Thursday, 29 January 2009

Question Time

There hasn't been much writing this week, just dribs and drabs on scrap paper, notelets and corners of pages. I can't seem to crack chapter two like I could with chapter one. I had a lot of energy for the idea at the beginning. It was raw, needed telling (or showing!) but now, to move forward its time to start planning, researching, making notes. 

Questions to ask:
  • What is the character(s) overall aim?
  • What is the time frame for the story?
  • Who is in the story?
  • How will the story be told? 
  • What are the tensions, conflicts? 
  • Where is the story set? 
Finding the answers will help me get back into the rhythm of the story. 

I'm currently enjoying Jose Saramago's Blindness. A city goes blind and only one woman has her sight. I like the way that none of the characters don't have names but have two word characteristics, "woman with dark glasses." Also there are no speech marks so the dialogue runs within the main story and conversations can run on the same line with only a comma to separate the response. 

Novel word count: 4610 words

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Farm that ran out of names

I found 'The Farm That Ran Out of Names' at my parents house at the weekend. I would not have normally read this book when I was a child (Living in a farmer's town market puts you off countryside fiction) but I won this in my first writing competition. I can't remember if it was year 6 or 7 but I remember that the story had to be based on a picture that hung on the window of the 'library block.' I think the image was of a hole in a road. My story could have been about someone falling down the crack and into a fairy tale world. I'm not sure. 
But I remember the nervousness when the teacher read out the winners. My hands were clammy, my crossed-legs were shaking. And then my name. I had to stand up in front of the whole school so people would know the person who won. Afterwards, the winners (from each of the four years at the school) were allowed to pick a book out of the cupboard. As my teacher didn't allow me to go until break time, I ended up with the last book. 
I enjoyed the book - I vaguely remember there being a plot line that resembles the Noah parable. 

The book seems to be a mystery though. The title isn't listed on the author's wikipedia page. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Orwellian Society This way...

The UK government are going to force Internet providers to keep details of every email that every person sends and also receives. This also includes those spam emails we all get about sex-enhancing pills, people telling you that they need your bank details or their country will crash into recession or ones offering degrees for 1,000 dollars. 
We are heading more towards the realities of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World everyday. It's a scary thought that EVERYTHING is being watched and our rights are becoming marginalised. Maybe its time to immigrate.  

Monday, 12 January 2009

The New Year (Plus 12 days)

Last year was a great writing year. I finally had my writing published, first at six sentences, then hack writers, then Six Sentences again, in a poetry diary and also Everyday Poets. I learnt that your writing might not turn out how you prefer (the formatting of my poem) and the author biography may be wrong.

I also finished that Masters in Professional writing. It was a drag, sometimes hard to maintain or even find any motivation or inspiration but I finally came out with a Merit. And three chapters of a novel that I later retired to the drawer.

And now it’s the New Year. I have an acceptance from Pygmy Giant, so watch out for that. I was told it should be appearing sometime in the future…

I have also made some progress with ‘Untitled Novel.’ I currently stand at three thousand words. It’s not a lot because I haven’t been in the mood for writing lately what with an ear infection in both ears and a sinus infection. I have also been putting thinking time into what I write before committing to paper/screen. I got stuck last week on a scene – How was I going to get my character from one place to another – It would include writing a smaller, inconsequential scene. – Thinking and thinking, I decided to get my character straight to where their need to go, cut out the boring, longwinded process.