Thursday, 8 November 2007

Remembering my original claim that I was going to share something of my experience as a new writer on this blog, I thought I should say something about that, as well as asking questions about life, society, writing - and important matters like how to use italics in a blog!

I write murder stories that seem to develop in one of two ways. I don't start at the beginning of a story and work chronologically (or any sort of logically) through to the end but begin by writing the exciting, dramatic scenes first. They're the most fun! Then I go back and fill in everything else, like plot and characters.

I may start writing with a murder scene. This raises questions. Who was the victim? Why was this person killed? Who was the killer? The story spins off from there.

Alternatively, I might begin with a discovery. A body is found. Who found it? Who was the victim? Why were they killed? Who was the killer? And I'm away.

It becomes a question of problem solving, like a kind of jigsaw to fit characters, motivation and opportunity together into a plausible story. I love the challenge of solving the difficulties this raises and am in the middle of one right now. A body has been found in an unlikely place. How did it get there? who is it? why? - I'm stumped for a plausible plot line, and having enormous fun trying to work out something good.

I love the idea that I need never ever be bored again, for the rest of my life, because there's always some problem to resolve.

So if you see someone with a faraway, slightly deranged look in their eyes, muttering to themselves, it could be me, working out how the body got there..... Best not say hello, it might be someone else who is demented, talking to themselves and gazing wildly round not seeing what's in front of them, lost in another world altogether.

I'd hate to have to do this to a deadline! Oh, and it beats doing crosswords. I was never any good at them anyway.

75 comments:

Julie said...

Leigh -

Good morning and good post - er, have you thought of collating some of these posts/your replies(when you've got a spare minute?!) as a novice writer guide or whatever - they are virtually a book in their own right...

ANNA-LYS said...

Hello,
Tnx for visiting our community blog MuseArt!!! I will be back looking into the content here after work today / to night.

(( hug ))

StuckInABook said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! And thanks for the link to yours. Always interesting to read what goes on the minds of authors...

Mima said...

I'm really glad that writing is such an enjoyable experience for you, it must be such a treat to do something that you love so much every day. I think that is a chance that most people dream of.

FANCY said...

Hello Leigh...

The blog you are visit are created by many bloggers :)...if you want to visit me in my own blog you have to click on FANCY SWEDEN ;-)

You are so welcome into MuseArt but I don't stand for everything who is created there sometimes I'm the one who is the reflecting writer...;)

Pleas stay in touch...:)

Bill Clark said...

OMG, Leigh, your comments positively sparkle with italicised brilliance!! And also such boldness! 'Ray!!

Have you noticed the colo[u]r palette above the text window in which you write your blogs? If you select a word or sentence (highlight it with your cursor) and then click on the palette and pick a colo[u]r, you can make your language even more colo[u]rful than it already is.

Glad you were able to get the little man inside your computer to do the italics for you. What a difference a day can make, no?

Leigh Russell said...

Now you're having me on, Bill, because I DON'T HAVE A COLO(U)R PALETTE of any spelling above this box. I'm just going to stomp off grumpily (nothing to do with you, I have to see 43 sets of parents tonight!!!!!! AND what's even WORSE is that I HAVEN'T got a colo(u)r palette and I WANT ONE!!!!!!) I bet that silly coloUr palette is staring me right in the face.... and I've made an idiot of myself again. Huh. (I'll feel better once this evening's over. If I survive it!)

Leigh Russell said...

JULIE - er, no. But thank you for the encouragement. It's good to hear from you.
Keep in touch

ANNA-LYS - hallo!!! Please keep visiting. It's great to hear from bloggers around the world.

STUCKINABOOK - had to visit. What a name! I'm glad you came out for long enough to say hallo. What are you reading right now?

MIMA - Yes, Mima, I'm lucky to have stumbled on something I enjoy so much and very lucky to have found a publisher. I feel as though I've been granted a licence to keep on scribbling.... Keep in touch.

FANCY - like I said to Anna-Lys, it's great to hear from bloggers in other places. Keep visiting.

BILL - already replied to you, old blogbuddy Blog soon.

Aggie said...

I haven't read all your blog, but 43 sets of parents??? A teacher? (I work for a school)
Good luck with the writing ... I love a good murder mystery.

Julie said...

