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One of my three books have arrived and I was reading it last night – What If.  It contains over 80 exercises for the “fiction” writer to help improve their writing.  The contains page gives a good indication of the exercies that are to follow and so jumping straight in, I completed Exercise 1, which was to write 5 different opening sentences, the idea behind it being that you weren’t committing yourself to writing a whole chapter or even a book based on these sentences, you just needed to write something that would entice the reader to continue reading, something that would grab the reader’s attention immediately and make them wander what was going to happen next.

These are the five sentences that I wrote:

  1. They just kept coming; all down the street they could see them, waving knives and axes in the air, screaming something akin to a tribal war song.
  2. She cowered behind the chair hoping, nay praying, that the sedative would start to work and that he wouldn’t be able to hurt her again.
  3. She screamed, waving her hands frantically in the air hoping that someone would see her before the current got too strong and she wouldn’t be able stay afloat any longer.
  4. The day held a secret, one she didn’t think she could hold onto any longer, it was getting too difficult now and more people were getting closer to the truth.
  5. She looked so beautiful in the dress that she had made herself, everyone looked at her and smiled but no one really knew what to say after what had happened.
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Whilst browsing the internet I came across a post about Novel Writing Software.  Firstly, I have to admit, I hadn’t even considered writing in anything other than Word.  But then, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was probably a good idea to use a more specific programme since this would allow me to separate out my notes from my actually writing – and therefore only count the words of writing (and not of the notes which Word also includes).

I have found two pieces of software and downloaded them both.  I have already tried one and included all the scenes required for my first two chapters (along with writing for the first scene as well).  Now I will give the other a go and see which I find most useful before continuing with which ever one I feel is best.

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I decided to use my commute home from work wisely.  I have a loose plot for a book (loose because although I have a beginning and a middle, I haven’t quite decided on the ending just yet), and I managed to get Chapter 1 pretty much written – in my head – on the journey home.

"Let the Wild Rumpus Begin" by llymlrs

Unfortunately the time between the journey home and when I could actually set pen to paper (so to speak, as it actually was fingers to keyboard) was another few hours and therefore some of the story I had rehearsed in my head several times over, finally disappeared from my short-term memory.  Still I had the bare bones left and an outline for the following couple of chapters.

I have managed to commit 500 words to paper so far with another 100 or so outlining the story unfolding.  I’m very happy that I have managed to get this far – it might sound daft, but I was worried that this project wouldn’t even get off the ground.  I was quite concerned on how I would actually START the story.  Of course I realise that I might re-write the first chapter over, but the way I look at it is that I just wanted to “blurt” out everything that I was thinking and then I can refine it later – a bit like a brainstorming session really were no idea is a bad idea, just an idea!

It has helped me by getting started – yes that makes sense doesn’t it! What I really mean is that in getting started it has enabled me to work out what I need to do next.  I can probably finish the first 2 chapters with little research but as I head towards chapter 3 this is where I need to really get down to it and do some religious and scientific research.

I’m not a religious person but being brought up going to church every Sunday I have a sort of, ooh I don’t know how to classify this – it’s not an interest and it certainly isn’t a belief but it just fascinates me.   Hopefully my years of church-going will stand me in good stead and give me at least a head start in the research.  As for the science side, well, that’s all genetics related and so although I did biology at school what I need to know is certainly outside of any little knowledge of science that I may have.

Anyway, getting back, I now know what I need to find out having started so hopefully I can focus my research in the areas that I specifically need to further my writing.

So 500 words done, I suppose that means another 99,500 to go….

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