Writers! Post here to get the creative writing club reinstated!

(214 Posts)
Psychobabble Tue 02-Sep-08 21:59:24

MNHQ might put this topic back in the topic list if people post here to say they want it, any creative writers around tonight? smile

Psychobabble Wed 03-Sep-08 11:15:43


Psychobabble Wed 03-Sep-08 19:45:57

bump, come on I know you are out there....

luckywinner Wed 03-Sep-08 19:48:36

Me me me. I need all the encouragement I can get. I am queen of the procrastinators.

Goober Wed 03-Sep-08 19:49:52

Me too.

janeite Wed 03-Sep-08 19:52:21

I don't remember the Creative Writing club but am a dabbler, so am interested!

luckywinner Wed 03-Sep-08 19:52:48

Goober, what are you writing?

Goober Wed 03-Sep-08 20:04:28

I have been working on my first novel, but recently lost my mum and it has put a stop to it. I need to get started again. She wanted me to finish it.

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 20:05:13


luckywinner Wed 03-Sep-08 20:14:46

I am really sorry to hear about your mum. I'm sure it is hard to focus the mind after something like that. Just think of that dedication in the front of the book. When I feel low on confidence and energy, I always think about who I will dedicate my first novel too.

pageturner Wed 03-Sep-08 20:16:39

And me!

Psychobabble Wed 03-Sep-08 21:11:28

sad goober

good to see so many, there must be more out there?!

teafortwo Wed 03-Sep-08 21:15:22

This sounds interesting - I am not a writer but keen reader. Will you be posting what you are writing. I will definately follow that!!!! grin

teafortwo Wed 03-Sep-08 21:23:00

I didn't need to say "I am not a writer" The use of a . instead of a ? Said it all. He he he!

On a serious note - Goober - I am sending a big cloud with special raindrops to rain on you. These raindrops are special because they are filled not with water but with many sympathetic thoughts and strength!

If you are a writer, you should write, I think it could help and it would be a pleasure to read your work - if you would be so kind as to post some!

Goober Wed 03-Sep-08 22:17:24

Thanks all. I will find my Mojo again.

teafortwo Thu 04-Sep-08 19:42:49

so.... are you going to post some work then. I have my reading glasses on ready!!!

mankymummy Thu 04-Sep-08 19:43:51

yes please... we need this ! ... or i do!

pillowcase Thu 04-Sep-08 19:50:55

me too, anyone actually writing daily here? I'm at a 'it's September I'm going to do it this time' stage yet again. Am trying to just write 300 words a day on any subject until inspiration strikes!!!!!!!!!

alittleteapot Thu 04-Sep-08 20:00:37

Ooh yes! Count me in!

alittleteapot Thu 04-Sep-08 20:01:13

Ooh yes! Count me in!

Count me in too! Have just started what will hopefully become my first novel. smile

teafortwo Thu 04-Sep-08 20:34:58

psychobabble - I am quite new to mn. What happens on this thread normally - do you post your work for us to read?

alittleteapot - I wondered when our paths would cross!!??!! grin - I think our names are different enough and I am cool... but not being that experienced with mn I just wanted to check - do you mind that we both have 'tea' in our names or do you want me to change names?

alittleteapot Thu 04-Sep-08 20:44:42

hi teafortwo - not at all. the more tea the merrier - in my house anyway.

teafortwo Thu 04-Sep-08 21:02:45

Same here - I am enjoying a nice Marrakech mint tea as we type!! grin

Great stuff!!! Hey, I'm telling you, the things us women worry about!!! [demands a rolls eyes at self smiley]

alittleteapot Thu 04-Sep-08 21:18:56

That sounds lovely. I've just been told on another thread I have to give up tea shock so maybe I should try your minty one!

And yes, worrying should really be introduced as an Olympic sport in 2012. smile

PS: isn't a creative writing thread on mumsnet a bit pointless? Won't we just end up chatting in class? Loving the idea though...

FairyTaleEnding Thu 04-Sep-08 21:38:09

Can I join in please?

And me??

Cappuccino Thu 04-Sep-08 21:45:09


teafortwo Thu 04-Sep-08 21:57:05

Of course this will work!!!

Throws a note across the room to alittleteapot then starts drawing T42 on the desk stree' stylie! grin

Seriously - this is a really exciting idea. So... writers do you chat ideas for plot, character, scenes or do you read each others work or a bit of both?

Perhaps I should stop spoiling your thread by posting on it all the time and start just sitting back and let the magic happen! I am going to read and enjoy! The trouble is I am too excited!!!!

FairyTaleEnding Thu 04-Sep-08 23:12:30

Thanks psychobabble for starting this. It's actually inspired me to write something this evening. Hey, only fifteen minutes worth, but it's a start ... Could really do with the discipline that a group might instil!

FairyTaleEnding Thu 04-Sep-08 23:13:20

PS Am going to bed now - worn out from literary exertions, obv.

teafortwo Thu 04-Sep-08 23:25:06

fairytaleending - Sleep well. In the morning can we read a bit of your writing? It would mean a lot to me!

alittleteapot Thu 04-Sep-08 23:36:14

Well done FairyTale. Maybe we should all have a 15 minutes a day pact. I haven't done anything for ages but have been thinking of leaving dd with dp on saturday mornings and heading out to write in a cafe.

I managed to get a bit over a page done last night. Not bad considering DD slept terribly up until midnight! I'm getting into the flow of the story now so I'm quite enjoying it. smile

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 08:21:14

What did you write about, chargabor?

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Sep-08 08:22:28

oh sweet cake and mother of fudge, another thread to keep me from working??? Just what I need. wink

Teafortwo I just poured out my woes on the other thread. <sigh>

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Sep-08 08:24:02

And what do you mean you are not a writer but a reader, teafortwo, your writing, my friend, is like a painting, dimly lit and atmospheric, but there to enjoy.

It's going to be a novel, hopefully. It's about a woman who goes to another world when she sleeps. The world is being destroyed by a thief, who has stolen something important, and the woman has to save it. Not sure exactly where it's going atm, but it's going better than my usual stories!

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 08:45:36

qs!!!! Nice to see you - I wanted to tell you about this thread when I first found it but was I was worried you'd think me bossy and a little afraid you might stop foocing! wink Do you think we should tell litchick to head this way too?

Incase anyone is wondering what t42 and qs are gowwwwwiiiin on abbbaaaaarrrt.... Here...

Hey - WHAT a lovely thing to say about my 'writing'!!!! blush However, I think there is a big difference between a mumsnet post here and there and writing real fiction! Now THAT is something I have so much respect for. I like the idea of sitting amongst you all as you write! QS I have been wondering what you are writing about - are you allowed to spill the beans?

Charcharagabor - WOW - what a gripping storyline... I was wondering... are you going to compare and contrast her real life and her dream life or do we only know about this dream world? - I think this could make a good young adult novel.... who are you thinking about for your audience?

Thankyou teafortwo! Her parents think she is going mad, so most of the rl parts are her being seen by doctors etc. It's a bit of a fantasy I suppose, lots of time manipulation and things like that. I haven't really decided the audience yet! blush I'm thinking possibly adult or young adult. Seeing as the only person who will read it is probably DP it shouldn't be too much of a problem! grin

matildax Fri 05-Sep-08 08:59:57

hi all, can i join too??
ive always wanted to write, and have 2 or 3 unfinished pieces kicking around somewhere!! wink i just need a kick up the backside to finish them, this could be just what i need!
i am also starting a creative writing class, at the local high school, as i am determined to at least give it a go. i enjoy writing so so much, i really think of it as fun! smile

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Sep-08 09:04:50

t42 it is rather complicated. grin The agency wants 6 books by january for a series. They want to see a synopsis of all by mid october, and what you have so far. I have three books ready (as far as they can ever be ready) will have to do some work on the synopsis and develop the ideas for the other 3... But this means, if they chose to not go with it, there has been a lot of work, and no luck.

It is about an older teenager (18) who moves with her parents to a fictional island in the mediterranean, which is a melting pot between catholic and muslim cultures. We are with the family as they get to know this new culture and settle in their new lives, and their jobs, and the girl starts university. The move affects her quite a bit, and as she battles with an eating disorder and her relationship with her mum, starts going to therapy and many things about her past and her family is thus unravelled.

