Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

I'm a firm supporter of working out 'the rules' for yourself, not just in writing, but in life itself. Chuck Wendig discusses this in his own way in his article, In Writing, There Are Rules, And Then There Are "Rules".

Monday, 28 April 2014

Something Useful for 2014 - Exercise No. 3

Today, I returned to my creative writing studies through an Open University course offered via Future Learn. The course is Start Writing Fiction and already the interaction between instructors and class mates is inspiring me.

The first exercise has provided me with a wonderful writing prompt so I thought I'd share it with you. It has two parts:
  1. Write a paragraph that includes one fact and three fictions, then
  2. Reverse that - three facts and one fiction.

What I found most interesting about this was that it made me think. How do I use facts to create fiction? These are my two paragraphs.
  1. Morning, with its too soon light and traffic buzz, dragged her from her sleep. Her husband murmured something that only made sense to him, warm in the embrace of his dreams. She dressed, pulling on her clothes from the day before and crept onto the landing. The twins were silent. The dog, a piebald mutt, tilted his head at her. It was time for their run.
  2. The rain persisted, dampening not only her spirit but her jeans and boots. The piebald mutt that bounced at her side, travelled with his mouth open, tongue falling to one side. Just half an hour more and it would be time to rouse the children for school. What joys would they throw at her in their struggles to stay in bed this morning?

Can you guess the facts from the fiction? Try it for yourself - what facts and fictions can you meld together?

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Writing a children's book is a new development for me. Any help I can find along the way is appreciated so I was more than happy to come across this article from Writers & Artists, Researching Your Children's  Book by Allan Boroughs. There are useful links at the bottom of the article to more advice on research for your children's book too.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

I haven't got to the stage of worrying about cover design yet in the process of creating my novel but this article, by J D Smith on the Writers & Artists website, explains The Importance of Cover Design.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Photo Inspiration for April

This week and next, I'm on holiday. Or rather my children are on holiday from school and I'm organising (although school holidays do release me from ironing school uniform and making packed lunches so I get a bit of a break too). For me, holidays have always been a time of family coming together. There are days out, days in, maybe travel to another country. The majority of my most memorable holidays have involved the beach - ice cream on the Yorkshire coast with my parents, my first taste of 'abroad' at a beach barbecue on Majorca, my one year old daughter's widening eyes as she dipped her toes in the sea in North Wales (her first holiday).

The photograph above reminds me of a holiday to Canterbury with my family. My husband was working there and for a week, my children and I joined him. While he worked, we would spend time in the city, visiting the Cathedral, the museums, the ceramics cafe, and the park. When he was finished, we would drive out of Canterbury. One evening, we drove to the coast. We bought ice creams and sat on a seabreak on the beach you can see above, all four of us snuggled together on a drizzly day, as happy as I can remember.

What about you? What do beaches and holidays mean to you? What do they inspire you to write?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Today's choice words come from novelist, Chuck Wendig on his blog terribleminds. Chuck discusses plotting by 'mystery' and 'questions' in his post The Question Mark is shaped like a hook: question-driven plotting. It's well worth a read and something I'll be trying out for myself.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Through the eyes of the Storyteller

I was once accused of 'holding court' when out with a group of friends. At the time I didn't really know what he meant. Later on, he explained that I had a habit of pulling people in with my way of speaking.

My father did the same. He would talk of memories of his childhood - Rosie the working horse who refused to be ridden by the small boy my father had been, the ghostly cow, the accidental job on a steamer - and paint a picture in my mind's eye.

This is one difference between writers and non writers. We remember and recount our memories like a story, filling in the gaps of sound and smell and colour. Whereas our non writing counterparts remember in disjointed details, we paint the entire canvas.

So let me paint you some pictures, some memories, that I've shared on this site with you:

Now it's your turn. Paint me a picture. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Sometimes, I get so caught up on the 'rules' of writing, that I become too fearful to write, or write well. It's times like that when I need a reminder to keep it simple. Fiction University provided me with just such a reminder in their article Why You Should Get Back to Basics in Your Writing. Have a read. It's worth it.