"Whatever you are, be the best you can be."

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween! It's bright, colourful, welcoming Autumn with cheer and fun, lots of chocolate, treacle and decadent treats, spooky things, and supernatural movies which I love! I have to say, I loved Strictly Come Dancing's Halloween specials, Brendan Cole amazed me with his Time Warp Jive, so much fun, and how amazing were the pro dances? The male professionals stripping off for a sexy and scary paso doble, (always good men stripping off!) and a fantastic Ghostbusters number tonight! I loved it!

I'm also really excited it's Nanowrimo kickoff tomorrow! Time to start my fantastic new novel Small Survivors! It's gonna be brilliant!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

I've chosen my characters!

Just a quick note to say I have my characters names and basic appearances chosen, I've used actors and models images to represent them and you can see them all lined up at the top of my Writing Blog! I am so proud of them!

I really struggle choosing names for my characters, I have two baby names books that I pir through agonising over which name to use and whether the meaning of the name matches them or not. And with the challenge of only having this week to choose nine characters names, that's quite a lot of pressure! In the end I found sitting in front of my word processing screen and picking names at random seemed the best solution! I went for the first thing that popped into my head when thinking of their characters, and what sounded right for them! The sound of the name is often more important than the meaning, as the general public puts connotations to the sound of the name rather than the meaning. How many names do you actually know the meanings of without looking them up? You certainly don't think of that when you're reading a book or watching a movie! And it makes it a lot easier to pick their names - the pressures off!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Nanowrimo Ideas - Shrinking People

I've started planning my Nanowrimo novel with a vengeance, I've decided to write about shrinking people! I have always been fond of various TV series about "the little people" - two of my favourites being: Land of the Giants and The Borrowers. Here's what I've come up with so far:

My Nanowrimo Idea
I've got the basic idea of a top secret government experiment to shrink people to approximately six inches tall. They pick their test subjects randomly from the British public, anyone they deem to be not important, or a pain in the side of the British Government or society in general. Something goes wrong after they've shrunk their test subjects - an explosion destroys the building the lab is in and the equipment there. Miraculously, a number of miniature test subjects survive and escape into the wild. They are a group of odd random people, struggling to survive in a giant world. Consisting of (possibly) an MI5 agent, a Professor of Ecology (like a college lecturer), a Cafe Worker (a Waitress), an immigrant from another country (maybe polish, or some part of Europe), a young college student girl, a rich business woman, and maybe a criminal of some sort).


I have been making brainstorming diagrams with pen and paper (something I've not done before when planning a novel), and I like the sinplicity of it, and how easy it is to throw various ideas to a question you have about your novel. A very good piece of advice I found when planning a novel is to keep every idea and let it tell you why it deserves to be in your novel. Then later you can cut what you don't like, but at least you have plenty of ideas to play around with and then you're not staring at a blank page with no fresh ideas to play with.

Good Luck to everyone else embarking on their Nanowrimo adventure this year - Hope to see you on the forums and reaching 50,000 words by the end of November!

Book Recommendation: Make A Scene

As you may be aware from reading my blog, I am busily preparing for Nanowrimo next month - I aim to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I've been reading No Plot? No Problem! to prepare my novel ideas and hopefully get me through to 50,000 words. Although my plot ideas are coming along well now, and I have a few main character ideas, I have been worrying about writing good interesting prose. I don't want my novel to suck!

So now I have started reading Make A Scene - Crafting a Powerful Story, One Scene at a Time by Jordan E Rosenfield. And I am really impressed with this book. It gives plenty of examples from a range of books with detailed discussion as to how they have balanced description, action, dialogue and narrative to make vivid interesting scenes that won't bore your reader. I find the author's text engrossing, she writes in a way that makes you want to keep reading and keep turning the pages - exactly the kind of qualities you want to find in your own writing. So obviously a great person to learn from!

