On Speed Writing II

Happy news that I’ve had another win this week, on the Write-On-Site site, with a piece I found a lot of fun to write. The piece was called ‘Baby Brain’ and there’s a link on my ‘Ones that Won’ page. It’s a great site because you find out if you’ve won just a few mins before the next competition starts. After I entered this week several things struck me: that I was shattered, buzzing and quite amazed at how the imagination works. At 5.30pm I sat down to wait for the prompt. I chose ‘Head Over Heels’, and really had no ideas for a whole minute (a long time in my overactive mind) then in wandered a character, who I could then place in a situation, who then met several other characters, and then a plot was born. For 30 minutes I wrote like a fury and edited as I went along, found the ending along the way, gave it a final edit in the last few mins, thought up a title (I struggle with titles) and there was a story. Will it make the shortlist? Maybe. If it doesn’t, I don’t mind because I created soemthing real. Those characters now exist, the street exists, and it didn’t at 5.29pm on Saturday. I can even see them all… It’s like magic, really, and one reason I love these ‘forced’ writing exercises, you may not write the perfect sentence, some may argue they encourage ‘bad’ writing, but they also open up an area of the brain that flicks on and sparks with electricity and creates real, live magic. It’s exhausting but enormous fun.

Last week I also entered my piece for the first round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. Fingers crossed I make it to Round 2…

Happy Monday to everyone. It’s howly windy outside my house today and I’m holed up at my desk, with a poorly cat by the fire. He’s wearing one of those big plastic collars and looks like a very grumpy Elizabethan lion.


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I'm a writer living in the NE of Scotland. I write short stories, flash fiction and to date, three novels as practice ones. I've won a few competitions and been published in a few places, and I've been shortlisted too... My stories have been described as easily readable, but with serious themes. I'm finding my own unique voice as a writer and it becomes clearer every day. I'm a mum of two young children and have a partner who is very supportive. I give English tuition to anyone who needs it and I drive taxis part time. In between being a keen cook and making ignoring housework a new hobby, I write. I manage a few hours a day during a good week and one day I'd LOVE to spend a week or so on a writers' retreat. Having said that, the busier I am, the more I write. I like working under pressure (hence my attendance on sites such as 'Hour of Writes' and 'Write-Invite') and it never ceases to amaze me what pops out of my head when I sit down to a blank screen. I am a member of a writer's group called Mearns Writers, a lovely bunch of (slightly bonkers and thoroughly interesting) people indeed. I'm trying to build an on line life as I believe most writers nowadays need to have a readily availble 'CV' in the form of a blog/twitter account/social media page and though I would rather spend time writing stories I suppose it's time I collated my successes and made a page that, hopefully, a publisher/agent will read one day. Happy reading!

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