Welcome to my writers blog.

Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Writing Dilemma

There is so much going on at the moment. I've made some big decisions on the work front, but still have some decisions to make regarding my writing direction. I've been working on my adult thrillers and also my children’s manuscripts. I am stuck between continuing writing both or to drop one for the other. My problem is that I've had great feedback from agents/book doctors/editors on all of them. I am struggling to decide. I've been told to write the thing that appeals most and therein lies the problem, my head is full of each of them I love writing both genres – it is a quandary! Anyone who knows my writing, feel free to help me by posting either Children’s or Thrillers or both.

I've just ordered my new writing business cards for my children’s writing from Vista Print I didn't have an image so I had a look on www.freevector.com and found a beautiful image showing a book with many objects coming out of it, called: Everyone has their fantasy by Lovelymaa Avian’s Creations. If you are looking for an image it is a great place to go. I have put a credited the illustrator on my business card and have spread the word here and on twitter. I already have cards for my thrillers which I sorted out last year. This is all in the hope that one day, I will find that allusive agent and publishing deal. Can you tell I like to be prepared? 
Okay enough about me I have selected the following image for you to use as your writing prompt.

You need to include the following words:
Regret – laughter – tranquillity – storm – broken
How you craft this piece of writing is up to you, but think about who your audience might be. Dare I suggest that you find a magazine to focus you writing and then submit your work?

So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Roller-coaster Ride of Writing.

The love of crafting characters and throwing them into your plot is the passion that great books are made of, but getting to that stage is a convoluted road to travel. The level plains are to be used lightly, giving way more often than not for the undulating roller-coaster that is the conflict and resolution within the writing. Getting the balance right is the challenge.

‘Slow it down!’ I have often heard that when writing some of my scenes and yes, once I’d gone back and worked on those sections the story did benefit from reducing the pace giving the reader a moment to breathe. Pace is great, but be cautious don’t over use it. However, don’t slow the work down too much or the reader will get bored – it is a balancing act, get it right and your writing will engage your reader throughout.

My current WIP is coming along nicely and the opening which had much attention required to change it completely, is almost done. I think the end is right and once I’ve finished jigsawing the old and new together, I believe it will flow as it should and be ready to share by the end of the year, if not sooner.

The Windmill Writers are a proactive group. The material they are creating, sharing and critiquing varies from writer to writer. Everyone is at a different sage with their work and voices are developing nicely. A group like this isn’t for everyone, but if you are passionate about improving your art, honing your skills and sharing you knowledge with others, then a writing group might be for you. No one likes having their work scrutinised, but by sharing in this way, major and minor areas that need re working are spotted. Of course it is up to the author to make the changes or not. One area that keeps coming up is the dreaded ‘Show not Tell’. We all do it and sometimes don’t notice it until we read out aloud. Or the over use of certain words. And of course there are the missing ‘Bells & Smells’ as I like to call them. A writing group worth its name won’t sit and say, oh my, that is delightful, they will get to the nitty-gritty and as an author that is what you should be looking for – constructive criticism which will help you hone your work.

For the writing prompt this week, please look at the image below and create a piece of writing which best shows your own writing skills for the art of description. 

Think about what smells, and sounds you might experience. What does the weather feel like, is the sun hot, warm or is there a cold wind lapping around your ears? Think about the setting. Is this a romantic setting of two lovers, or a lonely moment for a singleton? Who is looking out on the scene in front of them? Perhaps you could try your hand at poetry. Whatever you decide to do enjoy your writing time as that will show in your end piece.


So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Writing festivals, conferences and days.

Writing conferences or festivals are great places to give you creative juices a boost or inject a bit of creativity to help you find or improve your writing skills and hone your craft. The networking is amazing and you get the opportunities to spend time with agents, editors and book doctors along with workshops, lectures and so much more.

Below you will find in date order three conference/ festival/ day opportunities. Take a look and book your place. 


Winchester Writers' Festival.
If you are looking to get inspiration or inject a stream of creativity into your writing or you feel you have begun to flag, then why not take a look at the Winchester Writers' Conference which is running from the 19th - 21st June 2015. A weekend with Friday evening and Sunday morning workshops where you sit and write with like minded people. Check out the link here: Winchester Writers' Festival


The Festival of Writing, 2015. York.



The Festival of Writing - York, is now open for bookings for the 4th - 6th September 2015. This is the biggest of the conferences and one of the busiest. I suggest booking early so as not to miss the opportunity to bag a place. Emerse yourself in the world of writing. Learn your craft, hone your skills and network along with attending workshops, experience the One-to-One's with agents, editors, book doctors and publishers. Network through breakfast, lunch and dinner along with the evening social events and bar where many contacts are made. There is so much to do here and if you're lucky, you will get time to write. Take a look at the link here:  Festival of Writing YORK

Get Writing Day is a one day writing experience on the 26th September 2015 which offers many of the options above but with fewer agents/editors or book doctors than the bigger conferences. However, this is a great event to get your work critiqued, network and develop your writing skills, have face time meetings and much more. It attracts many delegates and the VWC have many published authors within their fold to help and guide budding authors. Take a look at their link: Get Writing Day - Watford 

So go on, take a look and book, what are you waiting for. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

How did we get to May so quickly? I know I’ve been very busy, but my goodness I have been lax.

