For me, writing my first draft in a notebook is best.
I know every writer has their own way of doing things, but the thought of staring at a blank, white screen fills me with terror. It’s bad enough staring at the pages of a blank notebook!
I find writing my first draft down and then typing it up on the PC, so that it can (hopefully) then be polished and knocked into shape , makes me think I am more in control (ha!) of my writing.
It also makes the writing process, for me at least, seem a bit more creative and adaptable somehow. The physicality of carrying around my notebook and pens is a comforting thought.
I have a brown box file on my desk and it is currently groaning with three new notebooks that I will be filling with my ramblings at some point. The notebook I have got lined up to use next, is covered in multi-coloured love hearts (Thank you Amanda – it’s lovely!)
My current notebook is almost filled with the first 19 Chapters of my WIP….two empty pages left! (Kind of sad in a way!)
Happy Writing everyone and whatever way you choose to write, I hope it brings you as much joy as it does me!
What is it about a literary leading man that makes our hearts hammer in our chest?
Is it his bravery perhaps? Or the deep, meaningful stares and his determination to do the right thing?
Whatever his traits, attributes and weaknesses, the right literary Hero can sweep us and our protagonist off our feet.
As some of you may know, I am an avid fan of romantic comedies (not only do I write them but my TBR pile is heaving with them!)
The leading men in novels such as these, catapult me into their world, where I can examine their every thought and move and live through their adventures.
They can seem so real, so human, that it is quite literally breath-taking to read about them and that is such a great and beautiful writing skill to possess.
Hazel Osmond’s “Jack Wolfe” is a case in point, as is “Riley,” another of my favourite book Heroes, created by Jill Mansell.
The chemistry they share with their female protagonists is spell-binding too.
So let us raise a glass to all those literary Heroes out there! There wouldn’t be such a love and demand for the wonderful romance genre without them.
Happy reading everyone!
Having a change of scene of writing venue seems to have given me renewed ideas and motivation.
Like many writers, I find it extremely difficult to write at home. There are just too many distractions and I procrastinate like mad!
A new tea shop opened up near us about a year ago and just recently, I decided to take my notebook in there and work on my WIP. I found the pretty pastel surroundings; the chinking tea sets and mouth-watering array of baking calming yet encouraging.
To my surprise, I ended sitting in there for almost two hours with a pot of tea and a mini cupcake (I managed a bit of self restraint!) and wrote around 1,000 words.
Since then, I have frequented the little tea shop almost every day.
Just on Friday, I sat in there again and penned another two chapters of my WIP.
The welcoming hospitality of the family who own it; the soft background music of artists such as Adele and Ed Sheerin and the general, relaxed atmosphere is something I look forward to.
So as another working week starts again, guess where I’m planning to go for (hopefully) another productive series of writing sessions?
The only down-side is the tempting array of baking….think I might have to wear dark glasses when I order my pot of tea…!
Happy Writing everyone – wherever you are motivated to do it!
Love Julie X
Entering writing competitions was not something I used to do very much at all.
I think I got distracted by other things or convinced myself that, statistically, I probably stood very little chance of being successful anyway.
However, in recent weeks, my view has changed.
I subscribe to a writing magazine and a couple of months ago, it advertised a poetry competition. The subject was “Changing Seasons” and as I hadn’t written any poetry for a while (if you exclude the greetings card verses I write) I decided to give it a go.
Imagine my delight a few weeks later, when I got the latest issue, to discover that although I hadn’t won, my entry had been short-listed.
It really gave my “writing competition streak” a boost and since then, I have entered another two poetry competitions and also a short story competition.
Ok, so I might not win or even get short-listed. But I really enjoyed putting pen to paper and writing something different from the greetings card verses and romantic comedies that I usually write.
Reading the winning entries was enjoyable and educational too. The standard was amazing and really allows you to compare what you wrote and see where you can improve your own work.
So if you see a writing competition which appeals to you, why not give it a shot? Variety is the spice of life and even if it’s asking you to write in a genre you’ve never tried before, you might find you enjoy it – you may even possess a talent for another branch of writing you never realised you had!
Good luck with those entries!
One of the many things writers seem to need copious amounts of.
But what happens when your work is out on submission to literary agents; editors; publishing houses and has been for a few months – and you haven’t heard back?
What do you do?
Do you fire them a brief, polite e-mail asking if they have been able to take a look at your MS? Or do you sit on your trembling hands and wait it out?
There seems to be two distinct trains of thought on this. Recently, I’ve read a couple of interviews with agents/publishers who have said they prefer their potential clients to show patience.
I even read another piece that suggested chasing up your work too early, could put your chances of being signed in jeopardy!
On the other hand, I’ve read that writers should feel they are able to follow up their work, especially if a significant amount of time has elapsed and/or the time is greatly over the response period stated on submission guidelines.
I’d be really interested to hear other writer’s views on this.
What to do?!
Happy Writing Folks!
“Do you work from home?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Oh, what is it you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
“Ooooh! What do you write? It’s not all that Fifty Shades sort of stuff is it?”
“Noooo. I write romantic comedies.”
“Oh. Where can I buy your books?”
“So I can’t go into a bookshop and buy them then?”
“Not at the moment. They’re digitally published.”
“Yeah but that isn’t like being properly published is it? Did you go in for that Vanity publishing?”
(Takes a deep breath.) “No I didn’t. And it isn’t called Vanity Publishing now. Many writers successfully self-publish.”
(Short pause.) “How much money have you made so far? Did you get an advance?”
At which point, I politely made my excuses and left….
Us writers really do require a lot of grit, determination and an abundance of patience and tact!
Happy Writing everyone!
So that’s me just finished another notebook.
All those scribbles; ideas and observations ,together with a lot of nonsense too!
It’s time to pluck a new one from my pile, which always gives me a happy glow. It really is like starting a new chapter.
I keep all my used notebooks – well, you never know when you might have to dip into them. It’s satisfying to see the growing pile of used ones lined up beside my desk.
Ok, half the time I struggle to read what I’ve written in them (!) but it’s gratifying nonetheless to know that they contain either verses of the greetings card brief I was working on at that time; descriptions of characters for that WIP or general ideas which popped into my head.
Here I go, preparing to fill the next one with more details and plot ideas for my latest WIP. It’s dark pink; has a pretty cover dotted with birds, butterflies and flowers and contains creamy, blank pages – just hope I can come up with enough ideas to fill them!
Happy Writing Everyone!