Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. William James

If you are a regular on this blog you will notice a few changes- finally I have managed to get a picture of the book as well as me on my blog (I know a bit dense of me) and I have added some other bits to make it more user friendly. I hope it is. This is just a quick blog to say that I will be back on the marketing trail again!!! I had a bit of time out but a few recent reviews have boosted my confidence and I am ready to go at it again! The good think with Pod is that it is kind of for life the book- it has no time limit! 

Also anyone out there trying to connect with other authors- Linked in seems great. the first social site I have been on that has provided conversation etc!!! 

Finally a quick plug to follow me on twitter @marissadeluna and to find my facebook page 'Goa Traffic- A Novel by Marissa de Luna' - Like it!!! 

And finally a quick Goa Traffic plug - amazon.com or amazon.co.uk give it a go!! 

We tend to forget that happiness...

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”- Frederick Keonig

After a refreshing bank holiday break I feel on top form. Well waking up this morning was a struggle but apart from that the weekend was the first time in a long time that I felt relaxed. Completely, whether it was the water or the country side or a mix of the two it is hard to explain. Maybe it is the romantic writer in me finally conceding to natural beauty. The reason for our existence and happiness. To strip back the world and get back to nature. To be able to sleep for ten hours and wake up with not much to do but look at the scenery. Something I thought I would never enjoy but I did. I put my writing out of my mind for a couple of days and I soaked up other peoples words. I was truly absorbed into a different world. Dont worry I wont continue with this line of thought I know it could quite possibly be gagable if you are not in the mood for it. Which begs another question 'Do I write for my audience or for myself?' another topic for another day methinks. 

Anyway so I read- I finished Tony Blair: A journey and yes it was good. I think it provided me not only an education but an insight to the political world. It is a good read if you are thinking of reading something quite different. I then started reading The Lantern, by Deborah Lawrenson. I was very excited by the thought of it. I was sadly disappointing for the first couple of chapters - it is slow to start but now I am truly absorbed in the description of southern France and the lavender fields. 

Now in my writing group I think the criticism would be more telling than showing- but Ms Lawrenson is now a best seller- see you can never tell! Anyway if anyone wants to be transported to southern france and be absorbed in the beauty of words and lost in a good book pick up The Lantern and tell me what you think!  I'll let you know shortly if it was good till the end! 

Friday, 26 August 2011

Courage is the discover that you may not win...

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose. Tom Krause 

I am getting very forgetful so I don’t know if I have blogged about this before or not– but did I mention that Amazon UK and Amazon USA don’t link together?  Okay so I am slightly ignorant in these things but really I thought having put up an author profile on the co.uk version it would automatically show up on the .com version. The same with the reviews. But no it didn’t –so I uploaded my photo etc and have got it started. 

The American version is very cool it shows you a map of America with books in all the places people have bought them! Big Love America and thank you for buying my books!!  I just need a couple of reviews on there now! My ratings have slipped massively there as well so a bit of a plea blog post – to buy a copy and write a review. It’s a bit cheeky I know but I need the sales and think of it this way – with all free marketing this is truly a study of how much a self pubber can make!!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

What's in a name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" – Shakespeare

It is hard choosing a name for your novel. Did I do “Goa Traffic” justice in calling it that? I don’t know perhaps you can come up with a better one! But that is done, it cannot be changed (well it could for later editions) but anyway today I am thinking about a name for my new novel, that I have been thus far been calling The Book Club. I have been following a workshop that I used in choosing The title for Goa Traffic- the aim of the game is to be specific, unusual and concrete. Apparently those names sell better. Apparently authors are terrible in choosing names for their books. So anyway I followed this workshop I made a list of unusual settings in the book, interesting topics in the book and unusual activities. Anything abstract I dismissed and I am struggling. Coming up with Goa Traffic was relatively easy compared to this.

I have come up with “The Abduction of Maria Shroder” and “Forgotten” (which is very abstract and could be easily forgotten) but these are not what I am looking for – I will spend the rest of today having a think about it!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dont tell me the moon is shining...

