What a perfect day to finish my beta copy of Out of Ashes. It’s been amazing to work on the latest draft and, despite life getting in the way, I’ve put the final changes into my final chapters all in time to finish 2020.
Well… technically. The final chapters just need a SpaG edit, then they’re off to Critique Circle for feedback.
I find the opening and final chapters have to do so much. The opening has to set enough up so the reader can follow the story as it unfolds. And the final chapters have to wrap everything up in a neat little bow.
If you’ve done everything right, then your final chapters will bring the story and characters together in one beautiful coda. Some things fade away over several pages while others go out with a bang in one paragraph. But you need to give a satisfactory conclusion whether it’s a single book or part of a series.
That’s not to say you can’t leave things open as long as they’re not key plot points. Where the characters’ lives go from here is still questionable, but the final moments of the book work best when they complete the short-term goals you set for them earlier in the book. If you want a more definitive conclusion, you could write an epilogue or have the final chapter be several years later. Show what the character did with what they learned in their story.
Everything must begin and end somewhere. Make it a great start with an even greater finish.
And Happy New Year!!!Title image by at Mati-foto Pixabay.com
Inspiration comes from all kinds of places for me. There isn’t one single source that I can draw from. Seasonal things are inspirational too, like renewing things in spring, relaxing in the summer heat, or enjoying the beautiful colours of autumn.
Winter cheer isn’t so different from Christmas cheer for me, but in the spirit of holiday equality, there are lots of ways to brighten up the darkest months of the year that aren’t obvious Christmas decorations. Also, this means you can put them up early and leave them up well after Christmas and have the excuse, “They’re not Christmas decorations. They’re winter decorations.” 🤣
Lights in a bowl. I have plug-in lights mixed with Christmas baubles, but just the lights would look really pretty and brighten up a dark hallway in winter. Or you could use battery LED lights in a glass or a small vase.
LED candles.😍 I love them soooo much. They’re safe and pretty, and you can move them around if you want them in different rooms. I have a few candle holders about the flat, so LED tea lights look fantastic in them.
Or try coloured candles for decoration. I have some scented ones in sparkly glasses. I never light them because I don’t trust my cats with candles, but they look and smell really nice.
Light-up wall art. This beautiful winter picture acts like a night light in my hallway. It’s just as beautiful without the lights.
Add sparkly and shiny things to normal things. The candle normally has potpourri around it, but in winter, I swap it for some beads and painted pinecones. I swap my fake flowers for wintery twigs and add glittered twigs or flowers to them. You can’t see very well in the photo, but the glittery twigs have LED lights on them. They broke a while ago, but I still like the glitter in the vase.
My ten-month-old kitten, Tinkerbell, very helpfully pointed out my practical peg lights. They’re just on my desk organiser right now, but sometimes I string them up and peg photos or Christmas cards on them.
I’m like a flower. I need light and warmth and pretty things. Hah, that last one makes me sound awfully materialistic. I can’t help it if I like shiny and sparkly things. Maybe that’s what makes me a cat person.
Anyway, don’t le the darkest months drain your cheer and inspiration.
And here’s my Christmas playlist again. There are some wintery songs on there, too. Enjoy…
Some people love Christmas songs and carols while others despise them. That’s okay. I sometimes hate them myself.
Not this year. I’m loving pretty versions of Christmas classics and modern songs. I’ve found even more inspiration to spark my creativity. It’s mostly musical, but I like writing to tinkly Christmas music. It’s calming, thought provoking, and just really nice to listen to.
Some of my favourite Christmas music comes from ballets like The Nutcracker’s Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy is one of my favourites. I found a version by Lindsey Stirling after a friend mentioned her. She also plays a lovely Carol of the Bells, which I wanted to learn but was too basic on the flute at the time. Now I can play it on my keyboard and I’m learning Silent Night on the violin, which I’m doing really well with. I can play it really well on flute and piano because it’s a simple tune.
I’ve been having so much fun with music lately and it’s helped a lot with my writing because I feel all creative and jolly. It’s nice to feel jolly after such a complicated year all around, plus a horrible year and Christmas last year.
After everything we’ve all gone through this year, we need the Christmas spirit more than ever. Even if you don’t celebrate it, you can have your own merry spirit.