Meet Canadian Author K.A Hough- Guest Blog

“At my Writerly Desk with tea and biscuits” Karen Hough*
I’m Canadian, currently living in London with my husband and 3 kids. My blog is Dammit Karen and my website is Karen Hough Writes  My author name is “K.A. Hough.” My book is called Ground Control”

Writing by Discovery

In writing, there are plotters – people that plot out their stories and follow that plan – and there are pantsters, which are kindly called “discovery writers.” This pantster signed up for National Novel Writing Month 2019 (NaNoWriMo).

I had an idea, a “what if,” and I had a deadline. Every night that November, after the kids went to bed, I followed my characters around for approximately 1800 words. Some nights it took an hour to meet my wordcount; some nights it took four. It was stressful, and I was tired, but it was only 30 days. I tried not to think about it during the day.

As a “discovery writer,” I honestly had no idea what was ever going to happen next. As I typed, I’d suddenly realize something about a character’s past. Or I’d leave a note to myself in all caps that said, “HOW LONG TO GET TO MARS?” – because now they were going to Mars (unplanned by me, but that’s where they were going, so I should probably find out more about it if I was really going to write this ridiculous book). I did research as I went, and kept a spreadsheet of links to NASA, MarsONE and studies about soil bacteria, which had – also against my will – become an issue on the space shuttle, and one that I couldn’t fix for months. I wasn’t in control.

The story went off in weird tangents – not my story, because my story was never supposed to be about space and soil – it twisted and turned. I wrote completely without a plan, without an ending in mind, and somehow, I managed to type my last word – my 50,083rd – just before midnight on November 30th.

It wasn’t the story I had planned to write, and they weren’t perfect words but there were 50,000 of them. I put it away for a month, then read it with fresh eyes, and while it was still imperfect, it wasn’t terrible. Over the next six months, in lockdown, I revised, expanded and rewrote while my kids sat and homeschooled beside me.

NaNoWriMo was a grind, but it gave me the reasonably short timeframe and the motivation I needed to finally write a novel. I even sat down to do it again this year. I wrote another 50K words in 30 days, but this time I was prepared. I wasn’t a pantster this time: I had an outline, almost chapter-by-chapter, of what I wanted to happen and what I wanted to develop. This story wasn’t going to go rogue on me (though it did, here and there), but I discovered something else: it wasn’t as much fun.

Ground Control is being published in e-book, paperback and hardcover formats in the Spring

 

 

(*My dear friend Joanne’s niece)

Breakfast with the Queen

Breakfast with the Queen on Monday morning. Out on the front porch again while summer is still here.

I went and got the solar powered waving figurine out of the dining room window to join me for breakfast. Why?

My friend Vincie went to London (and Paris) last month and brought me a lovely souvenir. A jar of Rhubarb Raspberry Vanilla Bean Jam from Selfridges Food Hall. She knows those three are my favorite flavors. What a combination.

Fancy. Nothing like jam and butter on toast. Very tasty.

Put my two balls of sock yarn in the little shopping bag, too!

BTW Selfridges was voted Best Department Store in the World.

Wordless Wednesday*

IMG_7283*almost wordless

Mural by artist Dan Kitchener article by Maya Henry

Time Lapse Video of Mural Being Painted