Why perspectives are like shoes.

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes/trainers/clogs?

They are the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen (maybe not the clogs). You tried them on in the shop and gloried at how they looked.

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‘Wooden Shoes’ by Bill Longshaw, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

You get them home, get on your matching dress/jeans/lederhosen. Place them on your feet only to find that they are more uncomfortable than David Cameron reading E.L. James.

So, either you do as I do. Go without shoes and claim you gave them to a homeless person on the way – this can also win you brownie points for your selflessness.

Or you minimise the time you move and when you do, try not to look like a raptor wearing heels.

Writing persectives can be the same kind of thing thing. It seemed like a good idea at the beginning, but now you’re half way through the story, somethings happening and you’re feeling uncomfortable.

The above example is a little obvious. But what if you have many characters all in the same place? How do you know which perspective to write in?

Like the shoes, you’re only going to know when you’ve worn them around the house and crushed the backs in a bit. (Shoe lovers gasp in horror!).

So if you’re not sure, try them on.

Here’s an example of a story of my own. It has four characters. Three of which are in every scene. So I’ve wrote a version from each of those character’s point’s of view.

The eldest sister – Christine;

‘Is it dead?’ Meri stared up at me with teary eyes.

I nodded, poking its fat bloated body under the thorny bush that bordered the garden. She buried her face in my trousers.

I huffed, loud enough for her to hear. ‘God, don’t be such a baby, Meri.’

She clung to me tighter and I felt the pang of guilt settle in like an unwelcome guest. Bending down, I peeled her from my leg and brushed her hair from her face.

‘It didn’t feel any pain,’ I said.

‘How can you be sure?’ Her brow furrowed as she looked down at the wretched creature.

‘Because the exterminator said so, that’s why,’ I said.

The next one is from the Mother;

I watched from the kitchen as Christine poked at the thing with a stick. Meri looked up at her, lip trembling, as if her heart would break.

Christine had never been a compassionate or loving child. Even from an early age. She spent her time fishing carp out of the pond or catching mice to tease the cats. A perfect partner for her father to go hunting with.

Not like Meri.

Meri was, softer, innocent. She didn’t have that cast-iron shell her older sister had developed so well.

Christine shoved the creature under the hedge with a sharp jab. Then she bent down and took Meri’s face in her hands. She couldn’t hear what was said, but as the two headed towards the house, Meri was smiling again.

Obviously this is completely useless as a perspective, far too far away from the action and doesn’t take the story in the direction I want it to go.

Then finally, the perspective that I chose. The little sister, Meri’s, perspective;

‘Is it dead?’ I clung to my sister’s leg as she poked its fat bloated body.

‘Yes,’ she replied. The toad rolled over. She gave it another sharp prod pushing it underneath the thorny hedge that edged our garden.  I buried my face in her trousers.

‘Don’t be a baby Meri.’ Christine’s eyebrows knitted together and I turned away.  She gave a heavy sigh and bent down, her dark brown hair brushing the ground.

‘It didn’t feel any pain,’ she whispered.

‘How can you be sure?’ I frowned and looked back to the poor innocent creature, lying discarded like a broken toy.

‘Because the exterminator said so, that’s why.’ She brushed my fringe out of my eyes and tucked it behind my ear.

With this perspective I can be close to the action, but not to close, therefore still keeping the tension as the story unfolds.

This choice was pretty clear for me from the beginning, but not every story is the same.

If you’re having trouble with a story and you don’t know who to choose, take the story and write a beginning from the perspective of each character. When you do, the choice will become clear.

Good luck with your stories, and if anyone tries this, (or the clogs), I would love to hear your results.Maybe it opens up a perspective you didn’t think of before.

Until next time, happy writing!

Please note: Lederhosen are not traditionally worn with clogs. It’s just that clogs sounded funnier than Bavarian footwear 🙂

I don’t like Coffee!!!

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Well, actually I don’t mind it every now and then. But a good cup of tea is the way to go, for me.

You have to make it right though, ‘as it comes’ is definitely not an option!

I like mine milky, but not anaemic, dark enough to tell its tea but if you’ve hit the colour of David Dickinson’s tan, you’ve gone too far.

It’s been a while since I wrote an update…mostly because I spent the summer working on the same sentence. (Don’t worry, it will be a kick arse sentence when its done!).

The kids are back at school. I now only have ‘the wakey one’ home in the day, whom I’ve decided to rename ‘the bitey one’ after a number of incidents leaving me resembling Jasper from the Twilight books.

So I’m ready and raring to go.

I’ve begun clearing out old notes for my novel. It’s taken on so many changes over the years, I’ve literally got pages and pages of stuff that’s no longer relevant. I’ve also just changed from Writeway Pro to Scrivener so I want to get everything organised before I begin transferring.

I’m in the process of converting a sci-fi short story into a radio play. I think the format will serve the idea well and will get it across better.

I’m doing the ‘Writing 101’ course with Blogging University. They give you prompts each day to get you writing. I’m two weeks in, incredibly behind, but enjoying every minute of it.

