The Devil’s Cry

A bit late with this one. It’s official. My children believe that I live to clean, sweets have been re-classed as a breakfast food and communication only comes in the form of hitting each other with a fake, rubber horse head mask…(don’t ask!)

So please find my offering for this weeks Friday Fictioneers. If you’d like to have a go, pop onto Rochelle’s page and take a look at this weeks prompt, write a story in 100 words or less and press the blue frog to add your link. Good Luck!

Thanks to Piya Singh for this week's photo prompt.

 Thanks to Piya Singh for this week’s photo prompt.

Pieces of slate covered the ground like the scales of dragonhide. She pushed one aside. Black shone from amongst the undergrowth. Her eyes filled with tears.

The glass was smooth and still warm. She threw her head back and screamed.

A guttural rumble shook the earth. Pieces of volcanic glass flew upward, melding together, one by one till it hung in all its former glory.

She gazed into the mirror.

‘There you are.’ She smiled sweetly. ‘Just where I left you.’

His eyes widened. ‘How? No, not again.’

She laughed, a cruel, mocking sound. ‘I promised you forever, brother.’

99 words

Don’t Do That! – Five for Friday

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I’m running so late today.

It’s been a frantic week as we’ve had builders working on the house.

‘The noisy one’, was sent home from school with chronic earache and ‘The bitey one’, is teething and as a result, extra bitey. He has also become a fan of early wake up calls, the most recent being 3am.

So I apologise as this may well become Five for Saturday which really doesn’t have the same ring to it, but at least my intentions were good and my caffeine levels high  🙂

I’m currently knee-deep in editing my novel and really enjoying it, even if I am lacking a little in time and focus.

I began reading my draft I’d completed in November during NaNoWriMo. This brought me to the horrible conclusion that I’m a terrible writer and should probably take up woodworm breeding as I seem to have little talent for anything else.

Therefore, I decided I would make this week’s Five for Friday about,

5 Things to avoid when Writing a Novel.

1. He grinned, he shrugged, he smiled…

Apparently I seem to write first drafts full of these. Everyone is shrugging, grinning and smiling at each other so much that it’s a wonder they haven’t all been committed. All that’s missing is a little maniacal laughter a maybe a shopping trolley full of tins.

Don’t do it. It’s not clever. It’s repetitive and lazy writing. Instead hit yourself on the head with your keyboard twice and go lie down with a damp flannel over your face.

2. She decided to run as he would probably kill her. 

Okay, this one’s a little clunky, but you get the idea. I see this a lot and it’s just bad, bad, bad.

NEVER warn the reader what’s going to happen before it happens. It’s annoying and WILL result in me flinging the book across the room, or, if it’s my kindle, trying to close the page down, miss, and end up hitting the screen repeatedly like some kind of zombie typist.

3. Really, very, suddenly…etc,

…and a number of other weasel words.

If you ‘d like to see a list, that’s by no means exhaustive, take a look under ‘Writer’s Resources’ on my page.

My first drafts are littered with these and I pull out every single one unless they are absolutely necessary. Especially ‘Suddenly’. This word should be tied to a chair and left watching re-runs of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, until it’s very sorry.

4. Bad formatting. 

I have read so many kindle books where the words stop abruptly and begin again half way down the page, or they have large random spaces between words like the book suddenly forgot what it was talking about.

Go through your book again and again. Re-check when you add it onto kindle and then bore all your friends to death by making them check it too. It’s worth it.

5. I don’t know/I think you should/Why is that?

I hate wooden dialogue.

There’s nothing worse than wading through a page long conversation between Data from Star Trek and The Terminator, or worse, a book full of characters that ALL sound the same.

I have a wonderful acting friend who helps me with mine. She runs through it over the phone or highlights potentially hazardous wording via email and returns it to me, accompanied with a recent entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, to teach me a lesson.

Either way, read through all your dialogue out loud. Get a friend to read any opposing parts and it will become clear where needs work.

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That’s it for today. It’s now 1am and officially Saturday.

Thank you so much for reading, and good luck to anyone else on the long road to Editville.

Have a great day and Happy Writing!

 

 

How do you do it?

With pen and paper?

Straight to screen?

With a sparkler…or perhaps an Enigma machine for the extremely paranoid?

Each writer has their own preferred method of working.

Stephen King writes longhand onto yellow legal pads. J K Rowling writes longhand then transfers it to screen – editing as she goes. George R. R. Martin writes straight to computer using an old DOS machine.

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When you first start out, the writing process can be a little daunting. So I thought I’d talk about how I do it and hopefully some of you will weigh in on the comments later about your favourite ways too 🙂

I write with a good ol’ pen and paper. A biro suits me best, although I’m partial to the Parker fountain pen when I want to pretend I’m a really real writer.

I used to work straight onto the computer, but my children have been fitted with an alarm system that only they can hear. So if I go near a computer, open a book, or try to stuff a chocolate bar in my mouth before they make it to the kitchen, THEY KNOW.

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I also feel I’m a little less creative using a computer. It’s great for editing. I can sit there, nose pressed up to the screen with a slightly desperate expression, and most people know to keep a safe distance.

But when I’m in the first stages of a story or script I prefer the pen and paper. It feels more natural to me and I’m likely to think more about what I’m writing as it takes me longer to write than it does to type.

I write in fifteen minute bursts. It roughly adds up to about an hour and a half per day. I set the timer on my phone and I get as much down as I can. When the time is up. I put down my pen and do something else.

