…the phrase, ‘there are only seven story plots’ is an old chestnut, averred by alleged ‘literary’pundits over the years… I’m not convinced, but my take on it is a bit broader… even if the assumption of the surreptitious, silvery, slippery seven is correct… how does it explain the millions of books, novels and stories that have filled our libraries and bookshops for the past coupla thousand years?… p’raps the not-so-secret clue is in the actual ‘telling’ of the story… ask any theatre performer what differentiates a great performance from a merely good performance, and they will say “it’s in the ‘business’ on stage”… in other WURDS, “it’s the way they tell ’em”… such it is with any great book…
…granted, there are those authors whose use of vocabulary is outstanding, but even the simplest unfolding of a narrative can contain that magical element that glues readers’…
Master Seumas Gallacher talks about books and how to give them away (not throwing them out!) and shows how generous a character he is!
…a quick tally of books inhabiting my small cabinet/converted bookcase will not tax emb’dy’s counting abilities… I have a sum total of only approximately 120 books… an eclectic assortment of mostly fiction, and a smattering of nonfiction… some of the greatest writers’ opus productions (Steinbeck, Dickens, O’Hara, Ruark, Conan Doyle, Solzhenitsyn, Churchill) sit comfortably alongside two Oxford Dictionaries (yeez can never have enuff WURDS), some author-signed copies of writers whose scribblings I admire, a bible, a copy of the Quran, some ad hoc compilations of humorous and other quotations, a few treasured over-a century-old Gaelic poetry and prose collections, and of course, my own Jack Calder crime thrillers…
To continue reading Seumas’ blog post, click here:
…blasphemy?… heresy?… ravings of a mad writer?… signs of an author finally succumbing to the madness that years of tilting at imaginary characters bring?… that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler should posit that the purpose of creative writing is NOT to achieve perfection?… p’raps, Mabel, but just hold on a minute with that frantic phone call to the lunatic asylum to come and cart me away… in a lifetime of reading, my choices of literature have been as broad as can be… Steinbeck, O’Hara, Ruark, Christie, Dickens, Eco, Fitzgerald, Child, Austen, Churchill, Burns, Chaucer… an endless list of library index heroes… every name there acknowledged as classic in his or her own metier, regardless of genre… sparkling storytellers all… but equally, I have noted in many instances, flaws, sum’times, in their narratives… incomplete closure on certain endings… use of language occasionally misplaced… part of that may be attributed to…
…I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘Age’ and ‘Ageism’ are two of the vilest inventions that Man has ever devised… by charting the passage of time vis-a-vis how long I’ve been physically on the planet brings a mountain of potential booby traps… scientifically, I will not deny that bodily change occurs in every human being… but there’s too much emphasis on specific numbers that tick off the pile of years that I’ve survived thus far… it’s not a race to the grave… I know when any such contrived ‘race’ started for me… its called the Date of my Birth, but I have no desire to guesstimate when the ‘End Date’ is supposed to be… my comedic God, (now Sir) Billy Connolly says, ‘don’t call me middle-aged, ‘coz that presumes I’m half way to that as yet unknown ‘End Date’… another of his other beautiful epithets covers ‘Acting your…
Life has become extremely hectic during the past decades. With the current development of technology, which, by the way, can be extremely helpful, in particular to us writers, it can as well be an enormous distraction. I caught myself so many times surfing through the internet, checking this or that social media account before writing, that, at the end of the day I had updated my accounts but haven’t written one single word.
According to scientists, the current average human attention span is around 8 seconds, which means, we are in fact, almost as low as a goldfish.
I was reading myself through psychological essays, meditation websites and a few other interesting pages for support on how to focus until I finally decided I needed my list of tips and tricks.
I am a writer, and besides being distracted by household things, health issues, cat stuff and social media, I love spending time outside… which, I finally realized, was one of the ways to focus on writing.
1. Spend time outside
Spend time outside. Maybe by going for a nice walk or enjoying the sunshine or taking a swim and thinking about your story, it will give you ideas you need to write down as soon as your back on your computer.
2. Work offline
Work offline. It will help you not to go on ‘checking’ on social media, and you can concentrate on your writing.
3. To-Do lists
Make two to-do lists. One for your regular day-by-day things and one for writing (and blogging). Make sure you don’t mix them up, but you need to block some time on your daily to-do list to keep some time for your writing.
4. Work spot
Look for your own silent work spot. Make sure you have a clean desk that doesn’t distract you and start your work. Enjoy and embrace the silence and, if necessary, keep the door closed.
Help to focus on your work by listening to music you like. It will also help you to tune out the background noise that might distract you from your writing goal.
6. Big and small goals
Break down big goals into smaller ones. They’re easier to reach, and if you feel you are prepared and ready for the next goal, after a break you still can sit down and start to work on your next goal.
Breaks! Allow yourself breaks in between your goals. Nothing is as relaxing as a break. It will refresh and reboot your brain. Just don’t forget to close the door again after you return to work.
Caffeine helps to support your focus. It will wake you up, and while enjoying the warm, dark and spicy liquid in your cup your head is already on its way to your story. (You might ask, why does the coffee only make number eight? Well, I figure since we writers usually start our day with coffee, oral or by injection, I thought it doesn’t need to top this list.)
9. A Good Night’s Sleep
Live a healthy life with plenty of sleep. From what I read over the past few hours, many people are satisfied with only a few hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately being tired and confused in the morning after a lack of sleep, this might interfere with your ability to focus. Make sure you got plenty of sleep, with an average of 7 – 8 hours a night.
10. Keep your moods out
Keep work at work, frustration, and anger outside your work spot. Many writers do have a day job and don’t live off writing. To keep the focus on what you like to do, make sure you are relaxed and calm and left work at the office (or wherever) and blend out anger and frustration. It interferes with your writing.
Extra-tip: Certain food types might support the ability to focus. I figure to find out if that’s helpful, you will need to try: Blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts.
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How to find the best long tail keywords and get your blog post to rank, immediately.
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If you are blogging, or content marketing to make money from advertising, affiliate marketing or selling your products or services, you know that keyword search is vital.
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…I’m led to believe that in a protracted game of chess, from start to finish, there may be possible combinations of moves amounting to billions… given the number of books that have been written since Man first discovered how to put WURDS on to stone, paper, typewriters , and computing devices, that figure of billions could easily be surpassed by the aggregate combinations of stories and narratives produced over the millennia…
…it’s not a difficult step from that suggestion to surmise there are prob’ly countless reasons why anyone in particular may want to ‘write’… when this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler first began to write seriously, about a decade ago, never having written a novel before, my primary urge was merely to see if I could actually produce and complete a whole book… little did I know what lay in store… the first time I wrote ‘The End’…