Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Normally, each week's choice words include a link and an image or video. This week, however, there's just one thing for you to read because of it's length and richness of advice. This infographic appears on the Galleycat site - J R R Tolkien's 10 Tips For Writers. 


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sadly Giving Up

As I've probably mentioned before, I tend to have several books on the go at one time. There'll be one book on my phone to read when I'm out and about, another on my bedside cabinet, and probably a third in the cavernous handbag I occasionally drag out with me. Sometimes, I'll curl up on the couch and read a fourth - the depravity of it all. I'd love to be one of those ordered people who can read books sequentially, from the first to the last of their year's assigned reading list. I'm not that kind of animal though. I hop about between books daily. Thankfully, I have a good memory so I rarely lose track of each storyline - phew.
I like to think that I'm a good 'judge of character' when it comes to choosing reading material. I'm rarely disappointed by what I choose, even if I skip some parts of the book, and most of my books become happy shelf buddies in my house.

For the last two months, however, I've struggled with a novel. I don't want to say what it is because I've enjoyed non fiction written by this author and the novel in question has obviously been meticulously researched. I can tell that the author loves their characters. I know the plot has elements that appeal to this author's attitude to life. They've expressed how proud they are of this novel. I really wanted to love it too.

But I can't. I struggle with the way the novel has been written, untidy in places, confusing in others. I can't remember ever giving up on a novel in the past so I've persevered with this one, willing it to improve, hoping that I'll find my way through it all. I'm about halfway through and finally, today, I've decided to concede defeat. I just can't read on.

I feel awful. Having read other material by this author - most of their non fiction books sit on my bookshelves - I feel like I'm betraying them, but there are other books on my list that I want to start, and finish this year.

I don't want to criticise this author because that isn't what this blog, or what I am about, so I'll simply put this novel back on my bookshelf unfinished and sadly move on.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Now that my novel is going through the final revisions, my mind keeps turning to 'what next'. Manuscript assessment? Agent? Marketing? New website?

One of the fun aspects of this 'what next' stage can be creating a trailer for your book. YA and children's novelist, Kelly Hashway provides a 'how to' on her website - Making A Book Trailer. It's well worth a read and I'll be keeping it in mind for my own novel.

Writers on Writing: Ian McEwan on Finding Confidence 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Go out and find some inspiration

I don't know about you but I have a contrary muse. Sometimes, she's happy to sit in the house with me. Other times though, she refuses to stay indoors. She sits on the doorstep, shaking her head at my invitations and beckoning me outside. Even then, she may well skip off down the street with me jogging behind. Ok, I don't jog, but I do have to go in search of my muse on occasion.

Sometimes, nature does it for me - the park, the countryside, even my own back garden.

On other occasions, I like the city with its mixture of traffic, footsteps and overheard conversations.

The hubbub of a coffee shop can inspire me. Being surrounded by books in a library or bookshop can do it too.

The point is that on occasion, your creativity needs a change of scenery to fire up. It needs a new kind of input, be it overheard conversation, fresh air or the colours of the high street. More than just adding new inspiration, it can give us a fresh perspective, especially if we're struggling with a plot twist or a character. 

So next time your muse invites you out on a date, go. Drink coffee, stare in shop windows, or skip through a field. Do it. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

Where do you write? You can usually find me at the dining table with a pad and pen or typing at the computer desk, but occasionally I set up on the couch or in bed. I say 'occasionally' because working away from a chair and table/desk always leads to me developing backache.

In Writers - Be Careful How You Sit, Elizabeth Spann Craig writes about her own health problems caused by sitting in the wrong position to write and her problems with RSI too. It's well worth a read.

Vlogging for Writers: with Leena from justkissmyfrog