How I incorporated Mythology into my book.

Mythology in writing
Just earlier today I posted this post on Banshees from the Irish mythology but I figured I could also share how I incorporated this into my story.

In falling for Pink my main character Peggy McCarthy is a banshee which means that her scream heralds death.

But the thing is that when I started planning this story I wasn’t really sure where she gets this power from – I wasn’t exactly planning to use mythology.
So my first piece of planning for Peggy was how she looks.
Peggy is a 17 year old girl with pale skin and bright pink hair. She wears pastels or large sweaters. She wears a lot of armbands on her arms and occasionally she covers her pink hair with a beanie.

This does not sound like the pail ghosts that Banshees are sometimes described as.
So when I started researching banshees I latched onto the idea that they can shape shift. They are rumoured to be seen in three different ways – the young woman, the matron and the hag.
The stories also say that they only come out at night and that they hide in the forests.
All this came down to me as a mentality of hiding.
Banshees want to be hidden. The shape shifting is just something they do to hide.

 

So this worked perfectly for me because Peggy is an insecure girl who wants to hide. She has this voice of fear telling her to hide and run.
Peggy can’t shape shift in this book though.
I had to ask if you are a 17 year old monster who always feel like hiding, why the hell would you dye your hair bright pink?
The answer is so people don’t see the real you. People only look at her pink hair and ear piercings, which means that no one looks close enough to notice that she’s a monster.

 

My second problem was that I didn’t actually want Peggy’s scream to kill people, so I wove a reason, for her powers to be a bit duller, into her family lines.
Peggy is a half breed. Her mother was a banshee and her father was one of the people that her mother was supposed to haunt.
Her parents fell in love and raised Peggy together.

This fit like a glove because it explained why she can’t shape shift as well. Her whole Banshee side has been thinned out because her father is one of the very people that the banshees haunt.

This also leaves Peggy without anyone to haunt which is why she can live where she wants to and not have to follow anyone around.

 

The final thing of banshee lore that I added was her surname. If her father is from one of the families her mother had to haunt then there is a specific group of surnames that I could choose from.
So I chose the surname McCarthy which fit her name well, and also fit in with the rest of my story.

 

Do you think this works? Are there any more theories that you think I could add, or a question you would like to ask?

I really loved writing this story and I hope you will love reading it one day.

The Irish mythology known as the Banshee

Okay let’s talk mythology.

 

Irish mythology_ banshees

 

On to draft 2 of my story Loving Pink and I once again had to revisit my research on Irish mythology to make sure I have all my facts right.
To those of you who don’t know in my paranormal romance novel the main character, Peggy McCarthy, is a banshee.

 

Banshees are a very popular Irish Myth, and basically they would be described as Female spirits whose song or scream is a sign that someone is going to die.

 

Physically they have been described in many different ways over the years.

Some people say that they are gorgeous pale ghosts with white hair. Yet other times they are described as horribly ugly old hags.
They have also been described as plain washerwoman who looks much like everyone else but the clothes they wash have blood on it.
A common theory is that they are shape shifters that can transform from being a beautiful young maiden, to a mother, to a hag.

 

There are also conflicting stories for where they can be found.

Some of the more plain versions say that the banshees are found in Irish forests.
The more common myth though is that banshees follow certain Irish families around. They haunt the families, mark the deaths with their voices and then take care of the deceased spirits.
These families are of Goidelic origins which means that they are decedents of natives of Ireland and not decedents of the English, Norse or Norman invaders

 

With so many conflicting stories though, the question of the banshee’s origin is often lifted.

Where does the myth of Banshees come from?

There are strong beliefs that the myth of Banshees come from the traditional Irish keeners – who are woman that sing a lament over someone who died.
You can clearly see how the banshees and the keening woman can be connected. Except where the keeners sing after the death the banshee sings before the death; thus heralding that it will happen.

 

This has been really awesome topic for me to research and to bend a little to fit my story.
It’s really interesting to me, and it’s the reason why Ireland is at the top of my travel list.
If I have any facts wrong feel free to tell me, because I’ve only found all this out over the internet anyway 😛

(My top source: Irish Celtic Jewels) Read it for more information.

 

If you like this post please share or comment, I would love to hear what you think about banshees.

 

Sneak preview into my work in progress.

 

I know that I should publish a creative life post but unfortunately I haven’t written it yet…

 

Sneak preview

 

I’m not going to make any excuses but to make it up to you I will give you a little bit of insights into my current work in progress High Queen.

Currently the story only has about two scenes written and is still poorly planned but what I can share with you is some world building.

 

A long time ago the Caeli people were at war with each other. The five different kingdoms all battled for as much ground as they could. They never got along, they never compromised and they never shared.

Eventually though a great enemy came in from the coast and faced with sudden destruction the Caeli kingdoms joined together. Alliances were formed and after a massive battle the enemy was banished.

The king who killed the enemy was then announced the High King and the other kings swore to serve under his rule. This Kingship system is still the governing system in place – and the High King’s heirs are still on the throne. This new great Kingdom is called Caelum.

With so many years past, details of the enemy had been lost, but rumours have it that it is held captive somewhere in the massive forest which grows next to the capital city.

The fear of it is what drove the citizens to start painting protective marks on their house walls and the city’s streets. They claim that the markings can keep the old enemy away.

Despite the fact that a large amount of people simply believe this is superstition they still paint – which leaves the capital city one of the brightest places to live as layers and layers of paint have been used to create these patterns.

Since the ancient times, the Caeli have turned their eyes outwards and made alliances with the surrounding nations.
These surrounding nations include the giants, the humans, the pixies and the pirates (fancy names still need to be created)

 

 

This series is going to start with the newest High Queen, Aster who has to face a monster that may or may not have snuck out of the forest. Her only help is the shy young Lord Nickolas and the Princess Flam whose mother is bent on dethroning Aster. But then you can’t always choose your friends can you?

 

That’s the small sneak view that I can give you today. Please let me know if you like the idea of the story so far and then I’ll post again on Friday (or Saturday because I’m tardy)

 

Finished with draft 2!

It’s 11:30 pm and I just finished with the second draft of Falling for Pink and I’m just so excited about this!
I literally sat down read it from beginning to end after not touching it in over a month and fixed any spelling errors or plot holes that I came across.

 

The amazing thing is that I have been putting this off because I’ve been sure that it’ll be bad – and I was honestly surprised. Especially by my characters who I thought where going to be figurative garbage.
They weren’t and it’s like I got to know them again for the first time. This time I wasn’t focusing on if they are consistent as characters but instead I simply read it and hoped that how they feel authentic.

 

If you asked me a month ago to describe Peggy the main character I would have said she was insecure, slightly pathetic but at least she tries… sounds stupid right but while I have always loved writing Peggy I was certain that this was the case and that no one would ever want to read about her.
Now I’ve reread the story and actually got to witness Peggy and not write her my mood about her changed completely.
She’s funny and romantic and gutsy when she feels like it. Yes she’s insecure but that’s a massive part of what the book is based on and I don’t feel like it makes her less of a character. She’s awkward but not afraid to call people out and I absolutely love her.

 

Benjamin the love interest has also been completely misunderstood by me – his creator.
A month ago I would have said he was respectable, confident, and even headed. BOY would I have been lying.
Benjamin King is a rebel, and a bit of a moody teenager. He’s a flirt and a goof but he has morals even if he takes unconventional ways to reach them. More than just that he literally does not care about other people’s nonsense. He rolls his eyes in the face of danger and I love him almost as much as I love Peggy.

 

 

Here is a quote that I feel just says so much about the couple and is part of the reason I love them.

 

“Do you really think you and I can be a good couple? I mean your parents don’t even know that I’m a banshee, your sister still mostly dislikes me and I’m still not really good at handling people, especially not your aunt,” Peggy said.
Benjamin shrugged.
“It’s not like I’m any better,” he said.
Peggy frowned at him shook her head.
“You’re stubborn, charming, and not at all bad to look at either.”
“And you think you’re not?”
Peggy shrugged. She wasn’t a pretty girl, and she wasn’t aiming to be one either which was why she had piercings and pink hair.
He simply shook his head. “It’s a shame that you don’t see what I see then.”

 

They’re just so cute!
The hard part for me right now is I’m the only fan of this story (because I’m the only one who has read it) so bare with me if I choose to fan girl about it here.

Right now my next step with Pink is to send it off to Beta readers and then I have an editor friend who said she’ll look at it in the holidays. So I’m super excited about this right now and hopefully you’ll be seeing some more inside sneak peeks here.

 

I should probably go to bed but I have this really stupid urge to draw fanart…
Or is it concept art if I’m the writer???

 

Anyway, I can’t wait for you all to read the book hopefully I get someone to read it soon so I can have someone to talk to about it 🙂

A writer’s roots.

 

I always tell people that I started writing at the age of 14 and never stopped. I guess it’s kind of true – that is when I wrote my first novel – but there are a couple of stories I wrote before that though.
For example, I stumbled onto 3 chapters of an unfinished story I wrote at around the age of 9 or ten. My creative mind back then had dubbed this story “The war between life and death”
10 year old I was quite dramatic…
It’s actually a pretty cool story. Aside for the bad writing style, I loved rereading it.

 

Those 800 something words made me smile and realize 3 things.

1. If my mother ever tells you my writing is dark she’s right. If she tells you it hasn’t always been that way, she’s lying.
It seems when I was 10 I was quite capable of killing of two young lovers – in not such nice ways.
2. I also learned that no matter what I say, I have always been writing. I have writing roots that goes back to my days of learning the alphabet, when I simply wrote my name on every surface I could find.
3. I love my own writing – old and new.
I hear writers complain about their first pieces because according to them it’s cringe worthy to read. I have to admit my early writing is far from well written but I still love it; and if “The war between life and death” wasn’t written in Afrikaans I probably would have shared it here like a proud mama with an awkward child.

 

Writing by Enette Venter
I can’t share the story here though, so what I’m going to do is share the gist with you and then you can tell me if you want me to write an English version of this story to share on here. Do we have a deal?

Ok so, it starts out with a fairy and a vampire who had fallen in love and met each other in the woods in secret. There they planted a flower that symbolized their love for one another.
One day the vampire was unknowingly followed by one of his friends, who had noticed his disappearances. This hidden vampire was shocked to see his friend dancing with a fairy in the shade of the forest.
So the hidden vampire watched as his friend pulled the fairy in for a kiss. Unfortunately fairies and vampires are not meant to be, because when they kissed the sun that so adores the fairies shone on the pair and of course no vampire could survive sunlight…
Don’t judge, I was ten…
So the vampire died then and there and while the fairy fell to her knees with grief the hidden vampire snuck out of the woods and killed her in anger. He thought that she had killed his friend on purpose.

(I told you I killed people mercilessly. This was just the prologue)

Okay so the story then continues when one of the fairy’s werewolf friends went looking for her and came across the scene. Along with the fairy’s corpse he found the flower that the fairy and vampire had planted.
Out of this flower, that represented their love a small fairy was born.
This is the main character of my story – who is half fairy, half vampire and raised by werewolves.

The story then goes on when the kid is 10 and explains a little about how the incident had led to a war between the living and the dead. I’m not actually sure what was supposed to happen in the rest of the story because it ended around then.

 

 

I’m fairly certain this story was inspired by the fairytale Thumbelina and a book I had been reading at the time called “Cry of the Icemark”

When I look back now, I really like the idea of her being half fairy, half vampire. I think the other characters would have been hesitant of her and unsure is she will be more vampire or more fairy. I think this could lead to the girl feeling isolated and as her vampire heritage starts setting in she’ll start to fear herself more and more.
I think it could be fun to rewrite (except maybe up her age a little so it’s a YA story)
I would like to be able to play with her persona.

I also kind of wonder how the different races interpret the day when the lovers died. This was the incident that caused the war between the living and the dead so now I wonder how each race would see that event.
The vampires I think would tell how a fairy had seduced one of their own (Presumably he was an important vampire) and then killed him.
The fairies on the other hand would have only found out about it later and so their version doesn’t have to be based off the truth at all. Perhaps they think the vampires had hunted down the fairy and killed her as a message or something…

I can’t really remember what 10 year old me was thinking when I wrote this. I wish I remember because the stupid thing ends on a cliff hanger where the half fairy/vampire kid and her werewolf guardian get captured by humans.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

(Sorry mum for always leaving you with only half finished stories. I know how you feel now.)

 

 

So anyway I really loved getting back in touch with my writing roots and realizing that I write, not because other people want me to but, because I love my own stories.
I know I sound a little full of myself when I say that but to me writing is a lot like reading because these stories feel separate from me. As if once I put it on paper, it’s no longer a part of me and so I only write to see how the story will look on paper… and I think the story looks pretty.

 

Now the plan is to start publishing a couple of short stories here on the blog and I was wondering if you would like “The war between life and death” to be one of them.
So please let me know if I should rewrite this story so you could read it. I think it might be fun to give it a shot.

Okay I’m off. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for future short stories.

 

The Prologue and title release for my next novel :)

I don’t really feel like doing much in the way of introductions for this next piece of writing. All you need to know is it’s the prologue of my next novel trilogy.
The first book will be called the “High Queen of Esnium.”
It’s high fantasy and I hope you like it!

High Queen of Esnium – Prologue.

“If you don’t make it to tomorrow’s dinner I will stab you with a fork,” Aster’s mother threatened her. The woman’s face was bright with laughter despite the threat and the tip of her nose was bright pink from the cold air.
Aster wondered what all the court members would say of their beloved High Queen if they saw her like that – dressed in flight pants and with her light hair pulled into a tight braid and not a single pearl on her. At that moment, the High Queen looked less like her normally noble and delicate self but more like… well Aster.
“There’s no need to threaten her,” Aster’s dad said stretching his one wing into his wife’s direction. “You only need to tell her that young Nick will be there and she’ll be there two hours early.”
Aster’s face was pink, and it wasn’t simply because of the cold mountain air. She pulled her wings in close to her as she turned her back on both of her parents and walked over to the edge of the cliff.
The mountains where empty this time of year, when instead of soft green grass it was covered in stone hard ice. The sun was just starting to come up, and painted the sky bright greens and blues – the brightness of the colours contrasting with the white earth.
“I’m not going to the party,” Aster said, her voice sullen despite the smile she was hiding from them. “Regardless of who is coming.”
“Yes, you are coming,” Aster’s mother said again. “I invited King Tatsuo and his son. They are both attending. I want you to try and make friends with the boy.”
“He’s just kid,” Aster moaned.
“You’re acting like a kid right now,” Aster’s mother said. “Please Aster, after the incident this summer; it’s as if the whole alliance with them has been on edge. Tomorrow is to help smooth things over.”
Aster’s dad was quiet but Aster could picture him frowning. Her mother had a knack for knowing when things were about to go wrong, so her words seemed more like a warning then simply a request for help.
Aster turned to her parents again. They were the two most regal people she knew, and that meant quite something. Her father had great big purple wings, that marked him as High King but she had the feeling that even without the wings no one would be able to mistake him for anything less than noble. He stood tall and strong, his one arm around his wife’s waist as he looked down at her with a slight frown.
The high Queen herself was looking right at Aster.
“Come on, please?” she asked sweetly.
Aster knew that if she disagreed one more time, all the nice asking would vanish and her mother would still have her stuffed in a dress in time for the party. She still didn’t want to go – the whole ball would be thrown in honour of her – the heir to the throne – and honestly she couldn’t help but feel like it was wrong. The title wasn’t meant for her.
Aster pulled in a deep breath at the sight of her mother’s face and knew that she had lost.
“Fine, I’ll go,” Aster said.
The queen started to grin and pulled out of her husband’s embrace as she walked out to Aster, her arms outstretched.
“It’s going to be so much fun, you’ll see. I have the perfect dress planned out for you” The queen put her hands on Aster’s shoulders.
Aster regretted her decision on the spot but caught her dad smiling at her. Their eyes met for a moment before he nodded his thanks.
Perhaps if she did this, she might at least be useful as an heir.
Her mum’s hands went stiff on Aster’s shoulders. Aster frowned at her and looked up to see her mum staring just past her into the open air.
“What is it?” Aster asked starting to turn around.
“We need to get out of here,” Aster’s mum said pushing Aster away from the edge. Aster’s dad caught on immediately and reached out for the two of them. He was too late.
A great big arrow whizzed past Aster’s head, missing her and her mother by a hair’s breath. Aster was facing just the right direction to see it thump into her dad’s chest.
Her breath caught but she opened her mouth to scream anyway. Her dad – her king – stumbled back a step. Then fell.
Aster’s mother pushed her backwards now, straight towards the edge of the cliff. The ground gave way beneath Aster’s feet and finally the scream broke free of her lungs.
Aster screamed even as she flung open her wings. She screamed as she finally caught a glimpse of the giants standing on a nearby peak. She screamed as her mother spread her own multicoloured wings to slow their fall.
Their fall broke into a stumbling glide and they fell away from the attacking giants, as well as where they had left her dad.
Another arrow was fired and went straight through the queen’s left wing.
The High Queen screamed in pain, and they fell the last bit.
Aster struck her head and stars filled her vision. She ignored it and scrambled out from beneath her mother. She managed to push herself onto her haunches before the world started to tilt. She balanced her footing even as she grabbed her mum by the arms.
“Come on mum,” Aster said pulling. “We need to get out of here.”
Her mum looked up at Aster, her eyes glazed slightly over, the traces of magic was clear in the queen’s face. Aster had only seen this happen to her mum once before and her heart sank.
“We’re not going to make it,” The queen said with certainty. Aster shook her head.
“Yes we are,” she said. “We’re going home now.”
She pulled on her mother’s arms one more time and managed to pull her mother into a sitting position. The whole world shifted at the movement. Aster stumbled and had to let go of her mum to steady herself.
She saw him then. A giant dressed in a fur coat stood not ten steps away from them, crossbow in hand.
“I already saw one of my children die,” The queen whispered.
Aster’s turned to her mum to warn her about the giant. It wasn’t necessary.
Her mother grabbed at Aster, her grip strong as she started to whisper.
“Mum, no,” Aster started but before she knew it darkness enveloped her. Cold stone closed around her and she opened her mouth to scream but the cold filled her mouth too. She tried to look for her mum, but the High queen was gone.
So was everything else.


