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.

The Love of Dance

Friday, 30 March 2012

Topic Task - Week Twenty-Two

Where did that week go? Okay most of it was training, but boy, it just whizzed by.

Having spent quite a long time in the queue for petrol before work this morning I thought it might be fun to write about the current situation. There is no reason for petrol shortages at present, but with the newspapers and T.V. shouting about possible tanker driver strikes the populous have started to panic. Panic, is something we excel at - it is a shame it isn't an event in the Olympics.

For your writing challenges for this week, I'm giving you two options.

1.  Write a short story set a the petrol station which is driven by an argument at the pumps. Why they are arguing is up to you. It could be something as simple as one car pushed in the queue or the pumps run dry. What happens, who it happens to - you decide. Make if fresh, make it real and make it personal. And do remember the bells and smells to add atmosphere.

2. Write about the new Olympic Sport, 'Olympic Petrol Pump Challenge'. What is that? Don't ask me, you make it up and write a short story to show what happens. Make sure it has all the necessary elements - all the smells and bells.

I hope these prompts have given you some inspiration.

So go on, get writing.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Topic Task - Week Twenty-One

What a great week. The writing has been coming on in leaps and bounds. The sun has been shining which has put smiles on faces.

This is week twenty-one. Another twelve weeks have past since we started these topic-tasks. That means you need a task that gives you a little more to think about. You have been working on character building, plotting and dialogue. I've asked you to think about targeting your work and to find a home for it.

I want you to take the best characters you have created over the last twelve weeks and place them in a different genre. Why not try something new. Pop your characters in to a genre you've not familiar with. Experiment and see what happens. Keep the characters the same in every detail, but think about how they will cope in a completely different scenario. Knowing the character inside out is what you need to do as an author. How will they behave in any given situation? This could be on earth, in space or in the grave. Drop your character in and see what happens.

I could give you some prompts, but I won't. I need you to let your character drive the plot, the situation and you have to select the genre. Even if the character doesn't like it. You are the author, you are in charge.

So, go on, get writing.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Topic Task - Week Twenty

Busy weeks are great, but busy weeks with a headache attached are no fun at all. Thankfully it is the weekend and all I have planned is writing, writing and more writing. Along with a lot of chilling out and relaxation. 

Last week I gave you a task to attempt writing a picture book. I hope you had a go and found it enjoyable. If you succeeded have you tested it out on your target market? Yes, I do mean have you read it to children to gauge their reactions. If they were engaged, it is probable that the text you have created would make a great picture book. So, have you sent it off? You don’t know where to send it. Okay, pick up a copy of the Writers’ & Artists’ Year Book and do the research. A good place to start might be Little Tiger Press.

And on to this week’s topic task.

You have two options:

1.     A description of a vagrant. Remember to use all the senses. How do they walk, what do they have with them, are they perhaps not the sort of person you felt you would encounter living like this.
Once you’ve done this draw a story around the character.
2.     A deaf old lady lives next-door and has a dog that doesn’t stop barking. The problem is she is not a friendly little old lady. She is vicious with baggy tattoos and colourful language. Tell her story and solve the problem. Remember to use dialogue.

Call upon all the skills you have learnt and remember that life skills help with this kind of writing.

So what are you waiting for?

Get writing. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Topic Task - Week Nineteen

My writing week has been good. I’ve sent a few things out, I’ve had one item turned down and one has possibilities. I’ve still got the three short stories to edit, and send out, but I got sucked into my YA novel and it sort of took over. As writers you will understand that, and if you are just starting out on your writing journey, you’ll soon come to understand that overwhelming passion.

I was asked a question today by a young man who wanted to know how to start writing. He said he has all these ideas in his head and doesn’t know what to do with them.  My answer went like this: Firstly get the ideas as they come written down. Then to decided what you want those ideas to be. A short story, novel, play etc. Then the most important, find a brilliant writers’ circle like the Verulam Writers’Circle based in St. Albans.  Another thing to do is go to writing conferences. There are many spread across the country and these have workshops, seminars and other writerly aspects for any level of writer to get there creative bone working. And my last suggestion was to find a good creative writing course, where you will be shown how to hone your craft. Writing is a craft that has to be learnt, honed and developed this doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have the passion it will become unstoppable.
If you have some good ideas how to start writing from a head full of ideas, do drop them over to me or post them on here as responses/comments.

Okay, so to this week’s topic- task.

I want you to bring all your skills to write a picture book story. Do some research. Look at picture books that are selling now – ask the book seller what picture book sell best. Read them, understand the layout and above all check the word count.  Now try writing one. It isn’t as easy as you think. You have to make the story engaging for young readers, or those being read too. Illustrations do help immensely with picture books, but the narrative has to be able to stand alone.

So that is your challenge for this week.

 Go on, get writing.   

Friday, 2 March 2012

Topic Task - Week Eighteen.

It's Friday, I've had a very busy week and I'm pleased to say that my own writing is coming on nicely. I'm about to send material out to a fantastic illustrator for his thoughts and submit some short stories to an E-publishers. I'm still creating scenes for my novel and I'm finding some interesting twists that I hadn't planned, which seem to be working well.

Below you will find two starting points which I'm hoping will inspire you to get all poetical, a little risqué or mix the two together and see where it takes you.

1. The petals unfurled revealing a tantalising moistness...
2. Her caress travelled down across his taught skin...

Of course you can use these starting points as they stand or use them as a creative launching pad and see where you end up. Above all have fun with it.

Idea: Try doing it as a stream of thought. Pick up the pen and allow the thoughts to tumble out and once you get to a natural finishing point, stop. Then see what you've created. Ask yourself how can I improve this?

Don't forget to let me know how you are getting on.

So go on, get writing.