It is quite serious, but with some comic elements to lighten up, especially between some quite heavy psychoanalytical sessions with her therapist. (All read, discussed and checked by a psychiatrist so is ok in terms of therapy, psychology,etc)

Better get back to the synopsis. Thanks for asking. Writing the synopsis of what is already written is harder than how I plan to progress the story further.

sorry I do waffle on a bit

Welcome matildax! smile

Psychobabble Fri 05-Sep-08 09:29:36

wow, loads of people here now!

teafortwo - we don't necessarily have to post work for other people to read, it just seemed that there was this topic lurking off the topic list that no one could post on, yet every so often a thread for writers comes up somewhere else on the board. Whenever I mention to people in rl that I like to write they look at me as if I have two heads, so I thought it would be nice to chat to like minded people here

matildax Fri 05-Sep-08 09:38:32

thanks charchargabor smile
be back later, the 'drudgery' of daily life is calling!!!! wink
have a good day all

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 09:43:07

qs - WOW!!! It sounds like a fab story - I am impressed!!! When is it out in English though grin???

I am completely stunned by your publishers being such a pain insisting on 6 books by January - don't they realise art is organic?

Welcome matildax!

pillowcase Fri 05-Sep-08 10:23:03

QS sounds fantastic, I'm already wanting to know what happens to her! Tough writing the synopsis though.

I've ordered one of those 'write a novel in a month' type books awaiting delivery. Will let you know if it's good.

it's hard to look at old work isn't it. but sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised.

your plot sounds intriguing, I'm unable to get too far from real life in my writing, which can sometimes be a problem.

I'm already thinking 'marrakech mint tea' sounds poetic, you should incorporate that somewhere.

Great thread!

Hello to everyone else, hope this thread gets really exciting and inspirational!

OK, off to write my 300 words

FairyTaleEnding Fri 05-Sep-08 10:27:30

Hi everyone. I am loving this thread already. Very shy about posting work, though ... My writing life is a constant battle with my inner critic, so my first struggle is to overcome that and get some words down on the bloody page. I'm writing a film script, based on some events in my childhood. Some of it is just therapy, really, but it's taking on a life of its own and it's such a buzz when it takes off like that! I have a bit of time this morning (DD has just started pre-school, guilt guilt!) so am going to try to get some more done.

Agree a 15 minute pact would be a great idea. Really impressed with people's brilliant ideas.

Thanks pillowcase. I'm normally the same, but this book is based on a dream I had. It was weird, the dream even had chapter headings, so I'm taking that as a sign it's meant to be written! Usually I don't write things like this at all.

FTE I'm really critical of myself as well. DP asked to read my first chapter the other night and I was quite scared as I thought it was shite. But he loved it! Still got a lot of work to do on it though.

I tried to get a bit done whilst DD was eating breakfast, but she decided 5 minutes was enough time for eating so wasn't able to. I write more when she's in bed, so I'll probably get down to it again tonight.

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 10:58:58

So... qs and lit chick (when we catch her) are published writer?

Do the rest of you writing as a hobby or as your job?

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Sep-08 11:06:31

Goodness, no! I have only so far had a few articles in newspapers and magazines published! Working on my first novel, the publisher wants a series of 6. They may still turn me down!

hanaflower Fri 05-Sep-08 11:08:23

hanaflower nervously enters room. Looks around. Accepts tea and cake. Sits back to lurk. Vows that one day she will summon the courage to post something for feedback...

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Sep-08 11:10:44

welcome Hanaflower. smile

hanaflower Fri 05-Sep-08 11:13:26

Thanks QS. My goal is to start up my lapsed blog again, and to start writing morning pages

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 11:33:09

Hi hanaflower!!! Great - I like blog following... it is a guilty pleasure like Sex and the City, Mn and lindt chocolate with red wine! click!!!

OH GOD!!! QS - what a relief for me - I really thought you were suffering some sort of torture by publisher!!!!

And obviously I meant to say "Do the rest of you write as a hobby or a job" Sorry - had a toddler jumping on my knee!!!

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 11:35:49

I am obviously having a confused Mummymoment!!! That link was to morningpages - v interesting. Not you blog hf.

Do you have a link to your blog?

FairyTaleEnding Fri 05-Sep-08 11:44:34

Hi hanaflower - what a lovely name. I also write morning pages. Have done them on and off for years, though it's bloody difficult with kids who wake up early! Anything to get you writing is really useful, and I find it gives me inspiration or sometimes just gets all the flotsam and jetsam out of my head ...

Good luck everybody, have a creative day.

Mine's just a hobby. Although as I'm a SAHM, I suppose I could call it my job! grin And I thought care work was underpaid! wink

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 13:51:13

Psychobabble - interesting! So... tell us about your writing. When do you do it? How do you do it? What do you write?

I am finding you all very inspiring. But... I still see myself as a reader. Writing is too scary!!!!

Laugs Fri 05-Sep-08 16:22:04

Ooh can I join please?

I write for magazines (only small, local ones) but it has been my lifelong dream to be a creative writer. I just never get round to doing it and am secretly scared I will be crap.

Just today I was looking into doing a creative writing course as a sort of fresh start for September, but they are all during the day or on the evenings when DP has enrolled for a course, so this can be my drive instead!

I'm excited actually!

Are we forming a pact to write 15 mins a day or to do morning papers? I can just feel this is going to be so good. smile

janeite Fri 05-Sep-08 18:29:46

I generally write poetry, rather than prose. Although I have half a teenage novel knocking around somewhere, I don't think I'll bother finishing it as I've lost the way a bit with it.

I've had a couple of poems and articles published in the small press but have been writing less and less in recent years.

15 minutes a day sounds both useful and achievable.

FairyTaleEnding Fri 05-Sep-08 19:18:53

I am SO inspired by this. Didn't have much time today but made myself sit down for 15 minutes and it turned into three quarters of an hour. Feel great and very excited - thanks everyone.

Will be offline for the weekend so will check in again on Sunday night. Off to sharpen pencils and fill pens with purple ink now ...

Psychobabble Fri 05-Sep-08 20:07:47

Laugs - have you looked at the Open University courses? I have done 2 short courses, Start Writing Fiction and Start Writing Poetry which might be too basic for you if you write already. Or there are 2 longer more advanced Creative Writing Courses. I really enjoyed the ones I did, they are online and you can submit your work to a forum and read others efforts. I found they were really good for getting me started. I really want to do another but time and funds are an issue at the moment! You might have missed registration for September, but the short courses have a start date in Feb as well.

I write poetry and prose as a hobby, I find it really hard to find the time at the moment though. I am thinking of entering some poetry and short story competitions this year, I find it helps me to stay motivated. I dream of writing for a living, but unfortunately I don't think it will ever happen.

I subscribe to Mslexia - does anyone else read it?

EachPeachPearMum Fri 05-Sep-08 20:36:39

Sorry- t42- have you namechanged? were you EG at all?

Well DD's in bed, so it's writing time for me! Haven't had much of a chance today as she's a little teething bugger who wouldn't leave me alone! I'm about a quarter of the way through my second chapter now. It needs a lot of editing, but I'm going to wait until I've got a big chunk before I start so I don't get too bogged down in it. Going well though. smile How's everyone else getting on?
Psychobabble, I would love to write for a living as well. It's been my dream since I was really young. I'm sure it's a bit of a pipe dream now but you don't get anything without trying!
Right, off to get some more writing done. Hopefully DD will sleep long enough for me to get into the flow! Happy writing everyone! smile

Psychobabble Fri 05-Sep-08 21:46:20

hmm just tried to post and it seems to have got lost, try again!

exactly charchar, it you don't try you'll never know. Did you hear about that lady recently who got her first novel published aged about 92? I hope it doesn't take me that long but it gave me inspiration! grin

No I didn't hear of that, but I'll remember it when I'm frustratedly bashing at the keys. grin I needed an aim anyway, tbh. My life seemed to be solely made up of caring for DD, and it was getting me down. Now, I've got things to write and plan, and it's made me a lot happier! smile

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 22:22:09

Hi Eachpeachpearmum - sorry! I am quite new to mumsnet. I have no idea how to name change.

I hope you find your friend called EG. I find this having lots of names or name changing a bit scary sometimes. In my head I imagine I am talking with many many interesting and learned parents. I sometimes panic that in reality it is one 12 year old boy inventing all these names and characters and seeing how much he can change my life and manipulate me! Hey... Mumsnet if you are just one boy - get yourself published - wow you can write!!!

