Tag Archives | writing

Finding stories in: Flickr photos

flickr faves mosaicPaging through my flickr faves this week, I found some great faces & places to put in stories. And then I put them together and got excited…

What do you think is going on in these?

I’m going with:

Teen witch uses colour-coded music to romance a friendly thief;

A girl who’s only ever lived in the clouds comes down to earth for the first time (and doesn’t know yet that she can’t get back up);

And the girl upside down in the road really shouldn’t have trusted Smug Uniform Girl, and will have to find one rogue shaman in a town of millions if she ever wants to go home again.

one two three

four five six

seven eight nine

Until recently, I hadn’t followed many portrait photographers, but now I’m on the prowl for more. Let me know if you know of any cool ones. My flickr fave page is here, and you can follow me if you’re a, um, Flickrer too.

Do go visit the photographers via the links above – plenty more goodness where these came from.

Coming up soon: Finding stories in: Pinterest Boards. I’ll share the boards I keep for story-ideas, & maybe reveal a few hidden boards I’ve built for works-in-progress. I know it’s hard to use Pinterest and not just get distracted by pictures of Ian Somerhalder, but it is possible. Just.

Currently (re) reading: I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith.
Currently writing: trying to get started on the next revision of Colour Novel. ‘Don’t Panic’ is the best writing advice I’ve received this week.
Now playing: Warrior in Woolworths, X-Ray Spex.

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Bacon is the best reward

 

brunswick again rsz

On Sunday, I finished the latest draft of my novel.

On Monday, I woke up early to write as usual – and stumbled, because I’d given myself the week off.

Since I was up anyway, and it the weather was so gorgeous as to be almost imaginary (gorgeousness I’d noticed only vaguely that weekend,  as I stayed indoors typing with the curtains drawn), I went outside.

I bought a bacon sandwich from my favourite cafe & stowed it, still warm, in my bag. I wandered through leafy St Ann’s Well Gardens, where a ley line ends and a hermit once lived in a cave,  then crossed down to Brunswick Square, pictured above. No one else was there yet.

I ate my breakfast with the sea and the grass and the birds and the flowers, and it was blissful.

Next week I’ll go back to the early morning typing and the wordcount and the angst, but this week my only goal is to do Other Things, guilt-free. I love writing, but I love having written best of all.

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Bank Holiday shelfie & the Boreanaz Equation

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Bank Holiday weekend’s RULE. Enough time to write loads & still mess around doodling & watching Bones.

Deal is: for every 3k, I get 45 minutes of Boreanaz. Turns out rewards like this work better than ’3k and then you don’t have to write any more’, to which my me would reply ‘But I’m already not writing! Let’s just stay here doing that!’.

Here’s my non-Boreanaz view, the books in reach of my desk. The ones to remind me how to write when I forget.

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“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Berlin April 10

Catching up on my stored Instapaper* articles, I found a piece describing some of the (often strange and ritualised) ways in which acclaimed writers write.

Having spent the last few months twisting around myself, trying to organise the ideas and plans for my novel without going crazy, wondering if it was normal to spend so much time planning that the actual writing of prose seems to be the thing I do least, sitting at a desk buried in layers of post-its and index cards, writing in notebooks overrun with more arrows and crossings out than words - breathe, Rhian, breathe - to read about Ishiguro’s flow-charts, Mantel’s showers and Atwood’s scribbles has reassured me that I might be sane. Or, rather, normal. For a writer. Maybe.

Sounds like I have the ‘create whichever system/state of chaos you need in order to beckon and then trap your ideas’ part of novel-writing right, so all I need to do now is try not to flinch at the prospect of getting my prose anywhere near the level of those masters.

(Um, yes. I only want to read really bad fiction at the moment, stuff that makes me feel superior. Badly punctuated, excessively descriptive, heavy on the speech tags? Bring it on! Cliched or nonsensical characters in overwrought settings? Yes please! I’ve had to put my Maggie Stiefvater* backlog to one side, as I can’t handle the prettiness right now).

The article is here, and if you enjoy reading about the writing process then I recommend the Paris Review interviews – a fascinating collection of interviews with artists and writers, in several volumes. Volume 1 is my favourite, featuring Hemingway, Capote, Dorothy Parke, Joan Didion and Kurt Vonnegut.

*Instapaper ROCKS. Especially if you’re trying to reduce your time online, but don’t want to miss out on good reading. It’s especially useful for me because it syncs with my Kindle.

When I see something online I want to read, say an article about literary agents or a blog post about female YA writers, I click to send it to Instapaper and then The Magic Instapaper Fairies compile everything I’ve saved and email me a mini-newspaper made up of them.

So, I can give myself five minutes to scan Twitter, send any interesting links to my Instapaper account, wave at my friends and then get back to what I was supposed to be doing offline. The next morning, my Kindle receives a document containing anything I tagged, and I read it on the train. I don’t find myself online for hours reading when I should be writing, but I still get to keep up with interesting articles at a time I choose. LOVE. IT.

*the beginning scene in Linger, when Isabel comes into the bookshop? It slayed me, it was written so well. So much is conveyed without ever being explicit – I had to stomp around the house, loudly Giving Up Writing, before I could pick up either the book or my writing again.

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