Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Writing and the spin offs

There are all sorts of 'spin offs' from writing. I don't intend to list them all in this blog but just a few. Being an indie author has the great benefit of the groups of people you get to know who give unequivocal support. There is a genuine joy in the support received. I am probably guilty of not showing my appreciation as often as I might! Being a writer, or storyteller can be quite lonely and so that support is great and always appreciated.
 Then there is advice and agreement. I have waxed lyrical over the recent weeks about the ability of the characters to drive the story to where they think is right. Caleb Pirtle III came in with a cracking comment:-

 'Have you have thrown in a minor character for a scene, and then the character refused to leave the book? Those are my favorite characters of all.'

A truism that I hadn't really thought about but I have done that very thing. In fact such was the influence of the guy that although I introduced him in the 3rd Steele novel he has developed into an invaluable character in the next two books.

Writing and Poetry

For me this is a sort of chicken and egg situation. What came first the novel or the poem? In all honesty I am not 100% sure but I believe it was poetry and around thirty years ago. Twenty years ago I began writing a book, well to be honest I started producing a plan for a book because I read somewhere that you have to plan thoroughly. In fact I found the planning so boring that it never really got off the ground. I prefer to write. I do a skeletal plan but then get on with the job in hand. Perhaps for my new book I will need a slightly more helpful outline than I've needed with Steele.
The poetry is a great way for me to express my feelings and sentiments and as that is an area of my life where I have struggled this is a great spin off.

What do you do?

 Ian Rankin

Then there is a perverse pleasure to be had when people ask you what you do and you come back with 'I tell stories'. For long enough I've been rather self-deprecating mainly, I think because I have not been published in the traditional sense of the word. However, as Daisy Waugh (Evelyn's granddaughter) and Ian Rankin (Rebus novels) have said in the past no one sets out to be a literary giant, that is a term applied usually after the author's demise! In fact Daisy Waugh goes as far as to say that trying to emulate the great authors of the past is just silly!

 Daisy Waugh

In short if you feel that you want to write then do it. I set you free from preconceived ideas that you hold about your own ability. 


Don't know where to begin. This type of poetry, originating in Japan about 500 years ago, has everything. It has a framework - 3 lines of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables, and only two other rules. You need to have conflicting ideas and a seasonal word! Just choose a topic and you're away.

Today for instance there is a great deal of news about the awful bombing in Boston Mass.

Boston Bombs

Wasted innocence
The chill blast of destruction
A kind act thwarted.
©David L Atkinson April 2013

What did I do? Well the first line refers to innocent life being taken. The second line has the seasonal word 'chill'. The third line presents a conflict between the act of raising money for charity and the destruction of those carrying out the act (line 2).
This style of poetry was created by the Japanese poet Bashoh and was developed from Tanka. He used to meet regularly with similarly driven poets and they wrote Tanka which is slightly longer having five lines the last two each of 7 syllables.

 Master Basho

God Bless