Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Friday, 28 January 2011

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words - Week 4

Week 4 and this week I accepted my fate. I didn't bother trying to desperately squeeze out a story in a different genre than usual, when there are a number of crime and horror story ideas jumping up and down at the front of my mind.
As I've discovered over the last three weeks most of the stories coming out of my head have a sinister side to them, even if they start out with the best intentions they all seem to end with someones death...or in the case of week 2 it started with someones death.

And so this week's story is just under 1300 words about a woman who wakes up, after a night of heavy drinking, with a hangover and discovers a dead body in her living room. But who is the killer and where are they now?

Mwahahahahahahaha! :-)

Friday, 21 January 2011

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words - Week 3

Another week, another image, another challenge.

I was cutting it a bit fine this week. I've had the photograph for two or three days but it was only today that I actually got anything written. I wanted to write something in a different genre to my last two challenges. So I tried to write a romantic story, about having the key to someones heart, but I started struggling as I tried to work out where the story was going...and then my sinister side came out to play.

And that dear friends is how I ended up with just over 1000 words about a woman who has the hearts of her first love and her husband [obviously now dead husband] locked in the freezer!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Purple Blog Monster Strikes Again!

It has struck again...now this blog has gone purple! First my Random Thoughts of Chippy blog went completely purple and now it has spread to this blog. Aargh! Run for your lives before it turns you purple too!!!

Actually it is self-inflicted purpleitis.

I fancied a change...but it took me ages to decided what to change it to. I knew I wanted a pattern of some kind, but I wanted it to look fairly grown up. It is my writing blog after all. Have to look professional now don't we?

Now can anyone guess what my favourite colour is? ;-)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A Handy Tip: Temporarily Binding Manuscripts

This is a tip that I thought I would share with all you delightful writers out there. Now some of you may already know this...and have therefore deduced that I'm not too bright. But then again some of you may not already know this...so for you non clever clogs out there.

When I printed out my first draft I didn't really know how to keep it together, especially after having to write all the page numbers on...because I forgot to print it with page numbers!

Anyway I didn't have a big enough paper clip so I put an elastic band round it. So I'm sat watching the US crime drama Castle. Just to go off on a tangent for a second - I love the opening credits to Castle with the pen as part of the title. Isn't it cool? The pen being mightier than the sword and all!

Anyway back to what I saw on Castle that is now a handy tip that you may or may not already know.

They went in to the apartment of a suspect who also turned out to be a writer and when they were looking at the various manuscripts in the apartment the suspect had fastened them together with what I now know to be called 'foldback clips'. I just thought they were clips...but there you go.

Now I may have learnt this off a murder suspect but it is a really good idea because you can then look at your manuscript like a book...as opposed to how I was originally going to do it which was by taking the elastic band off and letting the pages loose. This way I'm less likely to lose them or muddle them up.

It seems obvious to me now.


The clips I have are what are deemed to be 'medium' ones - about 3cm long. These only just fit around my first draft which is just over 100 pages. I had to use both hands to get the clips open far enough to fit all the pages in [I'm weak OK?].

But as I am hoping that my manuscript will grow a bit I have ordered some bigger clips - they are about 5cm...the biggest I could find. And I ordered them off the Internet because I couldn't find any that size in the shops in the area...and it works out cheaper.

I realise that this is quite a long post for a 'tip' but I'm a writer - I had to tell you the story of how I came across this information didn't I?

Friday, 14 January 2011

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words - Week 2

Well this week I have ever so slightly cheated. In that the image that inspired me was not the one I ended up with. The first one had some sort of flower on it...but I didn't really know the name of said plant. However the story that it conjured up involved a different flower entirely. So I found a picture with that particular flower in.

So it would seem that this week's image is also worth 1000 words...again just under 1100 words.

And I've noticed something. A pattern is emerging you might say. Last week's image was of a cheque book. And the story that went with it was about someone who paid to have someone killed, only to be caught because they paid by cheque.
This week's image is of a field of dandelions. And my story is about a woman who is found dead in a field of dandelions.

The odd thing is when I first began writing I didn't think I'd be writing this kind of stuff. In fact in one of my first few posts on Talkback I even say that:

I don't know why I wanted to write chick lit - I religiously read one chick lit author and all the rest are crime and horror - I was just drawn to chick lit - to be honest I think that I'll make a better chick lit writer than crime or horror [although I haven't ruled them out completely].

That is what I actually put as I went back and found it. So I wanted to write chick lit and I didn't think I'd be very good at writing crime. But here I am two years later with a first draft of a historical mystery in the beginning of the editing stage and I'm writing about people hiring hit men and the murders of women.

The chick lit thing is still there though. It has just been moved to the back burner...on a low light. I'll just have to make sure the crime writer in me doesn't storm back there and set it on fire...or something equally violent!

[image is from http://complimentary-wallpapers.blogspot.com/2008/12/premium-wallpapers-part-1.html]

Friday, 7 January 2011

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words - Week 1

Well here we are the first week of 2011 is coming to an end.

And up until Wednesday I thought that the writing challenge of writing 1000 words about an image/photograph that I had set myself was a bad idea. Until I was paying some bills and looked at my cheque book...and inspiration struck me.

So I have my image and I also have just under 1100 words to go with it - so on this occasion the picture is worth more than 1000 words...just.

It needs some work - but then are there any first drafts out there that don't? I thought it was going in one direction when it suddenly veered off in a different direction.

So now it doesn't make total sense. It is a little on the dark side, with a humorous edge [or it may be just sarcasm].

So tomorrow begins the search for my next piece of inspiration...that may or may not be worth 1000 words.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Great Edit - The Print Out

I hadn't looked at my first draft [formerly known as my NaNoWriMo entry] since the end of November. So this morning I have officially started 'the Great Edit' by printing it out. Took about quarter of an hour to print out. And it wasn't until about 30 seconds in that I realised...that I hadn't put page numbers on!

So after the quarter of an hour printing it out I then spent another ten minutes writing all the page numbers on. I felt that I had to put the numbers on as I could foresee that, if I did not, I would have a minor catastrophe at some point and end up with the pages in the wrong order...this just saves me time in the long run.

So the first draft editing process will be mainly made up of me going through the print out with a red pen correcting mistakes, crossing bits out and putting notes in where I have to add/change bits.

Even though I know that about 99% of my first draft is made up of spelling mistakes and complete rubbish it still feels good to hold a hard copy of it.

Having a quick skim through it I have already spotted quite a few typos...a number of places where I've run words in to each other so my word count would have actually been higher. And there are also places where I am wondering what I was thinking at the time...but I suppose that is why it is called a first draft!