Tag Archive | magazine analysis

Day 2 of ‘wasted’ holiday

It’s actually been pretty productive.  And it’s not over yet.

The most exciting thing I’ve done today is starting to read the frist draft of my novel ‘Italian Infatuation’.  I finished it over a month ago and left it completely alone since then.  I’m about 40% through it, and I’m actually pretty impressed with it.  The spelling and grammar are terrible, but the story (so far) pretty much works.  There are a few discrepancies that I need to sort straight away, but for a 1st draft I’m happy with it.  I’m not looking forward going through it with a fine tooth comb though, it’s going to take forever!  My plan is to finish editing the first time by the end of March.

I’ve also done more of my writing course.  I still think I’m aiming for the wrong magazine, but don’t know whether to carry on with this one as I’ve done half the work, or find another one.  And if I was to find another one, which one?  I’m not a big magazine reader so don’t really know many. I know there are websites and books listing all magazines that are published in the UK.  I need to go through one.  Hmmm.

Just a short post today it would seem – more Italian Infatuation to read…

Thriller and suspense reading challenge 2010

Don’t you love it when things fall into place.  A few days ago I was talking about how I’ve not read enough books this year, and I’m going to make myself read lots lots more next year.  Then yesterday I was roaming about the World Wide Web, when I stumbled upon this reading challenge on ‘Book Chick City’ for next year.  What an excellent idea.  Read all about it and join in the fun here.  I’ve never done anything like this, but was inspired so much by Novel Push initiative and NaNoWriMo that I figure it’s a good way for me to go.

The challenge is to read 12 Thriller/Suspense novels from January to December.  I’m already thinking what I’m going to read. Meg Gardiner and John Grisham spring to mind immediately.  I’m a little annoyed I’m reading Digital Fortress now as that would be perfect for it, but hopefully Dan Brown’s new one will work for it.  I’ve read one Linwood Barclay book so this will be a good chance to read some more.  I also think I’ll use it as a way to discover new authors.  BCC is encouraging people to post reviews of the novels they read, so should be able to get some good people there.  Yay. 

In other news, I’ve nearly finished typing up the  bit of Italian Infatuation that was hand written.  By the time I go to sleep tonight it should be all done, I’ll just need to read it before I can print it for the mums in my life for their presents. 

I’ve just bought a magazine to do a review of for my writing course.  I’d like to get a big chunk of that done this weekend.  I’ve done it already, but it was for April/May’s issue, so slightly out of date.  As I know the set up, should be easy.  It’s just time-consuming as I need to count article length etc.

I read a forum a few days ago where people were discussing how long it takes them to write articles.  It made me realise I’m probably thinking too much about the article I’m writing for my writing course assignment.  I just need to do it.  It will take minimal research so really shouldn’t take forever.  Especially not the 8-9 months it’s been hanging around at the back of my mind.  I want to get a chunk of it done this weekend too.  I don’t know where I think all the time is going to come from this weekend – I’m working tomorrow, have a drinking night out tomorrow night, then have Christmas shopping to do on Sunday.  Maybe an early night tonight…

What now?

What do you do when you’ve just spent a month doing Nano?  Writing on average 1667 words a day?  Where do you go from there? I can’t decide. 

I know that contradicts what I said yesterday, that I’m going to get on with my writing course in December.  That is my plan.  But, I want to write fiction.  Not real life stuff.  Or maybe I just don’t want to do this damn assignment.  Also though, I’d really like to get on with ‘Holiday’.  During NovelPI I managed to write about 26k I think.  Add that to the words I’d already written and I’ve probably done about 1/3.  But it’s a bit of a mess.  I’ve got different scenes as different documents and bits missing which would connect them all.  I’ve got a feeling I haven’t even finished a scene!  I think I’m going to find it hard to get back into.  Saying that, I really didn’t want to put it down at the beginning of November to start on Italian Infatuation so maybe it won’t be that hard.

I should do the course.  I just feel so stuck with this assignment.  I need to write an article for a magazine.  I think if I could just get a subject I’d be able to write it, it’s just finding the subject I’m finding hard.  I’ve brainstormed it, got loads of ideas, but nothing that really screams ‘Write me’.  I also need to do a review of the magazine I’m targeting the article to.  I’ve already done that, but it was March or April’s edition so slightly out of date – I think I’ll do that again, it might give me some inspiration.  Hopefully!!

For the last 2 months I’ve been concentrating on writing, not doing my usual daily blog read to see what other people are writing about.  I’m so excited I don’t HAVE to do things that will take up my time, so I can go back to doing that.  In fact, I can probably take up a few weeks of this month checking out what happened in November. 

I tried to add my ‘Winner!’ banner for Nano to my page yesterday.  ha ha, I had no hope.  I used to think I was pretty good with computers, I’m really not!  Luckily I have a boyfriend who’s a bit of a geek, and he’s kindly volunteered to help (although after calling him a geek, maybe he’ll withdraw the offer!).

