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Showing posts from May, 2014

Tuesday Choice Words

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One of the challenges I have in writing my novel is keeping track of where my characters are, where they have to go and the increasing amount of information that is revealed. Janice Hardy's article Five Ways To Grow Your Novel on the Fiction University site discusses how to handle all of this and more. Have a look.


Something Useful for 2014 - Exercise No. 4

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Today's exercise is about character building. When I begin to write a play, one of my foundation stones is always my cast of characters. It is only when I have them firmly imagined that I begin to build a plot around them.

1. Find two photographs of people whom you feel you can build a character from. These can be your own photographs, images from a newspaper or magazine, or photographs you find online. Here are my two:



2. Name your characters and give them some details such as age, job, and some characteristics. Again, here are mine.

Stan - in the top photo, he is the young man whose face is partly obscured by the woman in the pink top. He's 25 years old and works in a record shop. His friends persuaded him to go on an 18-30 holiday where they met the girls at the table with them. Stan lives at home with his mum who constantly nags him to improve himself. He's shy and generally hides himself away, even from customers to the shop.

Doreen - in the bottom photo, Doreen is the …

Tuesday Choice Words

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We all have our own writing routines, our methods of getting the words down on the page (or up on the screen). For me, it's a pad and a pen, alone and in relative silence (ok, so the washing machine may be burbling in the background and the dogs next door are probably howling). The Trickster Prince has his own way of writing and talks about his method in The biography of a book chapter: a short photo essay.


My 100 Happy Days

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Have you heard of 100 happy days? Yes? No? I hadn't until I started to see photos cropping up on various social networking sites with the hashtag #100happydays. Some friends posted images of their latest adventures. Others shared photographs of their loved ones, recipes or most recent purchases. The subject matter was of no concern - these were images of things that had made them happy on that particular day.

The 100 happy days website says this,

"We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being."

"71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?"

The aim is simple. Take a photo…

Tuesday Choice Words

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Life is all about opinion. A lot of writing advice is just that, an opinion (my own advice included) or to put it more kindly, a writer will generally offer up tips and methods that have worked for them. There are some writers, however, whose advice I trust implicitly. One of those writers is Stephen King. I found an excellent article on the openculture site - Stephen King's Top 20 Rules for Writers. I especially love this quote about a story's opening line, "...Because it's not just the reader's way in, it's the writer's way in also, and you've got to find a doorway that fits us both".


The Write Life Magazine is one year old today!

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One of the downfalls of being a work from home writer is that I can sometimes feel isolated. That's why writing communities and magazines can be so important. One of my favourite writing related magazines is celebrating its first birthday today - The Write Life Magazine. You can find out more about the magazine's birthday celebrations and how the first year went here.

Happy Birthday Write Life Magazine. I'm looking forward to your second year.




Tuesday Choice Words

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As a playwright, I find dialogue relatively easy to come by. However, writing an action scene (and there are plenty of those in the novel I'm working on) is quite a challenge. Fiction University came to my rescue with two articles, Put Up Your Dukes - Writing A Fight Scene and Finding The Balance when writing about Violence. Have a look.

Stephen King Answers Questions

Photo Inspiration for May

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Today, I have a puzzle for you.


This is a gift that my father bought for his mother (Mrs Roberton) back in the 1950s. Can you guess what it is?

This gadget, quite a small item, is your photo inspiration for May. If you know what it is, you could write about that. If you don't, you could write about what you think it might be. Or perhaps the idea of a son sending a gift to his mother is your inspiration.

Let me know what you think. How does this image inspire you?