Circle of Trees: the characters

A short while ago, I wrote a blog post telling you about my latest novel in progress which I call the Circle of Trees (for the moment). I haven’t done much editing on that in the past few weeks, mainly because I’ve been working on a host of short stories (and a novella) for submission to anthologies.

However, I’m getting back to the point of not being so over-run with shorts that I want to enter, that I’m going to have more time to go back and edit again and it got me thinking.

When the idea for the Circle of Trees was born, the idea of both Francesca and Bryony grew with it. Two female lead protagonists whose relationship develops over the course of the novel and yes, they do become partners. It’s the first piece of fiction of a substantial length that I’ve written whereby I have same-sex characters who become at item. I knew, as soon as I saw them in my mind, that they would come together. It seemed like a natural course of progression and they are so well suited to each other.

The story follows Francesca and her belief in the supernatural. When Bryony goes missing, the only thing she can think of doing is going after her and bringing her back. The two have a very natural love story that is both strong and passes through a lot of trials and tribulations. I have really enjoyed writing their story.

Francesca is a down to earth girl, a worrier and someone that takes things to heart. Bryony on the other hand is a little more carefree, loves to party and will cross boundaries all the time. They balance each other out throughout the story and their lives and when they come together, it’s a moment that won’t easily be forgotten.

Same-sex relationships, although becoming more of the norm in today’s society, will still face criticism. There are some that don’t believe in it, some that don’t agree with it and some that don’t mind. I’m of the mind that if two people are in love, why does it matter what sex they are? And Francesca and Bryony are perfect for each other, the way that Rose and Jack from Titanic were perfect for each other despite their difference.

How do you feel about having a relationship of two characters of the same sex in a novel? Would it put you off reading? Would it make you pick up the book? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Working and Writing

I don’t know about you, but I’m not lucky enough to be able to write full time. I don’t expect to be able to write full time either and if I’m honest, I think I would become a major expert at procrastinating should it ever become the case! I work full time in order to support myself and my partner. I am lucky enough to actually really love my job. I am a support worker in a job where I meet new people regularly, work with some of the best colleagues I could ask for and I’m given full autonomy to make my own decisions and get on with my work. No two days are ever the same and I like that. I absolutely love it.

On the other hand, my job does get pretty tiring. I work a shift pattern of earlys, mids and lates. It’s a pattern that just recently came in too so I’m still trying to get used to it but after a full month run through I have to say I quite like it. The problem I’ve found so far is that, through my early shifts I come home still full of energy and raring to write. Which is obviously great.

The mids, I’ve found so far, have been the worst. The shift spans the middle of the day meaning I don’t really have a lot of time before or after work. I come home tired and struggle to write anything at all. The lates give me a little more time in the morning to write but of course it means I need to drag my ass out of bed and make a sustained effort to stay awake and write! (Okay, it’s not that bad considering I’m really a morning person!)

On top of this shift pattern, if you remember I’m going for a no zero day. So far I have succeeded (except one day in January) and I’m proud of myself but at the same time (particularly when I did those mid shifts) I found that I was maybe writing a couple of hundred words, if that, per day. And that really bums me. When I write I like to sit down and really crank out the word count otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much. Of course it won’t happen everyday but so far this month, my word count is pretty atrocious compared to January.

I have a lot of short stories on the go with ideas spinning through my mind as well as edits on a novel and I get frustrated when I don’t have time to sit and write (or edit). This weekend I’m off and as well as everything else (housework, DIY, gym, socialising), I hope to get some major writing done.

Do any of you work full time? What is your day job? How do you manage writing and working full time? If you don’t work, do you have any suggestions for us?