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Wilstell Ferry …. Home Away from Home.

For my book the town my characters inhabit is a knock-off of the town where I live but smaller. Different name and different people but similar landscape. Some of the places by the river I write about are comparable to places I’ve been around the river at home where I like to fish and go walking.

Wilstell is a lovely inland town, very scenic and spread out with the Ferry River running round its northern borders. There are many walking tracks and reserves in and around the river and some great fishing spots. Plenty of places to conceal a secret or two if that’s your sport.

The area consists of prosperous farming land and the town is rurally orientated as expected. It’s a very clicky place and everyone knows each other’s business, people are resistant to outsiders. Many people who have grown up here just want to escape.

The streets are narrow and the traffic slow, life’s simple in Wilstell Ferry.

There are many charming little boutique style shops with distinctively individual varieties of clothes and elegant homewares for sale. Knotted in amongst these are adorable patisseries, organic and Asian fresh food outlets and the big chain supermarket has its place of course.

One pub is at the centre of town for social gathering and evening entertainment “The Ferry Man’s Bar & Grill”. This lovely pub is where my story will begin. It has a rustic country kind of atmosphere, dark hardwood floors, a unique old teak wooden bar. Along the front of the bar, you’ll find a comfy barstool, soft leather cushions on black steel legs. Behind the bar the mirrored shelves are full of all kinds of outstanding beverages and the lights reflecting off the glass have the bottles appear like performers on a stage enticing you to try their contents. Often, they have live entertainment but no big names just the talent of the local area. Off to the side there are dining tables and seating with plenty a dark corner for a secluded encounter with that someone special.

Against this charming backdrop my characters’ lives filled with hopes and dreams, darkness and desire play themselves out for you to enjoy. Like any country town, its people have their shadows, fears, and mysteries but the Ferry River has the lions share.

Does your story feature a real place, something completely made up or somewhere in between?

Got some great characters I love… Now what to do with them?

I have four main characters in my book.

I have written several action scenes with each of them involved, one of these will be the final plot point. I also feel reasonably confident I know the hook for the first chapter.

The first plot point needs some work but is looking promising. What’s tripping me up is the first pinch point, the midpoint and final pinch point. The problem being that I can’t work on these areas properly until I’m sure which character is my protagonist. The main character I had chosen initially doesn’t have as much personal growth and self-awareness over the events of the story as one of my other characters. She has a good character arc but it’s a downward spiral and plays out in the final plot point. One good thing about her is her spiral is relatable. The theme is based on what many of us probably experience, maybe not to her extremes but relevant.

 Another character has a clear character arc of attempting to better themselves, to find redemption. The final plot point emphasises the characters profound change and personal growth and changes how others see him giving it more depth.  He is also relatable but to a lesser extent, but it might just be me relating to her more than him.

I’m stuck trying to work this out. My plan for now is keep going with the writing of my key scenes that I have ideas for and then try to slip everything in my story’s outline and see if I discover the protagonist.

Has anyone else had this same roadblock with your writing?

How did you solve it?

Is the first time the hardest ?

I feel like the first book is going to be the hardest for me.

There is so much I don’t know and so much I need to learn. How do I learn to edit? Do I pay some one to do that? How do you publish? Can I self publish? How do you stop people stealing your work or scamming you?

At the same time its so exciting……

I loved making my first webpage and blog, and it’s heaps of fun reading other peoples and getting feedback about my own. I joined some New Writers groups on face book, well let’s be honest I joined face book ….. I’ve found people to be supportive, and other peoples journey’s are so inspirational, it’s kept me going.

I’m listening to podcasts by successful authors to learn the tricks of the trade and reading advice on anything to do with writing. My brain has so much information crammed inside it at the moment, I reckon I need to delete every piece of useless information I have hoarded in there to make room for the good stuff.

So I’ve probably written about a third of my book so far. I started with what I believed to be the first chapter but it could end up the second. A couple of chapters in the middle and yes I’ve written the last complete chapter. Writing that last chapter some how lifted a huge weight from me. Because of that last chapter everything else is falling into place.

I don’t have much advice about writing your first novel, cause come on let’s face it I don’t have any idea what I’m doing just yet. But if I were to offer advice I’d say “know your ending.”

My favorite part that I didn’t expect to be so much fun and satisfying is discovering my characters as I write them. Sure I had a general idea of what they were like and things they would do in my story to help me tell it, but its astonishing when you let the story poor forth from yourself and realize, “Hey, I never knew that about them, that makes so much more sense!” It’s the greatest…..

