I’ve been in a writing lull, now, going on something in the region of three years. The promise of my early days, when I was selling ten stories a year, seems a long way away as the combination of life-consuming day job, depression, and general Real Life ™ has slowly chipped away my creativity, my drive, and my time.
However, one thing I’ve maintained is my enjoyment of teaching writing, and when I have managed to write, it’s been via applying one of the exercises I use to teach aspiring writers, and pushing through to get some sort of result out of it. So here, for your own education, are five exercises I regularly use to get my heart started.
Five for Friday: Writing Exercises
Continue reading “FIVE FOR FRIDAY: WRITING EXERCISES”
“Fine. You were right. They hate it. I’ll go back to the black hood tomorrow, okay?”
This one sits right at the heart of the Venn diagram that represents my love of absurdism, my love of gallows humour, and my love of making uptight little old ladies curl their noses up in disdain. Consequently, it still makes me giggle my weaselly little black heart out.
“At the third strike, my husband will apologise and fall asleep…”
Am I right, ladies. You know I’m right. (Polishes lounge act, plays Northern club circuit…)
As a writer, half the battle of capturing your reader’s attention is won or lost in the first line. Capture their interest– hook them– and they’ll accord you extra time to do the things you need to do. Provide a bland or boring opening, and you’d better have an explosion arriving real quick, because there’s a new episode of Duck Dynasty on the tube and someone’s cooking sausages.
(Of course, you can take my advice for what it’s worth by noting that the greatest play ever written starts with the first line, “Who’s there?”)
Over the course of my career I’ve written some cracking opening lines (if I do say so myself) and some that have done little more than provide the literary equivalent of lobbing the ball over the next just so the other player can return serve.
Here are five of my best.
Five for Friday: First Lines
Continue reading “FIVE for FRIDAY: FIRST LINES”
It’s probably 20 years since I scratched this one out. Sad that it still seems utterly accurate, especially given our current Government’s predilection for bending over and taking it from the Cult of Reinhart.
“My God, that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my entire life. Who can we sell it to?”
Amanda Kool lives at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, a glorious part of the world surrounded by valleys, forests, walking paths and, most importantly, she says, wineries.
She writes in a little nook at the bottom of the house, closed off by a deep red curtain (her very own Black Lodge). In the summer, this is the only room in the house that is not in danger of combusting due to the sheer ambient heat.
Surrounded by the paraphernalia of whatever book she is writing (various tchotchkes, gewgaws, spirits, liqueurs, books, food stuffs and weaponry), she sits at her desk with a pot of freshly brewed tea and…according to her, procrastinates, avoids, trembles, and swears.
Despite all that avoidance, she’s seen her debut novel Tallwood published, as well as The paper Fox, an interactive story for IOS devices, and a bunch of other tales. Here, she takes us to a place familiar and intimate, and yet somehow all her own.
Precious Things: Amanda Kool
Continue reading “PRECIOUS THINGS: AMANDA KOOL”
Last week, I discussed Ms 15’s discovery of the The Beatles, and compared it to my own teenage awakening. In a guest post, she revealed her favourite 5 Beatles songs, and why:
- Here Comes the Sun
- Oh! Darling!
- I Am the Walrus
- Hey, Jude
- Let it Be
By way of reply, and to pay her back for usurping 2 of the songs I would have chosen for my list, it’s only right that I list my own favourites, in no particular order.
Five for Friday: My Own Favourite Beatles Songs
Continue reading “FIVE for FRIDAY: RIGHT OF REPLY”