The Creative Writer’s Toolkit

I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because, lets face it, even English graduates get it wrong sometimes!

So, one of my goals on my 22 Before 22 was to enter three writing competitions. I didn’t manage to enter any, but I have recently caught the creative writing bug again, so I decided to include the goal on my 23 Before 23 this year. The other day, I was really struggling with one of my literature essays, and everything was distracting me, but one of the things that distracted me was the Short Story Challenge 2014. This short story competition is unlike any other writing competition I have seen. It is broken down into rounds, and the competitors are split up into groups. The stories that are judged the best in each group move onto the next round. The most interesting part, however, is that the organisers email you three words that act as the basis of your story. These three words are a genre, a subject and a character, and you have to turn these into the story for the competition. The first round gives you 8 days to write and submit 2,500 words, the second gives you 3 days to write 2,000 words and the final round gives you 24 hours to write 1,500 words. I liked the concept of having a starting point and a close deadline for the competition, because otherwise I find it hard to focus on writing a competition entry when I have university work to do. The entry fee was pretty steep, but all entries receive feedback from the judges, and it will seem worth it if I make it to the second round…I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Since I am preparing for the competition to begin, and I am inspired to so some creative writing, I have revisited my creative writing supplies. I have picked out some of my favourite and most inspiring resources to share with you to get you writing too! We are all writers as bloggers, and whether you write fiction or not, these resources are sources of inspiration!

My first and foremost ‘go to’ book when I am looking for writing inspiration is The Five-Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty.  This book is one that you can literally pick up and open at any page to get writing. This book contains 58 activities that have a brief introduction, then a five-minute exercise to write. With such brief exercises, it is easy to squeeze these activities into even the busiest of days! There is a range activities that are all diverse and inspiring.

Book

Get your copy here: The Five-Minute Writer: Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day

Another book that I rely heavily on when writing is The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. This book takes a very different but very helpful approach to writing. This little book is packed full of diagrams, lists, charts and graphs, which make building a story a very methodical process. While I very rarely plan a story from the beginning to end before I write it, this book breaks down all of the elements you need to consider from structuring your story and building pace to forming characters and dialogue. Almost taking a scientific approach to writing, this book maps it out and plots each stage for you incredibly thoroughly. Continue reading

More Writing: An Article and an Update

At the moment it feels as though every waking moment of my day is spent writing; last week saw me produce over 12,000 words of my novel, a few blog posts, two essays for university and an article for Karoo…phew!

This week is looking to be a repeat of the last with all sorts of pieces of writing needing to be done! I am stealing in the odd moment to do some Christmas crafting, but those moments are few and far between at the moment! Continue reading

A Quick NaNoWriMo Update

I feel like I am neglecting my blog slightly since I have taken on the NaNoWriMo challenge, so to make up for it, I am giving you a very quick update!

A couple of days ago I broke through the first big milestone: 10,000 words! I was completely over the moon as, not only is this the longest piece of fiction I have written, I was also a whole day ahead of the target word count! Continue reading

National Novel Writing Month

For many people, November is hectic enough with Christmas preparations in place; collecting presents and food. This is often made trickier by being bundled up in winter woollies as the weather begins to grow chilly (or freezing since we have ALREADY had snow…yes…in October…) and dodging the latest common cold or bug is top of the priority list. To add to the list, students like myself are still adjusting to being back in the classroom, with work and reading piling up before our eyes and in a couple of weeks my first set of assessments will have to be handed in (eek!) And yet, with all of this mounting up around me, I have decided to dedicate my November to writing 50,000 of my novel. Continue reading

Inspirations…

As you know, I shared the opening scene of my first novel with you all a couple of weeks ago. I had been debating whether or not to share it on my blog for some time, but after the fantastic response I got, I wish I had done it sooner! It is still being viewed this long after I posted it and has had 246 views (which makes it my second most viewed post) in just this short space of time!

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read my post, especially those that commented with their constructive points – your time ideas have been noted and will be taken on board! Because of the overwhelming response, I have felt motivated to pick up my pen again and start redrafting the scenes I have written, as well as writing new scenes. Continue reading