Woo hooooo! grin Just got to post to say I have written 3000 words! 3129 to be exact. This is the longest story I've written so far; normally I get distracted or lose the motivation to carry on. Yay! <does a little jig>

lol@namechanging 12 year old smile

MarsLady Fri 05-Sep-08 22:26:38

Laugs I did the Open University Creative writing course (level 2) and am going on to do level 3 in October. I'm really looking forward to it.

findtheriver Fri 05-Sep-08 22:29:46

Count me in

Welcome findtheriver smile What do you write? (If you don't mind me asking, that is! smile)

teafortwo Fri 05-Sep-08 23:36:16

So this is the power of mumsnet. I popped in to this thread thinking I would get to read some interesting new talent... but hearing about you all writing, and many of you doing it for a hobby, I have spent the past 45 minutes at least.... well... uuurrrmmm...writing blush! Pssssst... hey.... it is fun isn't it! wink

Wahey, well done teafortwo! Glad to be an inspiration! wink I'm just finishing up for the night now because my fingers are getting tired. I've really been in the flow tonight, bashed out loads. Even with monster DD waking up hourly! Enjoy your writing smile

teafortwo Sat 06-Sep-08 00:08:32

Well I have been enjoying writing on mn especially on the foocs thread.

So I thought - you lot are writing fiction so why not join you too.

The thing is - It is fun to begin with but now I am afraid of making a fool of myself because I suspect it is complete pure rubbish and I don't want anyone to find it!!!

I will read it again tomorrow and decide whether to carry on or send to recycle and just continue foocing and getting my fiction hit by reading my current bedside novel instead.

I've been feeling like that as well. It's hard to have confidence in yourself. Hope you're pleased with it this morning. I haven't read mine back yet because I know I'll lose all of my motivation. If you're not happy, try again! At least it keeps you busy for a bit. smile

alittleteapot Sat 06-Sep-08 08:53:17

wow you lot have been busy. i'm so glad the 15 minutes thing is taking off. i haven't had a chance yet as dd teething and dp ill but maybe today's the day!

courseswise, i did a week on Arvon a few years ago. it was a bit pricey but totally brilliant. i wrote about 10,000 words. but it'll be a good few years before i can do that again and not ideal for others either.

one of the exercises they set, if anyone needs a kick start, was to describe room you're in from the perspective of a different character. this sounds a bit dry, but was infact incredibly good fun and set me going on a whole new perspective in my story. I was off...

Marslady can you tell us a bit more about the OU course?

matildax Sat 06-Sep-08 10:11:52

morning everyone,
well i signed up for my course!! and am really looking forward to it, like charchargabor, it has beena dream of mine to write, since i was very little. my childhood was not great, and to pass the time i used to read constantly, i would get lost in stories, and felt so much happier.
i started a teenage novel, about 15 yrs ago, when my dd1 was nearly 5, then lost it in my very messy flat!!! well we moved 9 yrs later to a bigger house when i was pregnant with dd2, my dd1 found it in a cupboard, i actually read it, then instantly grabbed a pen and carried on writing!! however 5 years later, and i again seem to have mislaid it! blush if im honest i think it is a bit dated now, and was really, i think just therapy for me, so i am leaving that project for now.
i want to concentrate on childrens stories. i have plenty of ideas, and a tremendous,(even if i do say so myself!!) wink imagination!! so i think i would enjoy these stories the most, as would kids (i hope) my dd2 loves me to make up stories at bed time, the one i am telling her now, has so far lasted 4 nights!! she loves it smile ds1 is too young just yet, but i hope he enjoys stories as much as me and dd2, and as much as dd1 did, all those years ago.
have a good day
be back later xx

teafortwo Sat 06-Sep-08 11:13:42

oh yes - nearly all the best children's stories began with the author making up a story for a child or children they love. What is your current story about?

Reminds me of something funny - have you seen the 'Black Books' episode where Bernard and Manny write the best children's book in the world and then destroy it because they think the success of the book will taint them!!! It is so so so funny - ha ha ha - you should watch it matildax!!!

matildax Sat 06-Sep-08 12:17:29

hi teafortwo smile
i shall certainly watch that, sounds great!!
my night time story for dd, is about a suitcase, (we go on holiday in 3 weeks, so its really just a build up to that!!)
the book i would like to write, and hopefully get published, is strictly confidential!! wink but im so pleased with it. its mostly in my head at the moment, but i must find the time to at least jot some things down before i start my course!!
i remember at primary school, being so so proud when i drew a picture of a tramp in the snow, and wrote a small poem to go with it, and then the teachers read it out in assembly, and framed the picture and poem and put it on the staffroom wall!!
i know its nothing amazing, but that was the best day for me, at primary school ever!!!blush

Psychobabble Sat 06-Sep-08 13:50:35

well I have written 1000 words of a short story which is the most I have done for a long time, so feeling pleased!

ou creative writing if anyone is interested

short fiction course

short poetry course

pillowcase Sat 06-Sep-08 14:29:54

isn't it amazing what one event in primary can do for your confidence, sounds so cute.

I remember writing an essay in primary and being asked to read it in front of the class, and it ended with a bit of humour and all the kids laughed out loud. I'll never forget that feeling of making people laugh through writing.

Laugs Sat 06-Sep-08 14:48:01

thanks for the posts about OU courses. It hadn't even occured to me actually. I suppose I'd worry about having time to fit it in. How long did you spend each week on the short courses?

I'm off to do my 15 minutes now. (So much for all my excitement yesterday, I actually forgot to write anything!)

FabioBadAssCat Sat 06-Sep-08 14:59:12

Can I join you?
I want to publish my first poetry anthology 'Don't fence in me, fishface'

Here is the first stanza of 'Ode to a litter tray'

Oh! rectangular box of gravel and grit,
You are so crunchy, and you smell a bit.
But we want one each!
She needs to buy another.
So I poo in the corner and say it was me brother.

FeelingLucky Sat 06-Sep-08 15:06:10

Fabio, you really are a 'bad ass' grin will deffo buy your anthology when it's published. <still chuckling away>


Forgot to ask before, Psychobabble, how do you find out about short story comps to enter? Would be interested in that.

Laugs Sat 06-Sep-08 15:22:16

have a look on the Mslexia website charchargabor - www.mslexia.co.uk

Thanks for that Laugs. I think I'll definitely try and enter something soon!

Psychobabble Sat 06-Sep-08 21:19:09

laugs - the short courses are supposed to take about 6 hours a week but I definitely spent less time than that. If you are already in the habit of writing then you shouldn't have a problem fitting it in. I found participating in the forum probably took up most time, but you can choose how much time you spend on that, some people took part more than others and some didn't use the forum at all but just worked through the course themselves.

charchar - Mslexia is great for finding out about comps and also here

here is a short story comp with a closing date soon! asham award

teafortwo Sat 06-Sep-08 23:10:19

Fabio -

what a deep and thoughtful poem. With work like that your publisher must have you on at least a 20 book contract.

It really made me think about life in different ways and I was curious to find out who had written such a beautiful piece so I looked on your profile page.

OK???? WELL????... You certainly sound like an interesting cat! You mention you are living in China. It would be an honour for us if you could take some time to join your owner, cod, and become a fooc... I am sure, like her, you have some very interesting stories to tell! gringrin


QuintessentialShadow Sat 06-Sep-08 23:11:57

I just posted my Ode To sadness in a moment of madness. It has fallen off active convos and out of existence, hopefully!

I read it, QS! I thought it was wonderful smile

QuintessentialShadow Sat 06-Sep-08 23:22:08

Thanks. smile

teafortwo Sat 06-Sep-08 23:29:57

Can I read it too??? - Give us a link qs... please!!!

QuintessentialShadow Sat 06-Sep-08 23:32:55

here I guess I cant back down now...

I am on a total brain block tonight. DD decided to take an hour to get to sleep, then wake up over and over again for the next hour. So I decided that no writing was going to be done tonight, as my brain has turned to mush! Hopefully I will be able to get started again tomorrow.

Think I'm going to give that Asham's Award comp a whizz, if I can lend the entrance fee off my dad. If nothing else it would be good practice.

Hi teafortwo! Did you like your writing this morning?

KiwiKat Sat 06-Sep-08 23:50:39

Can I join too?