Whenever I do anything like this I’m always taken aback by the sheer amount of talent on here. So many great writers, phenomenal sites and wonderful posts that either lift you up or make you think…or make me hungry and dream of cake.

And finally, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. I’m both excited and scared about this. As many of you know, I’m not the best when it comes to focus. So I thought I’d change it up this year and try something different…lets be honest, it can’t get any worse, I’ve already been working on my book for the past six/seven years.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to.

So, how are you?

I write…

 

To be the hero I wish I was.

To make the choices that I can’t.

To be the voice of those who battle

with the dragons in the dark.

 

To be the one that has been chosen

to fight the fairer fight.

For the feral and the fallen.

To always know what’s right.

 

I write because I have to.

I don’t know another way.

To live a life that dreams are made of –

It’s my one and only way.

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 🙂

SHE – Friday Fictioneers

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. If you fancy having a go, check out the prompt and write a story approximately 100 words long and post.

If you want to see more of the stories for this weeks pic, follow the blue frog. Good luck 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

SHE

Clawing at the darkness, branches reached upward like outstretched fingers, grasping, wanting.

She watched.

Rustling disturbed a nearby bush. A flash of red fur disappeared into the undergrowth, desperate not to be seen.

She waited.

A warm breeze rippled her nightdress, passing shadows across the silk. The scent of coconut oil from her skin drifted on the night air.

She remembered.

The heat from his breath. The pressure as his hands closed around her throat. She tried to pull him away.

She struggled.

Her voice faltered as she tried to call out. No-one would hear her out here.

She drifted.

100 words. 

The Shelf – Friday Fictioneers

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, and this week we have a great photo prompt from Rochelle.

If you fancy having a go, take a look at the prompt, come up with a story approx 100 words in length and post it up.

I hope you enjoy mine, thanks for reading 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.

The Shelf

‘You understand the conditions?’ He handed her the bottle. His knuckles jutting out like knots on a tree.

Julie nodded ‘He’ll get his in return?’

‘I’m a man of my word,’ he hissed.

Julie took a deep breath and recited the incantation.

‘Take my dreams, what lies ahead,

take my hopes for his instead.’

Gold mist filled the bottle and a heavy weight settled in the pit of her stomach.

The man placed it on a shelf alongside hundreds of others – all glowing with their own ethereal substance.

He handed her a green one and smiled. ‘I hope he’s worth it.’

101 words

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 🙂

Blogging 201 – And we’re off!!!

Day One – Goal Setting

I’ve become a pretty appalling blogger of late. At the beginning I was full of optimistic ideas. Sadly, over time they’ve ebbed away, much like BBC3 and my ability to wear a bikini without scaring the children.

My experience of Blogging 101 was excellent and I met many amazing writers. I’m hoping to do the same again…and also encourage some much needed discipline with Blogging 201.

As you can see I’m off to a fantastic start. Task one is already a day late – start as you mean to go on!

So here are my three goals I want to achieve over the next few months.

  1. Reach 100 followers by the end of the year.
  2. Publish at least once a week for the next two months.
  3. Establish a weekly feature.

I will give updates on my progress as I go – at the very worst this will serve as a cautionary tale of how NOT to run a blog.

Good luck to anyone else taking part!

Out of the Shadows – Friday Fictioneers

It’s that time again folks! Friday Fictioneers is here, hosted by the lovely Rochelle. All you need is the photo prompt and 100 words of your very own 🙂

This weeks was a great one, thanks to Sandra Crook.

I hope you enjoy my contribution 🙂

Out of the Shadows

Heat rose from the sun-baked cobbles. It was nearly noon and I retreated under the arches.

An old man panted past me. His bicycle wheezed as the wheel squeaked, every fifth of the way round. Sweat covered his skin as if he’d been dipped in oil.

I didn’t want him. Too old – too gamey.

Then I saw them.

Lovers, on their way to the Museum of Arts, I expect. I stepped out from my hiding place exposing my white hot incisors.

They gasped.

‘You didn’t believe we only came out at night did you?’  I smiled. ‘Silly children.’

98 words 


 

All The Way – Friday Fictioneers

Alas, I’m not dead!

I have not been taken by those pesky aliens or indeed as some rumours claim, eaten myself to death via chocolate cake.

I have, however, been wading through the paperwork that is new school admissions, amidst bathroom remodelling and attempting to make the house look less like we’ve been robbed.

So with the first moments to myself in weeks, I’ve barricaded myself in the office, disguised myself as someone who actually completes things and wrote.

I hope you enjoy my latest entry for Friday Fictioneers run by the lovely Rochelle. But if not, it isn’t my fault, my muse got lost in the clutter 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT – © Kent Bonham

 

All The Way

‘You’re sure this’ll work?’

‘Of course,’ he said, pulling the syringe out of her arm.

‘What about side effects?’

He shook his head. ‘She won’t even know she was here.’

Evan watched as they inserted the chip into Anna’s neck. The cut was so small even he would’ve been hard pressed to find it again.

A wave of relief washed through his body as they made the final adjustments.

No more running.

They handed him the device. Numbers flashed up on the screen showing him her exact location.

He smiled. Now he’d always know right where she was…forever.

99 words