Thanks - I felt inspired last night to move beyond the confines of a scenic blog and set up a second one with more space to be creative.

By the way, noticed that the smaller image on your post may be within the limit for uploading to profile, if that's any help.

Also, does anyone know if I need to reset to 'anyone' (plus comment moderation?) rather than 'registered users only' on the comment settings as friends start to look in?

43 sets of parents...phew....

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Julie, I would like to put the image on my profile. Can you tell me how to do that? Having conquered italics I feel confident enough to try something else. SIMPLE IDIOT PROOF INSTRUCTIONS ONLY, PLEASE.
Leigh

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Hi Leigh, let me know when Julie answers your question please. And yes, just nod once for yes and twice for no... or was it twice for yes...

I've given up trying, I think I have a little gremlin in my computer (or maybe it's just silly old me).

Have you seen the link of your blog I've put up on my page? I like to come over sometimes and just thought I'd make it easy for myself to get here. I'm proud that I've managed to do that.

I know that others reading this are saying, 'just how stupid is she?' but be gentle with me, I really do find it difficult to figure out computer fancy stuff.

Leigh Russell said...

I've read about links on other people's blogs... I thought the little people in their computers must like wearing chains. Does it mean something else as well?

word of warning - I don't think the little men inside the computers like to be called gremlins.... beware. We can't afford to upset them.

I'm off to your blog right now to check out the link. How exciting that you have a link to me! Now we're real blogbuddies. (I make no apologies for sounding like I'm back in primary school. I'm having too much fun to care...)

Bill Clark said...

It's a gra[e]y day here in Greenwich, CT, US of A, but the colo[u]r in your blog brightens my day! :-)

Leigh Russell said...

Is that a poem, Bill?

Alis said...

Really responding to Wednesday's post 'where do you get your ideas' is something I blogged about recently (2 Nov, just in case you or anybody else are interested, Leigh) By the way, that's quite a collection of blogbuddies you've got - i'm jealous!

The World According to Me said...

I'll bear that in mind, next time I see someone with a slightly deranged look in their eyes. And I may just say; "Leigh, is that you?"

I am so looking forward to reading Cut Short.

Leigh Russell said...

Ditch the jealousy, Alis, there's plenty of room - come join in! The more the merrier and fellow writers are always welcome.

Yes, my select group of blogbuddies are a fantastic group. I'm always pleased to hear from them. Please feel free to join us.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Yeahhhh.. I'm sending you virtual spit in this handshake. Be sure to spit on it and send it back.

THEN we'll be 'propa blog mates'

WARNING: human spit can contain germs which may contaminate your hard drive causing computer 'gremlins' (which we aren't meant to mention) to go bonkers. This may or may not result in them shaving all their beards off, before taking up arms and doing 'postals' on zoos located near and around busy city centres. NOTE: Human spit may contain spit.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Anne
On the spit may contain spit comment - My friend saw a warning printed on a food packet. The warning said: "may contain nuts". Fair enough, you might think, but the warning appeared on a packet of peanuts........
Sad but true. I don't know which is worse, the gr*mlins or the bureaucrats. At least the gr*emlins perform a useful function, when they're behaving themselves.

(Do you think my *s fooled them?)

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, world according to you! That's really encouraging. You've inspired me to stop blogging and do some writing. Procrastination mode OFF!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

uh huh. Just be certain that it's P.C otherwise the you know whos could notify their union, THEN where would we be?

I couldn't stand all that demonstratin' and suing stuff, them blockin' and disablin' me keyboard an' mekin' ev'thing doin' the op'site of what ah tell them to do. The deafenin' oohing and the arhing whenever I try to post a link, (and that's just me).

I'd rather they just not find out that we been talking 'bout them be-ind theirs backs...

Leigh, there can be just one thing wrong here, I'm trying to put off writing, so I'm chatting about nonsense.

I'm off to London tomorrow to the Penguin publishers' headquarters. (No, I wish it was what you're thinking). I'm going to a talk about writing books and getting them published. God willing, I hope make some contacts. Maybe I'll come back and say that I have.

Julie said...

Oh, wow ... I go away for a few minutes to hoover my blog and this place snowballs! G'day everyone.

