Tag Archive | magazine article

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…

Late December’s goals

Over the summer I got into a good habit of making monthly writing goals. Then Nano happened when my only goal for November was 50,000 words and because I was busy with Nano I didn’t review October’s goals, then I was out of the habit (and forgot) to do any for December.  I’m half tempted to say as we’re notw half way through, I’m not going to make any, but having a goal encourages me to write, and as I’m not doing any writing at the moment I am going to make some. 

The second half of December’s goals are:

  •  Write 250 words per day (fiction). 
  • Do 12 blogs.  Include at least one weekend blog.
  • Read 2 novels – Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress and The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson (not on my To Read list, but one I picked up a while ago and have been dying to read since)
  • Write a magazine article for my writing course.

I can do that – no problem.  Hell, if I can write 50,000 in a month I can do this. 

Better crack on with it…

A book, a course and a list

I really really want to read Italian Infatuation.  I don’t know whether to give in to this need, or do as I planned and leave it until next year. 

I’m going to now have another moan about this silly writing course I’m doing.  It’s not silly.  I have enjoyed it, and I’m sure I will again soon.  But for some reason, I’m just really stuck on this article thing.  I can’t decide what to do it about.  I think if I decide on something it will be fine, I’ll be able to do the research and all will be good – but deciding is just hard.  I’m finding it hard anyway.  I need to just shut up about it and do it. 

My step mum’s asked for a Christmas list from me – oooh, exciting, I’ve mainly put books on it.  Yay! 🙂

Short and sweet today!

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!

Today’s thoughts

There are not enough hours in the day.  Fact.  If there were more hours in the day I would be able to fit in everything I am dying to do each day.  I’d like to:

Spend lots of time writing random things – free writing etc.

Spend time writing my novel.

Read.  Lots.

Search for a job I’d actually enjoy.

Continue with my writing course.

Sleep more.

Lots of other stuff I can’t remember.

Or maybe if we could have a longer weekend – say three days, maybe even four.  I’d like to go on and on about this, but I simply don’t have the time.

I’m re reading the last modules for my writing course – they teach the nitty gritty behind writing an article.  A thought came to me the other day – writing an article is similar to writing an essay at school: First you research; then you look at all the information you have; you plan the order you’re going to write it; write it; then edit it.  Only hopefully make it more interesting than a school essay!  Having had this thought, I am now feeling more confident about writing one.  I think I’d be even more confident about it if I was happy with the subject matter.  I like it, I’m just not all that sure about it. 

Oh no.  I’ve just found something to take up more of my time – today at least.  Last night the man in my life told me about an idea for a novel he’d had (he is on fire at the moment), but he didn’t think he’d be able to write it.  It’s kind of comedy/dark humour/mystery.  Think kind of Ben Elton-ish.  I also don’t think I’d be able to write something like that, but for something to write today, I’m writing a synopsis for it.  It sounds really good.  Maybe one day…

That’s all folks.  Why oh why do I love that so much?

Another rubbish title

Why do I find titles so hard?  When I do bits of writing with random words, I tend to use the words as titles – yesterday I started something using the words prompts Citrus, Decontaminate, Affection and Tailor from this post.  I called it Citrus Affection.  I quite like the name, but it doesn’t really fit a story where a woman thinks her husband is gay, but finds out through following him he actually just likes cross dressing.  I have no idea where that idea came from.  bizarre!

If you’re wondering how the words fit in with a story like that: the wall beneath the balcony where the husband is standing is citrus yellow; He has an affectionate look towards the men rehearsing the play he’s watching; she wonders who it is he fancies – is it the tailor?; and finally the story takes a little tangent when the wife thinks about her friend who’s currently working in Afghanistan decontaminating something (I don’t really know what!)

Yesterday, I did about 2 hours research for my ‘magazine article’ (assignment 2 for my writing course), a blog here, and then 450+ words on Citrus Affection.  Pretty good for a days work.  Today I’m crazily hungover and tired so not sure I’ll get anything done.  I might push on and finish the story from yesterday.  It’s not going to be very good – it’s a pretty rubbish ending (her confronting him and him telling her he just likes cross dressing not men) but I couldn’t think of any other reason why he’d be where he was unless he was gay.  It’s not believable either.  But it’s writing and that’s the main thing.  Who knows what I may decide to take from it in years to come.

