and the conflicts that I am considering, I thought I’d show you my first attempt at a world building / setting map.

It has several dragon territories and a couple of human settlements. It also has wolf territory. That appeals to my imagination big time. I’m quite excited about where my wolf idea might go.

I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop. It’s been a day of figuring out mega and some minor setting options and filling in ideas for potential characters that could grow out of the setting and their conflicts.

Happy creating – whatever you do!

Merlin – My New Obsession

I’ve found a new love and it’s the Merlin tele series.  I’m a bit slow on the uptake of some of these shows but when I fall for a show, I fall hard.

 

I think I like Merlin so much because I like a hero who has to deal with living in the mundane world while also struggling to hide and come to terms with the magical world they truly belong to.  I enjoy characters who  live two lives in one. And I enjoy stories filled with magic and monsters.

For years I avoided watching this show because I couldn’t handle the haircuts. Yes, I’m that shallow. But in my mind Camelot would not have a king, prince or mage with short hair styles. It seemed … wrong.

It irked me, but after watching the first episode, with heaps of encouragement from my awesome partner “to give it a go”, I was sucked into the story.

Basically anything with magic in it will get my attention but what really sold me on the series was the dragon.  The dragon character (voiced by the late John Hurt) is a guide to Merlin and a support to him as he grows into his powers. But the dragon is also a contagonist in that he has his own agenda. He is not aligned with the antagonist and initially encouraged Merlin to take actions that would be in the dragon’s best interest and not that of the antagonist or the protagonist.

The contagonist characters are fascinating because we do not know where their loyalties lie and they can switch sides as it suits them but eventually there is a moment in their story arc when they commit one way or the other.

When I got to the episode when the dragon committed his loyalties chills of excitement rushed through my body and my heart opened. For me, it was a pivotal moment in the story and one that I loved.

The other fantastic thing about watching Merlin is that it inspires me with my creative imagination.

I learn so much about the art and craft of story telling from watching these shows.  And I feel inspired to jot down my own dragon stories that have been bouncing around inside my head for years.  I have written parts of stories with dragons in them but I have not spent the time delving deep and developing them.

I think this year, after I complete Tuppence Weatherstorm, I’ll put my mind to the dragon that lurks in the dark spaces of my mind and give her life on the page.

Thanks Merlin for your inspiration.