Daily Archives: September 2, 2013

Daily Post – Daily Prompt – Name that… You!


Find the original Daily Prompt here


Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IDENTITY.

I know that my name is Russian for Princess, as far as I know we have no Russian ancestors. My middle name also means princess and when I looked up the meaning of my surname (at the age of 12) I found out it means war.

Which sums me up nicely- Princess Princess War

You will be given at least 2 chances and after that – well woe betide you!

I know that my mother insisted on my name, Dad wanted to call me Melody, he is a Musician. I have always been fairly grateful for my mum stepping in and giving me a name more rare than Melody and less musically associated, unless you include the siren noises of my youth. (If you repeat my name over and over really fast it makes the same noise as an Ambulance siren might!)

It suits me for sure, when I first got to choose a pen-name, when I was first published, I just simply chose to hyphenate my first and middle name! It frustrated me as a child that in every holiday/seaside souvenir shop we could never find a pen, mug, eggcup, sticker or pad with my name on – and more recently I think Coke Cola let me down on naming a bottle after me!

I have only met 3 other people with my name in the 3 plus decades of my life – although 2 of these are recent. There are people out there with the same name and a few famous namesakes – although they are not really, as I am not named after them!

As far as children’s names we have a list – and just pray one day we get a tiny bundle to name ourselves. Although not being as brave as my mum, if it is a boy – its fate has already been sealed by daddy. (Mr G will have some explaining to do!)


A happy summer 2011

Writing Short Stories – Tips on Narrative Structure & The Writing Process



Recently I posted tips on planning short stories, some of you have found this useful. Here is a link to that post if you missed it.


Today’s focus is Narrative Structure and the Writing Process.



Who tells the story?

A writer needs to decide which narrative structure to use, first person and third person* are the most commonly used narratives. Certain publications may have a preference for one or the other. It is worth researching and reading stories from back issues if their preference is not revealed in the specific requirements.

*first-person (“I”), second-person (“you”), and third-person (“he” or “she”).

  • In a first-person story, a character in the story tells the story;
  • in the second-person the reader is made a character in the story; (rarely used)
  • and in the third-person, an outside narrator tells the story.

To help you decide keep these things in mind;

  • First-person narrators can only tell what they know (which will be limited to what they see firsthand or are told by others),
  • while third-person narrators can either know everything and explore every character’s thoughts, or be limited to only that which can be observed.
  • Some writers switch between narratives and change the narrative structure in each chapter. For short stories it is best to stick to one narrative structure.




Use the story structure planning to plan out your characters and action, often the more detailed your planning – the easier the flow of writing will be.



Remember there is no rule about writing chronologically – look at your plan. Where can you see yourself start? Dive in, start writing.

The writing process is different for every writer (we are as unique as snowflakes, well not quite!) I tend to free write from the plan and complete whole sections of the story. Then return and edit them as I go (before the story is complete.) The hardest part for me is stitching it back together so for short stories I tend to write chronologically, what is known as a linear fashion.

I also edit in a separate folder, that way the original stays intact. A writer who never deletes anything may gain a full USB, however you also have a wealth of treasure left behind in un-used manuscripts.

AND ALWAYS BACK UP! I still need to buy an external hard-drive to do this. So far my back up is hard drive + USB.







Bumps in the Road

There are bound to be low points in the writing process, just as there will be highs. The trick here is to be flexible and hard of hearing when those inner gremlins taunt you about your ability to write and JUST KEEP GOING!

Many of us work on more than one project simultaneously and therefore create some sort of action plan or schedule. This helps you have a daily goal and know what you need to achieve by close of day. For example my action for today is to have the full idea of my short story ready for more detailed planning. So far today I have scribbled nearly 4 pages of notes, I am still in the brainstorming stage really having started yesterday and because freeing as it may seem I am writing cold with no brief bar a word count (6000).

I know this story will evolve and WILL be written because my goals are mapped out and I will stick to them. You need self-discipline as a writer because until you are at the stage of editors and agents there is no one to crack the whip and even then, you are really the only one who can MAKE IT HAPPEN!



What if life gets in the way?

Well… it sometimes does that doesn’t it? No matter how much we might like the idea of writing in our little bubble many of us have responsibilities and things we need to do alongside creating the next best short story or bestseller!

I just make a note on the schedule and copy and paste today’s action into tomorrow… leaving the next day goal where it is, in the hope I can get twice as much done. This is rarely the outcome and until there is a weekend or free morning the action plan continues to be amended until I have caught up.

The point is I DO catch up and this enables me the breathing space for the editing and proofing stage – which I will talk about next time.


Until then… Happy Writing!

pencil paper freestock

The Power of Advertising… and the Price!


I have been happily researching this morning, at first in a sunny garden and later when the dark clouds appeared, indoors. Switching from offline to online has not made me any less productive (as I am avoiding the inbox!) however, I was busy using a website and writing copious notes in my writing notebook when my eyes drifted down the page!

This is bound to cost you – so don’t be enticed unwittingly! Keep your eyes on the work part of the page, unlike me. I got dragged over to Amazon with a cracking promise of a 1p book. Of course the postage and packaging always gets you on these deals. I haven’t bought any books this year and there is one I have found out about since blogging that I have been promising myself I would buy. Inevitably my 1p shop led to the purchase of 2 other titles and before I knew it I have spent a couple of hours wages (and I haven’t started earning yet!) on 3 books.


They are an investment in my writing self though, and cheaper than workshops. Off to repeat the ‘money will flow’ mantra to myself as I hide my credit card!

Still I now have the excitement of waiting for parcels in the post and then actually using these manuals to get somewhere.

All in the name of creativity – my spirit may be free – but life isn’t.