Leigh (aw, the colours gone!) -

(I've forgotten how to do this....) - RIGHT click on a SMALL photo already on your POST page look at the list that comes up. Look down the list and you'll see the line about copy image location (which location is hopefully somewhere on your computer). Select that, and it should copy for you automatically.

(Note that under 'properties' at the bottom of that list(?) you'll be told the file size - think it should be under 12kb to load to profile??)


Now, go to your 'view my complete profile' bar - your layouts different to mine so not sure where it is. You know, where all the bits are about what you read, music etc.

Select EDIT my profile.
Look down the page until you come to the 'stick in photo here line'...URL and all that, which stands for uniform resource locator or some such like....select that slot with right(?)mouse - select PASTE as you would normally - and a line of gobbeldygoog should appear.

Leave well alone at this point; just go straight to the finish or whatever button at the bottom - and a line will flash up telling you that it is fetching the picture. Wait for it to load. If that goes off fairly soon, its worked - go straight to the top of the page and
click on view updated blog - don't try and quit the page another way.

This worked for me - but my images were probably smaller than yours in the first place. My level of understanding runs out at file manipulation for all the different types.

Sorry this is so long - scrap it if it doesn't work, and I'll have a rethink.

All the best, and thanks - this contact has shoved me into jumping beyond journaling into writing more journalistically.
A shade predictable at the mo, but its a start - see blog within a blog over at my place. You were right - write what you enjoy and be yourself....

Julie

Bill Clark said...

"A poem should not mean, but be."

Thus spake Robert Frost (I think).

Since my entry of earlier today was meant to have meaning (as it were), I suspect it's not a poem.

Still, you never know! ;-)

palette48 said...

It seems like starting a novel would be a daunting undertaking. It is very interesting to hear how you develop your storyline. Writing is so foreign to me and I totally respect anyone who can do it and do it well.

Leigh Russell said...

ANNE - They have a union? How can you refer to discussion of them as "nonsense", knowing what you just told me?

Good luck at Penguins. I wish I was coming with you! Who runs the course and how did you find out about it? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you meet someone who turns out to be a life changing contact... you never know... Drop by and let me know how you get on, please.

JULIE - g'day to you too! Hoovering again... just as well you can't see the state of my carpets. You'd never blog with me again! Thanks for the instructions. I tried, tried, and tried again but the little man in my computer (or gremlins according to Anne) won't do it for me. Never mind, eh? I'll let you get on with your hoovering now...

BILL - ;)

PALETTE48 - Thank you for your kind comment. I dropped by to have another look at your pictures and saw some yummy food! I hope you had a great birthday celebration for the BF.

BooksPlease said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. It's very interesting to read how authors go about writing. I particularly like the idea of writing the exciting bits first, but do you then find it difficult to link it all up?

I like the cover of your new book - it does suggest she is being stalked I think and it certainly does say danger.

Julie said...

Hmmmm - funny that,

I spent the first two days trying to get that empty line in edit profile to swallow whatever code I was sticking into it - didn't bite until I tried the image location line and it shot through.

What about loading up an ordinary digital shot as an experiment, though suppose you might get stuck with it.

Out of interest, do you set yourself limits for a days work or just go with the flow? xxxx words or whatever?

Leigh Russell said...

BOOKSPLEASE - Thank you for your interest in my writing. Strangely, I don't find it difficult to link the exciting parts. I really enjoy the challenge of making the whole kaleidoscope of characters and events fit together into a satisfying whole.

One issue I have with the "in between" parts is wanting to guard against my writing becoming boring. I suspect my first book may be a bit too "action packed". Once I realised it was actually going to be published and I was (hopefully) no longer writing for an audience of one (myself) I may have gone a little overboard trying not to be dull.... I was relieved when my police contact confirmed that the average number of murders in a year in my area is vastly fewer than the number that happen in my book!

Thank you for your comments on my cover. It's amazing to receive so many helpful comments about it - and a relief that most people seem to like it.