There are many reasons for this, which I can’t go into here well at least not yet, but I have been writing and editing with two WIPs. I'm loving getting my head down and manipulating characters and reworking previously completed manuscript. It was two weeks ago when I went to the Windmill Writers, in Chipperfield, Hertfordshire, that I read out a scene I loved, but really didn't take the story any further. I had to cut it out and exchange it for a couple of sentences. This works much better and gives scope for a more character driven script. The more I rip out the better the story arc appears.

I am currently working of submissions for a publishing house for which I'm hoping to get some further guidance before submitting. If not, I’ll submit what I have and hope that all is correct. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by. Tomorrow will be yet another busy morning of finishing touches to the submissions and then… off they go. Always hoping for a positive result.

The writing tasks for this week are listed below. Select one, two or three or perhaps you can do all three.
  • Use all the words listed here in one piece of writing. Blade – Pasture – Vixen – Haze – Gum and Drawer.
  • Use the following sentence as the opening to a piece of writing. The shadows shivered with fear and there was little anyone could do.
  • Use the image as inspiration to write a piece of creative writing.

I hope the above inspire you imagination to write and remember these prompts are here to get you thinking out of your comfort zone – try something new.


So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

A little Easter time writing.

Another great week overall.

Firstly I have been writing well, small amounts but it feels like my current WIP is solidly moving forward. I'm particularly pleased as this is the work I've been jigsaw puzzling. Only when I've finished putting the puzzle back together will I know if I have actually achieved what I have set out to do, but currently it looks like it is heading in the right direction. I'm enjoying the journey with this one and hope the end result will be all I hope it will be.

I have submitted some of my picture books for consideration to a publishing house who are accepting manuscripts from authors direct. I felt this was worth a look. I’ll let you know what happens here.
I have been out with lunch with friends again and found another lovely place to eat in Berkhamsted. The Kings Head. The interior of the pub is a blend of old worldly with large open fire which welcomes you in on a cold Saturday lunch time, to leather and solid wood. The restaurant is tastefully done with large glass floor to ceiling windows, nicely spaced out tables and attentive staff. The food was delicious. I have allergies and they worked around those to ensure my meal was perfect. I had lime, coriander & chilli chicken (succulent) with sweet potato chips, side salad and a chilli dip. For desert a rather naughty Sticky Toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. I couldn't fault it and will certainly go there again.

For this week’s prompt I am giving you the choice of three things. Take one of the first line prompts and continue with the story. You could make it as difficult as you would like by adding a second or third opening within your work. Make sure you include sight, smell, feeling, sounds and weave them into your writing.

  1. The parliamentary candidate appeared on my door step just when…
  2. The accident happened right in front of me – I was running late so…
  3. Jessica had lined her Easter eggs, all six, on the windowsill, before we went out for the day, the sun came out an hour later and chocolate devastation had occurred.



So go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Writing Wonders with Afternoon Tea

What a lovely few days I've had. It was my birthday and I've been spoilt by both friends and family. Eaten too well, had a few glasses of vino and it hasn't finished yet. I'm off to Lussmann’s again on Friday and Saturday with two separate friends. I'm a lucky lady. I fear that I might have to do a bit more exercise over the next two weeks to make up for all that delicious food. 

I've taken time off from work to enjoy some much needed ‘Me Time’. I've managed to get quite a lot of writing done and I believe I'm getting closer to sorting out the soggy middle in my WIP. I'm doing it by the jigsaw method! That is my name for it. Pull it apart take out bits that don’t work, rewrite and edit what is left. I think it is working, but time will tell. The most important part of all of this is that I am having fun with it, and if that can shine out of the writing then I have achieved my goal.
The Windmill Writers meeting this week was a mish-mash of readings, discussions regarding plot developments and editing processes. It is interesting to hear how other people develop their work.
For the writing prompt this week you have a treat in store.

Set yourself up a table for afternoon tea – eat alone or invite a friend. Cakes, sandwiches, tea etc. then sit down and partake. But, you have to make note on what happens. What things taste like, smell like, do the smells complement each other clash? What sort of conversation do you have? Or if you are alone, what are your thoughts during this experience? When you have finished your writing treat, you need to incorporate all the notes you have made into a short story for a magazine. However, before you set to writing, you will need to research which magazine you are going to submit your work to. Each publication will have its own house style for which you will need to work too.



So, if you are up for the challenge, go on get writing.



Sunday, 22 March 2015

Behind locked doors.

I have been very busy this weekend. Out for an early birthday lunch with my sister at Lussmann in Harpenden. The staff are always very attentive, but not in that annoying way of overcrowding, but in a discreet and unobtrusive manner. The food, as always was delicious and the portions perfect. One of my favourite places. My intention is to go there more often – well as often as I can.
I've been up in London, Richmond with my son. We had hot chocolate on a boat on the Themes and looked around, next time I go up he is showing me around KEW. It was a good day.

On the writing front, the meeting on Wednesday of the Windmill Writers was full of fun. Spontaneous writing from objects found inside a yellow cloth bag. A blind fold was placed across the eyes before dipping the hand into the bag and withdrawing an item. Then to feel, smell and taste if you fancied, before looking to see what you had selected. Then five minutes to write a description of what you have found using all the bells and smells. It was good fun and much laughter was had. This is an activity we will do again.
This week’s topic task is another photo prompt. Look at the image below and create either a short story, poem or just describe what you see. With all of these remember to make the piece come alive on the page. Make your reader believe you are there as you write.

 

So go on, get writing.