I started writing on peanuts. Literally and metaphorically. I couldn’t afford to go on a biography writing course and I was trying to avoid snacking on biscuits and jam-slathered toast, so peanuts were a compromise. I wasn’t able to join a local writer’s group either, so I muddled by in my own way.
Here is an Issue Observation List for beginners (like me):
1. Letting the cat in for company/distraction backfires on you.
2. Note-writing oblivion. If a book’s interesting, it’s worth noting EVERYTHING in it.
3. Pay attention to ergonomics. Sofa, shoffice or dining table. They all gave me backache.
4. Discover the joys of inter-library loans at Worldcat. It’ll cost about £2.50 to order a book your county library doesn’t have but it’s still (generally) cheaper than buying it.
5. Finding a way to avoid saying ‘may have’ when you have a care for historical veracity is tricky. As in ‘Morris may have seen Albert Ball weeding his vegetable plot.’ It’s difficult to write an imaginatively engaging passage without taking some liberties like this. I tried to get around this by creating questions instead e.g: ‘And was Morris was one of those pilots who noted the progress of Albert Ball’s sweet peas?’
6. The dilemma of the colour purple: wallowing in superfluous adjectives and flamboyant nouns is incredibly hard to resist whilst writing about an emotive subject like the Battle of the Somme. I did allow myself a ‘penumbra’ in exceptional circumstances, but I regretfully left ‘igneous’ out of a description of a volatile situation.
7. Away with the fairies: I had a lovely time going on about the RFC Order of Battle as though I was describing a Michelangelo.
8. Style schmyle. My initial introduction was ‘experimental’. It went all Miss Marple in the Library with the Headmaster and the Richthofen. I’m still very attached to it.
9. Acute shortage of synonyms. I saw something on Twitter about historians needing to find a new word for ‘iconic’. I’d like to request additional alternatives for legendary and deadly from them too.
10. Theme-Warming. I think I’d better stop there.
Other Issue Observations are welcomed.
Not so much a journey of discovery, more of a commute of compulsion
Archives By Date (For Archives by Topic , click here.)