The First Word – A Journey Into The Unknown

Hi guys! 

I hope that the first week of October has been good for you. 

This week I’d like to talk about my journey into the written word. 

It started when I was thirteen in the third year of secondary school. Secondary is the UK version of High School. This was when I was being re integrated back into the system as I’d been home tutored due to being badly bullied. 

A familiar question writers get asked is where did the inspiration come from to write? 

To this day I’m still trying to figure that one out. 

All I can remember is sitting down at a computer and after exhausting the option to ‘paint’, an application that’s on most Windows PC’S I opened a Microsoft Word Document where my fingers began typing away. 

I felt this incredible buzz that was out of this world. 

Soon, I was spending all the time I could get at school writing. That became my first attempt at writing a novel. 

As most first novels it was a total mess. It didn’t have a theme. It had no real plot line and the characters were hard to read. 

The story was actually a cross over between the movie Bring It On which is a film about cheerleading and the award winning drama Bad Girls about a women’s prison. I was obsessed with the two of them at that age and anyone reading it would be able to tell that. 

I don’t possess a copy of it anymore as it was a part of the school’s system. I did print it out, but I’ve misplaced it somewhere and can’t find it. 

Although it was a total flop it did teach me two things. 

One – it doesn’t matter how you start a novel or piece of writing at the beginning. All that’s important is getting the words down no matter how they come to you. 

Two – to enjoy the creation process. 

So, there you have it. 

Sometimes it’s not about the destination, but enjoying the scenery as you travel. 

Same goes for writing, or any part of life, really. 

Thanks for reading, 

Until next week, 

Blaze

With thanks to Dariusz Sankowski for the image via Unsplash.com. 

All of a Cluster – More Fun With Writing!


Hi guys,

This week, as promised, I’m going to talk about creating clusters to help you write. 

I first came across clusters during a Level 2 Creative Writing Course with the Open University. For those who aren’t familiar with what that is it’s just like a normal University, but you can study at home instead of on campus. And it is, or was a little bit cheaper than studying at a brick base. 

It’s quite simple to make a cluster. All you do is take a fresh page and choose a word or phrase which represents what you want to write about. 

Some examples of are; 

Air

Fire 

Ice

Smoke

Wind

Or phrases such as;

Love at first sight

If at first you don’t succeed

With power comes great responsibility 

Once you’ve chosen your word/phrase you circle it, then write down every connection you can think of. As shown below. 

Now, hopefully yours will be much better than mine, but it should give you a general idea of what to aim for. Try not to overthink it, just let it flow naturally from the nucleus. 
A cluster gives you a visual map of thought. It helps your writing and can act as a blueprint for whichever piece of work you wish to create. You can use clustering to spark writing. 

Next week will be the final post of the writing exercise series where I’ll explore freewriting and it’s capabilities as a bade for a writing idea. 

Thanks for reading, 

Until next time, 

Blaze

Alphabetti – Writing Exercises Continued

Hi guys! 

Following on from last week’s post I’d like to introduce you to another exercise. 

You might guess from the title of this post that it’s something to do with the alphabet. You guessed right. 

For this writing exercise all you need is a pen, paper and a letter of the alphabet. Or if you’re on the move a notepad app will work just fine. 

All you do is pick your letter at random (or whichever one comes into your head) and use it for each word. Twenty six times. 

Here’s an example; 

Annabelle always answered adverts accepting advice advocacy and aliens anarchy aardvarks allocating animals anomalies arising atrociously amusing attributing anonymousity attire air avocado apple arcade are applicable. 

As you can see it makes no sense. But it’s not supposed to. 

The aim of any writing exercise is to de-clutter the mind. Do NOT look for perfection in any of your exercises. That’s for your WIP. 

An exercise, however, can spark an idea. From the gobble-de-gook above many questions are formed. Why does Annebelle answer these adverts? What exactly is she hoping to gain from it? How does it impact her life? 

Exercises can be the little grain of magic that you need when you’re lost for ideas. 

Next week I will continue talking about freewriting and word clusters as a way of exercising the written word. 

Until then I hope you have a good week, 

Blaze

With thanks to Amador Loureiro for the image via Unsplash.com 

Writing Exercises – The Writer’s Toolbox


Hi guys! 

This week I’m going to spend some time talking about exercising with words. 

I’ve owned The Writer’s Toolbox for a couple of years and it’s helped me enormously.

The purpose of it is not to create the next bestseller (though the idea that is generated might well be down to that), but to start and finish something. It also helps to create characters and improve writing description. 

