Friday, 27 January 2012

Public Rage, Secret Agendas

So, we're all getting hot under the collar about the bankers' bonuses which are, apparently, 'not even enough to brag about in a coffee bar'. You could buy five coffee bars of the kind I frequent for one banker's bonus, only we call them cafes out here.

Still, it's been a good week - lost 3lbs now, still amazed that Cheesy Wotsits are only 3 points but a nice piece of apple pie is 7. Where's the justice in that, eh?

Extended my work on plot to include 'setting' and this week I've been learning all about the secret agenda. Tried this exercise in which you describe a garden shed as seen by a man who's just lost his son in the war. You don't mention the son, or the war. Let it roll around in my subconscious while prowling about London until I came upon Covent Garden, the setting of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Eliza Doolittle - now there was a girl with a secret agenda.

I think of my almost-finished WIP, the one about the glassblower, and how those men slaved for fourteen hours a day, and died from the chemicals that pounded into their lungs. What must it have taken to get out, with a wife and six little uns in tow? Secret agenda.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Stars Bright, Wikipedia Dim

So Wikipedia has gone dark but most of Britain are watching the stars with dishy Professor Brian Cox in any case. Meanwhile I've lost a pound on my Weightwatchers' diet, progressed to drinking two bottles of water a day and made pleasing progress with my outlining. I never realised it could be like this - usually I'm wrestling with the plot and the prose at one and the same time, and the plot points get all lost in the 80,000 words minimum it takes to write a novel.

I've been able to construct my plot using real details from actual crimes, as it's a mystery. That's stage 1. Then, of course, I'll be letting the creative voice take over, and the real work of fiction will begin - the true life crimes are just a beginning point. To use a real-life crime only barely disguised, especially when the many victims, including the family and friends of the deceased, are still alive - very poor, in my opinion.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Blue Monday

The Nag's Head on Blue Monday, The Most Depressing Day of the Year

Today is 'Blue Monday' - supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Strange, because we had excellent meeting in the back room of The Nag's Head.

Amazing what four writers, who pay critical attention to one another's manuscripts, add a dash of love and a jolly good helping of freshly baked flat-breads and olives can achieve.

After years of being a pantser writer - ie one who launches in and wrestles a plot out of the skin of their pants - I've decided to try OUTLINING my next novel before I write it. Possible ways of outlining, so I gather, are the 'Structure Plus', the 'Signpost', the 'Notecard', the 'Spreadsheet' and the 'Flowchart'.

Decided to try the Spreadsheet because I ploughed through a Learn Direct course on spreadsheets - might as well put it to use. Always did hate Flowcharts. Returned home, counted Weightwatcher points - how can a Chai Latte possibly be ELEVEN points?