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
- Anton Chekov

Why is dialogue writing so difficult?! Well I find it so. So in my attempt to improve my dialogue I googled- How to write dialogue in a novel. What  google came up with was this:http://www.novel-writing-help.com/writing-dialogue.html

It is a fantastic website for any budding novelist and has given me food for thought for The book Club. I now want to rewrite chunks and point out where exactly I need to show and tell. (Look under narrative structure for that)

I know it is important to have a theme to your book, some symbolism and well rounded three dimensional characters. This website will help you improve my writing. After writing my first draft – getting the story down- I am keen to develop it further – I know I need to show, not tell –  a balancing act. I know  the characters need to be identifiable and I know I need to make the reader love some characters and hate some others. There is lots of work to do this good thing about this website is that it has helped hone in my skills and provided me with further clarity of how to incorporate it into my book. It is one thing knowing you need some symbolism in your book. Its another incorporating it into your writing.

No now even though I said I would leave my book for a month or so- I really want to start adding, subtracting and doing all sorts to the characters. But I need to let it breathe and so I will restrain myself. Lets see how long I can hold off for.

I can see why there are so many courses out there to improve your writing- the Faber course looks good. But you have to have a bit of money behind you to do something like that- and you may never reap any  financial rewards. Its tough – I have studied so many things in my life and I am always slightly dejected after a course –thinking it isn’t something I want to do- maybe I am fickle but maybe it takes the fun out of it- the adhocracy. This is why writing is great- yeah there is technique but will a school may you conform to what’s out there already?! Just a thought.

Monday, 22 August 2011


It has taken me a while to provide a link to this but if you are on facebook or not have a look at my page! Even better 'like it'


In writing and Politicking...

In writing and politicking, it's best not to think about it, just do it. Gore Vidal

Okay so I promised the elevator Pitch and here it is- by the way I don’t want to insult your intelligence but for people who don’t know what an elevator pitch – it is a twenty five wood hook for your work.  The premise is that you are riding in an elevator with a famous director/publisher etc. and you need to get your idea out fast!

Maria is desperate to remember after an abduction leaves her with hysterical amnesia. Her friends are suspects but the truth lays buried in her past. 

It is not quite right is it? I need to come up with something better- would that hook you? I doubt it- would you pick up the book because you saw that on a promotional book mark?! Let me know

Anyway that aside I have now completed my first draft! Woooo hooo! I am going to give it to my mum, friend and mother in law for their verdicts. Of course James will want to read it (The other half) because it is dedicated to him and there is something quite nice being able to read something before the rest of the world. That is one nice thing about writing books you can dedicate them to people, which is a nice way of thanking people for their support- not only for your writing but for just being there for you.  

I have begun writing my synopsis- premature I know, I will probably have to re-write it a million times after this but it keeps me busy!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence...

Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence - a lot passes you by - simply because your attention is otherwise diverted. - Anita Brookner 

So leaving Goa Traffic aside for just one moment, I have been working furiously on completing the first draft of The book Club. The trouble is every time I get to the chapter I am working on I think of something else to add to earlier chapters. Its good I am really developing my characters and unlike GT there are lots of characters to play with. Its like they all sit around a table in my head and come up with ideas for themselves- crazy as it sounds – its true. Like the Miss Potter film- I thought is she going mad that she talks to her characters and they are in her head doing things- now I know that that is just being an author. Your characters just pop into your head with suggestions like they are long lost friends- or evil enemies too.

Anyway let me not bore you with that-the good news is that The Book club is progressing. I am having a solid writing day today and plan to get the final word typed. It is already a mammoth first draft for me at 70,000 words. I guestimate another 20,000 but would like to stay around the 80,000/85,000 mark.

I can’t help but think of an elevator pitch and writing a synopsis- yes getting ahead of myself I am – I will share the elevator pitch with you next time. Have a think let me know your thoughts! But I am taking my time with this one. There is lost of improving to do.

In fact a passage at writing group got slaughtered the other day- namely by myself. I sat there as one of our members read out the passage. I squirmed in my seat and cringed at the bad writing. I was definitely telling not showing! It was just bad bad bad! I took it home re-hashed it and produced what I think is a much better piece. This is what I love about the writing group – they are critical but in such a constructive way even though you feel dejected for the rest of the evening – the next day after lots of editing you have a much better chapter!  

I Hope you enjoyed Martin Lastrapes Blog Post from the other day. I think his book is really doing well and he seems very on the ball with his promotions. I keep my fingers crossed for him. Like the rest of us he is following his dream.

Friday, 19 August 2011

A woman uses her intelligence ...