Hi KiwiKat, all are welcome! What do you write? smile

teafortwo Sat 06-Sep-08 23:54:51

No-one wrote anything on that thread because it is very multi-layered. It takes a while to digest something as human and real as that!

So far I think it is fantastic - I like the repetitions, rhythms and images I have read it four times but I plan to read it at least that many times tomorrow before telling you what I read into the two contrasting places you describe... because that is really something that is working around my mind. Making me think of sad times and how humans respond to them.

Good night! Congratulations on your poem qs.

teafortwo Sun 07-Sep-08 00:07:47

Charchargabor - thank you so much for asking!

Well... I read through and liked some bits but thought other bits were not so good.

I want the opening line to be meaningful and at the moment it is tasteless. I want something one of the characters says to be in French but I have to wait for dh to translate it for me as I have no idea how to say it in French - it really needs to be in French though.

Then I think actually this is just unoriginal and clunky. But I suppose even the best writers start off being unoriginal and clunky!

I didn't send it to recycle and am proud that I had the guts to at least have a go at writing it.

Now - I really am going to go to sleep now.

Good night!

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:09:22

Can I join? I've just written my first childrens book. I just need an illustrator.

Well done, it's best to keep it and keep working on it. Glad you liked some parts, sometimes it's easy to be too self-critical. Sleep well smile

Hi Avenalife. Wow it's really cool that you've just finished a book! smile Are you planning on writing solely children's books? I'm still slogging away at my first book, nearly 3 chapters in. Good luck with finding an illustrator!

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:16:25

Thanks. smile I like childrens books, it's easier for me to get into their head. I spent 2 years training as a paeds nurse so I find it really easy to adapt my language etc to the ages. It's quite short, for 3-5 year olds. I'm not sure where to find an illustrator though.

I'm sure I've heard that you're more likely to get published without illustrations, as publishers like to organise their own. If you'd prefer to have your own done, I found a link to The Society of Illustrators

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:33:02

Ohh, I may write some more first. My best friend's a teacher and she's asked if she can use it for a play at school. I don't mind who does the illustrations really though. Anyone's better then me! I'm going to write some more and see if I can get them published. It's scary. I'm writing a book for older children but it's taking ages.

It is scary thinking about trying to get published, isn't it? I know it's really hard, and I don't know if I could stand that much rejection. I think, once this book is done, I might try and find an agent, because I've heard it's a lot easier to get published through one. Would love to have a book published, even if nobody read it! blush

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:39:38

You can self publish but it's so expensive. I just wouldn't want someone saying my work was rubbish. I think it's a confidence thing though. I don't know about an agent, I don't think author's get paid alot unless they become famous, an agent would take a cut of any profit.

I know, you really put your heart and soul into writing, don't you? I sent something to a publisher once as a teenager, and got sent a rejection letter, it wasn't very nice. That's true about the agent, although I live in hope of being a famous author! smile

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:46:01

Whey! J K charchargabor! grin She had loads of knock backs (J K Rowing), there's hope for us all. Bloomsbury here we come!

I've never written anything before. I don't come from an academic family IYSWIM. It would be nice to make some children smile though.

That's what I keep telling myself whilst battering the keyboard! If she can do it then so can I! I bet your children's book is amazing, because you've written it with their feelings at heart. smile

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:50:39

I'm going to have to go to bed. ds gets up early in the morning. sad He's not much of a critic. He's biased but does correct my spelling. hmm

AvenaLife Sun 07-Sep-08 00:51:27

It's about a bee that gets lost. ds loved it. smile

QuintessentialShadow Sun 07-Sep-08 09:20:00

Oh, it is really inspiring to read this now. Welcome Avenalife, I love childrens books, I cant imagien being able to write one, I guess it takes a specific skill, or ability to look at the world from a childs perspective. I have neither. I have mostly gloom, solitude and thunderous clouds. smile

Teafortwo, good to see you have done some writing, and that you liked some, that is great. Glad you liked my poem. It is very raw stil, as I just "hammered it out" yesterday as I was feeling a little sad. What were you writing? (You dont have to say if you dont want to.)

I was planning a collection of short stories. I was going to do it with my sister, as the more contributions the merrier? The green thread should be cultural misconceptions and misunderstandings based on experiences in other countries. But I never got arount to it yet. I think many of the contributions on FOOC are highly publishable.

CharCharGabor - 3 chapters in, well done! Keep going!

Thanks QS! It's been quite a slog, but I want to enter them into a competition at the end of this month so better get a move on!

Well done everyone for getting writing! smile

teafortwo Sun 07-Sep-08 13:33:59

QS - thanks for asking what I am writing about. It is all about eating scones in Hull... no... I am joking!!!

It isn't really that far from real life. It is a short story about a woman who happens to live in Paris. But it isn't about her living in Paris. The basic plot is that her partner suggests she writes and so she gives it a go. The story very simply weaves what is happening in real life to what she is writing about. She writes about a pub in which different people chat. The linking theme is that I wanted there to always be this constant human contradiction of not wanting to feel loneliness but also a desperate need for "A room of her (or our) own". Whether I am achieving this or not I don't know. The whole idea is far from original but I suppose I need to practice before anything good comes out - if anything good does!

If I see a short story in WHSmiths like this written by "M. Net" I will know it is one of you!!! grin - Although I don't think you can go far with that idea to be honest!!!

If you write as a hobby - what do you do when you have 'finished' a piece of writing? Do you print it out and stick it in a pretty book? Do you loose it? Serve it to your family for dinner? Keep it in a file? I feel like the process is what is most important but once it is finished I would like to do something with it.

Two hours till bedtime! I'm counting down the hours as DD will just not stay still! smile Going to really try and work hard on this story tonight, and try and get at least 5 pages done.

teafortwo, I think your story sounds really interesting. I would read it! It sounds all twisty and turny, and I love books like that.

I haven't written for ages, so haven't got any finished stories stored. I used to keep them in a ringbinder as a teen. I'm hopefully going to try and get this one published, but if not I'll probably go the pretty book route! grin

Right, I'm ready to go! DD took ages to get to sleep, which wasn't helped by me falling asleep in the chair with her blush Anyone else writing tonight?

QuintessentialShadow Sun 07-Sep-08 20:37:23

Hi, no.
My mind is on colourschemes tonight!
Have a full day of writing tomorrow. Good to see you have inspiration, a goal, and are cracking on! Thats a good girl!

Teafortwo, your storyline seems very intriguing! grin

Thanks QS! Good luck with your writing tomorrow. grin

teafortwo Sun 07-Sep-08 23:29:56

Thanks for the positive comments on my story.

How did peoples writing go this evening?

Well I've got to 4843 words and I'm stuck! I know what I want to happen next, but absolutely no bloody idea how to link it in to the last bit! [grr] I was on a roll too. Oh well, best to hang it up now and discuss with DP when he gets home from work tomorrow. He likes to write too so he's usually full of ideas! Night all smile

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 00:44:32

My main character is called Sarah. This is the third build up to and story Sarah writes. I have chosen this one to show you, not because it is my favourite but because it shows best the weaving of the two stories. Do you think it works? And please give any advice you think me, a complete beginner needs! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU if you are brave enough to read all of this!!!

By the way - The opening is a joke from the 3rd person narrator used to narrate Sarah's life - because Sarah has just been moaning that she isn't well read enough!

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Tescos flowers are the prettiest cheap flowers you can send. The morning sun warmed Sarah as she sat at her junk shop, laminate, fake oak desk.

The desk that had first been bought for a beautiful new wife called Ophelie in 1957 by her handsome, Thomas. The couple had lived four streets along from Sarah and Adam’s suburb apartment. It was never designed for the computer that sat at it today. It was a desk for Ophelie to use to write, not short stories set in a pub, but her face for the day. It had three big mirrors attached to the back for her to write her character for the outside world. She wrote her skin tone, eyes and lips turning herself from just a pretty girl next door type into a glamorous copy of the big movie stars of the day. Sarah, of course never knew this but found the concept of the desk having belonged, probably to at least one other woman before her rather satisfying. Like putting on a dress your sister once borrowed to go to a really wild party.

Sarah typed her credit card number into the correct box. And copied out the number she could hardly see above her signature. This was easy. Before all this she had had to fill in her message. This was a much harder task. She wanted the note to be simple but meaningful after two cups of Marrakech mint tea and a bowl of Muesli she began to type. “To Mum, We are all thinking about you lots this week. Lots of love from Sarah, Hannah and Jo. x x x” She took a red pen and ticked the pencilled in note on her calendar “Nanna – 3yrs”.

