A long time ago I was part of a Plymouth-based writing group. One of the members mapped her novel out on wallpaper. She wrote, sticky-noted and otherwise scrapbooked on the back of it (non-design side), and then when she was done for the day, rolled it right back up (I believe she got the idea from someone else originally). It’s a great method if, like me, you have limited space or time to work with, and/or you want your planning portable. You can map out and entire timeline of events, character studies, or whatever it is in your head that you need to get out, and then tidy it all up into an easy-to-carry and innocuous roll of wonder.
I found some cheap wallpaper on Amazon with a brick pattern (I figured it went well with the genre I write; Urban fantasy). The roll was actually pretty wide, so I cut it in half (I’ll likely use the second half for another novel). If you’re using post-its on your wallpaper, use an additional bit of celotape to stick them down. Then when you’re repeatedly rolling and unrolling the wallpaper, they don’t get lost/move around and mess up your planning.
As I’m floundering for content a little (I shouldn’t be, but I’ve got a lot of “life” stuff on right now and everything else feels a little too much like a chore on top of it all). I decided I’d post a transcript of my first Youtube video (it’s pretty darned rough around the edges, but I think I’ve caught the bug and will look into after effects and actually putting together a clear plan of what I want to say in future!). Expect another one or two posts like this, maybe not full transcripts, but yeah. Cheers!
My name’s Ed and this is my first VBlog.
What’s this all about?
I’ve been planning this for about a month but I needed a haircut and I was trying to think of something to actually say. The haircut didn’t take a month but it’s less messy than it was.
I haven’t got any of the pyrotechnics or the cool intro or anything like that which I really wanted, so if anyone wants to help with that, that would be awesome. Maybe do me a tune or something? A funky little number.
Basically Sisters Noire is a place for me to network with other authors – that could be you, or any friends of yours who write – I’d like to talk to them.
It is also going to be a place where I talk about my book series, the first book is called Romanse Macabre.
I’m a web designer/frontend developer based in the South West of England. I have written for several years now. I joined a writers group a couple of years back, though we meet up less regularly now which is why I hope to network more online. I hope to conduct more author interviews but I think I need to do them in a more interesting way for everyone’s benefit, perhaps over Youtube. I’m also going to review more books. I recently reviewed a title by a guy called Adam Sifre – I’ve Been Deader, which is a very cool alternate comedy-horror zombie book.
More about Romanse Macabre
Think Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, V For Vendetta and the present day episodes of Doctor Who. Romanse Macabre is kind of in the same vein as those.
I plan on reading little excerpts from my book in future videos, putting them on my website and maybe getting some of your feedback on those. I’ll also be posting about characters from my book, locations and I’ll be trying to get a bit of artwork up. I’m not the world’s greatest artist yet, but if you are then I could use your help!
I have found networking so far kind of difficult – I think you need to put a lot of time into it and I need to balance that out with a lot of writing. This is always a problem because I’ve got a nine-to-five job as well, which I know most people have. Obviously writing’s what I want to do but when I get home I get tired. I really need to do this and I need to write more just to keep my brain going and to achieve what I want to achieve which is to get published. I kinda want to do it the old fashioned way if I can, through an agent and a publishing house but if not I’m going to explore other avenues.
I’ve been looking to drive more traffic to my site and Facebook (http://www.sistersnoire.com/facebook) too, so if you could “LIKE” my Facebook page that’d be great – especially if you’re into steampunk, dieselpunk, urban fantasy / contemporary fantasy which is what I write then that’d be great.
So my wesbite Sisters Noire has writing tips from me and stuff I’ve kind of pinched from books and people and reworded so I don’t get shot (I don’t do that with my novels by the way!). I have also posted author reviews – authors who are published and authors who are published to Kindle or by some other means.
I’m very up for linking to your website if you’re a writer of urban fantasy, steampunk, dieselpunk or somehow related to what I do and a link back would be great as well.
I’d be very happy to review people’s books. I’ve also been reviewing stuff on telly I like, I’m going to try and make things more urban fantasy specific quite soon.
What are you and what do you like?