Wish me luck finishing my first book, If just one person reads it and loves it, Ill be over the moon happy…. Even if that one person is me 🙂

Nights Secrets – Chapter ?? (Not sure where this will fit in my book yet)

Nights Secrets

Liora would wake, screaming choking in fear. That night… She could not shake it.

How could two brothers be so different. They both suffered the same hardships living with an abusive father and trauma induced absentee mother, but they were vastly different people.

One bitter and twisted, repressed emotionally and paranoid at every corner. The other creative with an inner light that emanated from within, nothing could capture or extinguish it.

But they were brothers and backed each other until that night when one crossed the line and went that step too far.

Lines had blurred in the past, but they had been in it together and what had happened had been more a desperate attempt to survive, not an act of malice or premeditation.  Albert had always been a drunken violent man, vicious and manipulative. He treated his sons and wife like property, objects to dominate and amuse him. Able being older got the worst of it particularly because he acted as a distraction for his father’s relentless savagery towards their mother Ursula.

The result, Able being drowned at the hands of his father in the water troughs, water for the sheep in the stock holding yards but Albert used them better as part of his deadly game only he and Able got to play.

The Child would be left on the ground unconscious not breathing and if Albert thought there was a chance of death, he lay the boot in, kicking him until Able coughed up water. The spluttering and choking sounds of his son enough proof of life and the game was over…At least for that day.

Their father regularly came home so intoxicated he could barely stagger in the door or make it to his lounge chair before he lapsed into an alcohol induced coma. A regular scenario that was the only space in their lives without fear.

On a cold winter evening the boys had come across the man in his favourite chair, his head hanging forward, vomit all down his shirt, the stench of beer filling the room mixed with cigar smoke wafting up from the shaggy woollen rug where it had fallen from his hand. Usually, they would pull him from the chair, so he lay flat on the floor to stop him aspirating his own puke. They learnt from their mother what to do before too many beatings had broken her enough, now she did not leave her room.

On this day though they left him, excited to use this shard of precious freedom to go to a party some friends were having down the road at Golden Meadows Farm. Although the teenagers had so many shameful secrets they tried to hide, often missing school, they were well liked by peers and teachers. Any time their father passed out cold they would tidy themselves up and revel in the happiness of other peoples lives, a diversion from the misery of their own.

After most people had left the party or fallen asleep and the fire pit was barely warm, Able and Ronan began the dreaded walk back to the suffering awaiting them. As they passed over the rise and down the old sheep track that led back to the house time ceased. Frozen in that moment, both seeing what they couldn’t comprehend, they clutched each other’s hand instinctively, feeling like they were the only two people that existed, now completely alone. The old weather board building, an edifice of childhood terror and absolute despair, that prison they thought never to escape, had burnt to the ground.

But this was not the same circumstance, Liora was innocent, full of life and hopeful for all that her future might offer. Able had no excuse that defended him trying to extinguish that sunniness. She lit up his life with a brightness he coveted so ruthlessly he was driving her away. The fear of losing her had driven him to act as he had, a tragic reflection of his father’s treatment of him.

As much as Ronan understood what drove Able’s sickening impulse, he could not allow it. He loved Liora too, although differently, as a sister rather than a lover, but still just as much.

On that night when he came to Liora’s aid after she called him hysterical, inconsolable, with a raspy voice, crying more then speaking and witnessed the after math of the evening’s events. He had no comprehension that what resulted foreshadowed the beginning of him returning to his old habits. The filthy shadow of his father’s soul, a seed planted in Able all those years ago had borne fruit. That distant life of keeping secrets, hiding his indignity and the shame he had left in the ashes of childhood, had caught its first breath eager to live again.

When Ronan got the call from Liora, He felt like a little boy again. Filled with panic and helplessness he jumped in his truck and speed along the dark abandoned streets to her apartment. The door was not locked, he walked straight in. Crossing the lounge room, he saw the light of the bathroom and as he approached the crimson pool welling beneath Abel’s skull.  Seeing his brother face down and lifeless, immediately Ronan wanted to help him, but that emotion shrivelled and died turning to disdain and abhorrence as he glimpsed Liora curled up on the floor.

Pushed into a corner against the cold hard surface of the bath, with only a towel haphazardly tangled around her, Liora was hunched motionless on her side. The white towel had blood spattered all over it. At first, he thought the blood was Abel’s but realized she had slashed her feet on the jagged pieces of crystal vase scattered about the floor.