A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition. Gilbert K Chesterton

It came up on my twitter feed from Top Books and even though I get loads of tweets like this, this particular story caught my eye. I think it would for any budding novelist. Plus it gives us what we  all need in this life and that is Hope. Anyway have a read it is interesting. I also read another good article about self publishing on writers digest. Basically it said- of course your friends and family ar4 going to like your book – and that’s because they see you in it- Good point. It’s the others that you want opinions from. So does this count for work colleagues as well? I mean if you don’t know them all that well. I think it doesn’t I think I need a review from someone completely unbiased. Someone who perhaps hasn’t even read this blog- because surely this blog would give them an insight to my psyche. Not an editor mind, just a random! So now how do I go about doing this- I set it as my task for the rest of the year. Yes I know that this is a minor task for 5 months but hey I have book number two to finish, a full time job and yes I have even joined the gym- so now there are even less hours in the day. Not to mention Tony Blair – 700 pages is no easy feat!
Anyway I think the best way to go about this is one of two options:
1)   Ask anyone I know to who has bought the book to pass it on to a friend of theirs that does not know me at all- then ask them for a review- even if it is only a few lines. This could be annoying for friends who already have been so supportive for buying and reading the book in the first place!
2)   Do a free book give away on Good reads. Marketing is expensive and this could be a good way to get my book out there a bit of publicity and maybe the people who get the book will read and review. Who knows!
However in both instances people will not have parted with their money so really is their view going to be accurate – do free things read better or worse.
Well I will ponder this until September I am sure. I am in one of those phases at the moment when thing are taking a long time to do. I think this is part of growing up (I say at 30) – The whole Tony Blair books, the awful awful riots in England – it is making me be more alert to current affairs, it is making me be a kinder more aware person. You know what I mean? When you are young you can go through life as if in a bubble not really worrying about wars and communities but then you grow up it does matter. It has been happening to me alot recently – The world around me is making me take things more seriously, making me want to make even more of a difference. Anyway this topic is for another blog at another time!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

GUEST BLOG: The Benefits of Being an Independent Publisher- Martin Lastrapes

GUEST BLOG: The Benefits of Being an Independent Publisher

When it came time to send my novel, Inside the Outside, into the world, I knew I wanted to publish it myself.  What I didn’t know was how many choices and decisions I would have to make as soon as I decided to become my own publisher.  What follows is an informal editorial based on my experiences as an independent publisher and is not meant to be regarded as a “how-to” piece.  If independent publishing is something you’re considering, I highly recommend you do plenty of research and learn as much as you can about all of the options available to you. 

Many authors choose to go with print on-demand (POD) publishers, such as Lulu.com, CreateSpace.com, and AuthorHouse.com.  At first, I assumed a POD publisher was my only option and it was just a matter of selecting one.  This didn’t sit too well with me, as it didn’t really seem like I would have as much control over my book as I would like.  I worried about things, like the cover and the interior design, because I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted the book to look like—or, to be more specific, what I didn’t want the book to look like.  I eventually discovered that by becoming an independent publisher—which is different than publishing through a POD publisher—I could micro-manage the publication of Inside the Outside, making every single decision, big or small. 

The first thing I learned was that becoming an independent publisher costs money.  One of the primary reasons that POD publishers are such an attractive option are that they cost the author little-to-no money.  And, beyond that, they do all the heavy lifting, such as formatting the interior of your book and providing an ISBN number.  But, on the downside, you don’t really get a say in how they do many of these things, unless you’re willing to pay for special attention.  And that’s actually how the POD publishers make most of their money, by selling services—like design and editing—to authors.  If you’re already willing to pay the necessary costs, but don’t want to give your money to a POD publisher, then the first thing you’ll want to do is get familiar with Lighting Source.

Lighting Source is the primary printer and distributor used by all the major POD publishers, as well as many traditional publishing houses.  While Lighting Source uses POD technology, they are not a POD company.  They don’t offer author services and, more importantly, they don’t even work with authors.  Lighting Source works with publishers, which means, in order to work with them, you must become a publisher.  The way you become a publisher is by buying the ISBN number for your book.  That’s it.  Once you have the ISBN number, which you can purchase at Bowker.com, you’re free to work with Lighting Source.  Again, if you go with a POD publisher, they’ll provide the ISBN number for you, so you don’t have to buy it; but they’ll also own the ISBN number, which means you can’t use it anywhere else. 