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I think writing this way keeps it fresh. I come up with all sorts of ideas I would never have thought of if I was doing one long stint. Plus if I can’t think of anything, I’m only staring at the page for fifteen minutes…This drastically reduces the time I sit crying, leaving more time to console myself with cake.

So that’s how I do it. How do you? Would love to know your thoughts, especially if you do it with a sparkler.

In the meantime, Happy Writing 🙂

Apologies…again!

I’m officially the worst blogger…ever!!!!

Sorry, but...

The bathroom is done! We’ve the cleared the clutter! So I enrolled on the Blogger 201 course and settled down to a great two weeks of stretching myself and my blog.

But with the school holidays already in full swing, my kids had other ideas!

I have three wonderfully, crazy boys.

The eldest, otherwise known as ‘the hungry one,’ has more social engagements than a Kardashian. I’m fighting for breath under an ocean of invites, summer school dates, camping trips and paintball parties.

The middle one, aka ‘the noisy one,’ challenged me to a Lego building extravaganza. Never one to shy away from a challenge I have successfully built a house, complete with garage, roof terrace, and a place for Ironman to breakfast with Darth Vader.

Never let it be said I don’t have goals!

This leads us finally to the youngest, also known as ‘the wakey one,’ in celebration of his penchant for five in the morning wake up calls and demands for Disney Junior.

Added to this, things like chores, household admin (meh!) and cooking, (Although I’m reminded that super noodles and custard creams are not considered a balanced healthy meal, according to hubby), I’m struggling to get even a sniff of a computer.

So I apologise profusely for my lack of posts and hope this proves it’s not just online where I’m deficient. (I work hard to achieve an equal work/life failure balance).

Starting today, I’ve set aside a little, and rather hopeful, time to work. So I promise to visit as many sites as I can and finally get some of the tasks done. If you leave me a message, rest assured, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you so much for visiting 🙂

…And so it goes!

As many of you know, I decided a year ago to dedicate more time to my writing projects and would post up my progress, or lack of, as I go.

With that in mind, I would also like to talk about ‘missed opportunity‘.

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original image can be found at www.rantlifestyle.com

I’ve been sitting on this idea for a magazine I love for about a year now. I knew it was perfect and I was looking forward to pitching it.

I’d already made contact with the magazine editor and she seemed open to viewing more of my ideas. The situation was primed.

The only problem – I couldn’t quite get the article down. 

I tinkered with it for a few weeks, then I’d put it aside for a few months thinking ‘I’ll come back to it later’.

I don’t know how many times I did this, but it’s safe to say that it was probably more than the current number of re-runs of ‘Come Dine with Me‘.

So I’m flicking through the latest copy of said magazine when I see a peek at next months articles. There in black and white bold print is not only my idea for an article, but it has my chosen title as well.

I stared at it for a few minutes in disbelief. All that played in my head was – that could’ve been me!

Hey, I’m a big believer in everything happens from the reason and I never like to pass up a situation without trying to learn something from it. Even if it is, I watch TV far too much (see original Come Dine with me comment).

I realised that ideas are around us all the time. You only have to reach up and seize it.

But if you don’t, somebody else will. Someone will be willing to work a little longer, or harder than you did. And they will make a success of your missed opportunity.

Now I’ll be committing that particular idea to the archive section of my computer, labelled ‘took too long and now I feel stupid’.

So, if the muse smiles upon you today and an idea happens to float past you, grab it with both hands and work on it now. Do it now. Don’t wait till tomorrow.

In the meantime, you’ll find me at the bar, downing whiskey and muttering in low tones about how I had a great idea once!

Happy Writing 🙂

p.s. Another thing I learnt today – always back up your work. Because something will happen, such as child impaled on broom, and you will lose your entire post and have to start again, if it wasn’t for browser back up that is – phew!

Thanks but…

…no thanks.

Maybe you should stick to colouring in – here have a pencil.

On second thoughts, give it back, these baby’s are hard to come by!

Yep, that will be another NO then. Another, don’t call us and we’ll forget we ever had your number!

But I’m telling myself it can’t be all bad as I’m getting nicer rejections.

When I first started out editors would threaten to set the dogs on me or peek from behind the curtains, pretending they’d moved. Now I’m getting personal messages saying, ‘not for us, but keep sending.’

That can’t be bad right?

Well whether it is or not, I’m still feeling sorry for myself, so clinging to my broken dreams like Gollam to his ring, here’s another picture of a cake.

This time, Rocky Road Chocolate Squares, decorated by my lovely, and now chocolate iced, boys 🙂

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This is me!

The children are all napping, so I have a few rare moments to complete my first assignment for “blogging 101” without something being thrown at my head.

I am a mum of three boys, one of which only has two speeds, ninety miles an hour and stop. Most of my days are spent referreeing, playing superheroes and talking to myself.

In the evening I morph into a normal human being, (well the closest thing to it anyway). Tea drinking, writing and pretending to not watch the telly.

I started a blog to build my online presence and improve my writing skills. I mostly write about writing, as I’m not very good at anything else, and some would argue I’m not very good at that either.

Organisation is a big thing for me as I have so little time. If I find a method that works I like to let other people know in case it works for them too.

I’m hoping to take my blog to the next level and actually post more than once per millenia. Consistency has been a life-long issue for me. Therefore I welcome any advice or tips if anyone has any to share.

Thanks for reading!