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, 31 January 2014

Observe, absorb and breathe in the atmosphere.

Thankfully this writing week has been quite productive. I've
managed to make good progress on the horrendous manuscript I mentioned last week. It is feeling much better and I hope that when I actually type it up it will still feel right. One thing I was worried was that I would never write a decent scene again, but I hope that isn't the case. I'm sure I will find that out when I meet up with my writerly friends and test out the new sample.

One of the sections in my WIP that I had been struggling with was description. More specifically description of the buildings and the internal fixtures and fittings. The thing that helped with this was researching images on the internet - period houses and furniture that might be found inside. Then taking time to sit and describe each section: Windows, doors, dressers etc. The little details that bring the scene to life. Obviously the best way to do this is to visit a building of the era you are including in your work and observe, absorb and breathe in the atmosphere that leaks from the walls and wood work. Write when you are there and bring home the notes and write up. Another good way is to have a Dictaphone and put your thoughts down in digital format to type up later.

So, for this week’s challenge. I have posted three images to inspire your imagination. Look at the pictures and allow yourself to drift into the frame and explore the exterior, once you have, imagine what the interior might look like. 

After you have done this either keep the image open on your computer, pick up a pen and begin to write what you see or copy and paste it into your document and work from there. Remember to look closely. Are there secrets hidden in the corners? Faces at windows? When you have completed the first image, move on to the second and then the third. Then think about who would live, work and play in the building? What would it smell like, when it was first built, what does it smell like now?  And if you have completed all of these tasks, select one to populate with characters to create a piece of creative writing.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Wooded Secrets: Can you find a story?

After spending a lot of time wondering if I should continue writing, or if I should give it all up as a bad lot, the characters that have been dozing about for quite some time shouted – KEEP GOING. So although I have had many issues recently, I have decided to write through them in the hope that things will come good in the end. Use the issues to grow my writing. That is the plan.

I was looking for something recently in my image folder and came across this picture. 

I can see many things in this, I wonder if you can too? The more closely I looked into the image the more I saw. Your task for today is to use the image to inspire a piece of writing. What genre you choose is up to you, but for me I would select fantasy or non-fiction like an article.

Enlarge the picture and look really closely. What can you see? How does it make you feel? Think about how you will structure your work to make best use of its imagery. The closer you look, does the image seem darker, more threatening or not as freaky? Is it calling out to you for help, about to attack or is it just a piece of wood with an interesting history?

What you do with it is up to you, so go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Starting point prompts and a lesson in how not to do it!

Where has the week gone? I was so pleased with myself last week when the blog went up early, but this week it is late, but not too late. My day job has been frantic for various reasons and I have to admit I was relieved when Friday’s working day was over.

On the writing front I have been editing as I reread something I had sent off and realised it was riddled with errors that I hadn't noticed. Not desperately bad, but NOT good enough. I let myself down.  A learning curve for me - check things more thoroughly. I did however realise that the version I had submitted was not the correct one either! It was a bad week. I think I have burnt my bridge there, but I have learnt so much about how much more I need to focus on the details and to ensure that I don’t attach the wrong version when submitting. Onward and upward as they say. The upshot of my error has given me a good kick and I am working hard on making corrections and improving the three chapters of my WIP. Never take your eye off your goal and make sure you don’t get complacent and submit before you are 100% happy with your sample. I have lost out, by my own sloppy approach, something I hope not to repeat.

My suggestion is to check, check, re check and check again. Please don’t make silly mistakes because you think you are up against it. Instead make contact and let people know you need a little more time.

So for this week’s writing challenge. Take a look at the prompts below, select one or all if you want more of a challenge. Set aside thirty minutes in which you will not be disturbed. To help you have a timer at hand. You are going to attempt to write without stopping for the whole thirty minutes. No editing as you go, just allow your thoughts to run free. Follow the stream of thinking and write whatever comes to mind. You might find this brings some interesting results. When you first selected one of the starting points you may have thought you knew where the story might take you. However, doing this exercise allows your mind to direct you, rather than you to direct it. Can you do it? It is similar to walking down a path and finding doors that are open and ones that are closed. Do you take the easy option or open a door. Will the easy option be a trap? 

You must use the prompts as your starting point and run on from there.
1. Dusk weaved through the trees like…
2. She took three steps downward and…
3. Relief flooded through the aching feet when they meet the icy flagstone floor.
4. At the top of the tree he looked down before edging forward.

So there you are, four openings for you to work with. Remember you are writing for thirty minutes, without editing or thinking – just write. I suggest that you write the openings down on separate pieces of paper, fold them and then pick one. Open it, set your timer and write. This way you don’t have time to think about how the writing might turn out, you just write.

Hope you enjoy this challenge. So go on, get writing.  

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Write an image.

This week has been busy, both with my day job and the writing. I have spent many hours trying to get the first three sample chapters of my WIP in shape for sending for comment by an agent, who had previously suggested how my work could be improved. With this in mind I have rethought, reworked and rewritten the first three chapters. The whole story now starts in a different place, has a slower pace, but I hope it has a better balance as it had been rushing on without allowing my reader to breath. My only concern now it that is too slow. I guess I will only know when I get the feedback. I found this very difficult, but the process has been illuminating, I'm just hoping it isn't over written.

I hope you are still doing your ten minutes of writing each night and seeing progress with the amount of work and the quality for the material written. Keep at it, you will really see the benefit before long.

This week I have selected for images to inspire you.
1.       Unsuccessful fruit cake.
2.       A Bear trying to be cool.
3.       A cat in the box.
4.       The Fire Sunset.

Select one of these items, decide what genre you want to write in and using all your writing skills create a piece of writing that will engage your reader from beginning to the end.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Keep on Writing

2014 a year to keep on writing.

I do hope you have started doing your ten minute daily writing challenge. It doesn't matter what time of day you do this, but you need to make sure you pick up the pen or computer and write for ten minutes, without stopping preferably, from start to finish. What do you write about? Anything and everything. Sit on a train and describe the person sitting in front of you or at home and an object on the side or look up and see a spider and describe the room from its point of view.  You see, I doesn't really matter what you write about, you just have to do it.

To add to this daily task I'm giving you this week’s writing prompt. Use the opening words below to write a short story. Think about where you might market the work before starting.

The glass shattered into shards and began to fall…

Once you've finished, edit, and re-written I want you to submit your work. Make sure you follow the writers’ guidelines, each publication has its own rules whether it be on-line or a paper publication.
I’ve been working hard on my own writing and will let you know as I go on how things are going. I will also keep you up dated on conferences you might be interested in and please let me know of writing activities, workshops or conferences etc. in your area that I may not have heard about.

So until next week, go on, get writing.