Welcome to my blog - a collection of thoughts and musings on the world of writing, books and all those wordy type things.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

How do you write?

How do you write? I mean, physically? Do you bash out all the words straight onto your laptop, or desktop computer? Do you scribble notes in shorthand to transcribe later or do you write things out in longhand in a posh notebook, again to be typed up later (after some deciphering has taken place, if you're anything like me)?

My tendency to do a couple of these things, depending on where I am, and how accessible the laptop is (and whether it's behaving today). At times I write directly onto the computer. I like the fact that my fingers, generally, can keep up with my brain using this method. (I knew that Grade A in GCSE Typing would come in handy!). I'm also a fan of this way of working for the ease in which I can, with just a couple of clicks, find out just how many words have tumbled out onto the page in each writing session.

However, I do also work in the old fashioned way at times. I enjoy the tactile nature of the paper, flicking over the pages of a day's work has a satisfying feel, quite literally. I also like the fact that, so long as you have paper and pencil (or pen!), you can work almost anywhere. If you want to write by the pool, or on the beach whilst on holiday, you can! Your trusty notebook won't trouble you with glare (especially not once you start filling up those blank pages), it won't go flat just as you come up with a fantastic twist in your novel,    sand doesn't bother it and if you drop it, you can just pick it up again...unlike its electronic counterpart.

My hand written preference is for yellow legal pads and a soft lead pencil. The former means I can mentally distinguish and separate my 'proper writing' from any other scribbles, lists and notes I've made as I only use these for writing. They also stand out nicely from other paperwork when I'm wondering where I've put it this time! As for the pencil, I like the soft gliding motion of this type of pencil. Pens don't do it for me, and harder lead types are just too scratchy.

So, that's the way I work. How about you? I really enjoy hearing about other writers' methods and habits so please leave me a comment below. I've told you mine, now tell me yours!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Who first - Agent or Publisher?

I'm steeling myself for yet another round of that wonderful literary game 'Hunt The Publishing Contract'. As many of us know, this can be a dastardly tricky task, unless you've been on television for five minutes in which case it appears to suddenly get a lot easier...

It's actually a while since I've done this, and many things have changed in the industry over the past few years. With that in mind, I'm wondering as to what the general opinion is on who to approach first? It always used to be the standard that you generally needed an agent first, and to dare to approach a publisher direct was thought very bold. But is that still the case?

I've read so many differing reports of this in writing magazines, blogs and in the news that I'm really a bit confused. I can imagine that should a publisher actually pick up something I sent them, then finding an agent retrospectively would probably be a lot easier - but of course, it's getting someone to make that move in the first place at the publishing house.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in this respect, so please feel free to leave me a comment below. I'd really appreciate it!