JULIE - Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I feel terrible admitting that I've decided to give up on the picture for now. just between us, I'm going to wait until the gremlins have forgotten... lull them into a state of false security, then - whooomph! I'll do it. Don't know how, don't know when...

limits for a day's work? When I started writing in earnest I wrote compulsively. With no idea how or why my writing had begun, I worried that if I stopped even for a day, I might never resume. I felt anxious until I'd completed 2,000 words a day, every day, without fail. Each evening I'd check my word count and kept a tally of my total for each book, and an overall grand total which I amended each day. This continued for months, until my total approached half a million words. It's an indication of how I've calmed down that I couldn't find that list just now and had to check my word count on the front of a couple of MS to estimate the current total.

My first MS is with the editor now so I don't want to get too involved in another story (although there are two plots crashing around in my head, clamouring to get out) so I'm mentally free to consider her suggestions when they arrive.

I think I feel confident enough now to take a break, write when I have time, and not stress when I don't write for a day or two... (and of course, I've discovered a new addiction - blogging!) When ideas stop beating a path from my brain to my fingers, then I'll stop writing, but I can't see that happening any time soon. This is all far too exciting! I should have put all this in a post, shouldn't I? I'll probably pillage it when I'm stuck for an idea next week!

Thank you again for your interest and keep in touch.

Ella said...

I like the idea of never being bored again. My career will be in law so I can imagine IMMENSE boredom!

A few years ago (I think I was 16-ish) I dreamt about a guy called Oliver. I'd never met this person, it was just an image I conjured up in a room. Whenever I got bored, I would think about Oliver and what was going on his life. He ended up with a love-life, career, issues, the lot! It might sound a bit weird/crazy but it was so fun to have a character in my head that I could tell anything to - he was a bit like a diary with a life of his own.

Okay, I accept I'm weird!

Leigh Russell said...

Hi ELLA
You're not weird, you're a writer who hasn't started writing.
As for the law - at least you'll always be able to pay your bills. Don't knock it, girl.
Thanks for visiting and keep in touch.

Julie said...

Leigh, this is fascinating, and thanks for the lengthy reply. I'm not sure what I could sustain over a piece of structured writing.

I'm guessing from what you've said that you weren't regularly journaling before you started writing? I know writer(s)who don't journal because it takes too much energy out of the writing,(guess that could apply to blogging taken too seriously!) and suppose it depends what you journal/blog for, as well...

Leave that one with you. I know a good gremlin charmer, if you need one....

Leigh Russell said...

JULIE - I have to come clean here and admit my astonishing ignorance by asking a really stupid question. What is journaling?

In answer to your question (I think) I didn't write anything until I started this year, since when I haven't been able to stop.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've found the "Question and Answer" part of writing to be tremendous fun as well. It's almost like an internal dialogue with yourself.

Thanks for visiting me at Razored Zen. Good stuff here.

Julie said...

Well, I guess that answers my question!!

Now, look me in the (metaphoric) eye and tell you were pulling my leg -

....and if you're not, a diary is about what you do, a journal is about who you are, to put it simply...weblog is a journal variant, I suppose.

Some writers use them to develop themes, to dump the spare plots in their head...more emotionally expressive than a diary.

Get my drift? Type 'journaling' into your interests and you'll get all the aspiring writer types you want!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, JULIE and no, I wasn't pulling your leg (equally metaphorically) just plain iggerant.

I've never 'journalled'. Does that account for my not really knowing who I am? I've had such different life experiences in my time so far. I'm very different now to the strange little person I was in my teens, for example. And in the past year my life has completely transformed since I discovered a passion for writing... but I suppose that's about what is happening to me, not about me.

Who am I? Hell, I don't know and I don't think I particularly care to try and pin it down. One day I might be a confident, feisty, positive woman, out there doing what I can, the next day I could be feeling insecure, weary and cautious about where I'm going. I watch the world through constantly changing eyes. Right now, all I want to do is keep writing.

Is that a cowardly answer?

Julie said...

LEIGH...

(Thanks, JULIE and no, I wasn't pulling your leg (equally metaphorically) just plain iggerant.)

....Oh, sorry - usual thing of getting stuck into an introverts specialism and thinking everybody knows about it!...(you've come across Myer's Briggs types?)

I've never 'journalled'. Does that account for my not really knowing who I am?

That's a good question...what I really meant was that journaling is supposed to get a bit deeper under the skin than a been-there-done-that-bought-the
t-shirt diary.

I've had such different life experiences in my time so far.

ditto...

