Archives for creative writing

#FlashPIC 13 Train Window #writingprompt #amwriting

This is the view from a fast-moving train. Here is a FlashPIC writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbusters  series to inspire you today. Study this photograph. How does it make you feel? The blurring gives a strong sense of motion. Close your eyes and concentrate on how you feel, are your senses heightened, or does dizziness dominate? Describe how you feel in one paragraph. From that paragraph, pull out three key words, and write 1-2 sentences about each. Using the sensations you experienced, give them to a character caught on the edge of speed – standing on a motorway bridge, balancing on rocks beside a fast-flowing river, waiting at the kerb to cross the road as racing cyclists fly by. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Coffee Shop Death Valley Looking Over the Parapet 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
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#FlashPIC 11 Red sign ‘Pedestrians’ Go! #writingprompt #amwriting

Red means warning. Use this writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series to inspire you today, or to kickstart a flash fiction short story. Use one of these phrases in your first paragraph, using the photo for inspiration. Red light means Stop. Green light means Go. “I’m confused.” He knew it wasn’t the right sign, but there wasn’t another sign to use. So he did what he was told. “Not there, you wally. If you put the sign there, the people are all gonna walk over the ….” “Some joker’s left it there, haven’t they. That arrow points at the wall. That can’t be right… can it?’ John could see a red blur about a metre ahead and, erring on the side of caution, as always, he tapped the red thing with his cane. It sounded metallic. Not for the first time, he missed Petra. She felt her front wheel fall into nothingness, the pavement disappeared, and as her bike fell forwards, the red sign fell into the hole on top of her head. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Anonymous People Arrivals Board Belisha Beacon What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#FlashPIC 10 Looking Over the Parapet #writingprompt #amwriting

Are you looking down, or is it your character? Why are you there? What do you plan to do next? What do you actually do next? Use this writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbusters series to help you develop a character for your Work-in-Progress.   Examine the photo, and then use one of these phrases as the starting point for an exercise:- Down, down, so far down, she leant further forward, the edge of the stone parapet cutting into the spare flesh at her waist. We could put a glass roof over it, that would keep the rain out and let the sunshine in… but will Alexi say yes? I should never have come, he’ll see me. That’s his desk there, the second window from the right, if he looks out of the window he can’t miss me here. It felt like flying, it wasn’t quick at all, she expected it to be over in the minutest part of a second, but she was still here, floating, like a bubble blown from a child’s bubble wand. He crouched behind a wall, listening for the sound of marching boots. He was breathing so hard from running, he had to hold his
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

Writing tips: know your grammar

Know your grammar. If you don’t, check it. Buy yourself a grammar book, dictionary and thesaurus, and use them. If you don’t, copy-editing will be a long, painful and costly process. Better to get it right yourself in the first place. And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Writers’ BLOCKbusters: know your grammar http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1ut #writingtips via @SandraDanby
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Categories: On Writing.

Writing tips: read on the page not the screen

When re-drafting, print the m/s and read it on the page. Write your corrections in coloured pen so they are easy to spot, and tick them once you’ve made the correction. I date things too, but that’s just my journalistic background showing. Once I’ve corrected everything on a page, I draw a line across it. And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Writers’ BLOCKbusters: read on the page http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1uo #writingtips via @SandraDanby
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Categories: On Writing.

#FlashPIC 9 Nothing of Value Left Overnight #writingprompt #amwriting

Today’s writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series is a sign in a shed, though it could easily be a sign in a van or truck, on an office door or the front window of a house. Imagine a situation featuring this sign and  use one of these prompts:- A shed, bought off eBay. What happens when you take it apart to transport it home? Jessica and Charlie took it in turns to smoke the cigarette, puff after puff, trying not to swallow the smoke so it wouldn’t be seen. This was their secret place, it was derelict, their den. ‘Nothing of value’? Isn’t the notion of value a relative thing: one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. Boot sales exist on that very notion. Home for mice, or rats… or a homeless man. Why is he there, where has he come from? Where does he eat and wash and… This is a joke sign my husband fixed to the window of his allotment shed. All there is of any value in there is beer. Cans and cans of it. Home-made. Tastes disgusting. Marnie painted the outside of the shed all over in Translucence, supposed to be a gentle white,
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

I agree with… Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell ‘How to write while looking after a very young baby: get a sling. Aim for the most supportive, ergonomic one you can find. Strap yourself in. After the mid-morning feed, while the baby is still in a post-milk trance, insert her into the sling with the minimum disturbance possible. Forget anything like clearing away the breakfast, emptying the washing machine, returning calls – even dressing. You won’t be doing anything as rash as answering the door.’ [in an interview ‘How I Write’ with ‘The Guardian’ October 18, 2012] I don’t have the baby so can’t claim that as a distraction from writing, as O’Farrell can, but I totally get the rest of her advice. DO NOT BE DISTRACTED. It’s about being strict with yourself, make the most of every minute you have allocated for writing. Set the alarm on your mobile or use the oven timer.  To read the full article in The Guardian, click here. For more about O’Farrell’s books, click here for her website.   If you agree with Maggie O’Farrell, perhaps you will agree with:- Sarah Waters – putting people into houses is akin to a pressure cooker Joanna Trollope – e-books are leased Simon Sebag Montefiore – it
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Writing tips: learn from the masters

