Co-Writing Adventure

Blog post by R. A. Gates

Anyone who thinks that writing is a lonely pursuit has never been to a writer’s critique group. I’ve come to realize that it takes a village to write a book. At least a good one. And then there are the writing conventions and workshops writers attend to hone their craft. I’ve met some wonderful writers and friends through these avenues. And lucky writers like me get to co-write a book with some exceptional writers.

The first project I co-wrote with four other writers was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, The Servants and the Beast. In composing that novella, each writer had a section they were in charge of. We all read everything over, made suggestions and edit recommendations but the writer in charge of that section had the final say.

Currently, four of the five writers of that book are venturing on a new project. This time instead of each writer being in charge of certain sections, we are alternating chapters. I believe this project will be more challenging than the first because our writing styles need to mesh more than before. We all have to be more in synch with how the plot plays out and how each character develops.

We spent time last September creating the main character, Lola, in a writing exercise. Then we plotted out the story so we have a nice outline of what is supposed to happen in each chapter. I got the privilege of starting us off by writing chapter one. The chapter that is responsible for hooking the reader and getting the ball rolling. The chapter that introduces the reader to the main character and her situation.

No pressure.

I did my best to show who Lola was without being info-dumpy or having her look into a mirror and perfectly describe her appearance. It’s a lot harder than you think. Then when I had a decent beginning to our story, I sent of the file to the next writer to complete chapter two. It will be passed along round-robin style until the last few chapters which we will write together.

We’re aren’t sure how well this will work or if we will actually publish the story when it’s completed, but the experience so far is a lot of fun. Having four creative minds come together to plot out a story was amusing. Hopefully we can pull it off.

This is the first  in a new series of blog posts; each of the co-writers of this new novel will be sharing their experience as the drafting continues.

On Hobbies and Writing

Post by Kelly Haworth

Like most people, I’ve been drawing longer than I’ve been able to write. Every Christmas for years I would get an art kit from my grandfather, who had been a watercolor painter in his retirement. I still have the last kit he gave me before he passed away. The kit is mostly unused –  colored pencils, watercolors, and oil pastels in a brown wooden suitcase with a clasp. I don’t remember much of what I drew with those kits. What I do remember is girls in frilly dresses or jeans with cut outs – it was the 90’s after all, and I wanted to be a clothes designer when I grew up.

In my early teens I discovered another creative venture – writing. My first story was about a girl who jumped into the book she had been reading and travelled to the 1700’s (obviously because of the fashion) to be with a family that sailed to a tropical island complete with unicorns and magical birds.

For the next ten years, art and writing were delightful hobbies of mine, at which I didn’t think I’d ever be professional, but I still had fun nonetheless. I didn’t become a fashion designer, unfortunately. Instead I worked in a science lab, where I used delicate lab equipment eight hours a day – involving fine hand motions. Within a few months of this, my hands ached so much I stopped drawing. But I could still write. Even after I was promoted to a desk job, still, I just wrote. And even published some novels!

Fast forward to 2018, when my writing career shifted – I pulled my books from their original publisher, and partnered with two other publishers to get the ball rolling again.  Simultaneously, my job hit some setbacks which doubled my workload for nine months. The overtime meant my writing had to go on the back burner. By the time I could breathe at work again, I looked at what was left of my writing career – one republished novel, two novellas, and a handful of WIPs, and grimaced.

And the worst part was that I’d try to work on those WIPs and just stare at the blinking curser. Nothing was there. Which made me discouraged, which made it harder to write, etc etc etc.

Besides work on collaborative projects, I haven’t written in over a year.

But.

In October last year, I saw a number of artists participating in an event called inktober. Do one inked sketch per day throughout the month. If I couldn’t write, and if it had been six whole years since I had moved on from the repetitive hand-motion job, maybe I could draw again? So I picked up a sketchbook and an old kit of inking pens, and gave it a try.

Continue reading “On Hobbies and Writing”

Release Day: Audrey Murphy

We’re excited to announce that the newest Stonehenge Circle Writers release, Audrey Murphy by Karen Blakely, is now available!  A chiller involving a haunted house and a mystery in the past and the present, you won’t want to miss this one.

Purchase your copy

Here’s a little more about the story:

Newcomer Andie Murray enjoyed feeling nearly invisible until three of the most popular girls challenged her to spend an entire night in the town’s haunted house.

