So as I was merrily going about my business yesterday I realised I’d forgotten to include my little update thing about where I think I am as a writer. As I mentioned in my Introduction post I think it’s very important to take a moment to take stock of where you are as a writer. Not only will you be actively forced to think about what areas you should work on but you might even feel an extra push to actually work on them! So, just to show everyone that I’m completely sincere, I’ll go first.
Before I started this blog, I wasn’t writing at all. I was telling myself that school was taking up all of my time, but sometimes I’d wonder if that was exactly true. So I made myself a promise to get back on track and to not let anything get in the way of my writing again. I started this blog and figured it would help me to meet my writing quota every day but it’s helped so much more than that. When I read for the blog, I read to learn. When I put together a writing exercise, I make sure to give an example so I’m the first person to start doing it. I still haven’t written anything per se but I feel better about my chances of being able to write something that makes me happy. Everything I do here is a challenge to myself and it should be a challenge to you. Overall, I’m very hopeful and confident where my writing’s concerned and I wish the same for you all.
Today, I feel like picking up the pace just a little. After Monday’s exercise you should have painted a much broader picture of the story you plan to write. In fact, you should get little flashes of that picture every time you let your mind wander, I know I do. A lot of these flashes seem like rather important bits of the story you want to tell. Let’s take a quick look at an example, this is an idea I got doing my first writing exercise by the way.
What if a cheerleader is sent to the hospital after suffering from a serious allergic reaction to nuts?
Who? – Our main character is named Catherine and she’s the first to realise that Naomi’s having a reaction.
How? – Someone found a salad with nuts in her bag but Catherine doesn’t think a girl with a nut allergy would be eating a salad like that.
When? – The middle of the school year in the locker rooms.
Twist? – Catherine has to figure out who in a school full people would want to kill the girl.
This is where my story begins as far as my readers might be concerned. However, there’s a lot of the story that won’t be told outright. It will come to readers in little bits over the course of the entire story but I have to know it in its entirety, beforehand. This involves plenty of research as well as experimenting with ideas and determining what might work and what won’t. At the same time you have to make sure that you don’t get too caught up in the ‘history’ behind the story because it’s easy to get stuck there and then the story goes no where. Let’s take a look at my research for example.
One of my main ideas in the story is that a nut allergy is involved, so I do some research. I look up the types of nuts that can trigger allergies, I even find out what a reaction to an allergy looks like. Then I take this information and turn it into something I can use in my story. Makes sense, yes? How do I prevent myself from getting too caught up at this point? I think about how I’ll show this in my story and I create a scene for it or at least an idea as constructed in the example above.
Writing Exercise 3:
The exercise today is aimed at doing research while working on the story at hand until you can master doing research and then working on the story. So carry out your preliminary research and start planning and ordering your scenes/ideas. Try to incorporate some of your research into your ideas, don’t be afraid if you can’t get it all in, some things are for the author alone to know.
I have a further surprise for you all. Today, I opened up to everyone about how I felt about where I am as a writer and it came to my attention that I don’t feel like I’ve written anything of late. In turning this over in my head, I’ve decided we all need to write a little something today which will give our creative juices the jot they may need. This means it’s time for a writing prompt.
Writing Prompt 1:
For today’s writing prompt I’d like everyone to attempt a piece of at least 2,000 words and you must include the use of the five senses as well as the words: beauty, cherry blossom and axe. I hope this makes everyone think just a bit.
Now don’t feel pressured to do all of this by Friday as we’re not working to a time schedule. However, please do attempt the exercise and the prompt, no matter how long they take. They help in the long run.
Until next time,
K, the Popinjay.