Watling Street Writers

Wednesday, August 31

Next Meeting - 1st September

Howdy All - Hope you had a great and relaxing Bank Holiday. True to form the weather was pretty miserable for days out but on the other hand good for writing?

Hopefully this and the week's break will mean a rich vein of manuscripts for review on Thursday.

As the White Hart has its ghost tour on tomorw night we will relocate to the Black Lion. In case the Black Lion is booked for a function our backup will be the Rose and Crown (only a hundred yards from the Black Lion). Keep an eye on Twitter/this page for updates.

Meeting will start at the normal time of 7.30. Usual format: manuscript/WIP review and general gossip. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 30

Sell Your Story to Readers in 4 Easy Steps

Another useful piece of advice from the folks over at i09. For those of you that are not writing genre fiction it is still relevant.

I especially liked the bit about the usefulness of getting feedback at writers groups - I knew there was a reason I kept turning up week after week!


Monday, August 22

But we were on a break...

Don't forget that there is no meeting this week. Next time we are meeting up is on the 1st September. Watch this space for details and enjoy the free time.
Hope you get some writing done!!

Thursday, August 18

Stuck for a Word?

Then try visuwords an online graphical dictionary that is captivating once you start to play with it.

Enter a word in the top right and watch as it gest expanded into a web of synonyms, concepts and attributes. keep clicking on the nodes and more will appear.

Have a go but beware - its so pretty it might distract you from your writing...

Wednesday, August 17

Next Meeting - 18th August 2011

Howdy all - he next meeting will be at the White Hart Hotel. Usual time: 7:30 p.m

Format as per normal; manuscript review and anything else you want to cover!

Hope to see you there.

Monday, August 15

Can't make it to a meeting? Then get some instant online feedback..

To be honest I find there is no substitute for a personal critique from a respected peer. These are people you trust, hopefully get on with and who have your best interests at heart. Also face to face critiques give you the chance to discuss plot ideas and hopefully get several different points of view on your work.

However, what if you can't make it to a meeting and you don't fancy posting your work online to be critiqued by complete strangers?

Look no further than the editminion. Here you can post chunks of work and it will give you feedback on your use of grammar, adverbs, passive voice and other aspects of your manuscript. Not bad if you are looking for instant editing gratification. And let's face it - we all need that from time to time.

Of course by using this and not turning up to a meeting you are missing out on two-way critiquing, plot analysis, writing encouragement and a fair amount of gossip. Oh and beer.

Friday, August 12

Write like JK..

Rowling that is. Not the lead singer of Jamiroqui..

I stumbled upon another great bog link retweeted by the mighty Angela Ackerman which discusses the way the author of Harry Potter seeds clues throughout her books.

Check it out at the link below - it makes interesting reading. (Even for those of you like me that have not read the books!!)

Harry Potter for Writers

Hope reading it helps you uncover something useful!

Wednesday, August 10

Meeting on Thursday 11th August

Hi All,

Hope all is well with you. This week's meeting will be back at the White Hart from 7.30 p.m.

Normal format of manuscript review and general catchup.

Look forward to seeing you there!

(As usual any last minute changes of venue will be posted on Twitter.)

Monday, August 8

The Web Generation

Modern life is a busy one. We all know how hard it is to find the time to create literary gold but with all the distractions of modern life come some advantages.

One such is the number of generators that are out there on the net. Web pages that will create random names, places, things and even plot points for you. All resources that may inspire or help you on your way with your latest masterpiece.

Web Generation for the web generation. (See what I did there?)

So you need the name of a chinese resteraunt in your story. (Lets face it - who doesn't?). Look no further. Serendipity has one here alongside castle creators, name generators and other world building tools.

Seventh sanctum also has a host of different generators as does Chris Pounds name generation page.

If you want a one line plot point then look here. It might just give you that twist you were looking for.

For those of you who like a visual reference of your character, try these hero generators.
Fantasy heroes, superheroes, zombies and even rockstars can be created for you to add to your novel scrapbook. (Note these need a bit of bandwidth to load up so not sure how well they work on a smartphone. Its also really nerdy.)

Finally another geeky one with a slick interface for creating spells, beasties and places is the Forge.

As always hope you find something useful or inspiring in the above!

Tuesday, August 2

Next Meeting - Thursday 4th August

Hi there - hope all is well in your writing world.

This week we will be at our alternate venue again (The Black Lion) as the White Hart is having another function.

Time: From 7.30 p.m.
Format: Manuscript review, general catch-up and hopefully an alcoholic beverage.

Hope to see you there!

PS. As last week we were caught out by a function at the Black Lion we will use the nearby Rose and Crown as a backup. Therefore if you can't find us at one venue - we will be at the other. Keep an eye on twitter for up to the second progress reports. (Honestly, this is not an excuse for a pub crawl!)

Monday, August 1

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Fight scenes. Notoriously tricky. I should know as they are a particular weakness of mine.

A good fight scene is something that makes you remember a book or a film. A terrible fight scene can make you want to put a novel down or change the channel.

So what is it that makes a good scrap?

As in all things this is a matter of personal taste. Some prefer the gritty realism of George R. R. Martin's combat, others the more romantic prose of Tolkien where blood and guts is rare.

In films think of the high style of Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, the comedic value of Michael York and pals in the Three Musketeers or the manga inspired Uma Thurman chopping off limbs in Kill Bill Vol 1.

For the more realistic there is of course the now classic Fight Club and even the ineffective wrestle between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in the film of Bridget Jones's Diary. (I know, I know -its a bit wet but at least it is memorable!)

It is worth looking at all these and identifying the things that make them work. Find the elements and style that match your story and have a go at it!

Of course the internet also has advice to offer and to save you the trouble I have scoured it on your behalf.

On Fictionpress there is an interesting thread here. There are a number of chapters to this piece so work back from the summary to find what is of most use to you.

A more succinct series of pointers can be found on writing.com whereas good and bad examples and can be found on storyhack along with a set of rules you could do worse than to follow.

As always hope the above is of some use and I hope it inspires you to get stuck in!

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