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Thursday, 18 June 2015

I've finished Freya and the Hairy Goddess, and the amazing art of Frank Frazetta.

I've finished the first draft anyway, which is really the hardest part.  Once a novel exists it is easy enough to mess with it and polish it.  That first draft is the part where you have to ride the wave of inspiration, living and breathing your writing, and where you also need to knuckle down and get those words done every day.

These are the pages where I have noted my daily word count as I went.

Each day when I start writing, I write at least 1000 words more than I noted when I finished writing the day the day before.  It occurred to me that it is a very graphic illustration of what a finished novel is really made of.  Want to be a novelist?  That is what you need: The steady word count that allows you to keep that story moving forward and stops it ending up a half-finished, much-lamented manuscript in a dusty corner of your computer's document file.

Don't stop to edit or you'll stall.  Don't go back to change things. Just make a list of notes ready for the second draft and keep writing as if those changes are already made.

You can have a couple of days off a week to rest your brain, because it is indeed hard work for the brain, but don't leave it too long. You lose the flow, you lose the feel of the characters, you lose the path of the story, and you forget all those little extras that occurred to you as you wrote but that you never bothered to write down because you were about to get to that bit.  It would be better to write 250 words a day than to leave that book sitting alone for too long.

Anyway, using such methods, my eighth full length novel is in the bag!  I hope it is as rude, funny and irreverent as my other Freya novel, but I guess I will have to wait to find that out till I am past the second draft and it gets its first outings to my usual first readers!

I'm a long way from having it published, but I must admit cover ideas are already coming to mind.  So many scenes from the book would make great cover material in the style of Frazetta. I always feel Frazetta-y when I write Freya Fjordrider.

Never come across Frazetta?  I guess you would say he is/was the master of fantasy art.  He had a wonderful imagination and a great big heap of skill to back his imaginings.  Even though his work is probably a little politically incorrect for our times, the beauty and scope of it still shines.

I think I came across it first way back as a young teen, reading the wonderful Conan the Barbarian books by Robert E Howard.

I didn't know the covers were by Frazetta then, but I did notice them.  They could be very dark and scary but they were always dramatic and wonderful.  He often used the classic and dramatic pyramidal construction to wonderful effect.

He was also a master of the dramatic front on foreshortened effect.

He knew horses too. Nothing puts me off art like a horse badly-rendered!

A lot of his women are scantily clad maidens needing rescue, like Flashman's round-bottomed passenger up there, but he also painted some very powerful ones, which are the ones I love best.

I'm not surprised that I think of him when I think of a Freya cover.  Cheeky! 
Not that Freya would ever be silly enough to go around fighting things half-clad!

Ah well, I'll keep mulling over the cover till I settle on the right one to paint. I just wish my skills came up to the level of what I can imagine, like Frank Frazetta's did!



  1. Well done Tina. Must say I am itching to get back into Freya's world.
    As for the writing bit: why do I feel a finger pointing at me, LOL. 😛

  2. Ha ha, Gav, no I didn't have you in mind when I wrote this. I think I nag you enough in private. :) As a novelist, however, I do get people telling me that they want to write but can't seem to get started or get finished. I figure with the first drafts for eight books done and dusted, I can give a little advice on those topics now!

    Not doing something that your soul wants to do... it hurts. I would like to help people to feel free and safe to do that creative soul urge thing, whatever it might be. So long as it harm none. :)


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