Monthly Archives February 2014

Applying the rules of art to writing: cultivate your idiosyncrasies

“Every hand, every eye, every brain comes with its own built-in distortions. These distortions represent your signature, your personal slant on the world. When they manifest themselves in your work, do not be afraid to embrace them as long as they do not represent an impediment to some larger objective or overshadow everything else the image contains.” Excerpt from ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White Be yourself, write with your own voice. Read other authors, but don’t try to copy, go with your own ideas. Don’t be swayed by well-meaning friends who are quick to offer advice on what is or isn’t realistic/attractive/marketable etc. No-one told Hemingway [above, in 1939) that he should write more wordy prose. Of if they did, he didn’t listen. ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White [MIT Press] Buy now And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Cultivate your idiosyncrasies: applying the rules of #art to #writing http://wp.me/p5gEM4-KJ via @SandraDanby
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Categories: On Writing.

IGNORING GRAVITY #46

She was sitting at a bench on the wide pavement outside The Eagle, nursing a St Clements and watching the late commuters straggle out of the tube station when he arrived. A large folder was on the seat beside her. Something had shifted inside her last night and things had become clearer, one of the clearest was that she wanted to see Nick again. She’d called this morning and arranged to meet. “I haven’t been exactly…  truthful with you,” were the first words she spoke. “I know I’ve been strange, behaving oddly, but there is a reason why.” Her staccato words regulated into andantino then andante as she showed Nick her birth certificates, baby picture and Kate’s photo. Feeling calmer by the minute, helped by the pressure of his arm against hers, she told him things she didn’t even know she’d been thinking until the words were said. He let her finish speaking. “Hey.” His fingers caught a curl beside her ear and twisted it into a ringlet. “That’s the first time you’ve said all of that aloud, isn’t it?” She looked at Nick and wanted to fall into his eyes. “I think what you’re doing is very brave.” That
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Categories: Book Love and My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity'.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… wardrobe

Imagination sluggish today? Here’s a quick writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters which should get you writing good stuff quickly. And you don’t have to leave the house to do it!Go to your wardrobe and pull out a jumper at random. Smell it, stroke the fabric, examine the weave, its seams. Put it on. Think about how it makes you feel. While you are wearing it, write 30 words. Now write a paragraph of action about something you do while wearing this jumper. Or, if you have an existing character, write a paragraph of action they do while wearing it. Use these two paragraphs as the basis for a longer exercise about your character. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Were the Berries Edible? Wordstorm: Bronze Beware Danger from High Tides Beyond  What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

IGNORING GRAVITY #45

She stepped out of her steaming bath water later that night and picked up the bottle of Soothing Rose lotion she’d bought at Cool Beauty yesterday. Mmm roses, she thought, the heady scent of summer. But the top wouldn’t budge, not even when she tried to loosen it with her teeth. Shivering now, she wrapped herself in a towel. Somewhere there was a pair of pliers. Leaving a trail of water across the floor, she checked in the hall cupboard, then the drawer in the dresser. She finally found them in her toolbox at the bottom of her wardrobe squashed between her Dorothy stilettos and favourite tan cowboy boots. With one tug, the threads at the neck of the plastic bottle gave way and the top was released. Her stomach lurched at the overwhelming stink of artificial flowers, chemical copies, not real roses. Rose stoppered the bottle quickly. It had smelled alright in the shop, but perhaps everything had changed now she was Alanna Ingram. * Wrapped in her bathrobe, dozing uneasily in front of an ancient repeat of ER, dreaming of twin sisters who continually morphed in and out of each other’s bodies, Rose was stirred by a knocking.
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Categories: Book Love and My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity'.

Famous writers, reading… Virginia Woolf

In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” Ah Virginia… and so she must.   ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf [UK: Penguin Classics] Buy now See these other famous people, reading & writing:- Charles Dickens Peter Carey Beryl Bainbridge And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Famous people, reading… Virginia Woolf, possibly proofreading a manuscript via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-yq
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

IGNORING GRAVITY #44

An envelope was waiting for Rose on the hall table when she got home from work the next day. A letter bearing the red-inked stamp ‘General Register Office.’ So 24 hours after sitting on the bench beside the war memorial, Rose returned to the same place, seeking calm in her secret green corner behind the library after today’s madness of deadlines, proofreading and caffeine overload. Squabbling sparrows were her only company. She turned the envelope over in her hands, wanting to open it, not wanting to open it. The name of my father is inside. Her eyes drifted over the names on the obelisk… Worth… Thewlis… Clarkson… Smith … Brough… Out of a brown paper bag she emptied her hasty purchase from Maya’s limited alcohol shelf: two mini-bottles of gin and fruit-flavoured alco-pop. She drunk one bottle straight down in one go, pursed her lips at the alien taste of saccharine, artificial colourings and E numbers, then put the empty bottle back in its bag. She’d never been fond of gin, mother’s milk, her mother’s drink for special occasions to be mixed with bottled orange juice and sipped through pursed lips but she needed the alcohol hit and it had
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Categories: Book Love and My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity'.

New books coming soon

Garth Risk Hallberg City on Fire, the debut novel by American writer Garth Risk Hallberg, will be published in the UK by Jonathan Cape. Film rights for the novel were sold to Scott Rudin who produced Captain Phillips and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. City on Fire is set in New York in the 1970s, and culminates in the evening of the 1977 blackout. The book has split UK publishers, according to The Bookseller magazine. One called it a “game-changer” and “better than Franzen,” while another publisher described it to The Bookseller as “quite patchy” and “very much about New York in the 1970s.” Natasha Boyd Eversea, the first in a series of novels by Natasha Boyd about Hollywood film star Jack Eversea, is to be published by Headline Eternal. Eversea goes to sleepy Butler Cove in South Carolina to escape the tabloid glare and his increasingly vapid life. There he meets local girl Keri Ann Butler. Previously self-published, e-book and paperback versions will be published, to be followed by the second book in the series, Forever, Jack, to be published by Headline Eternal this winter. Melanie Hudson The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson, originally self-published and shortlisted
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Categories: Book Love.