I picked up Dan Brown’s ‘Digital Fortress’ to read this morning.  I’ve read the other 3 ‘old’ books of his, and really enjoyed them, so am looking forward to reading it.  I’ve read a lot of people saying recently that his actual writing is terrible, just his stories are good.  During reading the last books, I didn’t notice it being bad, but then I didn’t used to notice much about style etc., I used to just read. I’m looking forward to reading this so I hope I won’t find what some people do in it!

I think that’s as much time as I can spend wobbling on for now!

Exciting new ideas

I was talking to my mum and other half yesterday about a few writing ideas I had and also that myself and a friend had.  They gave a few opinions and ideas which might make it a good idea.  I’m quite excited about it.

I’m being good and writing down bits of conversations I overhear.  I was talking to my mum about this (yes, there was a lot of talking going on this weekend) and I realised that I don’t do ‘observing’ as much as I could because when I’m in public I’m usually with other people, so usually caught up with them and not paying attention to other people.  This is great from a personal perspective, but from a writing perspective is bad.  Also living in London it is quite hard for two reasons: one, many people are foreign, so a lot of what you hear is in another language; two, people are very often on their own so not talking; just thought of  a three – three, the traffic and transport is so noisy unless you are sat next to people, it’s going to be very hard to hear things.  I am going to work on this though.  I’m doing it at work and that seems to be going well.

I’ve got all day Sunday this week to myself, so, hangover allowing, I’m going to do some serious work on this next assignment.  I’ve done most of the magazine analysis and now need to write a magazine article.  Scary.  I know what I’m going to do it on.  And know pretty much where it’s going to go, I just now need to do some research and interviews and stuff.  I’ve just realised I know a couple of guys that I could speak to about this.  Get a male perspective as well as a female one.  Good work me!


I still hate thinking of titles (which is why there’s a rubbish one here!!!!)

So, I had my days off last week which were going to be packed full of writing, assignment doing and writing sorting.  In actual fact they were filled with relaxing, ‘me’ time and assignment doing.  I’ve done most of the review for the magazine.  I’ve got most of my ideas for the article I’m going to do for the assignment.  I found LOADS of writing I’d done before, some ideas of which I’m going to steel for ‘Holiday’ sub plots.  I didn’t finish the assignment or sort all my writing into any kind of order, but I do feel a bit more positive about it all.  I also did lots of reading – I’ve finished Singletini already!

I did no writing over the weekend.  As usual.  However, I did feel like doing some (the only reason I didn’t was becausr my laptop was at the man’s house), which I feel is a very positive step forward!

I promise sometime soon I’ll do some goals for June and a wrap up of May (yes, I am very aware it’s now 8th and I’ve still not done them – they are on my to do list).

Days off… writing

Well, the first of my 2 days off work to concentrate on my writing and course was quite unproductive – in terms of writing and doing the course.  I figure I needed a ‘me’ day though to refresh, so today’s the day!  I did write a list of things I want to do, and did loads of them, so that’s good

I did do some more of assignment 2 – I’ll finish the magazine review today and I’ve got an idea of the article I want to write (along with a subject that’s happy to talk about it).  It’s going to be a lot of research and work – but I’m quite happy about the subject.  in my mind it’s going to be great!

One thing I did do a lot of yesterday is reading. Singletini that I’m reading is pretty good.  The story’s great, the way it’s written slightly annoys me.  It’s a little too casual, colloquial for my liking I think.  Maybe it’s just getting used to it, because I’m finding it easier to get used to as I go along.  Maybe it’s because it’s in the 1st person and I don’t read that many books that are.  I originally wanted to write my 1st novel (the one I’ve did 6,000 words for 5 years ago), but that idea went out with ‘Holiday’.  I’m not sure why.  I do like 1st person as I personally think it pulls you  in more as you’re seeing everything through that one person’s eyes, almost like it’s happening to you.  ‘Holiday’ is currently being written in 3d person, but from the heroine’s perspective.  I want to keep it just from hers so the reader experiences what she does – they don’t have the knowledge of what’s happening to other people until it happens to her.

I had the idea for ‘Holiday’ a few years ago, and had written some notes about it.  I think they maybe had the charachter’s names and a bit of detail about the story.  I’ve been trying to find these notes, but can’t.  It’s really annoying me.  I know I wouldn’t have thrown them away, I just don’t know where I’ve put them (this is why I should have a neat tidy life).

In the process of looking for them, I found loads of notes for ANOTHER novel idea I had when I was at uni (I know it was from then because the application letter for my 1st job was written on the back of them).  I’m quite surprised about this as I don’t remember writing anything until the year after I left.  It had some good ideas of things I can move over to this story – and some (basic, but good) character analysis’.

Right off to do the assignment (maybe something of my to do list 1st)…

Extenuating circumstances?

I think I need to start coming to terms with the fact I’m not going to hit my targets this month.  Well the words total and everything writing course related too.

