Welcome to the Darkside...

...join me, Akasha Savage, as I brave the deepest dungeons and scale the misty mountains to achieve my dream: to see my novel Bathory in print. I will take you by the hand and keep you beside me as I cross this uncharted territory...

...let us step into the moonlit darkness together...

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Rituals, Routine and Writing.

I have a note stuck to my fridge with a magnet. It says: My house is a hovel, cos I'm writng a novel. I pinched the idea from another female author who, like me, would rather concentrate on her writing than keeping her home spick and span. Obviously that is only true to a point; I do take care of the basics, although I have never been one for regimental housework - even when not writing - life's too short. But there is a flip side to that statement: I find I can't fully concentrate on my creative work if I know there is a sinkful of washing-up waiting in the kitchen downstairs, or dirty laundry that needs loading into the machine, or food that needs preparing for dinner. I have found that I need to have a more or less clutter free mind before I can sit down at my laptop.

Without realising it I have slipped into a routine.

Firstly I tend to any little jobs around the house, jobs that I know will niggle away in my head while I'm writing if I don't sort them out beforehand.

Then I check my emails and quickly check my blog, twitter and facebook comments. Again, this plays on my mind if I don't get it done and dusted. I don't answer or comment myself (that's my reward after I have done some serious writing), but I have to see what their status is!

And while I'm actually writing...?

Well. If it's during the day, I have to take a freshly brewed mug of coffee up to my room with me, and a couple of biscuits. In the evening (that's any time after seven o' clock) a glass (or two) of wine doesn't go amiss!

Finally, I find, I write better if I don my big old baggy navy blue dressing gown with a hood...think monks attire, it won't be far wrong!...I have had this gown for over ten years - and yes, it has seen better days! - but it is so comfy and slobby, that I love it.

I then, and only then, can close the door of my mind to reality and step into my own little world....

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Exquisite Corpse.

Back in the early 1900's, a technique was invented by the Surrealists of that time. It was very similar to that of Picture Consequences - which I'm sure at some time you've all played. I know I have. The techinique was given the name The Exquisite Corpse, for an obvious reason...as you will see!

A group of people are all given a sheet of paper.

On the very top they have to write 'The' and an adjective. Fold over the paper to hide the words, and pass it along to the person on the right.

Write a noun. Fold it over. Pass it on.

Write an adverb. Fold it over. Pass it on.

Write a verb. Fold it over. Pass it on.

Write 'The' and an adjective. Fold it and pass it.

Write a noun. Fold it and pass it.

Everyone reads out the sentence they've got.

The Surrealists first sentence read:

'The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.'

Pretty cool. Huh?

So. That was the exercise my writers group did this month. We also decided to come up with a short story based on the sentences we ended up with!

My sentences are:

The smoky classroom noisily grazed the colourful candlestick.
The delicate carpet grumpily meandered the black underpass. (I like this one best.)

Give it a go. It's a fun way to spend a cold winter's night.
With a glass of wine of course!

Today's Word Count ~ 675 :)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Once upon a time....

Is it just me or do other writers have a hard time finding a good beginning to their stories? I'm not talking short stories here - I've never had a problem when it comes to starting one of my short stories - it's my novel, Bathory, I'm talking about. It took me absoultely ages to find a beginning I was truly happy with. I rewrote my first chapter five times before settling on the one I have now. I either wasn't happy with the character I chose to start the story with. . .or the location it took place in . . .or the dialogue . . or where I picked up the action: was it too early in the story?...or too late?

Without a doubt Chapter One was the hardest chapter I have had to write so far. But I am finally happy with it.

Have any of you stumbled across the same problem?

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Today's word count~634

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A real-life Bathory!

Something amazing happened about three days ago. . .well, amazing to me anyway. I was online looking up something I needed to know about Erzsebet Bathory, when I stumbled across a website I'd never come across before: bathory.org. I could not believe it when I found out the website had been set up by an actual descendant of the evil countess herself, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, and not only that but what an interesting and informative site it turned out to be.

I believe Dennis lives in America, but he has visited Erzsebet Bathory's home: Castle Cachtice, Slovakia, three times. Each time he has kept a journal - parts of which can be read on his website - and he has downloaded lots of photos of the castle's ruins and the surrounding countryside. All of which I found so interesting and so helpful.

Also there was an email address at which Dennis could be contacted. So I sent him a letter. I introduced myself and told him of the novel I was writing. Within half an hour, much to my delight, Dennis had answered my email.

Dennis Bathory-Kitsz seems a lovely man. He offered to answer any questions I needed answering about the countess, he wished me luck in my project, and asked if he could read a couple of the chapters of my MS when it is ready for other eyes than my own.

This has made Erzsebet Bathory seem so much more real to me, and given me a boost to finish my novel. So, thank you Dennis.

Dennis is working on an exciting project of his own: producing an opera telling the life of Countess Bathory.

I wish him all the best :)

Today's word-count~487 :(