Say What You Mean!

March 8, 2015
Many years ago I turned on the tv late one evening and came across a very strange show.  It was a comedy but with no canned laughter.  The actors - who were meant to be real people - spoke straight to camera a lot of the time. The rest of the time they didn’t seem to be saying anything particular.  Just sort of... wandering around...in a strangely compulsively-viewing way.  Was this a joke, I wondered?  I thought I liked it but it was a bit weird.  But then I am weird.  Then I laughed a lot.  Then I wondered - am I meant to laugh at that?  Is this actually real - or is this scripted?  Not sure... what I had stumbled upon late that night was The Office.  And the rest, of course, is history.  Then along came Twenty Twelve, shortly followed by W1A.  Genius writing.  I was soon listening to every conversation I could subtly over-hear, where ever I was, at any given timeIn B and Q (other decorating stores are available - although probably not as orange) I heard one worker say to the other
‘Yeah...yeah..yeah... No.’.  What does that mean?  Did his friend understand what he was saying?  Did he care?  

The more you listen, the more you hear these half-said sentences, half-thought comments that are verbalised for the mere sake of making a noise.  When did this happen?  Did it sneak in somewhere between 1998 and 2002 when no-one was looking but that new-fangled devil-machine The Internet was in full swing distorting our children’s minds and corrupting adult conventions? Possibly. No wonder the older generation has no idea what the mid-younger generation is saying - because these days they’re not actually saying anything.  In a shop:
You: ‘Oh, no bag thanks.’
Till Person: ‘Would you like a bag?’ (till person gets a bag)
You: ‘No, really, it’s fine. No bag.’
Till Person: ‘You don’t want a bag?’ (thinks: why is this so difficult to understand?) (Till person gets a bag)
You: 'Thanks.’ (unpack everything from bag you didn’t want)

Is it me?

W1A writer John Morton must have an amazing ear for human speech because so much of what you hear in his W1A script you know is realYou know someone somewhere has actually said - or rather not said - those words.
So how do you write that in a novel?  How do you write that in a novel so that it is realistic?  How do you write that in a novel so that it is believable? Ever read a novel and thought ‘No one speaks like that!’ ? Me too. Loads. Loads and loads and loads. Perhaps we should pay more attention to listening to people than to plotting the plot or planning the downfall of the main character. But it is so hard.
Along time ago, I once heard someone say ‘Less Is More.’  How stupid, I thought. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
But oh, how I get it now!

The Book Trust

Back to Basics - Speech Writing

Write To Done

 

From Lilttle Acorns

February 23, 2015

I was delighted recently, when doing some research via an Astrology site, that not only could my gay or lesbian friends (does their sexuality actually matter?  I mean - really?!) get a concise prediction of their week ahead, but so could my cat or dog.  Phew. What a relief.  And I thought they’d been missing out all these years.  I was offered Daily, Weekly or Monthly stars, and either furry friend too was offered Daily Cat or Daily Dog.  Liking all things to be as equal as possible in ever...


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Crime

February 19, 2015

Humping a friend’s horse’s manure into a bucket the other day, I wondered if there might be a story in it.  The poo-picking, not the bucket.  Black Beauty and My Little Pony must have started somewhere, I pondered.  A sunny day, an isolated farm... was this the beginning of a crime novel I saw before me?   Would we find a body under the wood shavings?  Maybe it would be the Horse What Done It, so there’d be no case to answer - unless said horse had been led astray and those powerful hoo...


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FREYA BEING FREYA

February 3, 2015

Hello again, and welcome to this week's blog.  Below are the words of author Thomas Ullman, English but based in Sweden, where his erotic novel Freya Being Freya is based.  For a review of this book, please see my Indie Review Page.  It's a great book - and if you don't usually read erotica, this book could genuinely change your mind.  Surely any book that is based on a true Nordic Goddess who goes shopping in Ikea HAS to be worth a read!

WRITING ‘FREYA BEING FREYA.’

Back in 2012 I was und...


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And The Winner Really Is.. Susi Dillon

January 26, 2015

Hello and welcome back.  This week I am lucky to have Writers' Forum competition winner Susi Dillon blogging about her determination to succeed.  Read her WoW below. (C'mon - catch up! - Words of Wisdom!  And I don't mean Norman.)
Over to you Susi…

I first started writing almost fifteen years ago. I’d been reading some pretty rubbishy books, so I thought how hard can it be? I signed up for a correspondence course advertised in many of the upmarket newspapers and magazines. A couple of week...


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Writing Historical Fiction by Jennie Dobson

January 19, 2015
Author Jennie Dobson writes as guest blogger this week, discussing the difficulties faced when writing an historical novel.

It’s very popular at the moment – historical fiction. The eagerly awaited dramatisation of Hilary Mantel’s double Booker prize-winners Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is about to appear on our television screens with a stellar cast, lavish costumes and breathtaking locations. Philippa Gregory’s novel, The King’s Curse is the latest in a long list of books that...

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Competition Delight

January 12, 2015

Here we are in 2015 and so much clutter - real and virtual - has gathered like unwanted tinsel under the tree, so it must be time for a clear out.  With writing magazines and writing sites offering the possibility that their competitions will ensure that, for you, This Is The Year To Succeed (clearly not just the sole preserve of a parrot) and a proliferation of New Year writing competitions that hit my in-box daily,  I thought I’d share them here with you.

So c’mon - chop chop! Those sto...


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ALL RISE. DEBBIE YOUNG BLOGS!

December 16, 2014

This week, please welcome accomplished writer, blogger and Alliance of Independent Authors member, Debbie Young.

t:   @DebbieYoungBN

Like Jacci, I have the classic author's habit of spotting moments in real life that spark story ideas. As with Frankenstein’s monster, these sparks go on ignite new life with an energy of their own, and subtly different from their real-life origins.

I’ve always had the instincts of a newshound, nurtured by my earlier career in jou...


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You Couldn't Make It Up

December 8, 2014

Although that is the point, isn’t?  As a writer, I mean.  Making it up.  Making it up as you go along? Y’know - if Plan A has failed to work (that character you had been busy creating for so long turned out to be a Persona Non Grata after all, causing your plot to disintegrate before you’d even started) then you have to switch to Plan B. ie: Make It Up As You Go Along.

A friend of mine, a father of twin daughters, was set-upon by said lovelies after a long day at work, demanding that th...


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Guest Blog: Please Welcome Maria Green

December 2, 2014

This week I am very pleased to say that American writer, Maria Green, has agreed to offer a few words of wisdom.  Thank you Maria - over to you….

I think reading is an incredibly important pass time. So is writing. And they are important enough to foster a love for each early in life.

Whether you want to be a writer or not, in my opinion, reading is a priceless hobby. Reading can transport readers into whole new worlds, different time periods, increase vocabulary, decrease stress, and so muc...


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