I’m kinda a massive geek, I have quite a few computer games, I’m quite into my movies, I like my tv series, one of my favourite’s recently was Luther – horrible, awesome. I love Spaced, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Tolkien’s good – I’m looking forward to the Hobbit. Cuba. I have lots of Lego. Stephen King is cool. Steampunk. Cuban cigars. The Tardis. The Turtles. I’m an 80’s kid – The Racoons. Amanda Palmer. Italy. I have a couple of comic books, they’re good. Music, music festivals – I’ve been to Glasto and Reading quite a few times. Neil Gaiman. Sausage rolls. I really like The Manic Street Preachers. The smell of coffee. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was quite good. 24 – Jack Bauer. Glam rock nights in Brighton. Jurassic Park. Pepperamis. Elbow, I really like Elbow. The Beatles. I have a fur coat. Amanda Palmer’s awesome. And she married Neil Gaiman who’s also awesome, so that’s just amazing. Air, the French band. I’ve got five of their albums, they’re great to clean to, I spend like seven hours (more like 3), just listening to Air over and over. My housemate loved me.
I kind of wanted an overall series name like The Lord of The Rings or His Dark Materials, so I’ve picked a character who will be present in one form or another throughout the series called Lord Horatio Redden. The series name is Lord Horatio Redden and the Sisters Noire. Then you’ve got the book title,
so the first one is Romanse Macabre.
So if you want to send me anything – if you have a feature for Sisters Noire or if you want an interview conducted please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m getting likes and all the rest of it but right now I’m not really delivering on my promise of decent content (I didn’t exactly promise, but I guess it goes without saying).
Interviews were the first part but now I need to expand – with, hopefully, some of you guys who are still interested.
My Youtube channel is up but the videos aren’t (yet). Eventually I’m looking for help with these (book reviews, interviews etc) to make Sisters Noire more community-driven (perhaps even a podcast).
For now I’m gonna soldier on with little to no knowledge of video editing (I have a few friends who’ll hopefully help me out).
I am also thinking of doing a weekly round-up of Urban Fantasy and related blogs (I’m subscribed to quite a few), with my favourite blog posts. There are so many good-uns already out there I’ve found in the past few weeks, it’s important that I stamp Sisters Noire with my own unique hoof prints.
As an aside, here’s the new Muse official Olympic song “Survival”. I haven’t decided whether it’s awesome or something at the entirely opposite end of the spectrum yet.
I built this site last year sometime and haven’t done a whole lot with it. Which is a shame, because I kinda like it. Besides, this is the place I can shout about how cool Urban Fantasy, Steampunk and Dieselpunk are. I can also talk about my own stories based preliminary on the first of those three genres, Urban Fantasy, but with elements of all three.
What the heck is Urban Fantasy, anyway? Well according to Wikipedia –
“Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.”
They offer up Harry Potter (among others) as an example of Urban Fantasy. I’d like to throw out names like Neil Gaiman, (if you haven’t read either Neverwhere or American Gods, I recommend them). He’s also married to the singer Amanda Palmer, who’s probably a bit like Marmite, (which she hates, incidentally). I’d also like to mention Ben Aaronovitch, author of Rivers of London, which in my opinion had one of the coolest book covers in recent memory.
So what’s Steampunk? In a word, it’s –
To be honest, if you’re still reading this and you just watched that, it may well have put you off the whole idea. Really, though, this stuff is cool! Well not cool, exactly, but who wants to be that?
Anyway, stay posted for more geekery. I’ll basically be posting on the Facebook page and here as often as I can – cool images, trailers, video games, book recommends, music and updates on how my own tales are going when real life isn’t pestering me. Much of the content will fit with the themes, as you’d expect, so expect a lot of Neo-Vic looking people, big, silly, cog-riddled machines, airships, submarines, computers that look Victorian, heroes, villains, film noir, Nazis, zombies, alternate histories, adventurers…
Any help on FB would be much appreciated, so if you fancy chucking up your own musings, artwork or cool little web-finds that would be awesome :). I welcome creativity.
One more thing. If you could “like” this page and also on Facebook, that’d be grand. Or show your support by clicking the dandy Google+ icon. Please bring your friends along too!