For the blog on life in a Carpathian Mountain village, visit us at Magura, Transylvania
For writers longing to release your imagination, visit me at Where do you get your ideas?
For anyone who wants to banish loneliness, visit me at Full of life
For people wanting good food that’s simple and inexpensive, head over to CheapEasyDelicious
I’ve never been happy with the title of this blog, so I’m going to change it. The Transylvania thing is mostly irrelevant, so I’ll focus on the writing with the occasional detour to other art forms, inc gardening and cooking, as the urge takes me.
Watch this space – and please, kind followers, come with me. More later…
Have a lively day!
Little vampire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you choose a commercial genre to earn your living, or write what you want to write?
An editor at a highly respected London publisher told me that if I wrote a decent crime novel with a vampire detective, I’d make a fortune.
Trouble is, I’m not into vampires, even though I live in Transylvania and Bram Stoker died on my birthday (some years before I was born, please note). I really couldn’t face inventing an undead tec, even for a fortune.
Now, we’ve been discussing the ghastliness of 50 Shades of Grey on Sally Quilford’s writer’s blog; well, laughing at it. But the point has been made that we’d all love her sales. Ditto Twilight, which spawned the thing and isn’t much better. Except that 50 squillion girls know we’re wrong and have spent their allowances on the books, the films, the merchandise and god knows what else.
So – would you take a bankable idea like a vampire tec, even if you hated the thought of having to do it, or would you be an idiot like me and stick with what you enjoy and are intrigued by – enough to live with characters for years, through several books, even if you don’t stand to make a bean from it?
By the way – if you’re into crime fiction and fancy a few undead thrills, be my guest. Just please credit me in the acknowledgments page and ask me to the party…
Turn your creative mind to something naughty for a change. What can you do with this? Let me know…
You’ll have felt it – the aha! moment of insight, when the lightbulb flashes in your brain, and you get it.
Mark Beeman is a professor at Northwestern University in Illinois and studies how the aha! moment happens. If you’re interested in the creative process, have a look at his site.
For fun, try these two classic problems and see if you notice the aha! moment, or have to work it out by analysis rather than insight.
Problem 1: Martha and Marjorie were born on the same day of the same month of the same year to the same mother and the same father. Yet they are not twins. How is that possible?
Problem 2: Rearrange the letters n-e-w d-o-o-r to make one word.
I worked the first one out; the second one was an instant aha!
How about you? Send me your best guess in the comments box.
If you’re stumped, the answers are below the image.
[so sorry! - internet signal too feeble to upload image or the answers now - I'll try again later. If you can't wait that long, ask in the 'leave a comment' box.
Empathy Map (Photo credit: Oliver Quinlan)
An excellent post on Writing Forward today, from guest blogger John Yeoman.
You’ll have read novels where you couldn’t care less about the characters – not even the central character. Unless the plot grips you tighter than a boa constrictor, you might give up part way through because you don’t give a toss what happens to these people.
The reason is probably because the writer hasn’t shown enough empathy for his characters (I’m being very sexist – in my experience women are more empathetic writers than men, but not always).
Dr Yeoman’s piece explains how you can do better than the unfeeling bestsellers. A very valuable lesson to learn.
How do you feel about this?