Tag Archive | research


I’m working an early shift today; somehow I always seem to get more writing and writing work done during these shifts.  By 9am I’d already written my 250+ quota of writing ‘holiday’ for NovelPI today.  9am!  I’ve done loads of surfing: twitter, WordPress and the NaNo website.  And, I’ve now worked on the plan for my novel and done some research for it.  It’s a very quiet day at work!

The research has been good fun – looking at how to get married in Italy (always good to throw a little wedding stuff into the day – scare the boyfriend a little, he he) as well as holidays, villas, flights etc to Italy.  I wish I could go there for some real research.

I came up with a working title for my NaNo novel – ‘Italian Infatuation’.  I’m a bit happier with that than the working title for ‘Holiday’ – I hate that. I have a small issue with this new one, I once started a short story I called ‘Citrus Affection’ and in my mind they are very similar.  It’s only a working title so I’m not going to worry about it.

What I have just realised I might need to worry about is the fact that the novel I am currently writing and the one I’m planning both feature a wedding as a major part of them.  I’m wondering if they’re too similar.  They’re not at all, but they could be seen to be.  I’ve always said that if I wrote any Mills & Boon books I’d use a psudo name, and kind of think I will use one for my other writing.  So probably nothing to worry about.  I will for a day or so anyway though. I always do.  Sigh.

Tuesday’s writing

I feel like the words aren’t coming easily today.  However I feel like this having already written nearly 300 words – much more than my goal of 250 per day.  I feel like because I’ve been regularly writing over one thousand words, if I don’t get near that I’m letting myself down.  I wonder if I should be congratulating myself on doing any, or berating myself for not getting up to as many as I know I can do.  I don’t know.

I’ve just had to do some really interesting research for ‘Holiday’.  Research on the brand new BMW Z4 sDrive 35i.  That’s some research I could do any day of the week.  It’s beautiful.  I want one.  I think I’m aspiring to get one.  I also need to do some research on penthouse apartments overlooking the Thames here in London.  I think I might want one of them when I’m finished.  This book will throw up some more interesting research – to be authentic and accurate I need a trip to Majorca.  Damn, what a shame.  Maybe I’ll set my next one in Hawaii or the Bahamas.  He he.

I went to the library during my lunch break to take a book back.  The whole way there I was telling myself that I wasn’t allowed to go and look on the shelves at books; I’ve got more than enough ‘to read’ books at the moment (having bought 3 more last weekend).  I didn’t.  However, on the return’s counter there is a ‘recommended books’ stand and I made the mistake of picking up the recommended book.  And it looked good.  Good enough that I walked round the other side and took it out.  Damn.  Oh well, I’ve got my operation in a couple of weeks, if I’ve not read it by then I’m sure I’ll be able to in that week.

It’s actually a really good way of finding new authors.  I’d never heard of Julia Quinn (the author of the book I picked up) and I imagine looking through the shelves I wouldn’t have picked up this book.  I am quite a loyal reader, if I read your book and I like it I will look out for your other books to read.  I’m also mainly attracted to books by the cover.  If I don’t immediately like the cover, the chances are I won’t pick your book up – let alone read it.  The exception to this is if I’ve been told it’s good – word of mouth is so important. 

I think that’s as much as I can say at the moment.  Back to the novel.

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.

I was aiming for baby steps… but got huge giant ones instead

I am of course talking about my writing course.  When I was on holiday said that once I got back I was going to seriously crack on with it.  I’m spending loads of money on it, and bored for hours a day at work, so it’s silly not to be doing it.  The reason I wasn’t getting on with it was I was finding the 2nd assignment hard.  I decided I just needed to knuckle down and do it. 

So, first day back – I thought I’d make a start on it.  Wooh, did I make a start.  I’ve spent two hours researching – so far.  I think I have all I can at the moment; I just need to find people to interview for it now and I know how I’m going to get them too.  I am so happy with myself.  I really hope I can keep up the momentum.  If I can get this assignment done and dusted in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be ecstatic.  I cannot wait to get on to a new assignment. 

While I was away I didn’t do much reading, but I did quite a large amount yesterday.  I’m enjoying the book I’m reading, the problem is I really can’t wait to get to the end of it as I’ve got this pile of ‘to read’ books I am dying to start on.  I’m also not too sure if the story is meaty enough.  It seems to be a series of individual incidents put together.  If someone asked me what it was about, I’m not sure how good my answer would be, because, what is it about?  There’s not enough story to get me really interested!  Having said that, it’s a good book to read on the tube etc as you can read just  a few pages and not lose the flow of it. I’m not sounding to positive about it am I?  It is good.  I just don’t know if I’d recommend it to anyone.

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.

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!

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.