Posts tagged ‘Writing’

September 19, 2011

Writing? There’s No Hope

‘What seems to be the problem?’

‘I can’t stop thinking about an idea. It possesses me and I can’t stop thinking about it no matter what I do. When I brush my teeth I think about it. When I go to work I see things which make me think even more. I can’t work because I’m too busy thinking. And it used to just be in my head, but I’ve started doing this weird thing. It’s like self harming. But I want to do it anyway because it helps get rid of the idea. But it’s really difficult to do. And I don’t know why I carry on doing it. And the thoughts still don’t go away.’

‘This thing you do, is it writing?’

‘Yes…’

‘I don’t think I can help. You will need a better doctor than me. The problem is, you’re a writer.’

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September 18, 2011

Worse Than Writer’s Block

I have just discovered what is worse than writer’s block: being able to write but only writing trash. At least with writer’s block you don’t know what you can’t write. Every word that comes out I realise more and more what I’m incapable of. Maybe I should be a poet. That seems easy enough

September 16, 2011

For Me, Blank Pages

I think everyone has a favourite part to writing. One of my absolute best bits is the bit where you sit down in front of a piece of paper or (particularly for me) a computer screen, open a word doc, choose font and size and then watch the cursor blink at you as you decide what to write.

Before you start writing the possibilities of what you might produce are endless. It could be anything you’re about to create. That’s part of the bit I like, the fact you don’t know what it will look like even though you have an idea of how you wish it would look. It will never be the same as your intention. As soon as you start writing direction becomes narrower. This isn’t bad, it means you’re going somewhere. But you lose the openness that comes with having a completely clear page.

I like the blinking cursor tempting me to start rapping keys.

For me, it’s blank pages. What is it for you?

September 16, 2011

Why Write?

It’s painful, stressful, difficult, sometimes boring and it weights on your mind all day until you’ve written something you’re half pleased with. Why does anyone bother to write? Why are some people driven to writing?

I’m cursed with a drive to write and an enjoyment of it. I will fret over a plot, a character, a phrase. I’ve always written, there’s no stopping it and no stopping the ideas which come out of everywhere.

Why do writers write? Why do YOU write?

September 14, 2011

Scoring Your Story

Films have music, a score, to accompany the moving picture. I thought about doing the same with books, in a sort of a way.

If you read What’s You Writing Thing? you’ll see that I said I listen to music when I write. Occasionally the music fits the scene I’m writing, or the mood and adds to it as I write. Obviously a musical track cannot be applied to a book (though I bet someone will try with the advent of eBooks). But I thought about choosing music from my selection to go with a certain scene to enhance my perception of it, even if it wasn’t in he finished product (which it wouldn’t be). Maybe books will come with a CD with recommended tracks to play while reading. I think I prefer reading the way it is, but writing with the music is interesting.

Let me know what you think about music and writing and combining the two. Does anyone get ideas for writing things from music? Or feel the same as I do.

I own the copyright to musical eBooks, by the way. So don’t try it.

September 14, 2011

He Didn’t Look Like A Villain

The next of A Sequence of Untimely Events is up here, bringing you chapter two of the novella. Thanks if you take a look at it :)

September 12, 2011

What the F*** did you Say?

I’d be interested to know what people think about this.

Swearing is a part of colloquial language, whether we think it’s appropriate or not. And whatever is true of spoken language will find some way into dialogue embedded in a narrative. I think that swearing is an important part of language, making the meaning of a threat heavier and causing insult and often shock when used in certain situations. All of this stuff is good for the writer.

The use of swear words can be effective to arrest the attention of the audience. Blue words tend to leap off the page. It can also create a shock, particularly if it is used in a social situation that prohibits “improper” language.

For dialogue, swearing is particular important. If you wish to directly quote obscenities rather than avoiding it with a “He cursed” or “She swore profusely”, you should not water down your dialogue. If it’s a rough, male character, he is more likely to say “bugger off” or “fuck off” than “oh, go away”. Similar he would curse saying “oh shit”, not “dash it” or “fiddlesticks”. Language causing less offence can be equally effective, especially if your characters use it often, such as “damn” and “blast”, which have the connotations of swearing attached rather than slapping you in the face. In contrast to this, gentry at a dinner with ladies would not use anything so blunt as that mentioned above, choosing more of a eupemism.

As with all “rules” of writing, there are ways of using a set “rule” against itself for a certain purpose. An upper class character or dame using excessively rough language is a source of comedy as well as an interesting contrast. I would normally suggest using swearing in narrative sparingly and in dialogue too. An exception to this rule is if you would like a really rough character who uses swearing consistently.

Your audience must always be considered when writing with the intention of using obscene language. Having said that, there was a “children’s” book (really for the parents) called “Go the Fuck to Sleep”, which shows me up quite well in terms of censoring your audience.

Tell me what you think, if you agree with what I said or if you think other things about it. And if you use swearing to a certain degree or try to abstain from it.

September 7, 2011

Just Start Again

I’m not in favour of writing prologues, unless it is more of an introduction and fits on a single page. This is because prologues are boring. They hold up the entry into chapter one, and the real beginning of a story. For me, calling something a prologue is like telling me that it’s optional to read. If it’s worth writing, call it chapter one and start properly.

I try not to write prologues, because they bore me for this reason. I have often found myself writing a prologue for the sake of writing a prologue. Information in the scene before the story (hence pro-logue, the bit before the story happens) can be conveyed in the main bulk of the story.

One of the worst things I find about writing is thinking of a better way to start a book I have already written the beginning for. Beginnings are very important to me for setting the tone, style, progression of a novel. Having to change everything I’ve already written to fit the new beginning is a pain in the arse.

Does anyone here write prologues? Or drop them, like I do?

September 5, 2011

Getting the Bus to Anywhere

Just a thought. Got the bus today, and I get the bus a lot going to school. Always tickets left on the seats and stuff with a destination, where it was bought and time. It’s like a little story on a piece of paper, but only a very small part of it.

Got a plane in the holiday, London to Toronto. There was a plane ticket left there which was London to Calgary. Another, longer distance, example. This one with a name as well though, and type of seat purchase.

Food for thought and possibly a way of thinking up a story.

Just a thought. Like I said.

September 5, 2011

First Liners

I enjoy thinking of first lines for a book. I am guilty of trying to create a book out of a single first liner. I like things like:

“It was an ordinary morning for Lucas. He washed his feet in the loo, brushed his teeth in the shower and pissed in the bath.”

or

“I killed Jon Smith and I have no regrets.”

or (one which I am slightly hesitant to write in a blog and is set in the Second World War, sorry for any offence taken)

“Go back to fucking hell or fucking Germany.”

I always find interesting openings difficult to think up when I’m writing something specific but I come across loads as I’m doing other things and not really thinking.

Anyone else got first liners they have used that they like? Or come across any particular good ones?