Monday, 15 June 2015

How do you stop Story Ideas?

Story ideas are something I continually try to suppress. If I don’t, I find myself scurrying off on tangents and not working on my novels or other projects. 
This may well be one of those many, spur of the moment ideas, that result in nothing. Unfortunately, I now have to get it out of my system and will justify this diversion by saying it is for my blog. 
Everyone should post a comment at least two or three times a week to keep their blog or website relevant. Well that is what I heard anyway. As you can tell, this little rant is not going anywhere at present, but I am always building a file on things I have learnt and this piece could find its way into a book when I succeed in finding a publisher. So now as you see I have justified the diversion to myself and it is okay to plough on.
I’m sure all writers wake up with a burning idea and even scribble it down on a pad beside the bed. Some may even find a film contract for it. My problem is, by the time I have found the initiative to write it down. that idea is surpassed with an even better one and in less than two minutes. I start to write them both down and they are gone, that whole flash of brilliance has drowned like a match on the ocean. Not to fear it will come back, but not as the same idea.
I need help and over the next few weeks will try to find ways to derail this avalanche that ravages through my head. As I do, I will post an idea and the way I avoided it on the blog.
For instance, while listening to a talk by Matthew Naqvi at the Willy Litfest last Saturday, I had an idea. During his speech he said how people passionate about their craft had to make time to write. Grab a couple of minutes here. Take your work with you, scratch it into the pavement if necessary, but write. If it is an itch you have scratch, at least be prepared.
I had a notebook, as always, and wrote time thief in the column to remind me about his point. Now I’m in real trouble, on the way home I wondered about a name for such a thief and what his super powers would be. So now, after a few hours I have a book outlined and another project to write.

Getting back to Matthew’s session at the Willy Litfest, I learnt a lot an aspiring writer should know. His professionalism shone through and he encouraged writers to submit to different journals and publications. Sure we all have the World’s best novel in us, but writers have to eat too. On Saturday, Matthew pointed a few of us toward the soup kitchen and I thank him for that.

You can find the link to Matthew’s website by clicking here:

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

IMPORTANCE OF SETTING AND PLACE New month New writing exercise

For June, Matthew Naqvi, our Wordsmiths of Melton tutor for 2015, set this exercise. We were required to email it him before we meet on Wednesday the 3rd of June. 
I made some notes and wondered how I could apply what I'd written to Joe and Laura's story, in Les Gillespies Gold. 

It might not make it, but I've had fun writing this piece. I have made a couple of changes the Wordsmiths suggested and hope you enjoy my take on setting and place.


Write a two to three hundred word short story, describing a setting and place. Make it as strong as possible, while keeping it integral to the story. It must be pivotal and move the story forward.


Joe laid there, eyes closed. The bed was warm, cocooning them like a lover’s embrace. He knew it was 4.55 am; Harry over the road opened and closed his car door with care. The headlights lit the room. Joe supposed they did again today, just as they had every morning since Harry and his family moved in.

Joe felt Laura move a little and settle again, he wanted to touch her. He wondered about psychic ability and the power of suggestion when her foot probed for his leg. He smiled as she rubbed his calf in her sleep. She always did that about this time every morning. Her breathing had a comfortable rhythm and a smile crossed his lips. Just knowing she was his made him warm. He thought about their current problems and decided they were nothing to worry over, so long as she was there to face them with him.

Should he get up, close the door and go to the shed? The bed and being beside Laura tempted him to stay a little longer. Joe lie there focused on the shadow cast by the ceiling fan. His eyes adjusted to the dark, he eased up onto his elbow to peer over Laura’s shoulder. The clock grinned green at him. He squinted trying to read the digits, he needed his glasses, but the squint worked enough to see the dial to click over to proclaim, 5.11am.

He closed his eyes again to read the negative print of the time on his eyelids. The light coming from the window framed the curtains, like an old black and white photo. Les’s poem, his map and the fear of something wrong rolled around in his mind. If only he could get back to sleep.

Outside the rubbish truck made its way down the street Joe listened until it reached their address.

Without looking he knew the clock was grinning 5.23.