Another Idea!

I went to a workshop today on writing crime fiction at my local Writer’s Centre.  Why crime fiction, I hear you ask, when I’m a fantasy writer?  I was curious about how authors in another genre go about building their stories, and was looking for some fresh approaches I could apply to my own work in progress.  I find this stops me from getting stale and I encourage other writers to explore outside your genre to build your craft. 

The result was surprising and exciting.  While the exercises given were similar to what I give myself when I’m planning a fantasy work, I fleshed out an idea I’ve had for a historical courtroom novel!  I thought I would really struggle, not being a crime writer myself and not knowing anything about writing it, but as is often the case, things flowed when I put pen to page and applied myself.  Now I’ve got at least one worthwhile idea I can move on to if my current manuscript doesn’t get picked up by a publisher. 

Nothing like a succession plan!

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Alas, no capitals

I was on a theatre site the other day, and noticed that someone had posted without using capitals.  In response, another person had commented about the poster’s grammatical imperfections, indicating they couldn’t be successful until this was rectified.  As there weren’t many grammatical errors as such (maybe a missing apostrophe or two), I could only surmise that the commentor’s problem was with the lack of capitals.  Apparently, according to the commentor, the post was unprofessional.

Some of you may have noticed that I don’t use capitals when I comment or email in a social context.  I love not using capitals – there’s something about the informality of it that relaxes me.  I’ve done it almost since I first started using email (ahem – 13 years ago, dare I say), and it has become a part of me.  In all other respects, I follow standard grammatical rules, but no capitals means fun for me and is a part of my self-expression.

That’s why I think it’s sad that the person who had originally written the post had not been understood in this context.  It felt to me that their personal expression was being criticised (and criticised quite sharply, I have to say).  However, I also take on board what the commentor was saying about a lack of capitals appearing unprofessional, and that writers need to adjust to their audience (something that is a basic tenet of the writer’s life).

Does anyone else have any thoughts on the use of capitals?

A Holiday from Writing is Sometimes Needed

After a few days doing nothing but resting and reading, I’m feeling great!  Having time out to recharge the batteries without feeling guilty was fantastic, and I now feel ready to get back to the empty page.  In fact, I feel energised about my project in a way I haven’t felt for a few weeks. 

It’s probably going to sound obvious, but when you’re mentally exhausted, you can’t write no matter how hard you try.  The harder you push yourself, the worse the situation gets.  What I’ve learned from this is that when I take a holiday in future, instead of rushing to my writing desk to get another chapter done, I’ll be quarantining the first 50% at least to relaxing instead.  If it makes the writing easier, it’s worth it!

Now, perhaps I should do that on weekends too…

Writing Blues

I have a lurgy.  It’s probably a good thing, as it means I’m having an enforced rest.  The truth is I probably need it, judging from the despondency I’d been feeling about the whole writing thing over the last week or so. 

The thing is, when you take a break from your day job, the first thing you think is ‘great, some time for writing’ and you go straight to your desk.  This is a mistake, because if you need a break from your day job, you don’t want to be replacing it with your writing job!

So I’m going back to bed, to put my feet up and not think about writing.  Lesson learned.