My boyfriend’s decided he wants to write a novel.  A children’s novel.  He is worried (and I am) he’s going to finish it before I get anywhere with mine – then resent him for it.  It’s quite possible he will as he decided on the subject on Sunday night, then started writing it Monday morning!  I wonder if this means I should make a big effort to get on with writing mine?  I made the decision on holiday that the novel would take a step back and I would put most of my effort into getting on with my course.  I think that’s going to be the best plan of action.  So with that decided I’m not going to resent him if he does that.  I promise.  It has made me have thoughts about us both giving up work to write novels, and having life like a permanent holiday.  Slight glitch there is that we’d have to be writing – not doing whatever we want.

I’ve just been looking through my writing folder on the work computer and found a document titled ‘Oneword.com’.  What?  I’d totally forgotten about it.  Somehow I found this website.  Every day they put a random word on the site and you have 60 seconds to write about it.  I love it.  I need to start remembering to do it.  60 seconds of free writing about a word you get to see as the time starts.  It’s brilliant to get the old creative juices flowing.  Strangely enough my 60 seconds of writing, if extended to a story, was Si-fi.  Very strange as I know nothing about it and that really isn’t the kind of thing that would pop into my mind.

I’ve been thinking about writing a Mills and Boon book.  This idea pops into my head every few months.  I’ve got the basic plan for a book I could write.  I’ve got loads of M&B books at home for research.  I’ve been on the website (in fact I go on it every couple of years) to research writing a book for them.  But I do nothing.  I’m not even sure if I’ve got a plan written down for it.  I may do that today (to be honest I’ve already created a document titled ‘Mills and Boon Synopsis’ today – I just wrote the title, saved and closed it).  Seems like a good way to get today’s writing in.  Look at me – I make a decision to focus on one thing and immediately look for something else to do.

Nothing to write

(But bet I can ramble for a while regardless!)

Something I have been meaning to blog about recently is when I first knew I wanted to be a writer.  I’ve read a few people’s blogs where they’ve been talking about how they’ve always known that’s what they want to do. I don’t think I’ve always known I want to write, but I can’t for the life of me remember when I decided I do.

As a  kid I was constantly reading.  I always had a book around me and if I wasn’t out playing I could usually be found in a corner with my head stuck in one.  This continued all the time I was growing up and into adulthood.  The only reason I don’t read as much now is that I just don’t have the time. 

But writing, really no idea when that decision came to me.  Recently I found some scribblings, which kind of formed an idea for a novel, written I think when I was at uni, or when I lived in America (which was my year out from uni).  That kind of surprised me as I thought the 1st solid thing I had written was after I left.  I wonder how much writing I’ve done over the years and don’t remember.  I wonder if there’s loads of stuff somewhere I’ll stumble across one day.

During GCSE English Language classes we used to do ‘timed writing’.  Our teacher would give us a topic or line or something and we would have the whole lesson to turn it into a story.  I used to love that; I got my best marks in English for those stories.  I wonder if they’re somewhere at my mum’s house?  In the loft somewhere?  The time that sticks in my mind the most was when our prompt was ‘You’re not bringing that in here’.  My teacher went mad at us all for not thinking of something more original than a lost animal (mine was a puppy – driven from a longing for a puppy when I was little I’m sure).  I often think about what alternative story could have come from that line, but always come back to the lost puppy idea.

When I was a teenager my favourite book EVER was Summer Dreams, Winter Love by Mary Francis Shura – from the Point Romance collection.  I’ve just looked for it on Amazon (to get the author’s name) and the reviews say exactly what I thought every single time I read it – it’s the best romance book ever.  What many people reviewing it also said is that it’s a book for all ages.  I’m 90% sure I’ve still got it at home and have always wondered if reading it as an adult would wreck the memory of it for me.  It would seem not.  I have to find it and read it.  I read it for the 1st time as a young teenager who had no idea what this love thing is, and it really brought it to life, making me want it so much.  I wonder how good it is now knowing 1st hand how it is. 