Andie doesn’t believe in haunted houses. Which is good, because she’ll be staying in the same place where the town’s vengeful ghost died, exactly one hundred years before. To the day.

People in town still argue whether Audrey’s death was an accident or suicide – or murder.

The house has been abandoned ever since. It crouches at the end of Pierce Road like something wounded. The porch sags to one side. The shutters hang askew. Only weeds and rot grow there now.

But something is brooding inside.

Andie is supposed to stay in the house until dawn. If she can. But will she be staying there alone? Will the ghost haunt her through the empty, decaying halls — like she’s haunted Andie’s dreams? Or could the house, or someone else, have different plans? Should Andie be afraid that ghosts are real, or is someone real what she should really fear? Could she end up dead, like

Audrey Murphy

Do You Prefer Yours With Blood and Gore, Or Unrelenting Creepiness?

Post by Karen Blakely

I like many types of fiction.  SciFi, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, even Horror.

A couple members of the Stonehenge Writer’s Group write some excellent horror. That’s a genre that is incredibly difficult to pull off without being cheesy or letting down your readers at the end of the story. Kudos to those who do it well!

I believe horror can be roughly divided into two main groups. The first: Grab the reader’s attention by drowning them in blood and gore. The second: Rub the reader’s nerves raw, slowly, agonizingly, with an ever-increasing application of tension — knowing something bad is about to happen, perhaps when you turn the very next page…

Okay, reading that back I guess it’s obvious which type of horror I prefer.  Not that I mind well done blood and gore. I just prefer to have it as a climax to a great story, not the main reason for the story. That’s just my preference. I know there are many who will vehemently disagree. So for this post, let’s agree to disagree. For me, the best is incredibly creepy OMG-is-it-going-to-get-me-NOW horror.

So, what do you find horrifyingly creepy? Something realistic? Ghostly? Monsterous? Something tangible, like a phone call with no one there? Or the intangible, like the glimpse of a shadow where it doesn’t belong?

Continue reading “Do You Prefer Yours With Blood and Gore, Or Unrelenting Creepiness?”

Pre-Orders Available for Audrey Murphy

The newest Stonehenge Circle Writers release, Audrey Murphy by Karen Blakely, will be out on January 15th.  You can pre-order the Kindle edition now!

Order your copy

Here’s a little more about the story:

Newcomer Andie Murray enjoyed feeling nearly invisible until three of the most popular girls challenged her to spend an entire night in the town’s haunted house.

Andie doesn’t believe in haunted houses. Which is good, because she’ll be staying in the same place where the town’s vengeful ghost died, exactly one hundred years before. To the day.

People in town still argue whether Audrey’s death was an accident or suicide – or murder.

The house has been abandoned ever since. It crouches at the end of Pierce Road like something wounded. The porch sags to one side. The shutters hang askew. Only weeds and rot grow there now.

But something is brooding inside.

Andie is supposed to stay in the house until dawn. If she can. But will she be staying there alone? Will the ghost haunt her through the empty, decaying halls — like she’s haunted Andie’s dreams? Or could the house, or someone else, have different plans? Should Andie be afraid that ghosts are real, or is someone real what she should really fear? Could she end up dead, like

Audrey Murphy

Cover Reveal: Audrey Murphy

We’re so pleased to share the cover from our next Stonehenge Circle Writers book release: Audrey Murphy by Karen Blakely will be out on January 15th, a date with special significance within the book.

First, a little about the story, with the back-of-the-book blurb:

Newcomer Andie Murray enjoyed feeling nearly invisible until three of the most popular girls challenged her to spend an entire night in the town’s haunted house.

Andie doesn’t believe in haunted houses. Which is good, because she’ll be staying in the same place where the town’s vengeful ghost died, exactly one hundred years before. To the day.

People in town still argue whether Audrey’s death was an accident or suicide – or murder.

The house has been abandoned ever since. It crouches at the end of Pierce Road like something wounded. The porch sags to one side. The shutters hang askew. Only weeds and rot grow there now.

But something is brooding inside.

Andie is supposed to stay in the house until dawn. If she can. But will she be staying there alone? Will the ghost haunt her through the empty, decaying halls — like she’s haunted Andie’s dreams? Or could the house, or someone else, have different plans? Should Andie be afraid that ghosts are real, or is someone real what she should really fear? Could she end up dead, like

Audrey Murphy

And now scroll down for a very special video cover reveal!

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