Tag Archive | tutor

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.

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Poet?

I’m a poet and I don’t know-it.  I’m not really.  I’ve been running away from poetry since school when I was forced to do it.  I thought I didn’t like it.  But, someone sent me a link to a Haiku competition going on in London (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/may/18/poetry-twitter).  Haiku for those who, like me, don’t know is a simple Japanese poem.  Just three lines long with the syllable structure 5/7/5.  I thought I’d give it a go (what else would I do at work?) and am quite pleased with my little poem. 

I find it quite hard to get my head around these.  They’re so short that before you can even start to get into it, it’s over.  Someone also said it’s hard to be deep and meaningful in such a short piece of writing which I agree with.  I also find syllables hard to get my head around sometimes, especially -ed words.  Luckily, I found a website dedicated to just this (http://www.howmanysyllables.com/).  Genus. 

If anyone reading this could please let me know how to set up the links I’m posting as a one word link as I’ve seen other people do, I would be eternally grateful.  I’m sure it’s quite easy, but I don’t have time to look today and keep forgetting, so please please let me know.

I started reading Mercy by Jodie Picoult again on the tube this morning.  I had started it about six months ago, but just didn’t find the time to continue.  She’s one of those authors that I think I’m not that keen on, and don’t immediately get drawn into the novels, but if I persist I really love.  I’m going to spend more of my travel time reading.  My goals for the last two months have been to read one novel a month.  One novel is not enough.  I need to read read read.  My writing course tutor said that too.  That was a couple of months ago when I was reading more than I am now.

I’m trying to take a couple of days holiday in June to try and finish this assisgnment for the course.  I always say I’ll do it at the weekend, but the weekend comes and other things come up so I never get round to it.  I hope by taking these days off I will have no distractions from other people around (they’ll all be at work) so I’ll concentrate!

Also in these two days I’m going to organise my writing.  At the moment I just write whatever into an email, then send it to myself then file it in a ‘writing’ folder.  I need more than this.  I feel like I need to get my ideas straight (especially ‘Holiday’, but all my writing bits I’m doing).

I love it when a plan comes together (I really mean starts, I just wanted to say that!).