Sunday, 26 January 2014

I Am A Positively Productive Writer

Late Afternoon, January - Maria A Smith

I've had a peaceful week spent relaxing away from work, and home. Someone else has done all those tedious tasks, the cooking and cleaning, and of course I haven't had to commute much at all this week which has been great as the roads around are dire with either roadworks, burst water mains or flooding from torrential rain! 

I've been writing, and doing other related activities, sending emails, and reading. In fact having so much time out has boosted my reading immensely. I re-read one of my favourite writing books, The Positively Productive Writer by Simon Whaley, it's a motivational read. Simon deals with those nagging fears all of us have from time to time when we feel we aren't doing enough.

Less, really is more when you follow his good advice on how breaking your writing down into small sessions really does go a long way to finishing that bigger project. It's a great book for us writerly types who need a kickstart from time to time. Go buy it!

Novel News 

Over the next few weeks I'm going to flesh out the characters in my novel to get a deeper sense of each voice, so I've decided to write a monologue for each of them. My thinking is that if I dive deep inside their heads, I'll see how and what they think about, and how they express themselves.

I'll go with whatever train of thought pops into my head at the time of picking up my pen (yes, I'm going to write with a proper pen straight onto a writing pad.) My aim is simply to separate each character from the story and scene, so that I'll get a feel for how they see things, their way of thinking and what they value, and what they think is important. I've no idea where this will take me, but I'm hopeful I'll learn something new about each one, which I can bring into my story. How do you flesh out your characters? I'm open to trying different ideas and would welcome any thoughts on the process? 

I'm also working on a piece of flash fiction I want to enter into the Flash 500 competition, it needs more work, a tweak here and there, according to my writing buddies. However, they thought the idea worked well when I aired it at the meeting on Saturday.

This week then...

Apart from the monologues, and some more novel editing, I'm going to submit a story to a competition, and that'll be my lot! 

What are your plans?


  1. Good luck with your piece for the competition and thanks for the book recommendation. When I'm talking about a character I have in my head "show don't tell" but sometimes they are so real I want to tell all!

    1. Thank you, I have had a lot of feedback on it so I need to take it all on board, let it settle then change a few things.

  2. Maria, I'm so glad you have found your stride again. I think monologues are a great way to discover more about your characters. I write profiles with physical and emotional elements. Another idea is to have a set of questions and then answer them as though you are a particular character. It often has surprising results. Good luck with the flashfic competitions. Happy writing! Elaine xxx

  3. Sounds like an interesting book, might have a look for it at my local library. Good luck with the competition! Here it's raining buckets so plenty of time to stay indoors and get some writing done.

    Moody Writing

  4. Lovely to read that TPPW is still motivating you!

  5. That is a beautiful photo, Maria. Glad Simon's book has inspired you again x

  6. The monologues are a good way of getting into character and with some tweaking you might find you have some short pieces suitable for submission. Good luck with it all.


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