Tuesday, June 10, 2014

That lightbulb moment; aka the attack of the cliche

Some days I lament that my studies are going in one ear and out the other.

At School I was never taught "how to study" so for the past few years I have been fudging my way through, teaching myself and very sadly to come to the conclusion after nearly 2 years that what I had been doing was all wrong for ME.

Some days I couldn't even begin to tell you what I've read and learnt. Even after hours of laborious writing and note taking. (Luckily I have managed to pull it together)

On other days I have a moment of absolute clarity. Like a lightbulb moment...

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(Alright I KNOW that this is a candle, but I didn't have the time to photograph a lightbulb - so lets run with this for the purpose of the post 'kay?) 

Something triggers and I realise I have indeed been taking it in - I just needed to see it to believe. 

Last year I read a book from an author I admired. Her first book was okay, the 2nd and 3rd much improved. So when I saw the release of book one in a trilogy I was excited and eagerly started reading. At about the same time I had been learning about cliches in my writing course & I'm afraid that learning carried through to my reading. I ended up NOT enjoying the book as much as I had previously anticipated.

One thing that stuck in my head learning about Cliches is to use them sparingly as they can be a sign of the lazy writer. I wrote it down on an ever growing list of notes relating to my own draft  -  things to be wary of.

As I read this particular book. Out popped a cliche.

Then another.

And another.

Ordinarily it probably wouldn't have bothered me and in the end it was more that the book stagnated. 

Fast forward to this week and the 2nd book had been in my ereader queue waiting to be read (it was a super duper deal through KOBO and I needed closure of some type.)
Yesterday (holding higher hopes that the writer had stepped up the pace) I started reading. Nope. Nada. Nil. About two chapters in and the pace was the same. The style remained the same. It was frustrating.

And then the cliches.

And more.

And what's this - ONE PAGE. TWO CLICHES.

OH. MY. GAWD. 

That line from my study notes kept screeching inside my head as I read yet another cliche - perhaps they could be classed as more colloquial language rather than a cliche - but they stuck out like the proverbial…

I have decided to keep pushing on with the story - I will not count anymore cliches! In the meantime I am off to re-read my OWN novel and ditch every cliche I may stumble across. I'm sure I've used them - a lot! 


GOOD AS GOLD MATE.
GOOD AS GOLD!
          

* I should add that there was probably only 4 cliches I noticed… but this was four too many for me. Isn't it funny how one small thing like this can become a giant bug-bear?   

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I wrote a limerick…

In the last two months I have been taking a notebook with me EVERYWHERE.

During stolen moments I sit & try my hand at writing poetry.

Each and every time I am defeated. 

I think I might be putting too much emphasis on it and because I know it is needed for an assignment, I get all nervy and words are stifled.

Over the weekend, I was playing around with an art journal prompt - "use stamps in a different way" without much thought process I had stamped an image of a girl using four different stamps components and added a little colour to her. She looked a little sad and the page behind her was stark - so I picked up my pen sketched a few words on a piece of paper beside me and hey presto a Limerick was born.  

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Incase you can't read it… 

There was a young girl from Cuskelly,
Her legs made from jelly.
Attempted to dance,
Instead she'd prance.
And land upon her BELLY!

Yeah. Well I didn't say it was a GREAT limerick. My whole point to this post is that in the time it took to take 15mins out of my day and create a whimsical girl from a bunch of higgledy piggledy stamps, it was less time to construct a few words on paper. By giving her arrow legs that look like they would shake like a bowl of jelly, I managed to come up with a little ditty that matches the girl and her expression to a tea.

What I need to remind myself is the words won't come if I force them. I must wibble-wobble my mind until it's like a bowl of jelly and maybe then I will have enough words on paper to construct a poem that works for this assignment.