I'm very different now to the strange little person I was in my teens, for example. And in the past year my life has completely transformed since I discovered a passion for writing... but I suppose that's about what is happening to me, not about me.

..to some extent one and the same?

Who am I? Hell, I don't know and I don't think I particularly care to try and pin it down. One day I might be a confident, feisty, positive woman, out there doing what I can, the next day I could be feeling insecure, weary and cautious about where I'm going. I watch the world through constantly changing eyes. Right now, all I want to do is keep writing.

Is that a cowardly answer?

Nope - very honest. Lot of writers and artists have a wave like course, I guess. Journaling can give more sense of continuity tho....

btw, I just quickly checked through a couple of hundred journaling entries, but didn't come up with a great deal.

fizzycat said...

Very good advice for new writers. As for the bracelets hmm had forgotten how fiddly they are to do, patience bracelet would be a better name.

Lapa said...

crime... in my blog

Julie said...

Just in case....

My gremlin charmer said under no account deselect 'registered users only' for comments as there are a lot of robotic gremlins out there that look for unguarded loopholes. He knows what he's talking about.

Christina said...

I was interested in trying my hand at mystery, but it feels like a whole new ball park. You are right, it feels impossible to write a good synopsis. Everything I've done I feel like I should have a jig with. I guess I'm just going to have to struggle a little bit and hope to get the attention of an agent. Thanks for making me laugh with your Hamlet synopsis.

LA Day said...

Leigh,
What a unique approach. I sometimes jump around if I become stuck on a scene but I've never tried to write like that.
I would probably make a mess of it.

I love to hear how other authors approach their work.

Kim said...

It was very sweet of you to comment on my blog, Leigh. Thank you for the encouragement!

The cover art for your book looks terrific, will be looking for it this spring!! (You DID say April, right? LOL)~

Sue Nicholson said...

Hi Leigh :)

Just dropped by to leave a quick message. I will return but much later on after a family day.

Not sure what you mean re my "other blog"? Do you mean my web site? Or maybe it is another person who shares the same name and that's whay I can't find your first comment :D

Either way . . . I'll be back.

And well done you on your first published book! Are you on Amazon yet? If not just wait until you are . . . it will really hit you then.

Enjoy you day Sue

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Do you watch a lot of crime dramas too? We like Morse, Between the lines, Sherlock Holmes, The Sweeney to name but a few

Vicki said...

Great post! Normally I do write from beginning to end but this current wip has been different. I can to a place where I knew what was going to happen in oh say three chapters later but I wasn't sure what to do to get there.

So, I wrote what I knew. Guess what? After doing those scenes they showed me exactly what I needed too do in order to get to them. :)

It's been different for me to say the least but I'm loving this wip.

Starting with a murder or such and finding out the info on the way sounds really cool.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and as far as the widget - well, it's a placecard holder for your different information on the sidebar. At least that's what I belive it is. :)

Have a great Sunday!

Leigh Russell said...

Thank you for visiting.

CHARLES - Yes, there is an internal dialogue taking place but for me the dialogue is between the characters. My role, as it were, is to report their conversation and actions. Is that what you mean?

FIZZY - The name is immaterial, I only have to look at your beads and I want to play with them, touch them, wear them.... They are an art form.

LAPA - Hi and thank you for visiting. I tried to repay the compliment but as I don't speak your language, sadly, I couldn't understand a word on your blog. I am so excited at receiving visits from all around the world. Thank you.

JULIE - Where do I find a gremlin charmer?. (I'm afraid my days of being able to charm anyone are long gone...so this could be just what I need!)

CHRISTINA - have a jig? Hmmmm. I'm being a bit dense, I know, but I think I need more information, please. It sounds like fun and I hate to miss out.

LA DAY - I make a HUGE mess - you have no idea! I end up with piles of paper and I always get in a horrible muddle before I sort it all out. Checking through my first MS the night before I was due to hand it over to my publisher, I discovered someone reading the notes they made in a meeting that took place about 3 chapters further on....

KIM - thank you for your lovely comments.

SUE - I hope the family day was brilliant. There's nothing better. As for Amazon, I think that's going to deserve its own post. Let's just say, I've been hit. I have a lot more to say about that experience.

