In your face plot hole!

Hi Friends,

So guess what happened to me this week? I was merrily writing, in the yellow room, coffee on the go, birds singing outside, when all of a sudden I stopped. I literally just stopped. I was half way through a scene and realised there is a plot hole so big in my book I could probably fit 3 elephants and 2 trains through it, all at the same time!! (Cue blank stares and the occasional eye twitch).

Why did my character do that? Why didn’t they stop me from continuing? What the hell is wring with them? – All seemed like valid questions at the time, along with a small amount of self doubt and an edge of hatred – What is wrong with me? How did I not see that? Idiot! Moron! Grrrrrr! – Literally things that happened!

Then I sat back and thought, well, this happens to us all at some point and so I figured I would tell you what I did to get over it, that seemed more productive than stomping round the house saying words that should not come from a sailor, let alone a lady!

I wrote a timeline. Yep. It was that simple. Ridiculous right? They are my new favourite thing ever. I am a pantser (Someone who doesn’t manically plot, I have an idea of characters and story and I just write, I write what they tell me to write!) but having a timeline was really helpful. I could add to it as necessary and I could tract the main plot, the sub plots and relationships as I write them.

Here is an example of a timeline, its not the actual one, that’s super top secret!

Timeline
Timeline

So you can see where I have tracked the basics, that’s how it starts, the orange lines are the main story and the yellow lines are the sub plot, the romantic relationship between hero and village idiot. It gets messy, and you have to let it. Go where the story takes you my friend.

This REALLY helped me sort out the massive plot hole I had in my book and I hope it helps you too, if you want more information on it, or you just want to chat, you know where to find me!

See you soon…ā€¦.

I might spontaneously combust.

For me, being a writer is cyclical, it mirrors lots of things in my life. I love regimes, lists and repetitiveness. It’s an ongoing joke in our household that I make regimes but can’t stick to them, Flip says if I stick to something for 2 weeks straight I can call it a regime! You’re on buster!!

Writing is more than a regime, it’s a passion, it’s something I have to do or I might actually spontaneously combust (has anyone looked into wether this is the actual cause of spontaneous combustion in people? No. Didn’t think so, come on science, keep up with me here!). It’s a feeling from deep within, it flickers like a small spark and grows into a flame before engulfing you in a full on inferno (points to anyone who sang burn baby burn, disco inferno just then).

Writing is a way of life, come on, you know I love a good cliche, but this is actually true. I constantly write in my head, even if not on paper, computer, or phone, it’s still being written in my imagination. Small snippets or scenes here and there, or even full on short stories sometimes. I have an ongoing story that I come back to when I daydream, it’s been going on for years and although the characters change the story is still continuing, it’s like an add on to real life, running simultaneously alongside my everyday life. I can’t stop it. It’s a compulsion. More than a daydream, it’s an epic book that would more than rival the size of war and peace!

But, remember I said I was cyclic? I go through phases of being an enthusiastic, outgoing, very proud, writer where I will buy hats and bright clothes and want to wear make up, disabilities permitting! Then I will start to doubt myself and begin to dull down the enthusiasm for my skills and write lots of prompts but less actual stories. I will wear less patterned clothes and give the hats a miss. I will stay indoors a bit more and not sit in the garden so much. Then the final stage is where I begin to think I’m just rubbish at everything, life in general but especially writing, my inner critic takes over completely and I will wear darker colours, blacks and navy blues, I will scrape my hair back and buy jogging bottoms and pyjamas because I’m not going out anywhere and I don’t want to see anyone and I’m never going to be an actual writer.

Let’s get one thing straight friends, I have several disabilities that prevent me from doing things but I cope, through writing, this process has nothing to do with them, it is the writer in me that goes through this. Why am I telling you and dragging the conversation down? Because we all feel it, we all have an inner critic that likes to beat us up from time to time but we also have the disco inferno within that will make us combust if we don’t write. So this, my friends, might actually be the most normal thing about me!

Spontaneous combustion. Something to think on.

See ya soon!

Word of the week (6)

This word is not just a word, it’s a way of life. At least, it is for me.

A philocalist is someone who sees the beauty in everything. I do see the beauty in everything, do you? One of my best friends once said to me that I see life in HD and she was absolutely right, I really do.

I’m going to keep it short, but I would like you to look for the beauty this week. It is there, trust me! Become a philocalist! I dare you!

