New week, yay!

Hope everyone had a great start to the new year. I managed to have the first piece of fiction accepted and completed another in time that has now been submitted. I am about to research for the third. So, so far so good.

I  have a client report to finish this afternoon and then I have one more edit scheduled, before the wedding… the next couple of weeks are going to be super busy! And then I have a week off after the big day!

So I will keep today’s post short and sweet and say happy writing and stay focussed! I am off for what I hope is the final wedding dress fitting this morning!

writing

 

 

 

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Kick Starting your Writing Muscle

So far so good… four days into the new year. I penned a flash story on Tuesday and that has been accepted by CafeLit for publication on January 13th (yay!)  and am now very much into the next one for a competition that closes Monday.

A book has also arrived now which is research for the next short one for the BIG competition before I go back to the novel. I am stepping up my short story writing in 2019, hoping to write at least six new ones in prep for the release of my short story collection in July. Nothing like a new year to create a new focus. Right?

I love that feeling of wanting to jump out of bed at 5.30 because you can’t wait to write. I missed it and now feel as if I am back and connecting to the one thing that drives me above all else.

So what about you?

How has your first week of the year been so far?

Please also message me if you’re interested in signing up for a short story mentoring programme that will run for six weeks, for six people… online coaching and interaction one to one and with one another… just £100 each…? It will start in March. I want anyone who really wants to step up their short story writing and I will help with opportunities for work. I am collecting names now so please email me writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

Have a great weekend everyone!

Debz 🙂

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The Editing Tree

 

A

simple question:

Why do you write?

Why do you write like that?

Why do you need to tell that story?

Why did you do it that way?

Why did you end it that way?

Why is key to understanding what. 

What are you trying to say?

What is driving the action?

What does the character want?

What will they do to try to get it?

What will stand in the way of them getting it?

What happens next?

What leads to how.

How does the character set out to get the thing they want?

How much do they want it?

How will they feel if they never get it?

How hard do they try?

How will their own inner demons impact on getting it?

How much do their actions impact on others?

How do they change?

Editing is a string of key questions starting with WHY?

Build

Strong

Roots

But always be prepared to start over and let new saplings take root elsewhere

 

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Stories make up their own mind!

Starting next week I will share some of the things I learned on my screenwriting course about the differences between writing prose fiction and writing for a more visual audience. But today I thought I would share about the wonderful magic of creation. Yesterday I planned a new short story for a competition and then thought I would write the opening scene to get me in. It turned out the story has other plans and decided it needed far fewer words (very unusual I have to say) and so formed itself into something flash! So I guess it wanted to be that. So off it will go to CafeLit then!

And off I go with my notebook deciding what to write instead for the competition!

That’s what I love about writing, it takes you to unexpected places… so have fun wherever you go today!

That is all. Happy Wednesday!

Bang

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Looking back to look forward…

…You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been…

 

I am back and hoping to inspire (or possibly bore you) with my writerly ramblings in 2019… hopefully the former!

Something has always excited me about turning the pages of a new diary and hanging a new calendar. It’s a time for looking ahead, for goal setting, for dreaming, but also for remembering.

Last night we did something we have never done on New Year’s Eve. It’s a new tradition we have started. We walked Rosie later than usual (in the dark with her flashing collar, no less), along a peaceful Canvey sea wall. The sea was so calm, the tide was in and it softly lapped against the shoreline. I love that sound. Lights twinkled across in Kent and the occasional firework fizzed along the edges of the year. Perfect ❤ We then walked to our local church (where incidentally we get married in nineteen days’ time!) and we lit candles in the chapel. We remembered those long passed… as well as those we lost in 2018. We sat in the reflective tranquility of the church and looked at the beautiful St Nicholas Christmas tree. We listened to the soft music, with those candles burning in the chapel, and we thought about how far we have come and how much there is to look forward to.

There was a big party next door for the church in the hall (where we will also party on the night of our wedding) but there was something special about being on the outside of all of that noise. At the same time, the joy in the laughter and the singing crowned the moment and filled us with good energy as we sat in peaceful contemplation. Actually, we sat and worked out our wedding vows 🙂

We have always kind of lived on the periphery and in many ways like being a bit different. So, for us, this was perfect ❤

Then we walked home,  he meditated a while, and I drank hot chocolate in bed with a book. We were both asleep by midnight. The fireworks woke us so we said Happy New Year and We get married THIS year! Then we went to sleep. Perfect end to a lovely year ❤

So…I have BIG plans this year, some short story writing to kick off the year (for some BIG competitions I’d like to win 😉 )  before I make a few changes to Chutney for Irina and start my search for a new agent. And… good news… DRUM ROLL IF YOU PLEASE…

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I am finally publishing my short story collection through Bridge House this year!

Yes, you heard me correctly! These will be previously published alongside never before published ‘competition-winning stories’ alongside some new ones: OUT in JULY 2019! Since it is my 50th birthday next week (yikes!) then this will be in celebration of turning 50 this year as well as the year I get married!

It is going to be a big year and my January calendar has never looked so busy.

Excitement for me comes not from things but from plans  That’s why Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year because it is a day of sparkle: a day of heightened expectation. And that for me weaves a special kind of magic. You know, when my work is out there sat on some editor’s desk awaiting its fate, that same sense of hope lives in every moment: will it get accepted? Will it win even? Is this it, the breakthrough moment? If we give ourselves things to look forward to, be it something small like that sugary treat later, a nice dinner, a book you’re enjoying, or something HUGE like a wedding, no matter how big or small it’s having things to look forward that makes life worth living, right? This year there is SO much, but let’s not forget that it has not always been that way. Maybe this year it is not that way for you, maybe it has lost its sparkle. When my Lee died in 2005, it was hard to look forward to anything, I’d say for a couple of years. And trust me I am like a child who looks forward to everything! It took something really HUGE to change that: meeting my idol Barry Manilow was what did it! I counted down the days to that trip to Vegas from 100 days to go!