WISDOM - I was hoping no one would ask this. I love Dalziel & Pascoe, Silent Witness, occcasionally the glamour queens of CSI, PD James, and.... no!!!.... I can't admit to my penchant for Murder She Wrote...

fizzycat said...

Yes almost Christmas card time again amazingly this years card has arrived. We know ( know a postie) that some posties take the mail home on some days ( bizarre) as they do two deliveries some days ( thay start at 1/2 5 at the sorting office.)Thus they do not wish to be doing two deliveries ( um isn't that the job) so home it goes. So if you have a day without mail when something should be arriving thats probably the reason why ( although they have a massive backlog to deliver at present.)

steve said...

I just discovered this blog through Charles Gramlich's. And your discussion of writing murder stories reminded me of reading Edmund Wilson's 1945 essay, "Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd." One of Wilson's complaints about detective fiction was that it rarely if ever dealt with any crime other than murder. Conan Doyle and his contemporaries wrote about all kinds of crime. In "The Yellow Face," Sherlock Holmes discovers there was no crime at all.

It's been over sixty years since Wilson's essay, and I don't think anything has changed. Is it even possible to write crime fiction which does not involve murder and get published?

Charles Gramlich said...

Leigh, sometimes the internal dialogue I'm talking about is between characters, but often times it's between me and me. Not in a split personality way. But me asking a question consciously, and my unconsicious generating a response.

Julie said...

Leigh, tired -

See ya'll tomorrow

Did you say you wanted a gremlin charmer or a charming gremlin?

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

PS - Ooops - watser name text wouldn't load.

'I'm itching to read Proust was a Neuroscientist' - follow the links through Stuck-in-a-Books blog for Virginia Woolf(?) on the side bar.
Review's helpfully explanatory.

It's about the dual mind theory among other things.

Off now.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Hi Leigh, Well I'm back and all dusted from London.

The 'writing your own novel' day,was co-hosted by Penguin and a glossy magazine called 'eve'. Last year I did a fashion show in London with this mag, and since then have been very involved in the events they regularly put on.

'The writing your own novel' event is an annual one. They have a featured author and editors, marketing managers, agents, etc who work with Penguin to give various talks and excercises. You pay a fee and anyone can apply. I don't think that it's something you'd like because it is geared towards people who have not yet published their work. It was very informative, as they explained the whole life cycle of a book. I was surprised at some of the marketing strategies used by the large publishing houses.

If you do want to go, I'll let you know when the next one is going to be. I did speak to a few people, but don't feel as if I've made any concrete contacts...

Mel said...

I absolutely love the cover. I'm a sucker for details, especially if they tie in real well with the book.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by the blog.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Steve and thank you for visiting my blog.

Is it even possible to write crime fiction which does not involve murder and get published?

I've no idea about that.

I do include other crimes in my thrillers - burglary, theft, domestic violence, to name a few - as well as murders.

One of the features of my writing is that I write the narrative in the voices of different characters. They come from all different walks of life and each has his or her own individual vocabulary and style of language. The characters have their own views on the story as it unfolds.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing murder plots is the challenge of creating a character who is plausible, and yet motivated to kill another human being. Why would anyone do that? How could they?

I don't write murders to sell books (although I hope they do!) I write them because the characters interest me. To begin with I found the villains more fun to write than the good guys, but I've given my detective (who is the link character in the series) a backstory, which I'm getting quite excited about.

Christina said...

I was being a little silly there. A jig would probably just piss the agents off, but what I meant was have my story come to them with someone to sing and dance the story line. I'm at the point where I'm very flustered. I can't seem to properly put into a short paper what the greater story tells.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Hi Leigh, thanks for your comment on my blog. I don't start at the beginning either, I never know where the beginning or end are until I've know what happens in the middle. Sounds crazy to some people but I think you'll understand. Difference between you and me is, I don't necessarily start with a dramatic scene, often a kind of mid-level one then work up and down from there. In my first completed novel I wrote the most dramatic scenes last, although that may not be the case for the next one.

Leigh Russell said...

Thank you again to everyone for your comments.

JULIE - Thanks for the suggestion. I'll follow that link (if I can find it.... this virtual world is still all a bit of a maze to me - come to think of it, so is the 'real' world)

ANNE - sounds very interesting. Maybe we could go together next year? (assuming you have an existence other than your virtual one. You certainly don't sound like a gremlin!)

