Plotting the Plot

The hardest thing about being a writer (or trying) is the plotting. I’ve got to make sure it all links up, ties together, and fully researched. 

I have so many things to help me with it. 

On my door I have a brief plot linear taped. There I can quickly check something, or add something. 

Then I have a characters, names, places and objects notebook. I describe and research and break down those things in there. 

Then I have another book where I do a detailed plot break down with the sub plots. 

On top of that I have various coloured highlights that each have its own importance. 

I also have sticky tabs and 3 notebooks to hand write the 1st draft. 

That’s all for one book. 

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The Jin Research … Am I Haunted by the Jin?

I have had the run of the mill with a streak of bad luck since July 2014. The only good thing I’ve had is the relationship with my significant other (I intend to keep it that way and fight it if I have too) and returning to the U.K. last year. 

The rest of my time has been atrocious. I have been ashamed of my life and what has happened in it. 

I’m not depressed. In fact far from it, but I feel that something is not right. What can be causing this continuous streak of bad luck?

I guested on the Campfire, hosted by Jim Harold, a podcast about the paranormal several months ago now. I told my story of an experience with a doppelgänger. They are not something that I believe in a great deal. However, it was since moving into that house where I thought I saw the doppelgänger that my bad luck started. When I guested on the podcast things had started to get better. Jim mentioned that it sounded like I had come into contact with something called the Jin. Shortly after that, it all started again. 

That intrigued me. I will be conducting research into the Jin. I will try to see if there is a possible link to the Jin. 

Anybody out there know anything about the Jin? It’ll be a great help. 

Listen to my story here. It’s the third story in and it’s about a house in Japan. 

Jim Harold’s Campfire

Introducing…

Food is definitely for thought. If you don’t eat, you can’t repair your body. If you don’t eat, you can’t think. If you don’t eat, you can starve. If you don’t eat, you can’t write. 

Today I’m preparing to introduce two new characters into my current project. One seems to be quite fun to write, but it is utterly complex. I’m hoping that today’s lunch of shrimp and tuna panini, salad, crab and tomato soup, with a cup of coffee will be enough fuel to write at least two pages.

I really need to introduce these characters. One plays a huge part in the story. 

My motto today is eat, stay healthy, and try to finish the chapter. That way you can really get into the super juicy parts.  

 

The Popular Choice, not the Latter. 

Writing is hard knock. I’m always getting into writers block…well on one book anyway. 

I overcame the hurdle though. I scraped it and started again… 4 times. Now I have something that will work. 

Now there’s a battle in my mind.  I’m the popular choice, not the latter. I’ll leave you to figure that out. Leave me an answer. 

 

Mummy Knows Best 

So at a young age it’s possible to experience poltergeist activity. 
It only happened once. Being home alone is a big thing for a teen. The parents are leaving you in charge. POLTERGEIST PARTY!!! 
Well no. Actually this happened only once and it never happened again. 
In the bathroom there was a bath, obviously. Some years previously, the children of this bathroom had broken the chain that connected the chain to the plug. Understandable, as the chain had gone rustic. 
This breaking the chain resulted in a very glued in plug. A desperate feat for any child trying to remove it. 

So this child’s mother decided to not replace the chain of the plug. Instead she invested in a tool of a kitchen. A blunt knife. The results was that she had increased the independence of her children. 
Several years after the chain breaking, her first child, at the tender age of 14 was aloud to stay home alone. Why not? She was responsible. Mature. Almost like a grown up. 
One day the mother and the three other children along with their daddy, went out to go food shopping. They left the eldest at home. 
Bathing in the new freedom, she took a snack from the fridge and a drink and chilled watching the TV. 
The TV program was getting to a real good part! BANG!! Something had clattered upstairs. 

