Tag Archive | observing for writing

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!

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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!

Predictons coming true

What did I say yesterday?  That I probably wouldn’t get any writing done this week.  Yep, that seems to be what’s happening.  I did manage to write down last night’s dream – and in more depth than I have done any other dreams before. 

I need to start writing in more detail.  To be able to take the reader to where I am.  I think at the moment my writing is too basic – there is no detail, well not enough anyway.

I get paid tomorrow, so I’m going to treat myself to lunch in a coffee shop (wow – great treat – can’t I have a dress instead?).  While I’m there I’m going to observe.  And write my observations down.  And I’m going to go into lots of detail.  I’m going to try to do that regularly.

I’m just five pages away from finishing ‘Mercy’.  It’s driving me crazy that I’m so close to finishing.  It really has got me, I can’t wait to read the rest – it’s really pulled me in.  Actually, I’m due a break, I’m going to take a break from this and finish it.

Great, I’ve now finished it.  I do really enjoy Jodie Picoult’s novels.  That’s quite a good thing, because I have had lots given to me to read.  I was going to give my opinions on this book, but in the next couple of days I’ll do a review of it on here.

Nothing else to report unfortunately.  Maybe tomorrow…

Editing, or lack of

I’ve just found a fatal flaw in my plan for writing lots and lots of words a month (I personally think 12,000 is a lot).  By trying to make this total, I spend all my time writing, whereas I think maybe I should spend some time editing.  I should be going back and reading things I have written a few days later to check the spelling, punctuation etc etc.  Also re reading and improving it.  I think next month’s word count will have to be reduced so I can edit too.

I decided I was just going to write today for 5 mins.  That 5 mins turned into about an hour and 900+ words.  I’m quite happy about that.  Quite a good start to a story.  Or middle bit to a story. 

My writing course tutor said (about assignment 1) that my observation skills were very good.  But when writing I feel like I don’t do enough to describe things – rooms, people, actions.  So, my plan for next week is to start improving this.  I’m going to go to a coffee shop/park/somewhere and write down as many details about what I see as possible.  The first thing I did for the writing course was to describe a person and scene I’d been at.  I choose the tube cause I’m there twice a day and was reasonably happy with the results.  That however was three months ago so next week I’ll go somewhere else and do it again. 

I quite like the idea of going to a coffee shop and writing down everything I see  (mainly about the room, but also the staff and customers), then challenging myself to go back a few days later and find more details than I had found before.  Then a few days later, each time trying to get more and more detail.  I stole this idea off the writer I was just writing about who does that.  In my scene she was going back to a coffee shop to find more detail than the previous time she’d been there.

I’ve recently realised that although my idea for ‘holiday’ is brilliant (so I think), I don’t have enough sub plots going on, I have the main story and that’s all.  I need to spend some time thinking about what else could be happening.  I think this might come when I do the full character analysis’.  I hope.  I did think that maybe they would just come up as I wrote, but I really want to do this properly and have a plan before I start.  Or before I get much further anyway.

2 days blogs in 1… A bogof blog!!

So for certain reasons I’ve been writing straight onto my computer – or emailing myself my writing. I’d not had a chance to put the last couple of day’s writing on here, so here we go…

2nd Thursday of writing‏ (Thursday)

This is the 3rd day in a row I have now written. I don’t think 3 days is
enough to constitute a pattern, but it’s a very good start. It is very
coincidental that these 3 days have been the 3 days Steve’s away. I really
need to get in the habit of writing when he’s around.

So I thought today I would write down some ideas for books (probably should
call them novels really…). I actually wanted today’s writing to be my
observations from today’s tube journey as I should’ve done for my course,
but yet again, I forgot on the tube to work, to do anything. (shortened versions of each idea)

1. Girl just returned from a year after uni in America. I’ve actually written 6000
words of this novel. It’s like a diary written by the main character.

2. Four friends finish school or uni (I can’t remember, but now I guess it
would have to be uni – I don’t think I’d be able to write an 18 year olds
minds), and go on holiday to somewhere for a couple of weeks.

3. Women got dumped a few weeks ago – may have been a few months ago.
She’s not been out since as she’s been heart broken. Her sister (or friend)
talks her into going out with her to a new year’s party. This is a Mills and Boon
book.

4. Girl’s ex boyfriend from college or uni or something is now her best
friend. His brother is getting married in Majorca in a few months and in a
moment of *something* he tells his parents they are back together and he’s
going to take her

My favourite at the moment is number 4 – you may have guessed that from the length of it compared to the other ideas.

I really want to write a chick lit novel. I think that’s what I was born to
do (and procreate, but I’m a long way off from that at the moment). The
Mills and Boon idea was concocted by myself and my cousin, with the thought
that the payment for it will pay for our holiday to Hawaii when she’s 21.
The idea is my 1st book will pay for it. Mills and Boon was cause it’s
shorter than a ‘real’ novel so ‘easier’. (I really don’t believe that’s true. Any novel’s going to be hard to write, no matter how long)

Right I now need to get into observation mode. I must observe then do a
couple of things when I get home. One is write a 150 word description of
someone. Can’t remember the second (I’ve got it written down so don’t
really need to worry about it). Must do it. Yes.

I’m not very good at titles‏ (Friday)

I was thinking that last night when I was thinking about my novels. I
couldn’t come up with any good ideas for their titles. And now I can’t for
this email, and never can for my bogs (it seems really funny writing that
– never saw myself as a ‘bloger’. I hope there’s something in the course
that will teach me how to think up exciting titles. Not even exciting, just
good!

I’ve just thought of an idea for a book. Well had two thoughts actually.
I think one might be my new idea for a book – yay me. Although I really
shouldn’t be having more ideas, I should stick with one I’ve already got. I
really like the holiday wedding one. I am pretty good at synopsises – the
start anyway. Not too good at filling in blanks or knowing where the story
goes (except the wedding holiday one – I know they get together in that
one). Actually they’re all chick lit – they always end up with the bloke in
the end. Usually the best friend. Or the one they hated since they met.
Or something.

Ok. Nearly pub time. I do like this extra time I have daily to write. I usually (well 3 days this week) do a kenken (from The Times) in this time too, but today’s was too hard and I messed it up. I’ve copied
it down though and will do on the train home, or something.