When I decided to blog about writing, I created two blogs:
Head Over Writing to blog about all things writing. A place to share writing courses, things I’ve learned, quotes, book reviews, prompts, snippets. Random and quirky things related to reading and writing fiction. (Twitter: @HeadOverWriting)
Also, KJ Carine (A fiction writer’s journey) – more of an “author blog” to specifically blog about MY writing process and projects – currently writing short stories for magazines. (Twitter: @KJCarine)
My questions are:
Do multiple blogs dilute the impact that a single writing blog would have? Or is a single blog sometimes less appealing if it tries to cover everything?
Do you have one writing blog, or more?
Are you thinking about creating additional blogs, or consolidating multiple blo
Please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section. I’m interested in hearing and learning from all of you about this!
Written for the FutureLearn ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course.
Exercise 2.17 – Switch on the radio for a prompt. “The barriers that existed between these two people being able to be in love.”
The Island’s Inventory (500 word story).
She instantly recognised his handwriting on the wrapper encasing the garlic naan.
“Another beer,” Dougie bellowed over the rugby commentary. “Bring it over with my curry.”
Catriona shivered at the numbers inked so neatly. She’d seen him writing orders and receipts many times. Dougie McDonald had been a loyal customer since Syed Khan opened his takeaway on the island two years ago.
She tore the laminate and shoved the scrap into the pocket of her maternity jeans.
I got your new number.
That’ll do. Won’t arouse suspicion if anyone else reads it. She knew that Syed’s father-in-law was the chef.
Meet tomorrow morning? S
Catriona’s heart contorted, this time unrelated to her pregnancy dyspepsia.
The Point. How early can you make it?
Catriona stared, then swiped the screen to delete the text messages.
She recognised Syed’s car immediately and others would too which was why he’d selected the most remote car park on this Scottish isle. She parked Dougie’s dilapidated van alongside and battled the gale around to his passenger door.
Inside the red BMW she was cocooned in his world of leather, chrome dials and blue-toothed devices. Not bad for a delivery driver she’d thought a year ago, not knowing then that he owned several businesses on the mainland.
They grinned and she realised they’d never been this close in daylight. Always separated by a cash register on a counter-top, or the porch threshold if he delivered Dougie’s takeaway. They’d only been intimate in the darkness when he’d started secretly picking her up on her walk home from work. God, he was so handsome. Illuminated by the sunrise she weakened at caramel flecks in his espresso eyes and yearned for the soft friction of his raven stubble against her skin again.
“I’m sorry,” Syed’s smile faded to torment as he reached for her pale, freckled hand. “I couldn’t stay away any longer.”
Catriona swallowed, “Me neither.”
“I wish we could leave,” Syed scowled at the jagged coastline. “But my kids are here.”
“Take them with us?” Catriona’s throat constricted, realising what she’d just suggested.
“They need their mother too,” Syed sounded resigned. Imprisoned.
“I’m pregnant,” Catriona announced it flatly.
“I heard. You need to leave him,” Syed fingered the latest bruise on her wrist.
“I’m going in two weeks,” she sighed. “I’ll stay with my sister in Edinburgh.”
“I could rent you a flat in Glasgow. I’m always traveling there for meetings. We could be together properly.” Syed choked. “A real family.”
Properly? Once a month at the most. Catriona shook her head, “That wouldn’t be right.”
“We don’t have many options,” Syed checked the rear view mirror for errant dog walkers. “A relationship here is impossible with this community and my family… and after our baby is born…”
Catriona nodded, neither knew who the father was yet, but both agreed that she couldn’t go on as a domestic abuse statistic, or join the island’s growing inventory of marital and paternity scandals.
As part of the Open University Start Writing Fiction course that I completed earlier this year there were numerous exercises to complete.
Plot development exercises 4.6 and 4.7 had the following prompt:
‘A woman on the bus today carried her Pekinese dog inside her handbag. It had a red bow on its head that matched her sweater.’
By imagining or guessing the cause behind each of the observations, character details can be developed to arrive at a story. Causality gives plot. Plot is further developed by giving imaginary answers to questions (eg, why was she on the bus?).
A huge array of characters and plots were generated from the same description.
Here’s what I came up with:
The teenage widow left the Porsche at her new mansion and for her amusement took the bus to the cemetery. She carried her Pekinese dog, Bubbles, inside her designer handbag. Her husband’s allergies meant he’d never let her have a dog, so to celebrate she’d bought it on the day he died. It wore a red silk bow on it’s head that matched her cashmere sweater. He’d never let her wear red, preferring something short, pink and usually sequinned. The red bow on the dog’s head was from a bouquet of flowers received this morning from a secret admirer. Thankfully it hadn’t taken long for her elderly husband, the oil patriarch to die happy. They’d only been married seven months and now, as planned, she was rich, free and single. She hoped the memorial stonemason was as sexy as he’d sounded on the telephone.
I learned that recording observations is an important tool for fiction writers. Every observation can be a springboard for a character or plot when we imagine the cause behind the detail.
Earlier this year I completed the Start Writing Fiction course run by the Open University via FutureLearn. It is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) open to participants worldwide and it is FREE!
It is an eight week course with a requirement of approximately three hours of participation per week. As the course is run online this gives great flexibility to how, when and where you study. The main focus is creating characters and idea development exercises.
I found the course to be thought-provoking, fun and highly interactive – I learned a lot from other participants as well as the course itself.
Over the next week I will share examples of my work written for this particular course and also my key learnings and random lightbulb moments!
Welcome! I hope that you’ll enjoy sticking around here.
I’m here to share some of my own quirky fiction, undertake writing exercises and blog about all things writing.