I’m wondering if I can get away with telling myself there are extenuating circumstances?  I’m working from an office where I actually have to work – no writing for me.  Not sure if even I believe that one.  There is a slight chance I can make the word total – I need just over 3,000.  but, there’s only one working day left, and I’m away all weekend.  I guess anything is possible.

I was going to go out at lunch to a cafe and observe the room, making detailed notes.  Stuff happened (free lunch at work) so had no reason to (if only I liked tea and/or coffee I could have gone in for one).  I’m going to do that tomorrow. 

I’ve just booked some holiday.  Next Thursday and Friday.  My plan for them is to spend a massive amount on my assignment and to get my head around ‘Holiday’ so far.  I’m not going to do this for every assignment, but I thought it was a good idea for this one as I just can’t get past it.  It’s really just  getting this magazine analysis out the way.  Once I’ve done that I can get on with the magazine article that I need to do for the second half of it.  Once I get over the fear of thinking what to write. 

I think I’ll use the holiday day to also do some more reading.  I got given a book at a car boot sale a few weeks ago (just given.  It was the end of the day and the girl said I could have it because she was only going to give it to charity.  result.  Although I now feel a little bad, a charity could have made some money from it.  I’ll give some to the next charity I see to make up for it!).  It’s American and sounds great, I think it’s called Singletini (by Amanda Trimble – don’t you just love google!) and about single, fun loving, Martini drinking 20 somethings in Chicago.  Drinking.  Fun.  Chicago.  May favourite things all in one. Yay!

April’s writing

In the hope it would inspire me to do some writing (still can’t seem to be able to find any), I’ve just gone back and read some of the stuff I wrote last month.  I’m actually quite impressed with it.  It’s from when I was doing that writing for 5 minutes every hour; I just wrote, with no going back to check what was there.  Because of this, I thought it would be terrible. But it’s actually not too bad.  Now that’s how to get some inspiration!

I’ve started to come up with some ideas for articles I can maybe write for the second part of my next writing course assignment.  My little notebook is getting some good use!  I just need to crack on with this magazine review so I can start writing it.

I’m 99% sure it’s getting this review done that’s slowed down, no stopped me, writing.  I really want the assignment to be the next thing I do.  I guess I need to start telling myself I can be doing more than one thing at once.

Right.  I’m going to do some writing.  On Friday I was taking some advice I read, that if you don’t know what to write about, write about your present life, all your past lives and your hopes for your future life (as in when you’ve been doing different things with your life).  The idea is that something you write about could be used for a story – write about what you know kind of thing.  I started writing about my present life, but didn’t finish it.  I think I’ll continue with that now.

Finding time?

Yes, I’m making more excuses.  I’ve still not done any writing.  That’s a slight lie, I wrote the very beginning of… something the other day (150 words only).  Something where a girl was happily walking down the street when a car nearly crashed into her, in fact she was saved by a man pushing her out the way.  Very strange how that happened, it was just one of those writing things, writing without any ideas.  Didn’t think in my wildest dreams that would be what happened.

I’ve been really busy and literally had no free time this week.  I’ve not even watched any tv or done anything on the computer at home (nope, no facebook, no games, no nothing).  I need to start doing more, we’re a week into the month and I’ve done enough work for it to be the 2nd or 3rd!  Disgraceful.

I did actually do something productive yesterday.  I was thinking about my fear of writing magazine articles – more like my fear of finding a topic – and thought I’d do some research.  So I googled ‘magazine article ideas’ and ‘magazine article writing’ and got loads of advice.  I’ve been looking at the process the wrong way.  I don’t really know how I was looking at it before, but the way I need to look at it is I’ll be writing something that someone like me (or the readers of that magazine) want to know about.  Sound really obvious doesn’t it.  Now it does.  So when I have random ‘I wonder if/what/why…’ ideas throughout the day, I need to capture them and think about turning them into articles.  Another thing to be writing down.  My note book is going to get such good use!

The other thing I need to do, is actually sit down and think about it.  I think I’ve been expecting an idea to just come to me, but that’s not going  to happen.  Not to start with anyway, maybe sometime in the future.  Anyway I need to finish reviewing a magazine (I’m going to do 2 actually) before I start thinking about it properly.  Maybe Sunday.  Definitely next week anyway.

I’m not making excuses, honestly I’m not, but I’ve not done anything this month writing wise.  It’s only 5th, so that’s not the worst thing in the world.  I’ve just had a really busy weekend so couldn’t squeeze anything in.  The worst thing is that I don’t think I’ll be able to fit in any for the rest of the week.

I’m mainly stuck on this assignment.  The time it’s taking to analyse a magazine is crazy.  It’s not like I can do it at work either – writing in a book, fine, writing on the computer, fine, but there’s no way I can get away with reading a magazine.  If I could just get through this assignment I’ll be able to carry on with writing the actual bit of this assignment.  I’m going to make a concerted effort to read on the bus and tube for the rest of the week to get through this.

I’m going to write something this afternoon.  Not too sure what yet.  Something.