Thursday, 19 January 2012

Edits and Revisions . . .

After a rather optimistic start led me walking too far, in a bid to prove to myself and the world it was a case of mind over matter, I've been knocked me out for the last seven days. Popping painkillers in a vain attempt to overthrow the little dance my joints have been doing all week left me stuck in bed for three days - the worst possible place for me. I can safely say I overdid it and need to view my wheelchair as merely an aid and not my enemy. However, barely moving has thrown up its own set of consequences.

Northern General Hospital's Chronic Pain Management Training in Sheffield taught me a very important lesson when I attended their classes over two years ago now:

less movement = more pain = less movement = more pain

So, with this in mind, I've crawled back slowly slowly to a more manageable situation and with my morphine and additional painkillers keeping on top of things, I'm starting to feel a little more like my old self.
Sleeping on a dreadful mattress hasn't been helping and so I've invested in a new orthopaedic one which the shop assistant promises will help me get a good night's sleep. Without sleep I barely function, so you can imagine the last two weeks have been a case of dragging myself through treacle.
New mattress arrives today so I'm looking forward to a full night's sleep tonight!

Writing has been replaced with reading and research while I've not been able to sit at my lap top and I've completed (reading) three novels in a fortnight which has afforded me space to consider my own writing style.
Stieg Larsson's  'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' has been a complete discovery for me - his straight-talking lack of adverbs and adjectives in some incredibly powerful and visual scenes has me reading over my short stories and first draft of my second novel to weed out unnecessary describing words - my favourite part of writing is utilising our rich language yet can sometimes clutter paragraphs that would be more effectively written simply. I am not advocating a stripping away of all descriptive language as I know some writing academics do, but just ensuring that description is necessary. Let every word count!
I have a fridge magnet which reads Live Simply. I will be applying this in my writing from now on!
I also read 'The Birds and the Bees' by Milly Johnson, a local author whose straight talking and clever psychological dances made by her characters through the pages of this novel had me reflecting on the depth I go to flesh out my characters and consider their actions and reactions.
As a children's writer, I perhaps haven't got to show many layers of my characters' personalities, but I hope their actions and reactions reflect the research and planning that goes in to the development of my characters. As my next novel is dealing with the young Holly Dawson, a character we meet as an old landlady in Driftwood and Amethyst, I'm keen to learn lessons here and will be focusing on my main characters' lives and creation very carefully!

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