#IWSG Surprising Writing #amwriting #WWWBlogs

The IWSG is a fabulous site for authors to share and encourage ech other by expressing doubts and concerns and looking for advice and guidance in our writing life. It’s a safe haven and meeting place for insecure writers of all kinds!
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day when we post our thoughts on our own blogs. Check it out and join in here! 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
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I’m taking part by answering this week’s optional Question: 
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?)

I surprise myself every time I pick up my pen, because I (almost) always jot down my ideas on paper before I sit down to the ‘real’ work of giving shape to my untidy notes on my laptop.

I always carry a pen and notebook, ready to capture the idea on the spur of the moment, before it escapes forever… Many of those ideas are never transformed into complete stories, although they may become part of a story. I use the same notebook until all the pages have been used up, which usually takes about a month, and I keep them at hand, just in case, for years.

This was sitting on a plane, but my favourite place to write is in the car, when I’m not driving!

I’ve written three historical novels and have started a fourth, but my heart isn’t in this fourth novel, at least not yet, so it’s resting on my shelf for the time being, because I wanted to write something different, but I haven’t known what for a long time.

I felt lost, not knowing what kind of novel I wanted to write. I kept filling notebooks full of  ideas which never came to fruition. It wasn’t writer’s block, because I had plenty of random creative ideas, but I felt I lacked purpose. I needed to find a project that would absorb all my creative thoughts and energy. I was getting worried. Although there were many ideas, not one pulled me obsessively, which is what I need to immerse myself in a novel completely.

It has taken me about a year to feel overwhelmed by a new project, but it has finally happened, when I least expected it, on a long car journey, as co-pilot, the seed of an idea dropped and flourished. When I arrived, I had a rough outline, main characters, setting, and a sense that ‘this was it at last’.

Throughout the following month of August, at a holiday flat by the sea, the plot grew and the characters came to life. It’s not a historical novel and it’s not a family saga. It’s a type of novel I never thought I’d write. A contemporary, romantic thriller simmered for 30 days, in a whole notebook of ideas. I’m back home now, and the proper, chapter by chapter outline is almost complete.

I’m a plotter, mostly, although I enjoy improvising, too. I love it when a character I hadn’t planned surprises me by popping into my mind and taking over, or when a plot twist happens unexpectedly as my characters are thinking or speaking. I can deal with these surprising characters and events and rework my original plan. On the other hand, I find it impossible to write without a destination, and that’s where plotting helps me focus.

I welcome surprises as a writer. I never know when or how a creative idea will take root in my mind, and I love the challenge of continued surprises as the novel unfolds.

Antonio Machado (1875 – 1939), drawing by Leandro Oroz Lacalle (1883 – 1933)

A famous Spanish poet, Antonio Machado (1975-1939), wrote, “Traveler, there is no road; you make your path as you walk.” I agree with Machado’s idea, but I also like to know where my destination lies.

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Do you like surprises as a writer?

Have you ever surprised yourself?

#FridayFictioneers Pirate Ships #FlashFiction

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story with adorable and creative Alice, her incredulous and conventional parents, Marsha and Kevin, and her best friend, Billy. Today, we’ll be learning a little more about Alice, and why she needs to be creative. I hope you like this new episode!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge and Fatima Fakier Deria for today’s photo prompt, which led me directly to this weeks’ 100-word story.

                                                                    PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Pirate Ships

“Which boat shall we take today, Alice?”

“Not today, Billy.”

“Alice Pendragon, you’ll be the first ever one-eyed, girl pirate in the history of Caribbean piracy!”

Alice shook her head and turned away. “There aren’t any pirate ships in the picture.”

“Alice, please look again and choose one of the ships to sail.”

Nurse Temple rapped on the door and strode in. “I’m afraid you’ll have to come back later, Billy. The doctor’s coming to check out our patient.”

“You already have a head scarf,” said Billy handing Alice the eye patch, “You better be wearing this when I come back!”

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Sorry, Alice’s story is a little sad today. My granddaughter was admitted to hospital last Monday. She’s home today and it was nothing too serious, but it made me think how lucky we are when we and our loved ones are healthy, and how important it is to be creative and believe in yourself, in sickness and in health.

 

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

 If you’d like to join in Friday Fictioneers or read other posts check Rochelle’s Blog for rules and prompts. 

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#CarrotRanch #FlashFiction Challenge: Making a Rainbow @Charli_Mills

This post was written in response to Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch’s weekly Flash Fiction Challenge

february-91

February 9, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle. Is it a silver lining of sorts or a false reflection? Think about what it might mean or convey. Simple science? Hope? Or the doom of humankind? Create action or character reflection. Go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by February 14, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published February 15). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Here’s my take on the prompt this week:

Making a Rainbow

‘Look a puddle!’ James rushed to the playground.

‘What’s a puddle?’ asked Timmy.

‘Some water on the floor,’ replied Susan.

‘But we mustn’t spill any water,’ said Timmy. ‘Who did it?’

‘The clouds spilled the water,’ said Miss Rushbrooke.

‘Does that mean the drought’s over?’ Asked Jenny.

The teacher sighed watching the toddlers dip their fingers. They hadn’t seen rainfall in their short lives.  ‘Look for a rainbow. That’ll bring us good luck.’

They shook their heads; the sky was clear blue again.

‘Don’t worry,’ said Miss Rushbrooke. ‘Bring the watercolours. We can make a rainbow in the puddle.’

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Some say you never miss what you’ve never had, others say you can invent things that you’ll never see and never miss them, because they’re always in your imagination.

Teachers can help children be creative and imagine what they haven’t yet seen, or might never see.

What a wonderful profession!