Current Work: Non-Fiction, Editorials and Drafting
Listening to: The Saturday Play - Ripley Underground (Listen Again R4)
Reading: Its a Simon Brett, but I can't remember the title at this time!
Developing My Style
As you know I like to plan. I have a yearly writing plan which I review every month, with targets, actions and probably some pretty unattainable stuff. Entering competitions is one of these said targets. Not because I think I can win, but usually because it provides some inspiration (as well as a time nudge) to develop my writing style. For instance I've never really thought about writing for children. The influence of becoming a grandparent has probably softened my stance and today I submitted a story for the Wind in the Willows Short Story Competition. Not that my writing could be compared for one nano second with Wind in the Willows. I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea. But writing for a different age group does help you look at your style, differently. I suppose that should go for any genre, but particularly so for children. Language for certain, the faddish words of the day, things they definitily wouldn't say that trip from your lips like members of the family. Imagery is another, the world they live in isn't the same as ours. So I imagine that to attract a young reader you need to enter their world but make it a little different. As I'm writing this, I'm sure I haven't done any of those things. But as you know, I do like a good 'post mortem' on my writing endeavours. I did enjoy the experience, in fact I spent a good part of my weekend working on it to meet the deadline, so...
Finding a Critical Voice
I always read my writing out loud, which really shows up the lumps and bumps. But there is nothing like a second voice. One that can be critical but helpful, one that can spot the inconsistencies of character and time, those who have not a care about the writing but care about your craft. I have that second voice and unusually it is my Man Friday. I don't suppose many relationships could withstand the expectations of either, but for us it works. Perhaps working together and now writing together helps. It is also essential.
Here is to a good week for the written word.