I always say my reason for wanting to be a writer comes from feeling moved by other people’s writing, and wanting to do that to someone who’s reading my text.  Summer Dreams, Winter Love is possibly the 1st  book I ever read that did that, definately the 1st I remember (and we’re talking 15+ years later here!). 

I think that’s enough reminising now.

There’s an article in this month’s Company magazine about how to earn £50k plus during the recession.  The first person who is given as an example is a lady who’s just had her 1st book published and has signed a three book deal.  It was a really nice story, proving anyone can do it (she had another career and wrote it in the evenings).  It put a little spring in my step this morning!

Hoo hoo, I’ve just discovered a Jane Green book I didn’t know about.  ‘This Christmas’ is a collection of three short stories one by Jane and the other two by other people.  Another book to add to my to read list.

Last week I sent my friend a copy of the short story I wrote recently; she’s also interested in writing and said she’d like to read it.  She loves it.  She thinks I should turn it into a full length story.  She (quote) ‘was hooked after a couple of paragraphs’.  Go me.  That’s given me a lot of confidence in myself.  Other than my mum, I don’t think I’ve ever shown anyone any of my writing, maybe I should…

For a girl that had nothing to write, I sure as hell found something – I think this may be the longest blog I’ve ever done!

Writing course

I had a day off work today.  My plan was to see friends but at didn’t happen, so I… wait for it… did some of my writing course.  Not much granted, but a little and every little helps.  My next assignment is to write a magazine article; I’m finding it really hard to start.  A little birdie says it’s because I’m scared as if they like this they will recommend I try to sell it.  Oh my god.  I’m only on assignment two and they’re saying I potentially could sell a piece of writing.  That’s why he thinks I’m scared.  Don’t you hate it when someone knows you (or maybe reads your blog?  Not sure if I’ve written that!).

The work I did was research for the article.  Maybe not research as such but research into what I could write about.  I need to write a questionnaire.  I need people’s comments for it.  I’m a little bit excited about it.

I’ve just found a really interesting blog here about different points of view for writing.  It reminds me I need to do this different perspectives thing for ‘Holiday’.  I need to do it soon so I can get on with writing more.  In my head think I’ve decided I want it to be 1st person, but I really want to write a scene a few ways to see how it works.

Left brain vs right brain; Logic vs creativity

I stumbled upon this test to see if you think with the left (logical) or right (creative) side of your brain.  I’d always gone through life thinking I wasn’t really very creative (yeah really, even though I write a lot of fiction – go figure), but this test shows I use the right side of my Brain.  After a lot of trying I was able to see the dancer go the other way, but it was a lot of trying.  I’m quite happy with that.  (I warn you, once I was able to see her dance the other way I became addicted to making my brain see her change direction – maybe that’s to do with the obsessive part of my brain!)

I’ve made a decision.  Well, I’ve made a decision to help me get to the correct decision in the end (not even sure I understand that).  I have been thinking for a while about whether ‘Holiday’ should read in the 1st person, or 3rd but from the main character’s perspective.  Currently everything I have written is in 3rd person, but I think I really want it to be 1st.  But I’m not sure.  So, I’ve decided to make my decision, I’m going to rewrite a scene I’ve written (or 2) in first person and decide which I prefer when I can compare them. 

I think to do this, I’ll read the scene and make notes with the things I need to include.  I think I’ll then leave it for a day or two (to clear my mind of it) then write it 1st person.  Thing is now I’ve got this idea I really want to do it NOW!  we’ll see.

I’ve also just had an idea I think I might come to regret.  People say you should leave your writing for a couple of days before editing it.  What if I wrote something, then rewrote it a few days later (weeks, months…) to see how I changed it etc.  Just as an experiment.  I’m going to try it.

I had an idea a while ago about having a go at rewriting magazine articles, to see how I’d phrase things and if I thought I was any good at it (seeing as this assignment I’ve been thinking about for months is to write a magazine article).  The problem is, to get the information I have to read the article, and don’t want to do that as I want the writing to come just from me – I don’t want any ideas from anyone else (I don’t want to steel anything).  Obviously I would do this just as an exercise, I wouldn’t use it for anything other than my personal use.  I wonder if I can talk someone into reading an article and writing out the main points I would need to use. Mmmmmm.