On Writing

 

On Writing

 

Welcome to my website and blog

Welcome to my website and first blog! This is my newly created page where you can find out more about my Time Gene series and future labours (with a small l). Let me first introduce myself (I can hear the yawning already, but it’s a one-off.) My name is L.E. (Louise Elizabeth) Lacaille, I am a writer of (currently) science-fantasy.

My website

To computer buffs, my website may appear primitive, and I don’t know an HTML code from the Da Vinci Code. But considering up until about three days ago I knew as much about web design as a technophobe dodo, I’m quite proud of it. On this site, you can find can find teasers, cover blurb, and photos related to the Time Gene novels.

Under the Sample Chapters menu you can find, surprisingly enough, a Sample Chapter from The Elect and the Prologue from Chronostasis. If you have read and enjoyed any of the Time Gene books, and if, unlike me, you have better art skills than your average arthritic monkey, you can submit art related to Time Gene for the Time Gene Art page.

My blog

I mean to use my blog space for takes on time-travel, cutting-edge science, quantum theory, writing, self-development, philosophy, Chinese rugs and belly dancing. Well, perhaps not the latter two. There will also hopefully be some creative writing (short stories and poems). As a Christian who writes and reads sci-fi I am particularly interested in the relationship between science and faith, which in no way needs to be conflictual.

On writing

For my first blog, I’d like to write – well – about writing. I know what you’re thinking, ‘who does she think she is – J.K. Rowling?’ But when you think about it, every established author was once sitting in front of a blank page, crushed by the weight of all the genius writers of the past, and wondering whether they could write a book. And I do think it’s valid to make notes, whatever stage you’re at on your journey.

One of the first things I learned about writing was – be bold. Unless you are either an exceptionally skilled writer or you have had an exceptionally peripatetic life, writing about every day people walking to and from a corner shop buying groceries doesn’t make for a thrilling book. That’s why soaps have such unrealistic plotlines of raging infernos, train crashes, machete-wielding murderers and seven-car pile-ups on one suburban street. About 15 years ago, I tried to write a book about my childhood. Unfortunately, when I realised it wasn’t working, I thought I didn’t have what it took. But I was just writing the wrong book!

The second thing was be patient. Ten years ago, I tried to write another book. It had a slightly more interesting storyline – I think. It took me three hours to write one page which was garbage. So I thought ‘I’ll never be a writer’. But, as J.K. Rowling said, “it takes a phenomenal amount of perseverance” but “one day you write a single page you like and build on that”. Writing is like playing an instrument. When you first begin, you will be rubbish. But your mangled guitar strokes are not a waste of time. They are the first rungs on the ladder to proficiency. In the same way, your dull, insipid page that you screw up in a ball and throw away is your building block to success. The more you practise, the better you get. The more you write, the more you can lick words into shape. If you don’t practice your guitar for six months, you will reap the punishment when you begin to play again. Same with writing. But you can get back into it.

The third thing I learned was that you as the writer is a painterYou are not a telephone directory. You are painting a scene in the reader’s mind. So you have to be vivid. Use striking images. Use symbolism and leitmotifs to break your reader’s heart. Use dramatic irony. I’m not presenting myself as some kind of paragon, by the way, I’m talking about great writing styles that I’ve aspired to emulate. ‘Show don’t tell’ was the best piece of advice I’ve ever had. ‘Show don’t tell’ basically means that instead of saying ‘the man was extremely rich’, you say ‘the man drove his Rolls Royce up the mile-long drive to his mansion’. A crude example but relevant nonetheless. It’s a picture instead of a list of facts, and requires the reader to make deductions. This engages your reader with your characters. Makes them real to them. Of course, it can be taken to ridiculous extremes, and you don’t want to take 100 words to say what could be said in ten. It’s finding that balance.

Could you blog here?

If you have a contribution you would like to make to my blog, don’t hesitate to contact me via the details on this website. I’d be especially interested in blurb for new sci-fi/fantasy novels, or your take on the paradoxes of time-travel and cutting-edge science. Or, of course, the perennial writing tips.

2 thoughts on “On Writing”

  1. Great blog Louise! I love your new website. Maybe I’ll get round to posting something for it. Good luck with your book.

  2. Wow, amazing weblog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you make blogging glance easy. The whole look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

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