Learn from the masters. Take an author you know and love, and aim to emulate. Analyse the way they write by de-constructing the plot and characters of a novel. I’ve done this with AS Byatt’s Possession and John Grisham’s The Firm. Patterns and techniques become evident. Apply what you learn to your own writing.   ‘The Firm’ by John Grisham [UK: Arrow] Buy now ‘Possession’ by AS Byatt [UK: Vintage] Buy now And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Writers’ BLOCKbusters: learn from the masters http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1u0 #writingtips via @SandraDanby
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Categories: On Writing.

Writing tips: find what works for you, then write

Find your own way of writing creatively and get the words down. Write in a notebook, on the computer, on a tablet, in perfect quiet, to rock music, with noise-cancelling headphones. Train yourself to be able to write anywhere – on a train, in a coffee shop, in a library, at home, in a hotel – and you will write regularly. And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Writers’ BLOCKbusters: find what works for you, then write http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1tY #writingtips via @SandraDanby
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Categories: On Writing.

#FlashPIC 7 Cranes on the Skyline #writingprompt #amwriting

Giant cranes dominate the sky… like animals, alien vehicles, or as the scene of a power struggle or romance. As part of the Writers’ BLOCKbusters series, here is a FlashPIC writing prompt to help you write a short story, a brief flash fiction piece of only a few words, or something longer. You choose. Study the photo and allow it to inspire your writing, or use some of the following phrases:- Altitude Sky Down Vertigo Wobble Wind Balance Challenge Fear Space Freedom © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Orange railings Two empty glasses Death Valley 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 different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is
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Categories: On Writing and Writers' BLOCKbusters.

#FlashPIC 6 Coffee Shop #writingprompt #amwriting

Today, imagine you are in a coffee shop. Or actually go into a coffee shop and write this exercise from the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series. This writing prompt can be used simply to energise your writing, along with a dose of caffeine, or use some of the following phrases:- Caffeine Kick Mug News Unexpected Connected Networked Gluten-free Sugar kick Listen Spying Unseen © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Arrivals board Red sign pedestrians go 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 different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your
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Categories: On Writing and Writers' BLOCKbusters.

Please share…

Please help me to spread the word about Ignoring Gravity. Re-blog on WordPress or Bloglovin’, re-tweet, share on Facebook or Tumblr or Reddit by clicking the ‘share’ button at the end of each post. Thank you! To find out what the book is about, click here to watch the trailer. To hear me talk about how I wrote the novel, click here.   ‘Ignoring Gravity’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press] Buy the e-book or paperback of Ignoring Gravity now, at Amazon UK and Amazon US.
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Categories: Book Love, Book publicity and My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity'.

Author-to-author interview: MM Jaye & Sandra Danby

“How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?” interviewer MM Jaye asks author Sandra Danby. “No celebration planned, the end of the first draft is the beginning of the next stage of the writing process for me. I find it useful to take a break from the work in progress though, so at the end of the first draft I will write shorter fiction, perhaps some flash fiction, and get out more. Go to art galleries and the theatre! It’s also a great time to research the next book. I am always thinking ahead.” MM Jaye is curious about Sandra’s desk [above], her celebration plans, and how she plots her novels. Read the full WIP [work in progress] interview with Maria Jaye at MM Jaye Writes here.   ‘Ignoring Gravity’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press] Buy now And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: How do your celebrate writing ‘the end’? #authorinterview by @MMJaye http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1qD via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love, My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity' and On Writing.

#FlashPIC 5 Waiting beneath the clock #writingprompt #amwriting

Don’t waste another minute. Use today’s writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series to kick start a flash fiction story. You can simply use the photo to energise your writing, or use some of the following phrases:- Expectation Disappointment Nervous energy Appointment Delay Life passing Opportunity Regret Tick Tock Stopped © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Nothing of value left overnight Anonymous people Beach 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 different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your shoulder. Ebooks coming in 2019 at Amazon… Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 FirstParas Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500
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Categories: On Writing and Writers' BLOCKbusters.

#FlashPIC 4 Between the Train Seats #writingprompt #amwriting

As part of the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series, here is a writing prompt to put the first words on the page today. You can simply use the photo to energise your writing, or use some of the following phrases:- Proximity Isolation Red Angle Perspective Triangle Overheard Spying Thigh to thigh Red velvet © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:- Coffee shop St James Park polite notice The meaning of purple 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 different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your shoulder. Ebooks coming in 2019 at Amazon… Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500
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Categories: On Writing and Writers' BLOCKbusters.