Reading this book is giving me the confidence to believe that with practice I can write an interesting novel with great scenes that will remain in a reader's mind long after they have finished reading my book. I am looking forward to starting Nanowrimo with more belief that I can achieve it now.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Nanowrimo Here I Come!

I am looking forward to National Novel Writing Month this year, I have read the first few chapters of No Plot? No Problem! A low-stress, high-velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days! And I'm feeling confident! I don't have a plot or any real plan for my novel this year, and according to this book, I don't need to!

I would like to improve my prose, as I don't think I've had enough practice writing in prose, I'm sure my scenes aren't written perfectly and I need the practice. Writing 50,000 words of prose is certainly going to give me the practice! I just have to remember it doesn't have to be perfect - no first draft of anything is ever perfect. That's what rewrites are for!

Still, it can't do any harm to practice writing random scenes between now and November to try and get some improvement, as well as acting as a warm-up for my daily writing next month. You can write random scenes from TV series or movies you've seen, or try writing the next scene that would follow on from a scene you've either read in a novel, or watched on a TV series/movie, or try making up a new scene to a fave movie, tv series or comic book. Like a mini fanfiction piece.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

DVD - Slither

I picked this film to watch because I have developed a huge crush on Nathan Fillion since I discovered him in Firefly, and watching him play an incredibly attractive doctor in the film Waitress, my heart was lost to him! :)

When I watched the trailer for Slither, I thought this could well turn out to be a really bad American comedy. Being English, I know English comedy can be very different to American comedy, and might not be to my taste. But Nathan Fillion did look good in the clips on the trailer, so I thought I would give it a go! And I am so glad I did!

As the movie started, I thought this might not be for me, and I may well be bored brainless for the next 92 minutes, but as the story started to develop, and especially as the local residents started acting like zombies, I was hooked! I love zombie films, so anything gross, flesh-eating, and a small group of (semi)-sane people fighting for their survival, then I love it! And as I suspected before watching it, Nathan Fillion does look good in it! He reminds me a little bit more of Mal Reynolds in this, a hero with a little comedy to his character! Love it, and now I will not part with it! :)

Here's the trailer to give you a taste of it:

It's White Noise 2: The Light next, I am enjoying going through Nathan Fillion movies! :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

My Art & Writing Plans!

I want to work more at both my art and writing. Both of which I love and never spend as much time on as I should. One trouble I have is when I actually find the time to sit down and do it, I find I don’t know what to draw or write about.

So now I have a plan! A To Do List or Plan for both my Art and Writing, then I have a list of ideas for writing exercises and images I would like to do, especially to challenge myself and help me improve. Then whenever I have the time to sit down and draw or write, I will be able to pick an item from my list, and start work immediately! :)

My Art Plan

(collect reference images for the following items)

  • A movie scene / DVD still (e.g. Mal & Badger in Firefly)
  • Space scene - nebula, planets, spaceships
  • Reptiles - lizard, frog, snake
  • Plants - foliage, unusual flowers, wild plants
  • Street scene - an urban street, building, window, door
    Elegantly dressed lady, fashion, catalogue figure
  • Music Star - Sophie Ellis Bextor, Shakira, Muse, Mika, McFly
  • Unusual Still Life - keys, bank note, promo cards, tokens, keyrings, a box, plug, deodorant. Things you use every day, but never think about.
  • Weapons - guns, knives, bow & arrow - maybe in use. Find a dynamic way of using them in a scene, or part of a scene.
  • Actors & Actresses - posing in pictures. Dancers too.

My Writing Plan

(either in script or prose)

  • Visit One Minute Writer, and pick a prompt to write for one minute.
  • On a Friday, visit One Minute Writer, and write a Friday Fiction piece.
  • Write a scene from a movie or tv script, with description in prose.
  • Write a scene introducing a character.
  • Write an action scene, with fighting or shooting. Make it as intense, immediate and real as you can.
  • Write a romantic scene, maybe asking someone on a date.
  • Write a stressful scene, someone frustrated or angry. (e.g. Spooks). Use body language to help.