See you soon……

Word of the week (5)

Phew! Where has this week gone? It’s been a frenzy of summer sun, people moaning about how dry their gardens are and small children being covered in ice cream. What’s it like in your neck of the woods?

Onto today’s word, I love this word, during my degree I took a small amount of pleasure in squeezing it in whenever I spoke about the eye or communication between animals. It’s nice to say and sounds like a flurry of clicks!

Nictitate. Say it a couple of times to get the feel of it. It means to close one eye briefly, it’s like a post way of saying wink!

Fun fact, some animals have what we refer to as a third eyelid that closes a split second before they blink, or if they are under any kind of anaesthetic it will drift across their eye and make them look heavy eyed! The proper name for this is a nictitating membrane. A bit of science there for you!

There are many ways to use this, for instance you could nudge your friend in a bar and announce loudly that the guy over in the corner just nictitated!

Or if you run a Girlguiding pack you could play nictitate murder! (I might do this with mine in September and let you know how I get on!

Until then friends, I doth my cap and nictate in your direction!

See you soon……

Self doubt ā€˜vā€™ Iā€™m a genius moments

We all have self doubt, that’s a given, no one is so super confident that they think they are great all the time. But a lot of people talk about self doubt and how to get over it and in my opinion the truth of the matter is that you can’t. There, I said it. Controversial I know. But hear me out.

Self doubt is what keep’s you going, sounds backwards right? No! It’s really not! Because you strive for perfection and you feel that you are not good enough which means you will continue to write, your writing will improve and you will get better. So embrace your self doubt, it’s what helps to spur you on.

Genius moments on the other hand. Can be a total double edge sword. On the one hand you may have actually written something that is clearly a work of genius that needs to be recognised by the whole world over and will probably secure your name in history along with Shakespeare and Stephen King. You feel that swell of pride and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. And on very few occasions, it really is that good, however if you leave it for a couple of days and then re-read it you will often wonder how you thought that was acceptable. Did a deranged ferret break in during the night and mess with your work? Is this some kind of cruel joke?

The answer my friends is no, you were just high on the little piece of magic I like to call ‘finishing a piece of work!’ But you enjoy that feeling, revel in it, bathe in it and make it your own. But remember, after the ferrets have broken in and you come to reread it, please remember that self doubt can be your friend too.

Obviously you are all geniuses who don’t need to rewrite your work, I know this cos you hang out here with me! šŸ˜‰

See you soon…….

Word of the week (3)

It’s word of the week 3 already. Can you believe that?

This weeks word just has a nice sound to it, I like that it reminds me of old school cockney people from London wandering round shouting at their kids to hurry them up. Fun image right?

Say it a few times, learn how it feels. This word should definitely be bought back to the forefront of conversation.

It means to hesitate or have issues making decisions. Just once in my life I want to shout at someone to stop shilly-shallying and hurry up.

I dare you to use this word this week, preferable to someone in power who has no idea what it means! I’m a little dark, I know!

See ya soon!

Finding inspiration everywhere

I will write anywhere. Literally anywhere. My friends and I spent a couple of days in Wales. Wales is beautiful, windy, rainy and friendly. If you get the chance to go please do, you won’t regret it.

Anyway, my friends decided they wanted to do bounce below, which is a whole bunch of trampolines in a cave, awesome!

Unfortunately due to disability I can’t join in these adventures, so I like to tag along and sit in a cafe or on the sidelines and spectate. I am comfortable in my own company, I have enough imaginary friends to keep me busy!

While I am sat upon the sidelines, wherever I am, I write. There is inspiration everywhere. You just have to be open to it, for example there is a man currently sat to my right with a massive beard, hairnet and hard hat on. He is wearing a checked shirt and jeans, hipster type I think. Although, I am not into fashion so he may actually be a lumberjack and I have misunderstood the situation. However, I digress, he keeps running past me occasionally with a huge grin, like a giant bearded six year old! It’s amazing! I could write a whole story on just him. A short story, but it would at least be interesting. See? Inspiration is everywhere!

I have just had a thought though friends, until this moment I have never thought about how much I stare at other people pulling ridiculous facial expressions. You know the ones, when you are acting out scenes in your head and before you know it your face is contorting without your permission?! Yeah, that!

I always have my trusty notebook for occasions such as this. Look for inspiration, it’s everywhere, I promise!

See you soon……