That evening Adam watched a documentary in French about the Russian revolution. Oona slept and Sarah typed…

A Grandmother’s advice

“Yes I am in the pub. No. Well anything like that – I think Polly is quite easy with food… yes, yes… that’s fine – look I can see her arriving now so talk later. Bye! OK bye!”

I hear one of those ghastly mobile phone conversations to the right of me, a woman about my age with serious, worldly eyes and dyed brown hair. She looks somehow at ease with a device I know I would be fumbling and panicking over. The lines in her face deepen because she has begun to chuckle at a clumsy, girl-woman (People stay young for much longer these days is she a girl or a woman?), struggling towards her, a suitcase in one hand and a dishevelled bunch of blue carnations unsteadily clenched in the other.

“They looked pretty in the shop…” She hands the flowers to the seated woman. “…but the more I look at them the more I realise they are false. Look – they are just white flowers that have been fed blue ink. Anyway – they’re for you – thanks for this I am in such, really such a mess!”

“Well actually…” the older woman laughs with her mouth while her eyes and hands thank her Grand-daughter for the flowers by inspecting them and caressing the petals. She is genuinely intrigued by the ink. “I think you are looking very well. University life certainly suits you.”

“You think? Oh yeah, I love it, but I could do without this grammar exam. It is keeping me awake at night. Look at my nails… You know all we had was a one hour lecture on grammar and now we have a two hour exam on it. What do I know about grammar? I don’t think I was really taught it at school.” The Grand-daughter frowns slightly as she speaks.

“Well… to be honest my grammar isn’t all that. You know when I was teaching children just learnt grammar like they learn to breath.”

“Yeah – I keep dreaming that I get to this exam and Rousseau is at the door. He tells me to go and lie in a field instead. You know – last week I had a maths exam? Well the week before the lecturers said “No calculators.” On the first page of the paper it said “A calculator may be used”. People started crying. None of us had bought calculators just loads of pens in a plastic bag.”

As Polly speaks in her estuary English her hair falls out of its messy bun. She realises that her hair-band has broken and instantly ties a knot in it then uses this makeshift band to create an even messier pony tail. Her hair is mousy brown. I imagine Polly’s hairdresser gleaming with pride because her trainee had managed to create such depth and interest using choppy high-lights. Without these Polly’s hair would be completely unnoticeable. It is quite greasy which, for the pony tail, is a saving grace. It would never have held against gravity without some sort of stickiness.

Her Grandmother ignores the hair-band episode and looks solemn. “When I first started teaching we had one calculator in the whole school.” Polly is drawn into the story. Both women cross their legs and pull closely in. “It was kept in a cupboard near my classroom. One day a boy stepped into my room and said” She smiles. “’Excuse me, Miss, Mr Davies says can he use your copulator?’”

The women sink low in their chairs and start to laugh. The laughter only begins to cease when tears start to roll down their cheeks. At which point they recommence their hysterics. This time they are laughing, not at the story, but at each other laughing and the imagined picture of what they themselves must look like. Crumpled wet faces red and disfigured.

“Are you ready to order?” The pretty waitress enquires.

I notice that neither of them has ironed their shirt and this triggers a second observation. Although neither woman appears to be dressed too young or too old they are wearing remarkably similar outfits. The older woman’s clothes are slightly less streamlined and perhaps more daring in colour but just like her Grand-daughter she wears simple flat shoes, jeans and a cotton shirt. Both shirts look warn. I suspect, for one reason or another neither shirt has always belonged to their current owner.

The women decide to have a glass of wine each. A bottle is dismissed as being too indulgent at this time of day.

“So… how’s Tom?” Polly’s Grandmother has to look up slightly to make true eye contact with her.

“Ew… it’s killed him… this business with Carl. He is living back at Mum and Dad’s. Not getting up until three. He is ill. Lovesickness I suppose.”

“Yes… I hope he finds someone new soon. To feel well Tom needs to be in a couple.”

The young woman frowns and uncrosses her legs. She has no sympathy for this notion. “He’s got this weather thing in October in Reading. He needs that not another dead end affair.”

“I had a friend like Tom. A romantic. He married the first girl he kissed. Two children later she left him… quite unusual in those days. He came to live with me for a bit. I remember he had this thing for crab paste. It is all he would eat. I told him to go out there. Enjoy life! Don’t be so serious. I had a few male friends and I organised between them and this friend a big night out. It was very successful. The other’s came back at three in the morning with no Dave. He’d met some pretty local girl, the last the men had seen of them they were heading towards the beach together. Three months later her monstrous father had forced Dave to marry her and nine months later… well. I think you can guess…”


“I still feel quite guilty about that.”

There is an uncomfortable silence between the two women. They both use their left hands to reach for their glass. Both sip hurriedly at their wine. I wonder if just a glass was a mistake. They should have had a bottle. They should have ordered champagne. I find myself really craving cigarettes more than I can remember. More than when Bill first left. I pause to think of Bill’s face. Then I pour my second coffee and pretend to read a magazine article.

“So Nan, tell me…” The girl’s voice (I have decided she is still just a girl) starts to fade into the general melting pot of pub noise. “…what is a passive sentence? And what is the difference between an adverb and an adjective? The more I try to understand the more lost I feel…”

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 00:45:54

OH GOD - I didn't realise how much I had copied and pasted blush

Please no one read it!!!! It is far too much to ask!!!!!!

pillowcase Mon 08-Sep-08 09:01:33

I was engrossed and didn't even notice how long it was, am surprised looking back, it really grabbed my attention.

I think your use of dialogue is excellent, really realistic, flows well. Well done!

matildax Mon 08-Sep-08 09:18:29

me too, teafortwo. smile
really well written, in that i mean easy to read, and the characters are believable and really come to life..... its great, i loved it!! grin i would like to read it all now!! xx
pillowcase, my picture and poem at primary school, are very significant to me, i was always such a average kid at school, and never stood out at anything, so the sense of pride i felt was amazing!! i remember hanging around outside the staffroom, and telling various members of staff, as they went in, that the new picture on the wall was by me!!! lol cringe blush
be back later have a good day all. xx

I enjoyed it a lot teafortwo. It flows quite well, and it's intriguing. Would like to read more! smile

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 09:37:19

Oh Pillowcase!!! You read it???? AW AW AW AW AW Thanks!!! It means a lot!

It is really kind of you to start with praise. Are you a teacher? OK - now what about imporvements and next jobs to do?

This is my first story and I want to get better for my next story (wink - you lot have got me hooked) and I also want to edit this one to make it better too, before putting it in my pretty book, but without urrrmmm...'bathwater baby' happening. If you see what I mean?

So that leads to a second questions -
How do you go about successful editing, people?

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 09:41:11

Charchargabor - you read it too??? Hey thanks - I rolled into a ball when I pressed send and realised how big the post was!

So you really find it intriguing? Wow what a nice thing to say.

Charchargabor - if you have any advice on the questions I asked pillowcase please type away!

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 09:46:44

Matildax - sorry I missed your post - I am really excited that you don't all think it is simply throw in the bin awful!!!!

I love your poem and picture story Matildax - you should use that as inspiration. Sounds like the start of a good poem, novel or story.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 08-Sep-08 13:09:47

Piuh! Nice to get some other reading to chill out with over lunch! Thanks teafortwo!
I like the way your dialogue flows. I am intriuged by the story.

I have only written 200 words today, but I am pleased, because I have been rewriting the beginning of chapter one, which I think is possibly the weakest part of the book, when reading back.

Back to it now.

I am very structured now. I have hidden MOST Mumnsnet topics, so if I go to active convos, I wont see much! Must crack on!

QuintessentialShadow Mon 08-Sep-08 13:09:48

Piuh! Nice to get some other reading to chill out with over lunch! Thanks teafortwo!
I like the way your dialogue flows. I am intriuged by the story.

I have only written 200 words today, but I am pleased, because I have been rewriting the beginning of chapter one, which I think is possibly the weakest part of the book, when reading back.

Back to it now.

I am very structured now. I have hidden MOST Mumnsnet topics, so if I go to active convos, I wont see much! Must crack on!

vonsudenfed Mon 08-Sep-08 13:18:08

Hello all, may I join you too?

Can I play too?