What the bug was that?
She trudged upstairs and checked the three bedrooms. Nothing out of place. So she ventured into the bathroom. She looked around the floor, sink and toilet. Nothing out of place. When she looked in the bath she noticed that the yellow handled knife was in the bath. It must’ve just fallen in. She picked it up and noticed it was slightly warm. ‘Strange’ she thought. She placed it behind the taps, thought nothing of it and turned to leave. 
BANG!! This time she jumped out of her skin. She turned around and the knife was lying on the floor!
Heart pumping fast she picked it up. It was warmer. Quickly she placed the knife back and ran from the bathroom and slammed the wooden door shut and leant with her back against it breathing hard. 
BANG!!! It was deafening and her heart jumped into her throat, leaving what felt like a lump. 
She bravely swung the door open. The knife was on the floor. It had hit the door. She bent down picked it up, but was immediately scolded by the red hot handle. She dropped it. Her temper was boiling like the handle. 
‘Look!’ She said ‘I don’t give two hoots about you. I don’t know what you are, or who the bug you are. I don’t care if stay here. If you do, then you abide by my mothers rules. Don’t bloody well throw knives in this house!!’
She breathed. Picked up the knife. It was cold. She placed it back in its place and left the room calmly. 
It never happened again. 
The moral of this story is that poltergeists should never play with knives, if they don’t want to be scolded by a teenagers mum. After all, mummy always knows best. 

Horror Horror

When I was 16 I was itching to write a horror. I really didn’t know how to write a horror. So I had a think about my own experiences.

When I was 15 me and my friends chose to skive off school, because school was boring that day. One of my friends said that she had seen this house that was run down and delapitated when coming to school in her taxi. It was close to the school. So we decided to go. 

We had no idea what exactly this place was. It was charred and trashed up completely. It wasn’t inhabitable and it was ludicrously dangerous. It was also grotesquely vandalised. 

We were able to walk the clear space on the floor, but this place seemed completely weird. Something was off with this place from the start. 

We found a concrete building next to the run down building. This place only had one entrance and no windows. We entered. It was dark and dank. It was extremely cold. 

What was strange about this place was that there was a very strange mist. It hung in a very strange manor. It didn’t touch the floor, nor the ceiling. It absorbed the entire middle through the entire building. It was white and dense. The mist was the coldest part of the building. The mist gave us a surreal jerk around the navel. It was almost like it guided us from room to room. Each room had some form of broken object in. The last room it guided us to had a broken hospital bed in and a sharp rusty spike on the wall. A heavy stench of blood filled our nostrils. It was putrid. The mist started to get denser and more heavy. We started to find ourselves not being able to move. It was almost like it was gluing us there. We had to fight it. We ran. We returned to school. 

Never before have I experienced a mist like that, nor have I seen one since. 

So when I wanted to write my horror I chose to draw on this experience. I got off to a great start, but then suddenly I stopped. 

I realised I couldn’t go on with it. I didn’t have enough information other than my own experience. I had to do research. At 16, I was still to young to know where to start, so I gave it up as a bad egg. 

Shortly after I turned 16, they knocked the building down and replaced it with a supermarket. I didn’t give it another thought. 

When I turned 19, I resparked my interest when I found the original draft of the story I had started. Reading it, I found it a load of tripe. 

I scrapped it and started again. I included more characters and me and my new friends started to investigate places in Exeter. We also went into the library to establish exactly what that building was. We found out, but I can’t tell you that. 

I stopped writing the story so I could study at uni. When I turned 25, I re-read the story and found it was still tripe. So I scrapped again, but I kept the characters. The characters, I’ve discovered, are not 2d. They work. They needed a tweak, but that’s easy. 

I subscribed to a ghost magazine to get examples of how to write a horror, and for a university exam I scripted one of the scenes from the book that I wanted to happen. I wanted to hear it as part of a play. I got 78% for it. A 1st, in uni terms. The people who heard it read aloud wanted to know what happened in the story. 

So I knew my story would work. I just needed a few clever plot devices and a clearer plot. 

Now at 29 I’ve finally done that. Once my two books this year are published, I will release this yummy horror…hopefully…before I’m 31. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 13 years. I am after all, my worst critique.