Showing posts from April, 2015

Packing up my tent

So I'm packing up my tent, dousing the fire and getting ready for my last day at Camp Nanowrimo. Throughout April, I've worked on the revision of my novel with a target of 30,000 words in mind. To date, I've written 24,236 words. That means that today, I need to write just over 5,000 words to accomplish my target.
30,000 words may not be a complete novel but it's a mahoosive booster to get me on my way. I've brushed up existing chapters and created lots of new chapters too. Tying the two together has sometimes seemed like knitting spaghetti with string but I haven't let that stop me. 
One of the most pleasurable aspects of this month has been taking part in my Cabin chats. It's been a joy to talk to other writers, sharing our journey together (with all its ups and plummeting downs).

There's been plenty of help in the form of Camper Messages from Camp Nanowrimo organisers and friends to keep us all motivated too. 
I'm encouraged to try this again in…

World Stationery Day

Today is World Stationery Day, part of National Stationery Week (27th April to 3rd May 2015). It's all about getting people writing by hand and of course, the love of stationery.

You can find all the details on the National Stationery Week website with fun videos, children's activities and how to get involved.

You can join in on Twitter and Facebook, write a letter  to a friend, or buy some new stationery (that's probably what I'll do - I can never have too many pens and pads).

I love to write by hand, be that my stories and plays, letters to friends or just a brainstorming session, so this is an easy task for me.

What about you? How will you get involved?

Tuesday Choice Words

Sometimes I get mired down in (re)writing and (re)shaping my novel. It all starts to turn into a grey  blur and my energy levels dive. I've been working on my novel for a long time, learning about writing along the way, and fitting it in between running my script writing business and family time. On occasion, I lose sight of the light at the end of this creative tunnel but I've come too far to give up now. When all of this happens, I stop and revisit my characters. I look at what I love about them, perhaps examine their appearances in my story too and generally reacquaint myself. One of my favourite characters is Bodrn, a darkling. She has the ability to be in shadow form (literally, a shadow) or in solid form. She is my shapeshifter.

On the Better Novel Project website, Christine Frazier talks about shapeshifting characters in her article 3 Roles of the Shapeshifter Character Archetype. I think Bodrn stands for the role of trust (the second in the article's list). Do you …

Coffee and Books

Today was a good day. The sun was shining. My children were at school. I had some boring chores to run in my home town (Chester) but once those were over, I had a couple of hours to myself to walk around the city.

I did a spot of window shopping, popped into Lush (bath bombs for me and my children) and then headed back to my car. On the way, I discovered a new cafe. Well, it's new to me anyway, the Cinderbox Coffee Shop.

There was the usual choice of hot and cold drinks, cakes and some friendly, polite staff - all that you would expect in a coffee shop. There was also this.

This is the coffee shop's book swap corner. The writing on the wall reads,
to take one away, you must... leave one to stay.
So not only have I discovered a lovely new place to sup my favourite hot brew, but I can also drop off a (read) book and pick up a new one, for free (well, the cost of a latte). Genius.
I think this is a wonderful idea - coffee and books all in one. I wish more coffee shops/cafes/tea shop…

Tuesday Choice Words

Tension in a book can, literally, have you perched on the edge of your seat. Will they, won't they? Will they get there in time? Will the secret be revealed? I've had to put novels down in the past to have a rest from the onslaught of that story's tension.

Elizabeth Spann Craig has written a wonderful article on just this, Tension & Pacing in Your Fiction. It's well worth a read. Have a look.

The Dangers of Comparison

During the month of April, I'm taking part in Camp Nanowrimo to give myself a boost in rewriting my novel. My target is to write 30,000 words.

Most Novembers, I take part in the main NaNoWriMo word sprint of 50,000 words in a month. I've never managed the full 50,000 words but I've always completed a massive chunk of text.

The problem with taking part in a group writing sprint like either of these events is that you might start to compare yourself to the other people taking part. During NaNoWriMo, every year, there are individuals who not only complete the 50,000 words in November but exceed that wordcount, or perhaps they reach the 50k by the middle of the month.

The same is true of Camp Nanowrimo. I look at the wordcounts of others taking part and become discouraged because I'm not keeping up with them. How have they managed twice my wordcount? How do they have the time to take part in lengthy discussions online when I'm manically juggling my life to fit writing…

Tuesday Choice Words

One of the major changes to my novel, post assessment, is to examine who is telling the story. Originally the story jumped between numerous characters, whittling down to one character only by the one third point. Now, the story is told by only two characters. I wish I'd read Nathan Bransford's article 4 tips for handling multiple perspectives in a  third person narrative before I'd started writing.
Have a great week.

Something Useful for 2015 - Exercise No. 12

I have always been drawn to bridges. Like doors and windows, bridges form a threshold between one place and another. Thresholds are where the magic happens, where one thing becomes another, or maybe where one can be both things at the same time.

I live close to Chester in England. I live in Wales though. On my normal route into Chester, I pass underneath a railway bridge. This bridge marks the threshold between the two countries. The air doesn't look any different on either side. The road doesn't change material and yet I know that I'm crossing a threshold when I walk under that bridge. Magic is happening.

Tell me about your bridge. Is it a real bridge or an imagined one? Is it a footbridge, like the one pictured, or a car bridge, or perhaps a railway bridge? What does your bridge mean to you?

Tuesday Choice Words

Camp Nanowrimo is proving very motivational in the re-write of my novel but I'm always open to more help.

K M Weiland's article 4 Reasons You Might Be Missing Out On Your Best Plot Ideas runs through plotting problems. Have a look.

Photograph Inspiration for April

This month's photographic inspiration is a shot of Bodelwyddan Castle in Wales, not far from where I live. It's a building that has gone through many changes - from family home, to army barracks and hospital, to school, and now split between a museum and a hotel.
The castle is very, well, castle-y, with it's turrets and battlements, but internally it is also very homely. I can imagine a family living there. It's supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Wales.
What do you think? Happy place or scary haunting ground? Practical and down to earth or otherworldly? What does this image inspire you to write?