Can I join in? I've written 3 books and trying to get started on my 4th, as I met with a publisher who didn't like my 3rd but told me to write my next one (after I mumbled my way through a very vague synopsis!).

Finding it very hard to get started though as I had so much hope for my 3rd.

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 18:43:03

Hello vonsudenfed, ffrecklefface and yellowbrickroad - please tell us about your writing, your process, your feelings or all of the above or none of the above - just tell us anything you want about creative writing and you!!!

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 18:49:06

can i join too?

i've started two novels... neither of them finished. i keep losing heart because i have no idea if they are any good or not !


teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 19:35:11

Mankymummy - will you post an extract of one of your novels and we will tell you if we think it is good or not.

I was very brave and did it last night (see above). It is my first attempt at writing and it was really nice to get some reassurance and feedback... although noone has given me any next step advice or improvement advice yet - which I would love an experienced writer to do to help me improve!!!

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 19:47:17

oooh... thats scary. but i think i will once DS in bed. thanks ! might read yours first so i can feel inferior !!!! grin

Psychobabble Mon 08-Sep-08 20:06:44

teafortwo - really liked your writing - I liked all the little details and the humour!
qs - liked your poem also - very atmospheric. Both very brave to post some of your work!

I am impressed by all these people who have started/finished novels

I have nearly finished my story, can't believe I am actually going to finish something!

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 20:07:01

She lurches down the steps of the bus. Bags in either hand, the rescued lettuce under her arm like a rugby ball, she meanders the 100 yards from the bus stop to her front gate. She tries to open the gate with fingers wrapped around plastic bags and drops the lettuce. When it finally swings open, she dribbles the lettuce up the path to the front door, giving it an oddly agile hook up over the front doorstep to rest beside the potted geraniums. The bright green of the lettuce against the bright red of the geraniums looks like a still life.

Weighing up the respective lunchtime appeals of pizza and chips against pizza, chips and beans, she dumps the bags in her right hand on the doorstep and fumbles in her pocket for the front door key.

The key turns smoothly in the lock. As she nudges the door open with her foot, the door swings open and she pushes through, placing the key on the table in the hallway as she passes.

Coconut cake or donut with the ice-cream for pudding? Must water that plant before it dies completely. Poor thing. Completely? Can you die partially? Maybe, she thinks.

Slowly the sense that something is not quite right in the house creeps over her. She looks up along the hallway through into the kitchen. A shadow moves across the black and white tiled floor.


He’s come back.

Her chest does a little fluttery lurch at the thought of having him back, sitting in the comfy chair while she reverts back to the sofa. Cooking for two. Making his favourites. Waiting for 5.30 to come and for him to walk in the door.

She does a mental audit of the bedroom upstairs – did she put yesterday’s knickers in the laundry bin or are they still lying on the floor? She can’t remember. Silly! He’s my husband. It doesn’t matter.

Slob! His spitten accusation is no less painful a memory for it having been said over a year ago. It does matter.
She’s torn between going upstairs to check the knickers-status and going into the kitchen. She looks up the stairs as if trying to connect telepathically with the contents of the laundry bin.

Finally, afraid he might change his mind and sneak out the door while she’s upstairs, she slowly walks towards the kitchen. The kitchen is L-shaped and so she can only see the bit with the washing machine in from the hallway. He must be sitting at the table. Waiting. He’s probably hungry. Wanting his lunch.

She moves into the doorway. Takes a deep breath. Arranges her face into a welcoming smile. She takes a step into the kitchen. Turns to the right and sees him.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Silence. Except…

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

He’s so much thinner. She can’t believe how thin he is. He must be ill. The thin-ness seems to make him look taller. He’s wearing jeans. Jeans! She’s never seen him in jeans. Ever. A different jacket over a white teeshirt. Finally, she looks up into his face.

Green eyes, unblinking.

Green eyes. Richard has blue eyes.

Not Richard. A teenage boy. And a skinny one at that. Standing in her kitchen.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Scrabbling for something to say to fill the deafening silence, she says, “Would you like a glass of milk?”

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 20:08:52

any comments really gratefully received. i can take honest opinion ! grin

Psychobabble Mon 08-Sep-08 20:13:13

that's an intriguing start manky, you build up the suspense nicely! I like the detail of the lettuce like a rugby ball

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 20:17:19

WOW wow wow - mankymummy!!!

I loved it!!!! Kathy Lette watch your back 'cause mankymummy is in town, she has got a keyboard and not is afraid to use it!!!

QuintessentialShadow Mon 08-Sep-08 20:26:14

Fantastic Mankymummy, I had a film playing in my head as I was reading it. grin

When is it out? I will be your customer!

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 21:01:38

really? blush

actually it was about the 5th chapter psycho.

thats the first time anyone has seen anything i've written except me! grin

thanks everyone... might have to finish it now!!!!

Psychobabble Mon 08-Sep-08 21:28:34

oh sorry, yes I see now it's not the start. It definitely made me want to read on. I'm impressed that you have written so much. I have a novel in my head but haven't written much, I tend to stall after the first 1000 words.

mankymummy Mon 08-Sep-08 22:42:26

ooh can you say what the novel is about?
what makes you stall?

teafortwo Mon 08-Sep-08 22:45:21

Good question from mankymummy to psychobabble!

What about the synopsis for your novel you showed us - you gave us a good feel wink grin but what is the overall plot?

vonsudenfed Tue 09-Sep-08 09:44:23

Blimey, I can hardly keep up with this, and I've only just started.

Mankymummy - I think your piece is really good too; it's pleasingly spare and gets a lot done in a very short space without losing the flow. Definitely worth persevering with!

If you want support and crit and encouragement to keep going you could try writewords, which is basically a huge online writing group. You can join a small group of people writing the same sort of thing and all comment on each other's work. I used to belong to a proper (i.e. in real life) writing group back in London, and really missed it when I left, so it has been a real godsend for me. It does cost, but I think you can have a free trial membership for a month or so. And it would be worth you doing it - your piece is much better than any number I have read on there!

Other people like youwriteon which does the same sort of thing but it looks like the most giant bunfight of nutters to me (and I can't get over what an ugly website it is), but that's just my opinion.

I did once write a novel ages ago, but it was rubbish and it now lives in an envelope in the cupboard. It has taken me probably eight years to write the next one, which I have just finished revising for the squillionth time and am going to start sending out to agents. Actually I have done the first three chapters, now I just need to write the synopsis to go with them. Which I ought to be doing right now.

stroppyknickers Tue 09-Sep-08 09:48:21

Let me join in!

teafortwo Tue 09-Sep-08 10:35:15

pull up a chair stroppyknickers - you are very welcome!

What do you like to write? How do you write?

Feel free to say as little or much as you want to!

FairyTaleEnding Tue 09-Sep-08 11:20:33

Hi everyone,

I'm so impressed with everyone's hard work, and with the standard of writing. I've just done the cafe thing - did morning pages and wrote for half an hour after that, till it got too noisy and my head started hurting!

What I struggle with are endings - any advice? I can always set up a story, get my characters in place and get the plot going, but I always have trouble bringing it to a good conclusion. It always seems to peter out ...

Anyway, really encouraged as always by you lovely ladies.

Psychobabble Tue 09-Sep-08 12:06:32

ok manky, quick reply as I have to pick up ds

seems to be about a woman whose husband has been absent, but she thinks he is back and obviously wants to rekindle the relationship as she is worried about the knickers on the bedroom floor and starts to remember their old life.

so I want to know
why did he leave?
what is their relationship now?
who is the boy in the kitchen? does she know him or not? judging by her reaction I would say she does know him but I want to know what her relationship is to him
that's what makes me want to read more!

Hi everybody! Wow lots of writing going on here! Mankymummy loved your story part, really want to know what's going to happen next. smile I'm over 5000 words now and well into the third chapter, so quite happy. Just keep blasting away each night after DD is in bed, although she doesn't give me much rest! She's had the MMR today, so probably going to get worse.

teafortwo, from what I've read the best thing to do is to keep writing and edit near the end, or at least after you've written a large chunk. It's so you don't get caught up in editing and lose the flow. Though I know Dean Koontz writes a page and then edits it obsessively, then writes another page and does the same, so different strokes for different folks! Stephen King locks his finished manuscripts away for a few months before editing. [geeky writer-obsessed woman emoticon] blush

stroppyknickers Tue 09-Sep-08 13:19:12

Hi teafor two - I'm trying to write a children's novel. Keep getting stuck at things like age group/ word count blah blah! Can't believe there are so many of us! Don't know anyone in RL who writes...

alittleteapot Tue 09-Sep-08 14:27:32

Very impressed by you all. I'm in the middle of a spot of sleep training so neither creative nor writing at the moment but hope to be back with you next week!

