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

The Love of Dance

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.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

What a busy week, both at work, in my social life and in my writing, but slightly less so. One of the great things about being a writer, is that you get to go out and experience life with friends and family at the same time of absorbing life going on around you.

I'm sure I am not the only writer who observes, absorbs situations and stores away little snippets to use in my work. Many of those I have watched sneak in to my work, but not as they are first seen but I take mannerisms from different people I observe, develop them and create a completely new character. You have to make sure you don’t overdo these characteristics so that you don’t change your character into a caricature, instead of being a rounded, flawed or even eccentric person. You can do this with people, venues, conversations and behaviours. Your job as a writer is blend all these things together so that your reader, recognises them and can relate to their situations. Not easy, but is a great challenge and when done correctly becomes the character driven novels, we, as readers, love to read.

 So the next time you are sitting in the office, having a cup of tea in a cafĂ© or taking your grandchild to the park, don’t forget to see what is going on around you. You might just find that missing character that will make your novel sensational.

For this week’s writing task look at the image below, think about what each person is doing and what might be happening for them. Then select one and write the scene from their point of view (POV). Try writing around 500 words and then choose a second, and maybe third person from the image and write the same scene from their POV. Each character should see things, feel things and think in different ways from the others previously. Remember we can only see what your character sees – stay on track.

So there you go, go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Expressing emotions through poetry.

New beginnings, farewells and catching up with people and making new connections, this has been my week. Along with editing, looking out for submission options and looking through old poetry files. Some interesting pieces. This one may not be the best, but it meant so very much to me when I wrote it and I guess it still does.

Fragile Butterflies

A mind full of butterflies
Floating through my skin
Open up their trusting wings
And fly on the wind

Their golden dust of honesty
Dances lightly by my side
Offering up themselves to you
Permit them come inside

Tenderly they flutter down
Touch your heart unknown
Filter through the outer shell
And rest upon your mind

The wonder of love they hold
Has worked its magic touch
My mind full of butterflies
Have found their heart, their home.

by Susan K Franklin

As the butterfly season is now with us, the writing prompt for this week is to write your own poem using the image above. You can make it romantic, comical magical or perhaps turn these lovely delicate insects into something darker. Use rhyme or not, make it your own and enjoy painting a picture with fewer words.

So go on, get writing.  

Friday, 29 May 2015

This week has seen more change. I have finished work with one employer and will be starting a new job on Monday with another. I'm looking forward to all the new challenges that come my way and hopefully, if the brain is willing, developing new skills. Exciting times.

On the writing front I received a rejection for one of my manuscripts and as there are no critique points given. This is more often than not the case, agents don’t have time to comment on work they aren't in love with, however, this obviously doesn't help the writer. There are editorial houses like Cornerstones or the wonderful ‘Writers Workshop’ who give guidance, a community of writers and are organisers of the amazing Festival of Writing in York.  I will be submitting again soon once I have researched another few agents. It’s all about finding the right fit for the manuscript. I know there is an agent out there somewhere who will love it as much as I do or will be willing to work with me if there are flaws that I'm not seeing. Either way, I will keep going.

Windmill Writers is slowly growing, some very keen writers, those new to writing and those who have much work to do, but have the determination to go for publication. We are all learning. Even those of us who have been working at our craft for years are still acquiring new skills. It is great to have a proactive team of writers around you when you are unsure if a scene is working.

For this week’s writing prompt I have been out and about. I took the photograph below on Sunday evening and thought it might just conjure up some interesting thoughts as a prompt. 

There are no rules for this task. Write what you feel. You might like to try a stream of writing, just start with one thought and keep going until any following thoughts falter and ebb away to nothing. Or try a different genre or writing style.

So go on, get writing. 

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.