For this post, I wanted to write one of those boring, mundane titles – like ‘QI (Quite Interesting)’ and ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ – which draw me in straightaway, but not other people. Nothing Much Happened was what I had in mind because for writers, this is always a good thing. If too much is going on in real life life, you can’t write, something I know that better than anyone. The title above is still pretty boring – admit it – but don’t you feel compelled to read on, to think that something must lie behind it?
With nothing going on in my retired life, I managed to rewrite a story that I had first written for a course led by Sally Quilter in 2013. Yes, Dear Reader, it took me a whole week, to work myself back into that story, to get my head into the characters again, at the same time taking on board comments made by Sally and other course colleagues, some two years ago. I know that some writers can write a short story from start to finish in one sitting, make a pretty good fist of it, revise a few bits and sub it, but not me. As I said, it took me a whole week, struggling with things, for example, like how to write, in a dramatic way, that a character fell over a cobblestone… until suddenly it all took off and then, not only was I ravenous to continue, but bloody determined to finish. I couldn’t bear the thought of getting back into it all again. Suddenly, I felt like a proper writer again.
This afternoon I posted the story in the Fiction thread of the Chapter SeventyNine writing community, for comment, please, from any blog followers who are Ch79 members. I have to confess that I haven’t been on Ch79 much over the last year or two, but I’ve already received useful reviews from two members. I felt like I’d gone home.
I’ve also been in contact, through Facebook, with my published author Ian Ayris, whom I knew from my Writers Dock days (another writers’ support community). The author of Abide With Me and a specialist in urban, gritty fiction, Ian is in the process of setting up a useful editorial agency (but it isn’t live yet).
I also ‘attended’ a webinar led by Anne Rainbow. Using her Red Pen Editing Cycle, Anne has helped me and a lot of people improve their writing, both through Chapter SeventyNine and on the defunct More Writing site. Anne is now running a series of webinars and newsletters, introducing the Red Pen method as a whole – more information is on Patsy Collins’ website Words About Writing and Writing About Words. The funny thing is that all that time I’d been teaching IT, I’d never taken part in a webinar. Ho-hum.
I also read on the blog Sally Jenkins some guidance on how to write a book review. Sally was reporting on a talk given by book reviewer, Kim Nash, who says, amongst other things that, if you can’t write a nice review, don’t write a review at all. I agree with that.
So that’s it, really. A good week. May all weeks be as productive and uneventful as this one. As I don’t think I’ll be able to find an image which reflects the content of this post, here’s a photo of the aster, which is flowering in my garden at the moment.