So, I will leave you reflecting on what you have to look forward to and if it has been a difficult year, I promise you it will get better. Start with the small things.

 

I will be back and telling you all about my experiences at City Uni on their ten-week screenwriting course.

Have a beautiful day folks! Thanks for reading 🙂

Us New Year's EveDebz and Mal at St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, New Year’s Eve 2018/2019

 

Ps if you wish to do something for my birthday, I have set up this Facebook fundraising page. As some of you know, I am a great supporter of The Born Free Foundation ❤ so if you wanted to help, even if only £1 it would mean a lot, thank you… LINK

 

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A World in Stories

I have loved this week recapturing the essence of what I know is a good story — but when I wrote it I wasn’t a good enough writer to do justice to it! I just hope I can now!  Eek! And that’s Colourblind my novel about two seemingly unconnected people: a little white girl growing up in Jacksonville in a middle-class family and an aged African American man in Atlanta, mourning the loss of his wife of fifty years… and somehow they share a past. They just haven’t worked it out yet. I feel, after five years, this would be a great follow-up to While No One Was Watching and there might even be room for a cameo appearance, by Lydia, since there is a sense of the supernatural in this story and she might just be needed! So now I am revisiting the story with hopefully new insight and wisdom!

I see all my stories as if through the lens of a camera so I hope when it comes to adaptation to a screenplay it will not prove too difficult.

Tonight I have been looking back at some old short stories of mine, published and unpublished, as I want to select one to use for my class with the intention of developing it ultimately into a screenplay over the next eight weeks. I am drawn to one called Fallen in Voices of Angels,  one of the Bridge House Publishing collections. It’s about a young woman who drifts through New York and stands with people in their final moments: she sees what they see and feels their final memories and joy as they pass over. But she doesn’t know what she is yet, and why she keeps going back to the same places and the same house, in particular, to watch over a little boy who plays on a swing in the yard. She befriends a homeless woman in a park who knows she’s there (no one else can see her) and she helps her realise who she is… was… and who the woman is she visits (her mom) and who the child is. She pieces together how she died; she fell and she comes to think she has taken her own life. She remembers how she was off work for months with postnatal depression when her son was born. But what she can’t work out, is since she was feeling so much better and was in a new job, why would she choose to leave her child? And why now is she stuck?

In the end, we come to realise that she didn’t take her own life: she had no choice but to fall and when she did, she chose to be an angel. She is, in fact, an angel in training until she works it out. She remembers she was working at the twin towers on September 11th. She had no choice but to fall… When she goes to tell the old homeless woman, she helps her understand the final part of her role and how she can get her wings. She now helps the old woman because now her time has come to cross over with her help.

I think this might be the one to develop. What do you think?

I am going to have to re-learn a few things and lose my ‘own writer’s voice’ to write my outline and my treatment and of course the script will have to be the dialogue sections so it’s going to be tricky, but I think the message is good. I need to start with short stories before I can even think about adapting my novel! But it’s exciting!!!

I have so many stories, of course, I might change my mind which one tomorrow!!! But this feels like it could be a good one to start with!!!

 

Wildest deams

 

Anything is possible if you believe…

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Finding Your Joy

I will be blogging regularly… but as it seems such a busy time I am not doing it every day just yet but I will be! 🙂

A lot has been happening behind the scenes… all against the backdrop of the wedding planning! So to kick off with wedding news… I did say yes to the dress yesterday! Watch me do the dance! 🙂  I had always intended to leave it until now, just three months before the wedding day as  I wanted to ‘shed and shred’ i.e. get rid of the last fat from the stomach which I have! I still want to lose a tiny bit more so still working at it until the first fitting in about five weeks’ time. So my plan came together! Of course I always knew it would… because it always does! I just knew when I tried that sixth dress on (three in one shop and then three in the second shop) it was the one 🙂 Oh yes. As I had imagined it. Someone told me that I would never get the dress I had in my mind because you change your mind when you try them on. No, not me as when I have a vision I ask the universe for it and it always gives. The Secret at work.

I realise as I sit here and think about the glorious day ahead, and my lovely life, what memories we are weaving.  It’s not just the memories that will come from the BIG day itself. Last weekend we were walking around the national wedding show — Mum and me — at the Excel in London and then yesterday with Mum and my bestie for the first time in my life at forty-nine years old (!) there I was trying on wedding dresses. I realise that these are the memories that will stay with me forever. It brings up a lot of unexpected emotion a wedding! Makes you realise what you must cherish and hold onto. Let’s start with… everything.

Memories

On the work front I finished (finally) the edits for the Bridge House Anthology last weekend as well (well finished checking the ones that had been sent back) and they are now with the designer. We have the launch on December 1st. This is the night after a big awards ceremony we’ll be attending because our wonderful gym has made it into the final six of over six hundred gyms (!) nominated for best gym in the National Fitness Awards!!! I said it was a brilliant gym, didn’t I?! So I will be on the very early train from Leicester that morning for the Bridge House event!

I also started some more mentoring with Cornerstones, always lovely to have new clients. I also did some more work on Colourblind the rework!

And I am two weeks into my screenwriting course. Not learned a lot of new information yet but it is early days. I guess I am already pretty clued up about how stories work and arcs etc. What I am most looking forward to is learning the techniques to adapt, first short stories, and eventually my novel into a screenplay! So I will share some of what I learn!

So I will be back and blogging later in the week as we begin a very busy time of exciting things and making memories!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

 

Yes to the dress

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