Reading for fun

Boy how I have missed it! For three long years even the thought of reading for fun was greeted with ‘what? Are you kidding?’ by both me and the people I spent most of my time with. But now I can. Except I haven’t been because work and life and every other distraction. Until now.

I have had four glorious days off work for no reason other than the fact I’ve been working a lot of overtime and it’s been peak season at the railway. So I treated myself on these golden days and downloaded some new titles and had the time of my life doing nothing but lying on the sofa devouring titles. And I’m going to share them with you now.

Continue reading

Advertisements

How much is too much?

I am feeling good. I have nearly – and by nearly I mean there are less than 10,000 words left – nearly finished the first draft of my first full length novel. It is a project I have been working on since January and I love it very much but boy will I be relieved when I can print out the whole darn thing. Yes, I then have the very long and painful processing of rewriting and editing but that seems like a real breeze compared to getting the words out in the first place. So what am I doing? Not writing, no. Planning my next few projects.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

Following on from my recent post about reading for fun, I completed the first book on the list some time ago but am only now getting around to writing about it. So is life! It was Kim Edward’s The Memory Keeper’s Daughter that was first on the pile and it was not my usual cup of tea.

MemoryKeepersDaughter

Continue reading

Ender’s Game: book vs movie

Over the Easter break I disappeared to the North for some well-deserved relaxing time with the Bearded One. While I was there I did the obligatory uni work, but also took the chance to catch up on my reading for fun. One of the books that has been on my Nook for some time is sci-fi classic Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (what a name!). It was awesome! I had no idea what to expect from it and was completely lost from start to finish. On returning home, I thought I would check out the recent movie. Big mistake.

10511191683_4c1348f7e8_z

Continue reading

A chapter a day keeps the blues away

I have returned to the world of work. It is far from my dream job, but it puts some pennies in the purse and takes me a step closer to paying for my masters in September. Another plus side is I have a half hour commute each way. Now, I know some might see this as a disadvantage but to me it is totally free time that I can spend in my favourite way.

Reading for fun!

Now I have done very little reading for fun through the course of my degree. True, I have read one or two plays every week for three years, and any number of journal articles and academic books on top of that, but nothing purely for enjoyment. Now things are going to change. I have one shelf and several large piles of books waiting to be read. So these are the books I have chosen to be read first:

2014-05-13 20.28.13

Continue reading

On finding the right voice

All writers have a style they prefer to write in. In particular I am talking about voice and point of view. Many times it is unconscious. For me it has been for a very long time. I almost always write in third person from the point of a view of a heterosexual female around 18-25 years old. That’s not me being homophobic or ageist (is that a word?) but it is simply the point of view I have seen the world from my whole life.

However, sometimes that isn’t the right voice for your narrator. Sometimes you need to be in their heads, see through their eyes and feel everything as they feel it. It can be difficult because you’re not used to but, but at the same time it can be a whole lot easier.

I only recently discovered this. I am a huge fan of the Ideas Tap website (if you’re a creative and you’re not on there then I suggest you go and sign up now). It is a fantastic site with resources, competitions and job listings for all the creative industries. In particular every three months they have the Editor’s Brief competition. You get one word to work from and can produce anything – photography, fiction, poetry, audio/video. The only rule is it must relate to the theme.

This time it was one of those wonderful moments where the idea came to me in a flash, fully formed and ready to go. So I went. Short story, third person, two females characters. Didn’t work. Fine, switch to stage play – two female characters, one room, simple set. Still didn’t work. But I loved my idea and I knew it would work.

Then last night I thought ‘if the idea is good and the characters are good, there must be something wrong with the form’. So I changed everything around. I wrote from the first person point of view for the first time in a very long time. And, lo and behold, it worked. It worked perfectly. I had her voice in my head. It was like my protagonist was telling me the story, like she was sat in the room with me and I was merely putting her words to paper. Which is how it’s supposed to be.

It just hadn’t occurred to me that sometimes the story demands something you wouldn’t normally do. I’m glad I had so much time to work on this piece otherwise I think it would have ended up at the bottom of my rubbish bin. I have learnt, in a long winded and pretty hard way, that your characters know what they want. You just have to listen to them.

Book Review: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Though by no means a new book, Malorie Blackman’s Nought and Crosses is a great read and one which, having reread, I felt a desire to write about. So I shall.

Noughts and Crosses is a young adult book set in a world very similar yet vastly different to our own. The story follows Sephy, a young Cross girl of the ruling class, and Callum, a ‘colourless’ member of the Nought underclass. It is our world twisted and turned on its head, where black people rule the world and the whites are their recently freed slaves.

714902

Continue reading

Flight (a short story)

Continuing on with my self-indulgent week I’ve decided to share a short story/excerpt that I was once very self-conscious of. I submitted it to one magazine whose editor asked for change after change after change. By the time I had done what he had asked the story was not the one I had originally submitted, and he decided he didn’t actually like it. The joys of trying to sell your work! That was the moment I decided I would fix things for editors, but massive changes like the ones he asked for were out of the question.

What I like about this piece (and what he didn’t) is the ambiguity, though I’m not sure that’s there any more. He wanted back story, purpose. I like subtext, imagination. Anyway, it’s here for you to decide for yourself. Feedback for this piece would be really appreciated.

Continue reading

This week

Wow. It’s been a hectic week. There have been shows to tech, deadlines to meet, essays to plan and Easter to arrange (escape to the North – hurrah). Therefore I come to Sunday and I have ideas for posts but no actual energy or inspiration to write them. So I shall save them for another week and this week instead I shall indulge myself and share some of my creative writing with you. I’ve been tidying and organising my computer recently trying to get everything in the same place and have managed to bring all of my writings together. Some of it I would go so far as to say it is good, other stuff…needs work, shall we say. But I’ve chosen a few pieces to share with you over the next seven days.

The one I’m going to start with is the thing I have been working so hard on for the last three months. Once Upon A Fairy-Tale (working title) is a novel I have been writing for my Creative Writing module at uni. It’s a new genre which I have titled an Anti-Fairy Tale, kind along the lines of Gregory Maguire’s Oz works. The thing to remember with it is every creature you come across is the opposite of what you would expect.

Continue reading