Tag Archives: creating

Ministratum – A Matter of Mood

Sometimes writing is difficult, and coaxing the words is a challenge that would try the most creative among us, and yet other times the words appear to come almost unbidden.  These times are special; stories can grow almost by themselves, like watching a skeleton grow flesh and come to life.

I frequently find it interesting to look at the mood of different parts of my work and I cannot help but see a certain similarity between my own thoughts and feelings and those parts of the book that seem to write themselves.  I think this is somewhat natural – possibly so much so that saying so is a little redundant, because it is so obvious.

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Another Novel Update

Planning ahead is something some authors find hinders them, and restricts their characters, and prefer to just write from the beginning through to the end with only a light hand on the tiller.

Myself, I am not one of those authors; I prefer to make sure I have a plan as well-defined as I can have from the start, and I would be surprised if most authors did not have at least some kind of pre-defined plan, even a loose one.  I find it hard to imagine how anyone could produce anything coherent without one.

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More Ministratum

Chapter thirteen is the part of my book that has been most heavily based on an afternoon of gaming so far, and consequently it has been one of the most challenging to write.  That seems paradoxical, however when you consider the difference between four friends having a laugh and attempting to create a serious high-fantasy world with a cast of three-dimensional coherent characters, then the reasons become clearer.

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I worry sometimes whether I’m deluding myself. These are often my darkest moments, when the muse has gone quiet and I’m sitting with a notebook or an app of some sort in front of me, and the thought presents itself: “I’m not actually any good at any of this”.

At these points I start to doubt my abilities, and begin to believe – and I’m having to tell myself now that this belief is in spite of evidence to the contrary – that I am simply not cut out for anything other than what I am right now.

The Founding of the Ministratum Cycle

My story concept for my current novel began about a year ago as a table-top role playing game (RPG) scenario. Set in a pseudo-medieval fantasy realm, the concept focused on a patriarchal theocratic society where what would often be considered normal freedoms would be oppressed.

It began with three main characters, who were somewhat fantasy clichés to begin with. There was the burly, lecherous blacksmith, the innocent nature-loving herbalist, and the young fresh-faced lad. In our RPG sessions these characters were portrayed by my good friend Phil, my other half Anna, and my good friend Tony, and I was the GM – games master – essentially the one who controlled the story.

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Bargaining With The Muse

Where to start… perhaps with something that looks like a quote, but is actually written by me… yeah that’ll do.
The muse cannot be ordered, or tricked, for she comes when she will.
She can only be cajoled, persuaded, or bartered with, and any bargain may both weaken and strengthen he that makes it.
Creativity is a difficult pursuit, and a difficult goal, for simply expressing a desire to be more creative is no more conducive to actual output of ‘stuff’ than wanting to learn to drive is conducive to becoming a racing driver.