Tag Archives: competitions

Passing on Advice – Freewriting

I’m still figuring out what I want to do with this blog. There are two main goals.

One is to share advice re writing that I’ve picked up over the years, and to tip writers off to competitions and opportunities.

The other is to record my, ahem, rise to the topperiest toppest top of the writing profession : ) …. or maybe just to share the struggle.

As I haven’t won any awards today, nor suffered any significant setbacks, I’m going to blog on a tip that might help ‘springboard’ you into a short story, screen play or even novel : Freewriting.

‘Right now I’m sitting at my computer and the coffee cup is on the edge of my desk. It looks a little like an iceberg, as it is white and chipped and cold because the coffee has been in it since the morning as I didn’t do the washing up last night and the sink is full of plates and saucers. All those plates look surreal sitting unwashed in the sink like that. All at different angles like a Picasso painting with ketchup instead of paint dribbled over the plates. I wonder if Picasso got his ideas from waking up one morning and seeing his jumble of washing up in the sink I wonder if all the museums in the world actually have pictures of Picasso’s washing up and not his mistresses and Guernica and does that mean the joke is on us?’

The above freewrite might seem silly but it’s also an example of how freewriting could, potentially, inspire a proper piece of writing. This daft thought about Picasso’s washing up could easily be worked into a comedy radio play where a hung-over Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse wake up after a night out on the town and dare each other to paint a picture of the mess of washing up in the sink. Thus, the modern art movement is accidentally launched. Another possibility you could take from this freewrite is the concept that something generally considered ugly and in need of repair or attention (washing up) can lead to tremendous artistic inspiration – and this idea could form the kernel of a short story or a poem. Here, chose one of the prompts below and let it lead you into a three minute freewrite.

I wish I had said….

It was no use pretending….

A long time ago…

For the first time ever….

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For da gurls…

http://www.mslexia.co.uk/whatson/msbusiness/ncomp_active.php

I’m going to try this one, at least it will give me a focus while I collate and process all the new novel ideas I worked on in Krk…


On a Roll, Baby

I’m on a roll – roostered again this morning. My new story is taking shape and it is the first really new piece of work I’ve crafted in months and months. I’ve been working on the novel (not sure what is happening with that at the moment, rather a sore subject) and editing stories but I haven’t really written any new material in aaaaages… and now I have. This roostering rocks! And I’ve become a morning person in my middle age and I believe this is all too normal : )

I’ve got new characters in my head and new setting to disappear into when I hit the keyboard – the question is where to send it. Am busy compiling a list of new competitions and will post when ready. Thinking of sending the (half abandoned) novel into the Mylexia comp…


I’m a Rooster.

Gittin' ideas on a Croatian isle...

I’m finally a rooster,I’m a rooster – and no, that is not Chinese astrology (where I’m  dog, woof woof), it’s getting up at the crack of dawn type rooster person.

This morning, I got up at 6pm and I sat down and wrote uninterrupted for an hour before heading to work. You may now applaud.

I am not a morning person. Like Bart Simpson, I was blissfully unaware that there was a six o’clock in the morning too, at least the only times I’d ever stumbled upon it were at the end of long stumbling nights… And when people spoke of ‘morning pages’ I scoffed – not for me, I said, I’m rather more the Keith Richards close to the witching hour kind of artist, innit.

There was the occasional,well intentioned morning when I set my alarm clock – but nothing came of it. And all the better, I mused, as I’m awful before the first caffine injection of the day and still carry a warning sign up to two hours afterwards…

So.. what happened? Age, a job, life I guess – and mostly because these evenings I’ve been promising myself that I’d spend writing,  I’ve been too tired post work to do anything more than answer a few emails and edit a few stories (if I’m lucky). The result is that the first half of this year has been remarkably unproductive. And there i was, on my Croatian isle, kicking back on Krk for a few days with my Croatian buddy Marina when I started to think aobut how I was going to get the writing done… and it came to me in one fell divine flash swoop ‘Get thee up early” …

And so, a week on, I set my alarm for six this morning. Woke and sat at my laptop and wrote 1,000 words of a story – sketched out the plot of an idea that had been buzzing around my head for a couple of weeks. Now its on paper and I’ll visit it again tomorrow morning  at 6pm and expand.  And I’ll have it in some sort of shape so I can edit it at the weekend and then start on another idea I have next week.

Moreover, I was so pleased with my little achievement – I was buzzing for the rest of the day.

Lets hope I can keep this up!