MEL - thank you for your encouraging comment.

CHRIS - what's wrong with being a little silly? If I stopped that, I'd never do anything but eat porridge and wear a warm scarf.... Seriously, I love the idea of oding a jig to agents. Is that where I've been going wrong? Must practise my jigging!

ZINNIA - I like the idea of working up and down from a middle point. It sounds very sane and organised, somehow. I'm not sure I've attained the middle ground yet. My narratives tend to lurch from crisis to crisis.... I need to think about this middle-level..... On another topic altogether, are you a flower fairy?

Julie said...

Leigh - I stuck the review of Proust was a Neuroscientist as a new post.

(Actually covers five authors - don't know if its available this side of the pond to have a browse.)

Julie said...

"Jonah Lehrer, a 26-year-old Rhodes scholar, argues in his new book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, that scientists and artists can learn from each other. And he says one artist we can learn from is Woolf...."

a taster.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Julie - I'm not a great one for reading books about books. Give me a good story to lose myself in any day! But I'll certainly have a look, on your recommendation. Thank you.

Julie said...

Agree there are only so many hours in the day...and nothing much gets done if you don't focus to some degree on a chosen domain. So many blogs to read....

-interesting, though, how consideration of the writing process keeps cycling back into how the mind ticks.

new time saving protocol...

DNA

(don't-need-answer if your'e busy grappling with a case, unless you want to, of course!!!)
(Just musing).

atb

Leigh Russell said...

DNA sounds good. Afraid I seem to be suffering from CNA - can't-not-answer.... I'm still so excited when someone visits my blog!

I'm sure to grow virtually old and cynical in time, assuming my virtual presence is anything like the one on this side of the screen.

Julie said...

OK

I just crossed tracks with you elsewhere on dreaming (CG writes on this) - mind goes into creative alpha slow wave state on the border of sleep which is the same slow wave that writers go into (in flow state) when creative (hence slow rhythm of typing?) or something like that..offhand cant remember where I read it to check.
Beta is more upbeat awareness..?

Read the other review of Proust but
thought better of it...

Went to a day seminar up in town recently on the relationship between depression, dreaming, stress etc. It was - I need to invent a word other than fascinating - I've burned that out
in the last week...

atb J ARIYL

Susan as herself said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog---welcome back anytime!

This is an interesting approach to writing both a blog and a book, and I wish you success with both ventures.

I too believe that with most things, it's easier to begin in the middle. ;)

Sue Nicholson said...

Hi Leigh :)

Thanks for coming over. The children's R Day sounds fabulous.

You most certainly know how describe a scene well. . . . but then . . . well clearly this is one of your stregths :)

How old are the children?

Bye for now . . . Sue :)

Christina said...

Haaahaaa! I'd love to see your jig. Maybe for the hell of it, I'll tape my own jig and post it on the Internet. I can just see it now, "Writer Jig wins a contract."

The little potatoe looking guys for word counts are on this page:

http://www.writertopia.com/toolbox/nanowrimo

I think it only lets you go up to 50,000 because it's preset for nano. I use the word meter from the nano page, but right now it's only set to 50,000 too which really doesn't help me so if they don't fix that by the end of the month, I'll have to look for a new word meter.

iwillgetthere said...

Thanks, he's stable so fingers crossed. Keep reading, I think things are going to improve!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hello Leigh, my mother is a great fan of crime fiction...I must get her your first book when it comes out in '08. Though they terrify the crap out of me I love a good crime thriller.

Guyana-Gyal said...

And speaking of writing...yes, a body can never get bored with all those characters around...

FANCY said...

Leigh...
You find me!!!*LOL*

Do we not all want to jump over the winter and go to spring...Winter is the time I am mostly like the bear...I always sleep and don't want to go outside...then the spring come and the party begin and I realize that I have new neighbors and that the flower is living...:)

Julie said...

Where are the brakes on these blogs??

Have a good day

Leigh Russell said...

I put the brakes on and entered a new post - although I love receiving comments from interesting people all round the world. I'm not sure I'm ready to put the brakes on yet!

ANNA-LYS said...

Strange ...

the way You descibe how You work from media in rese ... is exactly the way I do myself ... must get Your book :-)