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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Research and Editing

I tend to be a 'one project at a time' kind of girl. It just works best for me, whether it is writing, paper crafting, sewing or whatever. I'm pretty easily distracted anyway (the times I've walked in and found the dishwasher half emptied and thought, 'Ohhhh right, I was doing that, wasn't I?' I can't tell you), so having all my focus on one thing is my preference.

But sometimes. especially when it comes to writing, it just doesn't work like that. There are articles to write, pitches to make and books to get on with. And I just have to adapt.

I have a couple of (main) projects on the go at the moment. One is starting the research for a non fiction book and the other is editing a novel I wrote some time back. I really liked it but things happened and nothing was ever really done with it. With the benefit of having been away from it for a long while, I've now started going back over and making a few changes. I think there will probably be more than I originally thought so the timescale I'd estimated might go over too but what can you do? If it needs doing, it needs doing right!

The other is starting to generate what will likely be quite a lot of research....

I'm wondering how others collate their research, in order to keep it accessible. Do you keep it all on computer or print it out or both or - shock! - hand write it? Although I've written a previous book (different subject), and various articles, I'm just pondering as to whether my method is the most efficient.
I'd love to hear others input on how you work best when it comes to research. Please do leave me a comment below.
Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Writing A Good Baddie

It's often said that 'baddies' can be the most fun to write, and if the latest offering from the James Bond stable, 'Skyfall' is anything to go by, the writers must have had an absolute ball!

And don't worry, there are no spoilers here!

Silva has the required sinister undertones (and shockingly bad hair) for a satisfying baddie but he also had a personality. Albeit one with a rather warped view of things but it's still there for all to see. He isn't just nasty for nasty's sake. He isn't a caricature of a baddie as some have been - Jonathan Pryce's media mogul in 'Tomorrow Never Dies', springs to mind for that one. Unlike that film, Skyfall's writers have actually managed to create a likeable baddie. It's fun when he's on screen, even though he's doing terrible things - we want to see what he's going to get up to next - and how he's going to react to the attempts to thwart him. Of course, credit must go to Javier Bardem for making those writers' words come to life so well.

Of course, we have to be careful not to make the badddie TOO likeable. We don't want him to succeed in his dastardly plan after all! But we do want him (or her!) to be interesting, and we do want him to be an admirable and worthy opponent for our hero (or heroine). If our hero is a genius and the baddie can barely remember his own name, it's hardly a challenge. Of course we want things to end well, but a bit of struggle, whether that be mental, physical or both, to get to that point is required to make us want to keep turning the page (or watching the film).

I'd highly recommend taking a trip to see 'Skyfall' if you haven't already for a chance to see a really 'good' baddie!

So, any favourite baddies spring to mind for you?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Does a Change of Scenery Help Your Writing? (or Breaking Through The Blah)

This is a subject I often ponder on. My first novel - at least the first draft - was written almost completely whilst accompanying my husband on a long business trip abroad years ago. There was of course the added benefit that I was pretty much able to concentrate just on that, and not worry about doing the housework or wondering what to prepare for tea, but I definitely think that the change of scenery added a boost of inspiration.

Although the exotic tag-alongs are now in the past, I still try and do something on a (much!) smaller scale if I'm feeling a bit blocked, distracted or just blah. I follow the tried and tested method of many a writer and find a café.

Even though there's background noise (which at home I don't like), just the impetus of moving and putting myself somewhere else for an hour or so often gives me the push I need to get on and write, edit or just study something I've been meaning to for a while. And actually getting something done usually fires up the enthusiasm for getting more done when I'm back at home.

So, if you feel you're flagging a bit in the enthusiasm department, take a stroll or drive to a different location - it doesn't have to be a café - and see if the change of scene helps you break through the blah.

Does anyone have a favourite place they go to? I'd love to hear! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Chasing Up and Sweet Stuff

This week I have been chasing up some pitches I put out a couple of weeks ago. This is one thing that I don't like about writing - all the delays that can be incurred when waiting for a response on a pitch. Obviously it is best to just keep putting pitches out there, and not just wait on a few but either way, I still find it very frustrating. So, we shall see if this week's chases move anything along. In the meantime, I have another one to just polish and then send out today. Fingers crossed for that one!

Now, a few weeks ago, the lovely Carol was kind enough to give me a Super Sweet Blogging Award. This honour requests the answer to some sweet little questions so here goes:

Cookies or Cake?
Hmm, cake methinks, but I am partial to Party Ring and chocolate digestive biccies

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate please!

What is your favourite sweet treat?
I do love a Creme Egg

When do you crave sweet things the most?
Usually when there aren't any in the house

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
Well, my Talkback name is Sweetpea,..

Thanks, Carol for the award, and now to pass it on. I would like to nominate Emma, Lori, and Lizy