EyesWideShut Tue 09-Sep-08 14:29:35

hello I am trying to get dh to buy me a laptop to get writing again without having to come upstairs to the pooter...but have one 2yold and one 7wk old so not much chance at mo!! am mostly churning ideas round...

EyesWideShut Tue 09-Sep-08 14:30:13


QuintessentialShadow Tue 09-Sep-08 16:34:37

teafortwo, I edited at the end.
The publisher then has sent a pretty good overview of suggestions, then I worked with him and the creative process was back and forth bouncing ideas, which was really a great learning curve for me. Better to do it towards the end. smile

So impressed to see so many of you writing!

Got to crack on with synopsises now before I do anything more. Deadline in 3 weeks!

mankymummy Tue 09-Sep-08 17:14:39

thanks so much everyone for kind comments and advice...

for those that asked... will post a summary of the plot later... need to rush off to pick up DS from nursery.

thanks everyone though, your comments have given me a real boost. grin

teafortwo Tue 09-Sep-08 22:11:48

Well... my little story now has a title, beginning, problem and solution. It has a sadish ending. It is just under 7000 - so it is a short short story! But bar editing which I will do later I think it is finished.

Thanks people for inspiring me.

I have another idea for another short story. I might try to write that too.

This writing business is fun!!!

QuintessentialShadow Wed 10-Sep-08 09:59:03

Well done for completing it teafortwo! Could you try enter it into a competition? Or will just cherish it being in your folder and under your belt so to speak?

Psychobabble Wed 10-Sep-08 13:43:25

well done tea, 7000 is quite long for a short story I think! I don't think mine will get much past 2000, especially not at the rate I'm going at the moment!

teafortwo Wed 10-Sep-08 16:05:39

psychobabble - You think it is a good length? I thought it seemed a bit short!


Keep on truckin' you will get there too!!!

I believe in you. Believe in yourself and you can do it!

Psychobabble Wed 10-Sep-08 20:14:45

thanks tea smile
I only say that because when I have looked at competitions and stuff they tend to have a word limit of 4-5000 but I guess a short story can be as short or long as you want it to be!

teafortwo Wed 10-Sep-08 20:29:29

Aaaahhh....but it is definately a short story. It has only one theme an opening, problem and solution. It isn't a novel.

I wrote another 2 thousand words today - a new story about a woman writing letters to her unborn child. So far I have written the first letter.

matildax Wed 10-Sep-08 20:54:17

hi everyone, omg loads has been happening on here!!
hello to everyone i havent said hi too.
well done tea for two,that is superb to be finished!! that must feel amazing... smile adb charcha, your really on a aroll, that is excellent too!!

i have been to busy to write at the moment, ds 20 months, doesnt let you sit down for a second, and by night time when hes in bed, im too bloody knackered to start!! grin plus its been my dd2s birthday today. it was lots of fun, if a little tiring.

BUT!!! i go to my favourite place in 2 weeks, and it is there that i think i will find the inspiration i am looking for...

its sounds silly, but i do feel that what teafortwo just said you really have to believe it, plus im just in the mood, to add some chapters (for myself) and also to start the "strictly confidential book" lol wink

anyway i will pop in soon, love to all xx

teafortwo Wed 10-Sep-08 21:12:30

Matildax... seriously not even a tiny whisper about your book?

- derrrniieeeed!sad wink

matildax Thu 11-Sep-08 15:07:03

oh ok teafortwo...... just for you wink
its about a park. grin
have a few childrens books in my head, just need to scribble down a few things.

i dont think i am anything special but i do think that im as good as any other childrens writer out there, (having read many obviously to my dcs over the years.) and i just fancy giving it a a go... i have nothing to lose, and among all the rejection letters i will no doubt receive, i am hoping that someone will actually say 'hey that is quite good" smile

carry on writing girls, lets show the established authors, that they have fierce competition!!

teafortwo Thu 11-Sep-08 16:37:28

A park! Sounds sweet. Thanks for telling us!

mankymummy Thu 11-Sep-08 20:09:40

inspired by all of you have just opened the second novel i started and am quite shocked by it... would anyone be interested in reading the opening bit and see if they'd want to read further...?

Psychobabble Thu 11-Sep-08 20:32:08

I'd be happy to read it! smile

teafortwo Thu 11-Sep-08 21:19:09

Ooooh yes, yes pleeeeeeaaaaassseee gringrin

mankymummy Fri 12-Sep-08 08:42:04

eek... its odd when you read something you wrote so long ago...

honestly... what do you think? this is the opening bit... thanks for reading....

I died.

I died on a hard, grey, tarmac road. A two lane carriageway 500 yards away from the sea. You’d think in October that the road would be cold but it isn’t. I can feel its warmth on my cheek. It’s a cold day. Windy but bright. I love days like this. They make you feel alive.

I died. I died without a penny to my name, no means to identify me. Most of a bottle of vodka, 3 cans of special brew and a cocktail of drugs in my blood that even my son with his vast experience of illegal substances would be impressed with.

Oh god. John, where are you? My baby. I can’t think about it… Not yet…
Not yet….

A dead body on a seafront road in a tourist town can be quite an attraction. A huddle of japanese tourists I can see are itching to get their Nikons out. I wouldn’t mind. If I could I’d tell them to go ahead. Most people carry on walking trying to look as if they aren’t interested and certainly aren’t interested enough to be so gauche as to stop and stare. That couple there with their bright new baby buggy and matching ski wear. They slow to see what the police car is doing, see the mound of old rags lying on the road and wonder where the ambulance is.

I could have been that woman. Infact for a time I was. A new mum. Proud with the shiny new baby buggy, weary from sleepless nights but not wanting to change it for the world. Except I did. Change it, that is. But not for the world. For something less. In the end, it turned out it was for this.

I never reached the sea.

matildax Fri 12-Sep-08 09:37:19

hello mankymummy.

that is very good!!
im extremely impressed, you really should persevere with this.

im intrigued as to know why she ended up like this?
it really is brilliant. i love it smile

you are very talented and should continue this one definitely. i would love to read the finished article. AND would proudly display it on my book shelf!! grin

ps, sorry i never write here with capitals etc.... hard when my 20 month old, normally only gives me around 20 second intervals, before he is up to no good again!! lol, so i just type as quick as i can!

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 09:54:07

It is an uneasy read. It feels the same as when you walk past someone huddled with their hand out on the metro.

It is sad. Very sad. But somehow you make us want to know more. It is quite an achievement given that the subject matter makes most people want to turn their heads in the opposite direction!

Your writing is very humane. Flat. Simple. It contrasts the drama of the story and needs to be like that.

The first time I imagined the story narrated in a cockney accent. It was too much. The second time Billy Holiday read it and that was better!

I think art is something that is not necessarily just funny, beautiful, shocking, or impressive. But something that actually in someway makes us feel more human.

Your writing. It makes me feel more human. So... in my eyes...It is art.


P.S I thought you might find this relevent... close your eyes ignore the film. Just listen. It is a tramp singing and the orchestra (humanity) joining him for a moment. When the composer went back to play it to him. He had died.


matildax Fri 12-Sep-08 10:04:04

Its style mm, reminds me of vicky angel, the childrens book by jaqueline wilson.
i agree with tea, your writing is very real, and imo draws you in, pretty much immediately.
i love your writing. smile

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 10:16:28

So what is the synopsis - DI am guessing we go back and follow how she ended up where she is? Am I right?

mankymummy Fri 12-Sep-08 10:59:31

thanks everyone. i will watch the clip later, am just rushing out at the mo.

teafortwo... yes basically it goes back, each chapter is a day/month/year before the previous one.

homelessness is something very close to my heart and i want the story to show how easy it is to become homeless. its easy to believe they've always been homeless when infact once they were probably living lives just like you and I.

do you think the style is too simple? i often wonder if i ought to expand it a bit and be more descriptive?