  “Liora Beth… Beth, are you O.K.?” he squatted down gently laying his hand on her. She flinched and did not look up. “Beth please I need to know what happened, did you call an ambulance?”

     “No …. I want him dead… Don’t save him.” She coughed out the words in a muted whisper. Only now as she looked at him was Ronan aware of the absolute repulsiveness of his brother’s actions.

Her cheeks were flushed scarlet, he could see the blood on her swollen quivering lips, she’d bitten her tongue. Capillaries broken from the pressure of Ables grip, her eyes were frightfully blood shot, the right far worse than the left. Magenta stripes on both sides of her neck, again the right more so with clear imprints of fingers that left the echo of their mission, to crush the life from her forever. The bruises on her upper arms paled in comparison.

   “If you care….” She swallowed painfully. “For me …. let him die.” She gurgled and coughed again as she tried to say the words

   “But that makes it murder… you could go to jail” Ronan answered quietly taking out his phone and backing out the door of the bathroom, what he witnessed in front of him was inconceivable.

Pulling the door partly closed he turned away trying to compose himself. He had to make the phone call, not sure if an ambulance or the police was the better choice. He could hear movement behind him but could not stomach glancing back at that mess again just yet. Then he heard the metallic noise of something being unscrewed, and the movement of porcelain against itself. His pulse raced, his mind made no sense of those noises, listening closely to see if he was imagining the sound, he heard the noise of porcelain scraping again.

He rushed towards the door, pushing it open. Transfixed for a moment, startled by the site of Liora standing naked over Able, he was not quick enough to stop her.

   “No… No…  Stop it!” He screamed the words, but it did nothing. Liora standing holding the heavy white ceramic lid of the toilet cistern above her head, brought it crashing down on Abel’s chest. She crumpled back into a heap on the floor, spluttering and breathing loudly. He was likely dead now if not before.

It was in that second, he made his choice. Seeing Liora-Beth who he had known to be completely kind, always gentle and passionate, committing an act so intrinsically outside her nature, it must have been unendurable belonging to Able. When faced with an impossible choice of loyalties in that instant he chose Liora.

He would protect her.

Wow…..Inspiration Comes In Any Order

Ideas come to me when I least expect it.

Sometimes at work or when I first wake up, I’m feeding the cat or I’ve had too much wine. When it happens I let it take over and go with the flow.

I’ve realized I’m that person that writes chapters out of order. This isn’t that uncommon and if you can write your last chapter first you probably have an advantage as you know where your story’s going. You have something to write towards rather than striving onwards following an unknown mirage way off in the distance.

Your beginning should mirror your ending to a certain extent so knowing how things pan out helps in doing that.

I have found writing my chapters out of order lets me discover my characters . Ill be lost in a creative bubble, writing… writing.. writing…. The bubble pops and I’m done and I read it as though for the first time and I’m like WTF…. I didn’t even know that about my main characters that I’ve nurtured and planned and helped come to life. I was so invested and still I never knew that was part of your story ????

This is awesome, it makes the writing journey so much more fun, like an adventure. I’ve fallen in love with writing all over again..!!!

Try it, See if you do too..:)

Writing Dialogue

I need to learn how to write dialogue

This I believe is my biggest weakness and therefore my biggest challenge to overcome. If the dialogue is bad the stories going to be worse. Even just knowing how to punctuate and format my dialogue in my story telling seems confusing.

You need to use quotation marks, and a dialogue tag but don’t use the same tag too often or it becomes repetitive. Action that occurs before or after the dialogue in your story needs to be in separate sentences and you should start a new paragraph for a new speaker. The paragraphs need to be indented too…

Ellipses are used to indicate the trailing off of speech. Then there’s the whole part about if a characters ramblings go on paragraph after paragraph you need opening quotations at the start of each paragraph but end quotations only at the end of the entire dialogue.

For your discourse to be interesting and natural its best to cut all the small talk, less is best, this goes for dialogue tags too and action beats. Don’t be too elaborate. And the advice we all hear that to be a good writer “show don’t tell” applies for dialogue as well and pretty much means you should mask the information you want your audience to have in your characters conversations.

A proven method to see if a conversation is realistic and enjoyable for the reader is to say it out aloud, even record it and play it back to yourself.