It includes – 

A 64 page booklet 

4 plot spinner wheels

60 creative cards

60 wooden exercise sticks

A small hourglass 

This is a a great way to stay productive when you’re in a writing slump. With each exercise you use the hourglass as a timer. 

Most of the exercises I’ve completed aren’t worthy to show, but that’s the point.  

I generally do an exercise before starting to write. I find it helps get rid of the garbage in my brain. I find it gets the creative juices going and helps focus me. 

If you haven’t picked it up yet I’d definitely recommend that you do. 

That’s all from me this week, 

Until next time, 

Blaze
 

Writing Prompt: A Generous Deed

image

Hi guys!

Time for another random quibbling from a writing prompt.

This one is a scene where a character has to swallow her pride and do something she didn’t want to do. Her friend wants to know why as they drive around looking for a parking space.

“I don’t understand,” Anita says as we drive around the car park. “You don’t like her yet you save her from being sacked.” I release a heavy sigh.
Ever since we’d left work fifteen minutes ago she couldn’t let it go. A red Clio pulls into the vacant spot. Damn! That’s the second one within minutes.
“What choice did I have?” I reply. “Debra’s got four kids and needs the money. What kind of person would I be to watch her suffer?”
“She deserves everything she gets. The woman’s a liability. She leaves boxes left open and half filled. No wonder there’s so many complaints from customers. Kids must be crying into their Frozen pillows because of the lack of sweets.”
Anita has a point. Ever since she started work three weeks ago the whole production line had suffered. She’d get to leave on time while we were meant to pick up the slack. Other workers were becoming fed up with her lack of ambition.
“Everyone has their off days. You did once. Remember that incident with the sealing machine.” She purses her lips together. This is starting to get annoying. How many times do we need to drive around here?
Debra wasn’t my friend or anything. If anything we were completely different. She liked her rock and heavy metal music and I liked jazz and classical. She wears black and had piercings on both eyebrows. I don’t have any.
She’d been there for me in a time of crisis. I’d left the house without picking up my purse. Going back for it would’ve meant getting two buses there and back again. That’s when Debra came forward and had offered to pay for my shopping. I paid her back in full the next day.
“That was once. Not a hundred flippin’ times!”
“Maybe, but all she needs is a bit of encouragement. Hopefully she’ll improve.” The corners of her mouth pull down forming a scowl. Her hands grasp the wheel of her pick up truck. If it was someone’s neck they’d be dead by now. We turn the corner to find another free parking space.
“If she doesn’t you can hold her accountable for that.”
“Scout’s honour.” She successfully manages to park. We get out and make our way into the supermarket.

That’s all from me for today.

Hope you are all well.

Until next week,

Blaze

Back From the Brink

image

Hi guys!

The short break has done me the world of good. I’m slowly making progress with revising/editing my novel, Pandora’s Kiss. I’m much happier with the way it’s going (for the moment at least). How long that will last I don’t know.

I’ve also got an idea for my NaNo project in November. There’ll be more about that closer to the time, but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty epic.

I was and still am, very saddened by the news of the shooting in Orlando. I was humbled to see many communities come together in remembrance of the forty nine that lost their lives.

Vigils have also been held here in the UK as a Labour politician was shot dead. Her name was Jo Cox.

Regardless of her job description she was a human being. She had a family. She was someone’s wife, daughter, friend and mother.

It’s news like this that leaves me shell shocked.

Why, in this day and age is it easier to hate than love?

It’s something I don’t have the answer to.

Whatever the reason we must love more and hate less.

Otherwise what is the point?

image

That’s all from me this week.

Until next time,

Blaze.

With thanks to NASA and Mayur Gala for the images via Unsplash.com

Writing Prompt: Held at Ransom

image

Hi guys!

Today I’m sharing a piece of writing that was created with the help of this book.

I’ve had this since two Christmases ago, but I forgot all about it what with being lost in my WIP.

This week though, I stumbled across it and pulled it out.

The writing prompt was to start a story with a ransom note. This is what came out when I wrote.

You have twenty four hours to deliver the forty thousand pounds. I know you can afford that much. I saw that picture of you in the paper holding a check for 2 million. Heh! If they only knew what a selfish prick lay underneath that shell suit you call a tux.
Your daughter, Beatrice is but a flower blossoming by the minute. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to her.
Time is ticking, old man.
If you contact the police I’ll kill her straight away. I’m not afraid.

S

What do you think? Would he have paid the money to get his daughter back? Or would his so called selfish nature get in the way?

Why don’t you have a go at writing your own ransom note to get your creative juices flowing?

Hope you enjoyed the prompt.

Until next week,

Blaze