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 11:11:56

What an intersting structure. Have you shown this one to the publisher?

mankymummy Fri 12-Sep-08 11:15:05

yes, i thought the structure would be quite interesting too. just hope i can pull it off. i want each progressive chapter to reveal little snippets that show she is not just a bag lady, without revealing too much. if you see what i mean?

a publisher?!!!! those two extracts from each book are the only bits i've shown to anyone !!!!

i wouldnt have the first idea about how to sell them. do you think i could?!!!

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 11:16:19

interesting blush

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

matildax Fri 12-Sep-08 12:25:32

mankymummy, i didnt mean that your writing was too simple when i mentioned vicky angel, it was the comparison i was mentioning.

i think the story and structure is spot on!!
and excellent of you to point out that homelessness is something that can affect us all............. who knows whats around the corner.
empathy is the key, i would say. xx

Psychobabble Fri 12-Sep-08 13:48:22

manky, I thought that was a great opening, very effective, immediately draws you in as matildax said. I'm intrigued to know how she got to that stage. Well done!

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 13:56:04

StorminanEcup - welcome!!!!

Hey - Your guide and phrase book sound tops!!! So tell me... do you live in Paris then? And would you write more guides for other cities. It is a great idea. Kinda like the rough guide or lonely plannet of the children's section! smile Great idea!!!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 14:45:12

Interesting - what about the other way round too? London, Edinborough, Liverpool etc for French children???

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 18:26:48

Oh I forgot to say... StorminanEcup - thank you so much for your comments on my short story. It is meant to be very voyeuristic! It is a short story about loneliness and the opposite of lonliness too really so voyeurism plays a strong part.

I wanted to play a bit with the ideas given in the C.S lewis quote "We read to know we are not alone" and Virginia Woolf's concept of "A room of ones own" I am glad you picked up on that. It is one of the themes! wink

p.s - It is very nice to be inspiring. Print. Mount. Frame!!!! grin grin grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 19:37:48

WOW - thanks! Hey - This is what I am working on now! But it is quite intense so if I work on it too long it gives me a headache. So I wonder if it is horrible to read too? I would love to know... What do you think?

Dear love,

On the night train to Barcelona I felt you move inside me. For the first time. And it felt like leading a climb in the Pyrenees. My head and heart spun. I felt equally strong, responsible, vulnerable. I like you being there inside of me, my love, my son or my daughter (?), safe from distasteful things life possesses. It feels as if such things as, for example, say… suicide bombers, drunk drivers and wars just can’t reach you where you are… and the horrors of the World may as well be in another galaxy for what you know of them with your purity and self contained joy.

Yet, I yearn to see your face. To touch your hand and kiss your plump silky cheek. I ache to show you and tell you of my home. The place I love to death do us part, for better for worse, covered, my dear love, with flowers, creatures and people and as varied as a desert and mountain range. I am sure you will also adore this place once you have grown enough and once you desire it enough for yourself. It will be yours. As much yours as it is mine. Or maybe more yours as you will take it into the future when my time with it has come to its inevitable end. You grow from me and I will grow in you. Do you mind that I plant a seed in your chromosomes so as I can live on beyond my life? Do you mind that I see you by a tree in Cambridge reading and marking up Proust, Dickens, Forster and Bulgakov? You don’t now but you will. And your songs will reach the publics attention as you moan, no, cry into your microphone or perhaps musical instrument and your self loathing will be called jazz. Your illness fashion?

Now, my love… let me take you on a journey using your imagination. It is hard to imagine when all you know is softness and warm fluid and a drip I made for you. Did you know we are nourished from the same food? I want you to imagine. It is important to me. I need to feel close to you tonight. Sometimes us humans just need to feel close.

You see I want you to imagine a castle like the ones in a book. Yes - a big towering castle. And a girl, no a woman, no a girl arriving on a train below the castle. And the train is belonging to yesterday at a station that is reminiscent of a shed, no a beach hut, no a log cabin in Bohemian Paradise where she wishes to find her meaning.

mankymummy Fri 12-Sep-08 19:55:34

tea.. oh my god... am i wrong but is that the most intimate conversation you can have with an unborn child? it made me cry. its all your aspirations, fears and hopes...

Twelvelegs Fri 12-Sep-08 19:56:36

How would it work?

Hi, sorry have been MIA, dd has been a nightmare since the MMR and with teething as well I haven't had much peace! mankymummy that opening part is fab, would love to read more! Am about to read yours now, teafortwo, so I'll be back after DD's bath! smile

teafortwo Fri 12-Sep-08 21:39:51

Really - you cried mankymummy? Thank you for your tears. They mean a lot!

Twelvelegs - snigger snigger - Are you asking how the thread works in general or are you responding to my writing? Either...

a) You chat about how you write, what you are writing and read each others ideas and comments. Please join in!


b) She isn't actually going to post the letter!!!! Ha ha ha!!!! Do you ask because think it would improve the plot if she did???? blush

Thanks for reading and commenting. It is nice to test things out on an audience when you are so new to all this type type typing!!!!

QuintessentialShadow Fri 12-Sep-08 21:57:14


I also started a novel at the point after just having died. I am dead between boulders on a building site between the mainroad and the sea, and as it is Christmas day, I am pondering life as it happens in all the big modern windows in the new development. And as it is 24 hour dark here, nobody can see me for days!

How bizarre! I had the whole synopsis in my head, but never got past the second chapter as it depressed even me! (And it scared me, all those thoughts and emotions that it opened for.)

You should keep it going, it is an interesting story!

mankymummy Sat 13-Sep-08 14:03:14

Guess its not such an original theme then Quintessential !!! wink

would love to read your start.... grin

QuintessentialShadow Sat 13-Sep-08 19:32:18

I only have it in Norwegian, lol! grin

I'm back! Everyone seems to have moved on, getting all creative and I feel a bit lost! Had a few nights off, but I'm back to it tonight. Really want to get this finished in time to send off at the end of the month.

teafortwo I thought that was beautiful. The emotions in it are really deep, I can almost fell what the mother is feeling. The only thing I would change is the bits where it says no a beach hut, no a log cabin. I thought it would be cool if you had them struck out instead, like it was a train of thought. Hope you don't mind me saying! blush

How's everybody else getting on?

blush again - feel

teafortwo Sat 13-Sep-08 22:49:23

Charchargabor nice to hear from you.

Thanks for your feedback - I wondered that too and actually Iris does strike things out later and I thought it would match that - Do you know how to strike out on word? So far it just says (crossed out) because I don't know how to do it.

I want it to feel a bit manic. I want Iris to be a bit of a Ruby Tuesday character so the striking out would add to that vibe.

Tonight I watched the film Volver and now feel a little silly trying to write about Motherhood when it is done so perfectly in that film. What has a daft blonde like me got to say about being a Mum? I really can't write anything tonight. The film was too good.

teafortwo Mon 15-Sep-08 10:21:47

So... how are your writing projects going? Anyone mad any big leaps forward this wkd?

Psychobabble Mon 15-Sep-08 11:51:50

hello, sorry been absent. Things are busy here. I don't think this has been added to the topic list yet but we can still keep it going!

I liked your second story tea, I did get the sense that your character was a bit manic, I thought there were some moving bits in there as well.

My story is coming together nicely, I need to bump the word count up a bit but I am pleased with it, I definitely think it is the best thing I have written. I will need to start something new soon but have no inspiration.

Does anyone else keep a writers notebook? I have one that I write in before bed and I'm finding it useful.

matildax Mon 15-Sep-08 13:34:47

i do psycho, its really handy, as some great thoughts come to mind just when im drifting off to sleep, and i have made the mistake of saying to myself, "i will remember that in the morning, and write it down"

i never remember!! lol grin
so the notebook, is my new best friend.

very bust here, getting ready for our week away, hopefully i will get some writing done there. however my course starts 2nd oct, so hoping things start again (writing wise) very soon.
hope everyone else, is having a good day, and are writing future classics as i type!! wink

matildax Mon 15-Sep-08 13:35:45

lol i meant busy!!!! blush
although i am very skint also sad

vonsudenfed Mon 15-Sep-08 13:39:20

So are we going to start a new thread in the new topic, or carry on here? Glad everyone's getting along with the writing. I've been in a bit of a rut, but tonight I am working away! I would like a writer's notebook, I'm always thinking of things when I'm about to fall asleep and forgetting them by morning!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hi Storm. Have you made your organic sash yet? I have been wearing mine around town today, but it's weird, people don't seem to be very receptive to it. wink

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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