A Brilliant Conspiracy

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2016

April and the A to Z Challenge is drawing near, so today I’m posting about the Theme I intend to follow for the Month of April on Writing Wings.

The Challenge runs over 26 days – with Sundays off for good behaviour – and each day will be based on the alphabet, from A through to Z.

In previous years, I have chosen themes that were linked to Work In Progress… and I rambled somewhat. So I wanted something different, maybe tighter and more cryptic.

So “A Brilliant Conspiracy” was born.

This is a short saga based around the following ‘Blurb’.

Archibald Brewster claims detective expertise, frustrating genius hospital intern Jamila Knox.

Luckily, muscles never obstruct progress.

Questions remain, silently taunting, until vengeance wakes xenophobia-yapping zealots.

Inspired by this mystery, I will post a brief episode in “A Brilliant Conspiracy” on every day of the challenge, from A through to Z, each one starting with the relevant letter.

Each episode will consist of one word for each of the letters of the alphabet, initially in alphabetical order. As each letter is ticked off, I will then use it anywhere in the following episodes. For instance, Day 3 will start with ‘C’ for ‘Confessions, and somewhere I will use A and B – possibly for ‘Archibald’ and for ‘but’. By the time the mystery reaches Z, all the other letters will be in non-alphabetical order. That means 26 posts, each one of 26 words.

As a bonus, Archibald will pick his ‘horse of the day’, while Jamila will assess a ‘daily poison’ – again from A to Z.

I’m attempting to concoct these cryptic episodes in advance, but it’s proving tough. So if I fail to complete this challenge, then this will be, “Another Baffling Confusion”, especially if there is no Z.

Why not go visit the others on the linky list to find out what sort of posts you can look forward to elsewhere.

You can also visit the A to Z Facebook page where you’ll be able to see what everyone’s posting about. And there are the A to Z pinterest boards, the G+ page, and Twitter where the #atozchallenge tag rules.

See you on April 1st when Archibald and Jamila embark on their adventure.

 

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Storming – a review

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Time for another review – Storming by K.M. Weiland – the third novel from a writer whose website is a mine of writing gems. Her fiction writing certainly demonstrates all the craft that she mentors on her website. So on to the review:

Storming lives up to the blurb that inspired me, “Cocky, funny, and full of heart, Storming is a jaunty historical/dieselpunk mash-up that combines rip-roaring adventure and small-town charm with the thrill of futuristic possibilities.”

I was hooked from the opening, when a young woman falls from the clouds in front of Hitch Hitchcock’s biplane. Hitch is a pilot protagonist who has run away from his past, but now has to face it head-on as he tries to “save his Nebraska hometown from storm-wielding sky pirates.”

The young woman, Jael is mysterious and spunky, and tied to the pirates, which is craftily revealed. I wanted Hitch and Jael to fall for each other, but nothing is ever so easy, especially in one of K.M Weiland’s novels. I gave up trying to suss out what was going to happen next – after getting caught out in her first novel, “Behold the Dawn” [another recommended read]. She knows exactly how to make the twists pay off.

All the characters are memorable, including the supporting cast – I could really visualise the Berringer brothers. The young boy Walter adds a strong thread that kept me on the edge of my Kindle as his story weaves throughout, and he adds to the exhilarating climax.

Having read a few ‘steampunk’ novels, I relished the sky pirates and their strange weather-controlling airship, and their unusual language. At first, Jael speaks only this language and a smattering of English words, adding to the mystery of her and her people. I sensed a Slavic origin, and have my own theories, but read the novel and form your own.

K.M Weiland has written yet another novel that demonstrates that she ‘practises what she preaches’.

 

 

 

Shifting Storylines

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

 

It’s March 2nd and time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly post.

Last month, I said, “I may be Insecure but I’m putting aside the whining and complaining – for a few days at least.” Well that only lasted a week or so, and then I spiralled into a pit of inactivity. Part of that was due to the ongoing delay in getting to the US.

And there’s the shifting sands that are my novels and their storylines.

What do you do when the comments from beta readers/critique partners/writing group colleagues/editors or whoever throw up new angles on your fantastic tale?

I attempt to take them on board – if they ring true. However, it often means another re-write and sometimes that can be radical.

With my debut novel, “Spiral of Hooves”, I had to re-work the whole timeline and some of the characters after my writers group pointed out ways of improving the storyline. It was better for the changes – I think.

I’ve just had a thorough critique on “Storms Compass”, and I can see where the fellow writer was coming from. However, I now face a major rewrite that will include adding scenes, explanations, descriptions, clarification – plus deleting whole chunks that are subplots that don’t tie in.

Do I trim frantically? Do I incorporate Book 2 to make a more rounded storyline?

So many questions. Perhaps I will put “Storms Compass” on a back-burner = bury it in my personal slush pile. I can then return, one day, to the novel I revised during NaNoWriMo 2015 – “Fates Maelstrom”. Or does that have the same built-in failings?

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard!