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The Love of Dance

Friday, 31 July 2015

The senses can help develop character.

And here we are again – it is Friday! Gosh, and there was work, there was socialising, weddings, parties and yes, even some writing – all of which happened from last Saturday today, Friday. I don’t know how it has happened, but I don’t seem to have any spare time, which is a good thing – mostly.

I have managed to get some writing done, but none of it is typed up, that will have to wait a while. I have rewritten and started to reread the YA I'm submitting to a competition later in the year. I'm quite excited about ridding it of all the unnecessary parts and giving it a tummy tuck! Yes it does have a soggy middle and then there is the rather quick ending. All will be solved, fingers and everything crossed that is.

I have discovered a walk that I can do at lunch times within fifteen minutes and still eat my lunch. It is 1.023 miles. It is good to get out and walk briskly to invigorate the body and brain. I'm also hoping that it will stop the backside from spreading!

Work is going well, lots of new experiences and decisions to be made. Processes are coming together and with the wind blowing in the right direction and a little good luck everything will flow seamlessly as the work flows in. Exciting times. I love my job, I hope it will continue this way.


This week’s writing prompt is to sit quietly in a corner of a room, any room and listen. What can you hear? Don’t just listen to the chatter or the birds, listen to the things that usually go unnoticed the sounds underneath the norm. Now use your other senses - look, smell and feel what is around you. Now pick two of the characters below and put them into a scenario where all your observations are used to enhance your piece of writing. 

You can pick any of the boxes or one person from one box and a second from another. 
The main part of this is to play with characterisation and how you can use the senses to enhance your writing. 

So there you are, go and get writing. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Exciting times with work and writing and social things.

Friday made me smile. It was pouring with rain outside and had been torrential most of the day, but inside it was been warm and cosy, most of the time! Which is why I was shocked when I dashed outside with my hair tucked into my trusty old hat and did the high heeled, tippy toe sprint across the car park, through the puddles with my skin glistening on my shoulders. The car was freezing and my heater took ages to heat up, ten minutes, but eventually I was dry and cosy again! The same process happened when I got home. The house was also freezing, but I cooked oven chips so it soon warmed up. Too tight to put the heating on in the summer!

Work has been so good this week. I'm learning more and more and with each day. There are many wonderful people in the office and all willing to support when I can’t find what I need.

Saturday found me attending a wonderful wedding and for the first time ever, I cried. It was a special wedding of two friends of mine. The power of their commitment was radiating throughout the church and the love from them was tangible. At the reception, I touched base with many friends that I've not seen for a couple of years, and made some new contacts. Saw some of the children I used to teach and after four years you really see how grown up they are now. 
Sunday brought a 30th Birthday party and a good time socialising and catching up with my best friend. Lots of fun.

I had my first dancing lesson in three years – I loved it. I can’t wait for the next one. I still don’t have my own dancing partner, but I dance with my imaginary partner, marking things out and it seems to be working and on occasion the trainer dances with me, which is great as he leads so well. So following is easy.

The Windmill Writers were great again this week. We had a chat about how to critique, how critiquing is about receiving and giving. Don’t just expect others to comment on your work if you aren't willing to listen intently and give feedback. We can’t have it being a one way street. After this the critiques given were much improved.
I've managed to get some good writing done and many edits. Things are moving along nicely. Heading for three competitions this year. Exciting times. 

For the topic task this week, I want you to look at the image to find inspiration to write a piece of writing. This can be, fiction, poetry or non-fiction. You decide. Think about your target market, where you will sell your writing and why not give it a go and send it out?

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Editing, plot plans & synopsis it is all a labour of love.

A fantastic week. I've had a lots to do both at my day job and with my writing. I've been having fun with new characters and learning more about them as they allow me to delve into their lives. Even characters I thought I knew well, are surprising me. I'm hoping this is a good thing. During the Windmill Writers meeting this week it was pointed out that the male voice in my piece wasn't male enough. This made me think. So I went into work and spoke to men and after a while I gleaned a new kind of speech pattern that might work. I've put some ideas together and have now rewritten the piece. This means I have lopped off about 300 words and when I type up the edits I’ll see if it has improved.

I'm also working on tightening up a YA novel to enter into a competition. At present it has a bit of a soggy middle. There is a lot of work to be done? And I'm going to have to put together a chapter by chapter plot plan, which I've never done before. I believe this is to show the character arc and the major events in each chapter.  I'm sure this will allow me to see where the weak points might be and if any chapter doesn't have a major event crucial to the plot it might have to go or be restructured accordingly. It will be a labour of love. And the one page synopsis. I still hate them, but will endeavour to make this one the best I've ever achieved. 

Editing is one of the hardest parts of writing. Getting the book written in the first place is difficult enough, but editing is more painful. You may have to chop out whole scenes you are in love with just because they don’t need to be there, they are superfluous to the plot. Hard, cruel and heart-breaking, yes, but it will improve your work tenfold if you are brutal for the right reason. I know this is correct, but doing it is excruciatingly painful. Tearing yourself away from being the creator to becoming the improver. So wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it is coming on as I hack my way through my WIP with my metaphorical sword.

For this week’s writing task choose one of the following:

  • Yesterday should never have happened.
  • What! In the grave yard? You have to be joking, right?
  • Tuppence took sixpence out for a walk and we've not seen them since.

You decided what genre to write these prompts. What is your target market? Think about where this piece of writing could be sent for publication. Why not write, edit and submit your work. Whatever you decide to do, please remember to engage your reader throughout your work
.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Small Steps Forward

This has been a rather lovely week. Work is busy, but good. There was a moment when I could pass on some words of wisdom to a colleague. We were discussing growing tomato plants, as you do, and I mentioned that mine had a few nice little tomatoes already. My friend has been growing hers in the green house and she said the tomatoes weren't setting. It was at this point I explained that when tomatoes are in the greenhouse the bees might not be going in to pollinate.  I told her what my father did and said I’d make her a cat fluff brush so she could pollinate them herself. She was so chuffed when I took the little brush in to work the next day. Not sure the cat was that happy, as she had to suffer the combing and she hates that with a passion. My friend is now looking forward to lots of cherry tomatoes in a month or so as long as she tickles them properly.

I've been so pleased with the way my writing has been progressing this week, well over the last couple of weeks. I've started a new WIP which appears to be writing itself. I'm loving what is appearing on the page. I read the first part at the Windmill Writers which went down very well. Apparently it is a little saucy and has a strong voice. So I'm obviously doing something right. I'm managing around 1500 words a day, which is good considering I'm at work all day and writing at night and making notes during my lunch break and typing up at night. I also love my new Windows Phone which means I can also write word docs which I can email to my laptop. It is a lovely new tool to me. I just hope this writing process continues to go from strength to strength.

For the writing task this week. I have want you to select one of the prompts below and create a piece of writing that conforms to the brief.

  • A children’s picture book story maximum of 700 words. (make every word count) 
  • An article on Dr Elizabeth Blackwell born 1821 (do the research)
  • If you are a man write a scene from a females point of view. If you are female write a scene from a male’s point of view. Your starting point is: “How could you do that!”


I hope you have fun with these prompts. Go on, get writing. 

Monday, 6 July 2015

A starting point of writing.

Sorry to be late with this blog, but it has been a very busy week, and a very exciting weekend. Firstly things with my new job are growing steadily and I'm understanding more of the way the processes I've put in place will come together to monitor every aspect. It has been a challenge, and made my brain work on fast, but amazingly information has been absorbed. I've had a taste of phase two and phase three will be coming along by the end of the month. I've also had some praise

The weekend had me celebrating my best friend’s birthday with her extended family. It was a great night and lovely to catch up with all the family once again. Then it was catching up with Dad and doing the gardening, digging up plants and re potting them into the large pots, my bestie gave me. The plants are already looking happier in their ericaceous compost. Then it was the massive de-heading of the flowers. Mowing the lawns, trimming shrubs and weeding, lots of weeding. I did spend time reading and writing in the garden and had some lovely me time. The garden takes up a lot of my time, but I'm now able to keep on top of it all.

My wonderful friend Fiona and her lovely partner Billy, have kindly given me a new display cabinet and made a special journey to deliver it and fix it to the wall. I have had fun filling it up. I am now considering painting all of the rest of the furniture to match the white cupboard. There will be a lot of work to do. I will need to do lots of research on how to go about this. If I'm going to do this, I need to do it correctly.

This week you are going to use the following sentence as a starting point and the image to encourage your creative flow. Think about the sounds, the setting and the smells. 

Sentence: From here I could see who she was meeting, and this time I would have evidence.


So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

It's amazing what you can do in fifteen minutes.

When I first started out this month everything was new and scary, still is a bit, but I'm enjoying everything I'm doing. I've got lots still to learn and I'm sure I’ll be making mistakes along the way, but so far so good.

I've been writing a little, but editing mostly and I've got to start thinking about how I'm going to do a chapter breakdown for each chapter of my children’s novels along with improving my synopses. I still hate writing synopsis and I don’t think I’ll ever be any good at them. I never know what to include and what to leave out and end up writing into the story rather than laying out the bare bones. I'm hoping that one day that synopsis eureka moment will open up in my mind and it’ll come together on the page.

The Windmill Writers was very enjoyable. Lots of readers and critiquing. We have had to set a timer which enables each reader fifteen minutes to read and receive comments. It is up to them how they utilise that time. I think the time will come when we either have to join two tables together or run two tables, and unfortunately this may mean people will miss out on reading each week. However there is still an opportunity, for members, to post sections of their work onto the Windmill Writers Facebook page and ask for comments, which should be messaged to the author and not put as a comment on the post, unless the author asks for the comment to be posted on the page.

Now for the writing prompt for this week, use all the words below and link them to the image

Grave yard – Scull & Crossbones – Chicken legs – Waste paper bin – Stepping Stones – Oily rag
in a single piece of writing.

Have fun with it, try different genres and settings.

So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

the Passion of Writing

This week has been full of ups and downs. I have been writing which is an up, work has been good and the sun has been out between the rain showers this weekend giving me the chance to get back out do some de-heading and tweaking along with mowing of the lawns. I'm really surprised how swiftly the plants have grown this week. I might have to thin out some of the plants as I think they are getting over crowded. The garden is looking really pretty now and I'm able to bring some of the flowers inside. Carnations and red pinks!  Along with some mock orange blossom, at least I think that is what it is. Both scented and making the house smell divine.
   

On the down side, I have had car and phone issues, mostly sorted now and today, I stood on the three prongs of a plug at full walking speed. I now have a nasty bruise on the sole of my foot – very painful.


I have been trying to find a dancing partner, but no take up yet. I want to get back to dancing twice a week to bring up my fitness and just for the love of dance. I need to find someone who is dedicated to dancing and really wants to do it. Dancing is a passion and I need to find someone with the same passion and desire to get it right. So I’ll continue looking. My little dancing feet want to get back in to the swing of it and my dance shoes are grief-stricken in the corner of the room.

This week’s writing task is to choose one of the openings and continue the story. You decide where it goes and what happens next. Aim to write a 1000 words and make sure it has a beginning middle and end and the character needs to have learnt something from travelling through the story.
  • “Well, I didn't expect you to say that!”
  • It lay crisping up in the middle of the lawn when Alfie found it.
  • “Every time the sunshine’s down on me I remember you, and I hate the sun because of that.”
  • The echoes of sunlight faded from the street as the night crawlers raised their spiny fingers up through the grates in the sewers.

The main thing with any writing is to have fun with it, to put passion into it and engage the reader from the outset.

So go on, get writing.