Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hard at work

I’m trying to write a story to enter in the Choc Lit Short Story Competition. I began by jotting down a few vague ideas but I wasn’t very impressed with any of them. I decided I needed to tackle the problem systematically and that meant doing some in-depth research. I went to my favourite coffee shop and instead of my usual coffee I ordered a large hot chocolate with cream and chocolate sprinkles. (If a thing’s worth doing it’s worth doing properly.)

It’s a hard life being a writer …

Have you ever suffered for your art?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Word of the week (10)

‘I’m writing a variation on the classic love triangle plot,’ said the romantic novelist. ‘It’s about a girl who can’t decide which of three young men she loves the most. I’m calling it a rhomboid. Get it? Rom boyed?  Like a rom com only with more boys.’

(Yes, I'm cringing too. Sorry, I’m hoping normal service will be resumed when the snow’s gone! See my previous WOW)

Monday, 14 January 2013

A blurb too far?

I’ve just finished reading a novel that was on the bestseller lists not long ago. Sadly, I found the most positive thing about it was that it turned out to be a good choice for bedtime reading: two or three pages each night and I was fast asleep. The plot was predictable, the characters unremarkable, but I kept turning the pages hoping it might improve. I was disappointed.

After plodding on to the boring end I re-read the blurb on the cover that had attracted my attention to this book in the first place. It included quotes from well-known writers and critics featuring words like superb, remarkable and brilliant.

Of course all readers and reviewers have different tastes, and one person’s literary masterpiece is another’s mediocre potboiler, but I couldn’t help wondering if some of these adjectives had either been taken completely out of context or had been accidentally attributed to the wrong book.

So what words would I like to see on the jacket of my novel if it's ever published? How about superb, remarkable and brilliant? Now all I have to do is make sure the story inside the covers lives up to the hype!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Word of the week (9)

I’m too cold to think. My brain is in its hibernaculum.

(Wondering what my Word of the Week is about? Click here for an explanation.)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Making plans

The problem with New Year Resolutions is that it only takes one slip to break them.

You resolve to adopt a healthy diet, and then find a box of chocolates left over from Christmas …
You resolve to write 1,000 words a day, but on the first day the sun’s shining so you go for a walk first, and have a potter round the garden, and then it’s time for lunch …

I much prefer to start a new year by writing down a list of goals I hope to achieve over the next 12 months. Some are specific (I will finish that novel!); others are vaguer (I’ll try to read more modern poetry).

If a writing goal doesn’t already have a deadline attached to it, I’ll add one. I also put a start date on some projects because I tend to waste a lot of time thinking about what I want to write instead of actually sitting down and putting words on paper or computer. The important thing is that most of these dates are flexible, so if I’m a day or two late I don’t feel that I’ve failed.

But I’m always looking for ways to be more productive so this year I’ve accepted the Write 1 Sub 1 monthly challenge. The idea is to write and submit one new story each month. There is also a weekly challenge for more ambitious writers.

Do you make resolutions or aim for goals? Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping on track?