Once you have an ISBN number and you’ve set up an account with Lightning Source, it’s time to design your book.  That means designing not only the front cover, back cover, and spine, but also designing the interior layout.  Part of working with Lighting Source means you can’t simply upload your manuscript as a Word document, as you can with a POD publisher.  So, unless you have the software and know-how, you’re going to have to pay somebody to design and format the book for you.  Again, this isn’t a bad thing, as it gives you 100% control over how your book will look—you just have to be prepared to spend some money.  There are many designers out there and most of them are capable of designing both the exterior and the interior of your book.  As with every other part of this process, do a lot of research and find the designer who best fits what you’re looking for.

Once your book is designed and ready to go, you’ll set your title up with Lightning Source and within a few weeks they’ll have it plugged in to their many distribution channels, including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  Many POD publishers can also distribute your book through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, however, you’ll have to split your profit both with Lighting Source and the POD publisher. As an independent publisher, you cut out the middleman (the POD publisher), which allows you to keep the majority of your profits.

If you go with a POD publisher, you stand to earn less money, but you also save money by not having to spend as much during the publishing process.  And if you become an independent publisher, you stand to make more money, but you also have to spend a lot more money upfront.  So, really, in the end, it comes down to a very simple question: 

How much do you believe in your book? 

If you’re not confident you can get big book sales, but would still like to see your book published, then you probably want to go with a POD publisher.  But if you know you have a great book, are confident that you can find a big enough audience to cover your costs, and, most importantly, you’re willing to put in the necessary work for learning the basic ins-and-outs of publishing, then I would recommend you skip the POD publishers and become an independent publisher. 

Up to this point, my experience publishing Inside the Outside has been very satisfying. That’s not to say it hasn’t been frustrating and stressful at times, but, overall, it’s been a great experience.  Inside the Outside is available in paperback ($9.95) and eBook (.99¢) at all major online retailers, including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. You can check out a free preview of the book at Google Books.  I’ll also be doing a book giveaway on GoodReads, which ends on September 2, 2011, so check that out and sign up for free.  If you’d like to learn more about me and my writing, check out my official website, Inside Martin, at www.martinlastrapes.com.  

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Invent your own mythology...

Invent your own mythology or be slave to another man’s.
William Blake

Remember guest blog tomorrow - Read a very interesting article by Martin Lastrapes author of Inside the Outside! The article is a must read for anyone debating between POD - what I did and publishing the novel yourself- something I am very interested in doing - perhaps- for my new novel The Book Club.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts. - Edward R Murrow 

Tony Blair- A journey. I have got to say it is pretty good. If you are a regular follower of this Blog then you will know I started reading this book with the intent to dislike it. But actually I am quite enjoying it. Why when I am not a political aficionado in the slightest do I like it? Well for starters Tony Blair is real. I cant say that I was ever a  big Labour supporter but he has the same fears as all of us. When he won the election he wasn’t saying Yippee- he was saying oh Cr*P because he knew what it meant. To be leader of a country is a huge deal. His book provides an insight into the no.10, the death of Diana and how the Royals had to cope with her funeral, the foot and mouth crisis’s, the Kosovo crisis. I am probably more educated now, half way through his journey, than I have ever been. I’ll be honest the politics don’t interest me much. It is the relationships between the cabinet, other world leaders and the royal family. It also provides an insight to what it is like for someone in that position to go through. I mean the guy is pretty honest about what he thinks he did right and wrong, what he thinks of certain parts of our society and mistakes he has made along the way.

I know what you are thinking- his book is a good bit of self promo. Of course it is, I am not that blind- but in its delivery it provides an insight that you will never get from watching politicians on the news. I can see why it is a best seller- although he does more of the telling than the showing, and for a political memoir the pictures are not that great!

I am half way through, the next chapter is 9/11 – It will be an interesting read and for the first time in the last two weeks I actually feel like picking it up!  If you  want more than entertainment this summer- a bit of political intrigue then buy a copy or get it from your local library. That said I am looking forward to my next read, The Lantern as recommended in the TV book Club.

For anyone that is on good reads – you can now read this blog on my Blog page. If you are a self published author and have not registered on Goodreads.com I really recommend that you do. It is a great resource for authors.

If you are just a member on goodreads.com find me and become a fan or add my book to your list of read or to read or better still befriend me!

So today my musings were largely focused on reading not writing but I suppose the two are synonymous. Although I have to end on a positive note for Goa Traffic. I received a brilliant review from a friend who downloaded the book on his ipad and he really made my day. The words were very kind and genuine- the terms ‘page turner’ and ‘loved the twists’ were just a couple of the comments. Anyway I wont bore you with the whole spiel but It really did make my day! Especially as the review was from the male species- reviews of which are rare for Goa Traffic that is largely aimed at the female market.

