For the past week I’ve been working on daily tasks set by the Golden Egg Academy Foundation course leader. Last week me, and my fellow students, were asked to write for just 10 minutes using a different prompt every day. Each prompt was designed to make us reflect back into my childhood, and therefore start thinking like a child again. The purpose was to use that experience in our wider writing.
I was amazed how much I could write in just 10 minutes! When you’re not looking at the screen, editing as you go, you can just let the memories flow and the words form on the screen or page.
At the beginning of the week I hand wrote everything, but being dyslexic makes this quite difficult as you can’t help but slow down to try and work out how to spell tricky words. Moving onto typing the words into my laptop meant that I didn’t worry too much about the spelling (I can go back and make changes later) and just concentrate on the memories. When I did look up at the screen at least a quarter of all the words were underlined in red, but I’m used to that so it didn’t bother me.
The best bit about using the laptop is that it gives you a word count. I couldn’t quite believe that, in ten minutes, I could write around 500 words. I’ve written about the online writing challenge before but its been quite a while since I’ve participated, so these short burst of writing have got me back into the habit of writing and, through logging and tweeting my word count, there is also some accountability, ensuring that I stick with it.
Once I’ve read through some of the pieces I’ve written I might post them on here under the creative writing link so you can see what can be achieved. It’ll also give you some insight into my childhood experiences, although much of what was written was more creative than truthful! If you want to give it a go there are lots of websites that give ideas for writing props. I write for children, so the childhood memories worked really well for me.
This week I’ll be looking at my manuscript with, hopefully, new eyes. I’m already aware that there are some major plot faults that need to be addressed but, for once, I’m not just going to jump straight in and start deleting chapters and characters! I am going to be objective and more systematic, and not make any radical changes until I am certain they are needed.
And of course I’ll be reading, lots of reading. At the moment I’m near the end of Beetle Queen by M.G. Leonard and published by Chicken House, the sequel to her award winner Beetle Boy. I highly recommend both books and am looking forward to reading the third instalment, Battle of the Beetles.