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…….

Word of the week (11)

Hey there folks, you know we all like words that are obscure? We wouldn’t all be taking up this little corner of the internet if were didn’t right? Well this one is a doozy! I love to find out that weird things have actual words for them, it makes me smile quite a lot, so I’m passing that smile on to you guys with this one………

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An aglet is that little bit of plastic at the end of a shoelace! Mind blown right? Who even knew that had a name? Amazing! Next time one of those pesky little things comes off you can announce in a loud voice that you have just broken your aglet and see how many people think you have broken some obscure bone in your hand or something?!

Why is it so comforting to find things that have names that you didn’t know had names before? It just is though. Am I right?

Go and check your aglets, they might be missing and you need to tell someone stat!!

See you soon word lovers.……..

Word of the week (10)

So carrying on with the recent theme of words for annoying people I found this one, I love it! I’ve used it twice already! I feel very extra saying it too! We all know one of these, and if you don’t then its probably you!

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A blatteroon is a senseless babbler or boaster. You know when you are with your buddies and some dude is just talking utter poop? Well they are a blatteroon. You should tell them, in a nice way of course!

How may blatteroons will you encounter today? Keep your eyes peeled, they are everywhere!!

See ya soon……..

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!

Writing prompts to get your juices flowing!

I know this is pretty much a flooded market with writing prompts everywhere you look, but I believe it is always nice to have someone else’s prompts to try. We all have different ideas and styles, it might even spark something you didn’t know you had inside you!

So here you go, 10 prompts for you to do what you want with!

  1. You are in a dark room, its cold and all you can hear is a ticking clock. What happens when the light goes on?
  2. What if all the colours in the rainbow had different smells? They all smell great individually, but when combined they smell awful. Tell me about it.
  3. Your character (one you will create) thinks they can talk to animals. They cant. (insert eye roll)
  4. Write about your favourite flavour, without stating what it is, ask someone to see if they can guess your chosen flavour.
  5. Shark-nado, lover or hater? Discuss! (I am personally a lover of all ridiculous movies!)
  6. Write a letter to your childhood self, not one of those self help ones. No, this is one where you are telling your younger self off for something you did but were never caught for.
  7. Write about language. Any language, written, spoken, made up, widely used, any language what so ever. What do you like about it? Why?
  8. Write a diary entry for a villain who loves musicals and ball room dances, when they are not robbing banks etc.
  9. Tell me about your best friend.
  10. What is your favourite insult? Why? Tell me about a time you used it and felt pretty good about it.

You probably think I’m some kind of weirdo when you read my prompts, but that’s the point of sharing, you realise you are not the only weirdo out there!

Let me know how you get on, did you enjoy writing this week?

See ya soon……

Fictional Town Map

I like to imagine the towns I write about in varying detail, sometimes I will create a town in my head that is just boxes representing buildings and lines creating roads. But, sometimes, I put a lot of detail in, I’m talking about a lot of detail here friends, even down to grass texture.

I’m working on my first series of books, I’ve finished the first (it’s with an author buddy of mine, shout out to Fizzypop!), and I’m on to the second. Same set of main characters, same location, which is a made up town. I can imagine every little part of this town, if I shut my eyes I can walk through the streets and see the lake, or the police station, or the local farm. I can see it all. And let me tell you friends, it’s beautiful here, towering trees, open grassland and hedges surrounding the farmers fields where mice play in the undergrowth. The beautiful town of Puddleford.

Today I decided to attempt to draw what I can see. I discovered very quickly that my hands do not cooperate when I try to recreate what I can see! So this is a semi detailed map of Puddleford. I will add more detail, lots more detail when I can.

I wanted to share it with you because often I see people asking how to create fictional towns or villages and how you know where you are book after book. Creating it in my head is the easy part for me, transferring it into paper is not so easy. But a tip I will give you for creating a fictional town is to imagine a very small part of it in great detail in your imagination and begin to spread out from there. Maybe even just start with a single house, or a tree, anything that is relevant to your story. Watch it bloom and come alive as you imagine it more vividly. Visit it daily, even if you are not writing, still visit it. What does it look like in each season? How does the terrain change? Are there any landmarks?

My favourite time in Puddleford is Autumn, the leaves are changing, the farmer has grown pumpkins and the local school has a mini Halloween parade through the streets where the children dress up and carry lanterns and the shops pass out sweets as they go by. The wind has a certain nip to it and the end of my main female characters nose goes a little red. It’s the only time of year my main male character relaxes, as like me, he loves Puddleford in Autumn.

Imagine it in any way you want, but the more you think about it the more alive your writing will become.

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……