There it is!
The Prologue of a story not yet completely planned out. Over the next few weeks, as I write the rough draft I will be giving you character stories, plot plans, world building secrets and of course pieces of writing like this one.
Do you have any questions so far? Please don’t be afraid to comment!

Pink update

novel-updates

I finished Pink about two weeks ago (sorry for not telling you sooner) and so now I get to start focusing on other things.
How Pink went.
First of all, my novel ‘Pink’ is standing on a decent 60 000 words and I actually like how its plot turned out. It was genuinely weird to write because I’ve never written a romance before but I decided that I have to give it a go and I don’t think I did too badly.

What I’m planning to do from here off on is not quite planned out yet because I’m still waiting for some factors about next year to come in, so I can know exactly how much time I’ll have to dedicate to my writing life.
What I do know though, is that I’ll be either editing it myself, or get someone to edit it for me, so I can put up more chapters onto WattPad. I want to share this story with you and anyone else who wants to read it because I feel like it’s a good place for me to start this journey of mine until I really have a plan for how I’m going to get published.

 
You see next year is looking a little hectic.
I have some hard school subjects some of which I’ve never had before and I’m probably rewriting my math from 2016 because I don’t feel like I did good enough in the exam this year so I’m choosing to redo it if I don’t get like 75%
There’s some fun things added to the schedule though! I now have two adorable cousins to tutor in the afternoons which are double the one that had in 2016. I’m actually looking forward to that, even though they keep me at the house a lot and really busy. (That means no going out or writing in the afternoons)
Because my workload is doubling, the money my aunt is paying me is also almost doubling which is actually really cool because if I save all of it I might (note the words might) be able to buy myself a new laptop at the end of the year. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year now because the one I’m currently using has battery issues which means I can only use it while plugged in and it over heats easily.

 

I have other things on the schedule such as band practices, musical instruments to master, tutors to see about school subjects and a couple of other things.
It’s not really that I have a lot to do but a lot of the things I do need to do, takes either a lot of time and concentration or it causes a lot of stress.
Since I know I’m bad at handling stressed I’m a little scared of 2017

 

I’m scared because I can’t trust myself to remain calm in times of stress and in 2016 it was exactly stress that caused me to struggle with writer’s block for the first part of the year.
It’s because I put the things I stress about before writing that I stopped blogging properly last year and I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to work past it in 2017.

 

I want to write.
I want to write in 2017 and in the years after that. I want to write books and I want to give writing courses, but I can’t just ignore everything else to do that.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to revaluate my methods of working and reprioritize what I need to focus on.
I need to decide where I’m going with my studies, because I know the aim is to go to university but that’s not good enough anymore, I need to know what I want to do with my education and what exactly it is I want to go study when I’m done with high school.
This post has degraded into a ramble but I don’t mind because it means it was really productive for me, in a way to help me refocus myself and I actually feel the beginning of a plan start to form in my head.
So I’m going to call the end of this post, and then once I have more details on my plan I’ll share it.

btw: I’m writing the writing lessons for 2017 in advance and I’m nearly done with February. I’ll be telling you more about that soon as well so keep an eye out for my next posts.