#HappyHalloween

Also known as NaNo Eve, when writers everywhere run round panicking before settling down to write those first words of this years novels.

Hope you are having a happy safe Halloween and good luck when you start writing! Have some exploding pumpkins courtesy of The Royal Institution:

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July Camp

 

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Yes, I am planning to take part and thought I had my idea sorted until today when I had a bit of a wobble.

I was settled to write a science fiction story but I’ve read an article in this month’s Writing Magazine about making criminal characters enticing and likeable so the reader will root for them. This got me thinking about the two thieves characters I like to write sometimes. I have spoken about them before on this blog because I used them for my July 2013 Camp novel. After today, I was really tempted to either rewrite or continue with that story.

I am now thinking that maybe I should put the crime story aside completely to work on later. The reason I am taking that route is because I have looked at previous projects and realised I have been a bit adventurous (for me) in the stories I have tried to write. The reason I wrote them was because they were interesting to me despite outside of my comfort zone. I definitely have learnt a lot from doing it and whilst I haven’t been totally successful with them, I have enjoyed writing them.

As mentioned in other posts, I have had problems with writing, partly out of writers block, as of late since the last session. I just haven’t had a clue what to write. I have had the science fiction idea, revolving around robotics engineers, for a couple of weeks and it’s based on a really old fan fiction about Robot Wars (called Battlebots in the USA). The idea excites me and I want to write it in a new form, especially as I feel I have improved as a writer and matured as a person to really write it. I was a kid writing about adults.

I know a partial issue with it is lack of planning due to not even knowing exactly what’s going to happen in it in its new form and setting. A lack of knowledge of the genre does not help because I am not a big sci-fi reader or watcher aside from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and some Marvel and DC films and TV shows. I do however follow tech and science news because I have an interested so that may help. I have some idea of what’s going to happen from doing some character planning already and from looking at what I had previously written for some idea of the plot but still, there is this big hole in the story I feel from just not knowing what’s going on.

The story feels right though and I feel I need to pursue it to whatever end next month during Camp.

Are you taking part this session? Has anyone else had a wobble on their story idea? Are you fully planned or like me, probably know just enough to at least start? Feel free to comment.

International Literacy Day-September 8th, 2014

Today is UNESCO International Literacy Day 2014, a day designed to champion literacy and how it can create sustainable development for the people of the world. More information can be found by going to UNESCO’s website.

If I had known about this before, I would have posted about it a few days ago however it must have been fate that I only found out today anyway as today is also the day that the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, and BBC News are carrying reports that children and adults alike are struggling with their literacy and, in the adults case, numeracy.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the UK’s literacy levels are down and they are predicted to be even worse by 2025, particularly among white boys from poorer homes whilst BBC News says that adults are unable to gain the vital skills they need because they cannot access the training they need.

You can read these reports if you are interested by going to 1.5m Children “Won’t Read Well”- Daily MailHalf of poor white boys struggling to read at 11: Children more likely to read text messages than books, study finds – Daily Mail and Urgent Help Needed For Adults With Poor Skills, Say MPs – BBC News.

This seems crazy that children and adults are growing up and struggling with the very basic skills that will help them getting GCSE’s (the very basic level of qualification necessary for most jobs in the UK), holding down jobs, doing household bills and administration and so much more. The closure of our libraries certainly do not help as, for many families, this is probably the only place they would have access to books for free to read. We also have a state education system designed to give everyone the chance of getting the very basic skills in literacy and numeracy.

Therefore, I definitely support UNESCO’s International Literacy Day.

Science Fiction Turned into Fact

Fascinating information here. First that China has opened it’s doors to the Sci-Fi genre but also how the genre has predicted many things , long before they actually happened.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Readers of my blog may have noticed my love of science fiction.  I loved reading as a child, even if I could not explain the thrill I felt when reading Jules Verne’s or HG Wells’ works.

I recently felt vindicated in my love of the genre, when I read the following comment by Neil Gaiman on The Guardian:

“I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the…

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The Writers Forensics Blog: 100 Top Websites to Bookmark

Need some help with forensic science for your work?

The Crime Fiction Writer's Blog

The crew over at FornesicScienceDegrees.org have listed The Writers Forensics Blog as one of their Top 100 Websites to Bookmark, which they describe as a “list of great sites to present practical, real-world information on the subject.” Many great sources here.

Thanks. I’m flattered.

 

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Can dyslexics become great writers? Totally.

Definitely worth a look!

Matthew Wright

I discovered the other day that Agatha Christie was dyslexic. She was also one of the best writers and literary stylists around in early twentieth century Britain.

Other dyslexic authors include Stephen Cannell, Jean Betancourt, Jules Verne and Gustave Flaubert, among others. Here’s a list of 25 famous dyslexic authors.

That’s no paradox. ‘Dyslexic’ doesn’t mean ‘stupid’.  Those who have it innately process certain things in a different way from how others do it, which often appears as problems with western reading, writing and spelling. The underlying issue can also manifest as problems with number order (dyscalculia), motor co-ordination (dyspraxia),  or disentangling phonemes when someone speaks (dysaudia). Really these are aspects of the same thing, but western rationalism conditions us to divide concepts into little boxes that miss the connections.

Some dyslexics can read just fine, but have difficulty typing letters in the correct order. Usually ‘dyslexia’…

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