Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A Competitive Edge

I'm bursting to tell you I just won a writing competition , so I'll tell you...
The theme was 'About Writing'.  It's called...
A Strange Tale of Writer’s Block

and I hope you enjoy!

Having won my competition (a-hem), I feel I have the right to talk to you about writing - from an expert's point of view!!  Seriously though, folks, I'd just like to offload some of my writing ideas - and get some feedback - and some of your ideas - if you care to leave me a comment when you've read this little blog entry.

It is a strange thing, this writer's block (albeit that my story wasn't about writer's block so much as about the story's protagonist trying to block herself from writing) and it can happen any old time.
The thing that you need to remember at these times isn't that your ideas haven't stopped flowing, not at all.  It's just that your ideas are tangled up inside your brain and won't untangle or come out the right way up!

What you need to do is sit with pen and paper - or sit at your computer - and wait!  You might wait for hours.  It might seem that you're going to explode, or your computer's going to explode, before you can extract an idea from all that jumble inside your head - but it'll happen,  And when it does....well...EUREKA!

You might want to try collecting stories and flash fiction from magazines and e-zines to jolt you into an idea - and action.  There's a great little website called 'Every Day Fiction' where you're emailed a short story (less than 1000 words) every day - and you can enter your flash fiction to them for consideration too.

You might want to carry a notebook with you wherever you go.  There's always some little thing that will attract your attention while you're out and about.

You might want to give your story-telling a face lift and follow the directions my insightful e-course writing tutor - and my writing group colleagues - have always given me:
  1. Make your main character a 'sympathetic' one - one that readers 'care' about
  2. Make sure there's enough 'conflict' to keep your readers on the edge of their seats
  3. Don't make your story too complicated
  4. Have no more than two points of view in a story - one's even better!
  5. Keep the drama going. 
  6. Make sure there's a good sense of person and place
  7. Start your story at an exciting time in the protagonist's life - and end your story with a BANG
Those 7 points will make sure you don't fall by the wayside and commit any of the 7 deadly sins!
I've fallen by the wayside too many times to even think about.

I know that writing's a tough old world - much tougher than I ever expected it to be when I made a kick-start into writing last April - but it gives you your rewards when you write a good story - better still when you get a piece published.

And for me, just now - it's all about winning that competition!  It's my first win.  I might be wearing rose-tinted glasses: I might have a smile as wide as the Thames: but I need my moment of glory, so WOO-HOO to me - and the best of luck to all of us newbie writers.

Big Grin - Rose-Tinted Glasses


Talk to you soon, Dear Readers (I pinched that from Stephen King [who better!])

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