Thursday, 14 February 2013


I think it is high time I try to focus and get some serious writing done.

Writing should be a pleasure but can be a chore if you don't organise a little bit
I love the feel of a pen on paper
I have folders full of handwritten text that I need to sort through to decide what to work on, or if any of it is worth dragging back to life. I have notes on stories from a number of genres so I might need to start by narrowing down to a theme I want to develop. Do I want to do modern day or fantasy? Prosaic or epic? A novel or short story? I think I may have had too many ideas for my own good!

But I think step one needs to be to get a bit organised.

I have read about all sorts of methods for making progress on a story. I have generally stuck to just writing it out almost as a stream of consciousness..... although as yet none of my projects have reached completion so clearly I need a new approach.

I think this idea from Emma Darwin is a great way to track characters and events against a timeline and even allows for non-chronological plotting. To save paper or if you prefer working digitally you could create a simple spreadsheet to do the same job. I remember a girl on a Creative Writing course I once took had a spreadsheet with different fonts and colours to represent different people or places.

I love looking at MindMaps and think the theory is inspiring but I just can't get them right myself. I find they all end up the same shape, perhaps my thinking is too rigid.

When writing/re-writing on the computer I stick with good old word. I like to start by altering the page margins to be as narrow as I can make them, except for the left one which needs to be wide enough to punch holes in a printed sheet.
Then I add page numbers (in new versions of Word that's in the Insert tab) and line numbers. (See below - you can see that an edit is required on line 4)
Line numbers in Word 2010
Line numbers  in Word 2010 on NetBook
(If you can't read it try zooming your browser window)

So, with a plan and a document set up ready to write I'm going to try to get some of my writing sorted out.

Are you a writer? Do you have a tried and tested set of tools to help you get from idea to oeuvre?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

It's the little things

I like this
sometimes the little things occupy the biggest part of your heart

It is a part of why I like to pass on information I find, you never know how sharing something might make a difference to someone's life and all it costs is a little time. The rewards could be lifelong.