Until next time

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A creative man is motivated by...

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. Ayn Rand

So back to Goa Traffic. What’s new?  Well my free marketing campaign is a bit sluggish. I have joined linked in and have started participating in groups! Yes it is time consuming but worth it- there are some interesting discussions happening on the various author discussion walls- heated ones at that about self publishing versus Traditional and whether self publishers should be considered as professional. One comment was that they shouldn’t because nobody has paid them to release their work. But I ask you – if you know someone in a publishing house and they get your work published because you had a contact there does that make you a better writer? Or because your story caught someone’s attention and they put you through – is your work better than someone who has written a fantastic book but just cant get through to the agents – because the agents don’t think the work will sell. My comment was that the rise of the e-book will put self publishers and trad pubbers on an equal footing – Surely then it is up to the reader to decide! I know for one (I know I have said this countless times) I have bought utter drivel  that as been published traditionally. I guess those are the books that don’t make many sales that the general public don’t hear about. Never the less they are out there.

How long do you think that self pubbers will be on an equal footing with trad publishers? Soon I think- I know – the ebook is revolutionary.

Speaking of e-books I am having a new book cover desin produced by a close friend who is a creative genius. This cover will be for my more aptly priced ebook for kindle. Authorhouse are charging £7.99- in my opinion it is too much although there are two schools of thought here from kindle owners:
1)   Cheap books are bad so I stay away from them
2)   Cheap books – why not? For that price I will give it a go.

Clearly I will hit both markets?! Or maybe do myself a dis-service by sending mixed signals to my audience! We’ll see. I have the book ready to upload on to amazon- of course I will be using their publishing software to upload it – I think It is called Mobi Pocket- I will let you know how I get on as I have heard it is very difficult to do. Watch this space.

Another  couple of sites I have joined are Good reads and  The Copia both very similar – Good reads I think has the edge- you fill up your on-line  book shelves with books you have read and join in discussions, add yourself as an author and  write reviews. We’ll see how that goes. If anything it will provide some entertainment. I may put people off as the book I am currently reading is Tony Blair : A journey – I don’t want them to think I am that kind of person- They wont know why I am reading it!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Any idiot can face a crisis

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.- Anton Chekhov

Assumptions. We all make them – all of the time. The way someone looks, what they wear etc. But people generally create an image of themselves of how they want to be seen. We all know people that are maybe stand-offish, eccentric, fuddy duddy, clever. Whether we create these impressions of ourselves consciously or sub-consciously is in a way irrelevant (unless you really need to know what’s beneath the surface and how people tick- and that’s delving in to the world of psychology)

Taking this fact, and it is a fact- we can turn it on its head and apply it to marketing a book. Most people in Britain know they don’t want to do a ‘Ratners’ we learn about it in business school etc- For hose of you who have escaped this story. It was about Ratners- a well established jewellery store. Basically the CEO came out in an interview and said the Jewellery was rubbish! Stupid but true – it probably haunts him till this day- needless to say that Ratners went bust. So when people ask you how the sales of your book are going do you say really well I sold XXXX number of books in just two months- thus giving credibility to your book and improving the perception of your book?- maybe they will spread the word.  Or do you say – Oh I’ve only sold 5! – What would people think?- Automatically they would think it wasn’t a good book and choose not to buy it- in fact they would probably forget the name of the book. Little do they know that even the best book ever written can fail without the proper marketing- you could be sitting on it right now!

But we don’t all have thousands of pounds to throw at marketing. We all have to do it from our bedrooms, living rooms and Laptops on the cheap. So people out there don’t know about our book and therefore don’t know it is available to buy!

It is a tough one esp if you have self published. But maybe you can project something about your book when you speak to people (I am not talking about close friends and family) but to random people you meet. Maybe, just maybe it will spur them in to buying a copy!

But then it does involve a lie! Fiction writers should be good an conjuring up a lie but to say it about your own book could be a moral dilemma that you face on your own! It is merely a thought- but one to think about after all marketing is about selling yourself- its just how much exactly do you want to sell – certainly not your soul!  Which in a way brings me full circle back to my original blog quote by Doctorow- ‘Writing is like prostitution’

Friday, 5 August 2011

Everything that doesn't kill you...

Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. And later on you can use it in some story.
Tapani Bagge

Okay final workshop ideas for you.

Think bout someone you know and write about them in detail! As in the quality of their clothing, their vocal tones (timbre of voice), what they say and what they actually mean. How they move and how they sit, their body language etc. If you feel brave send it to them and see what they think! This will help you build character profiles. Giving you an insight into how your character behaves so when you write about them you really know how they are going to react. It will also help further interaction with the rest of the characters in your book.

Now I am going to practice what I preach and start doing some of this. I really need to get inside my characters heads!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between...

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.  The chasm is never completely bridged.  We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Part two of the workshops commence. So yesterday you were tapping into your subconscious and experiencing your characters and today you are describing. In a good article put together by roselle angwin she suggests that you find a place where you can see the horizon and describe the following:

1)      The foreground- just a few meters away from where you are sitting
2)     The middle distance
3)     The horizon
4)     Over the horizon
5)     Very close and detailed

So by making all these descriptions- and remember here you want to bring out any inhibitions- you want the words to just flow and be as descriptive as you like- you will develop your writing skills, so your readers will be able to see what you see. It can often be difficult when we write for people to see things vividly. Of course you don’t wan a bad case of telling and not showing but you do want your readers mind to be captivated. Remember most people like reading because it is a form of escapism- from the lunch hour reader to the ‘few chapters before bed’ reader. You have to set the scene for your reader. At the same time leaving some items for them to imagine- you don’t want to take away all the fun for them. There is an art in creating this balance! You just need to know how to do it! This exercise is definitely a good start.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Write down the thoughts of the moment.

Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.  ~Francis Bacon

Right so you need to improve your writing ability these few workshops will be pretty useful :

Unsent letters!  - this is a great tool and I have used it myself- write to someone about something that is bothering you – it could be about them or something that you want to get of your chest. If you don’t have any ideas like that well then maybe just your thoughts. When you have finished read through it- does it convey your mood, what golden nuggets of information can you take from it? Not only are unsent letters a good way to vent (I mean you an send the letter on if you you want to destroy your relationship with the other person.) but they provide a good tool for you to look into your natural writing and tap into your subconscious.

Another good way for tapping away into that subconscious mind of yours is automatic writing. I tried this just the other day. You take a piece of paper and make sure you time yourself for say five minutes. Then all you need to do is write whatever gibberish comes in your mind. The article I read said that 95% of this will be rubbish random letters (mine was filled with the words ‘beef’ and ‘liver’ and ‘cheese’ and ‘silver’ random I know) well this technique is supposed to give you one nugget- one golden idea etc. I am not sure if this worked for me but it was an interesting experience and only took five minutes of my time.

Try it if you get a chance! Maybe you need to do it several times before it works- maybe you don’t need it in your life- either way it provides some way of improving your writing skills.

And lastly for today – do something your character (in your novel) would do. Would she take a walk by the river, would she bake cookies without a recipe- would she get on a random train to Doncaster! What would he or she do if they were living- that’s the idea- bring your characters to life do something they would do- or become them for a day.
I am intrigued by this last idea and it is something I am going to think hard about and try and do to immerse myself further into my new manuscript- The Book Club. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep...

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
Jules Renard

Dont you just hate it when you have a cold about you but it hasnt made up its mind whether its coming or going. I hate that. That's how I feel right now though, a bit under the weather. 
I have just announced my first book of the book club I have started. Diane Chamberlains "Secrets she left behind." I know what you are thinking- a run of the mill book that is neither here nor there- a bit like my cold. I enjoyed it though - its one of those reads that provides escapism but not too heavy. And it makes you think- I like books like that! 
Tony Blair- A journey arrived today - looking at it fills me with dread. It looks so boring and what if I take it out with me somewhere - what kind of impression does that kind of book give about me- Am I a book snob? Dont judge a reader by the book they are reading. If you do enjoy reading and you head down to the beach (on holiday) you do tend to look at what people are reading and you do kind of judge them a little- or is that just me?! 

I am waffling- I blame the cold and the fact that I joined the gym today - good timing I know- I am trying to provoke this wanna be cold one way or another - there is nothing more annoying than an indecisive cold. 

Anyway I can sense I am boring you to tears. I have some important things to say- about how you can improve your writing. I have been scouring workshops online and came across the Mslexia workshops which are great I have got a few pointers from my favourite ones and that is what I aim to share with you! as I try them out.