So no matter how daunting it might be to write dialogue when you feel like your not just out of your depth but drowning, remember your characters voice is an integral part of their adventure, your readers want to hear it.

The only way to become truly great at it is to do it…. over and over again.

Wish me luck 🙂

Through who’s eyes?

It’s all about perspective…..

Which point of view should I write in? Should I write from only one characters point of view or several and if I choose only one then who? Third-person POV has a lot of positive press, cited as being adaptable to most forms of story telling and easier to use but there are different kinds of third person.

The three types I’ve been researching are OMNISCIENT the traditional approach where the narrator is all knowing, CINEMATIC where the narrator is detached from the characters, just observing like a camera and LIMITED is where the narrator is using only one character perspective to tell the story.

I like writing in first person but my researching seems to be pointing towards first person being great for short stories but not as efficient or flexible as third person, in particular third person limited. There’s advice that you should take some of your writing and write it in first-person POV then try third-person POV, read and decide which version enhances the feel of the story your telling. So I experimented with this…

“Clumsily pulling off one item of clothing at a time, I headed for the bathroom. Trembling and tired from sprinting the two kilometers home, my legs felt like jelly. I turned on the shower welcoming the calming sound of the water. Shaking lose my thick dark hair, long and wavy, tangled and unruly as always I pulled out the leaves and dried grass I could see. I barely ever brushed it, preferring to roughly pull it back or plait it. If it was clean, I was happy, right now it was anything but clean. Clumps of mud and leaves, sweat and possibly bugs were all through it.”

“Clumsily Liora Beth pulled off one item of clothing at a time, as she headed for the bathroom. Trembling and tired from sprinting the two kilometers home, her legs felt like jelly. Turning on the shower she welcomed the calming sound of the water. Shaking lose her thick dark hair, long and wavy, tangled and unruly as always she managed to pull out some grass and bits of dried leaf. Liora barely ever brushed it, preferring to roughly pull it back or plait it. If it was clean she was happy, right now it was anything but clean. Clumps of mud and leaves, sweat and possibly bugs were all through it.”

I think I prefer the first version, it feels more intimate, I feel what she feels. It probably also has a lot to do with my poor writing skill with third-person POV and inexperience as a writer generally. It all feels a little intimidating right now.. Hopefully the more I write the more familiar I’ll become with different styles of expression and story telling and gradually grow as an author.


So I have written more of my book and realize that for me to be able to take my story where I want to go I need to write from other characters perspectives so I’m going to start writing in third person, I am going to write a few more chapters in third POV and then rewrite the first two that way also.

Character Arc

Everywhere I look it seems creating an outstanding character arc is crucial to an amazing story line.

I’m going to share what I’ve worked out so far……

You can have positive arcs, negative arcs, flat arcs, destructive arcs and so on and so fourth, but it is always about the development of the characters inner self and the journey they take to get there.

Begin by asking yourself this question….. What internal and external motivating factors are influencing your characters behavior and actions? The answer tells you why your character does what they do. Will your character persevere against all odds and become the hero of your tale or will they fall from grace and destroy their own happiness?

Your character needs a challenge to evolve into something different, for better or worse. Deciding on which way they are headed has more to do with the message you want to convey to your audience, your lead character usually the protagonist drives your story line onwards, while the antagonist gets in the way and trips them up. This conflict is what makes the story interesting.

I now have to work on this for Liora, I think she’s an anti-hero protagonist evolving along a positive character arc with a twist.

My Leading Lady

Who will she be? What does she like doing? What will she look like? How exciting to be creating an entirely new being from the depths of my mind. The main character of my story will also be the protagonist, for now anyway depending on how my story changes but that’s the plan. I’ve decided on her name…. Ms Liora Elizabeth King. I used a name generator to come up with something different.

What is her internal struggle? What does she want and what stands in her way?

I don’t even know the answers yet.

So I’m going to spend some time on this. Developing Liora, talking to her until I understand her.

Welcome to NightFallFiction

This is my first attempt at writing a blog.

I have thought about writing one for a long time, just as I’ve imagined writing my first novel too. I’m not novel writing ready just yet but intend to blog about my journey of writing my first book.

There’s quite a bit to learn to create a story that is enjoyable, believable, and with a pay off at the end for the reader to feel invested and satisfied.

I’ve also been researching about creating a good character arc which I don’t really understand right at this point.

I hope to use this blog to help me get my book started and keep myself motivated by sharing it with you.