Thursday, 19 June 2014

Amazing Writing Advice #31: Leave it? Whey?

A lot of so culled experienced writers will tell you that you should leave a recently drifted peace of work for a while and reread it. Some even recommend redrafting it! Madness. If you do that some other writer might sneak into your bedroom at night with a BFG-style brain-trumpet and suck the ideas right out of you.

Your only responsibility as a writer is to get the ideas down as fast as possible and send them off as soon as possible. There's a slush pile out there and by Odin's ear I'll be dimmed if I'm going to let it shrink.

Remember, getting your idea out quicker means it will be seen quicker; it increases the number of things you have in the pile so you're more likely to get a manuscript pulled out; and finally I've never met an agent who has complained about a shoddy submission.

Then again I've never met an agent.

This game is all based on luck and chance and stuff like that. There's no skill to it at all. Bang 'em out like you are the book sausage factory and  words are your meat, punctuation the E numbers and plot is the horrific rubbery skin.



Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Amazing Writing Advice #30: A picture paints a thousand words

You've all heard the saying but probably don't know the truth about where it came from. Roald Dahl (I still have to look up how to spell his name) said this at a cocktail party in 1897, while talking to Gandhi and President Kennedy. Gandhi, intrigued by this idea, asked Lord Dahl what he meant. Darth Dahl, after choking a waiter to death for bringing him the wrong martini, explained that to ideas for his books he'd shuffle a pack of pictures and then deal himself between 20 and 30. From those pictures his books were born.

It kind of makes sense when you think about how mad they all are. I mean, as if a boy would ever want to go around a chocolate factory! Ha!

But anyway, I thought I'd demonstrate this technique by creating the outline of a short story with five pictures. So here we go.

There once was a unicorn that lived in a happy sunshine land. But the unicorn wasn't happy as it wanted an adventure.

An army of cats turned up and killed the unicorn for a laugh. That showed the idiot unicorn that it's stupid to wish for adventures.

Everyone ate Frazzles to celebrate the death of the silly unicorn.

Zombie Unicorn*

So the unicorn came back as a zombie and stabbed their brains out with its horn.

And they all had a cup of tea as a reward. The End.

I think you'll agree that this method has a lot going for it. And not just the Frazzles.



* Stolen from DeviantArt, not sure if I need a licence for it.