Category Archives: Writing

Articles about writing

Starting a creative new year and making a short film

As we began to head out of the pandemic in 2022 (but have we?) I set myself a bunch of creative goals – to finally complete a novel that I’ve been mucking around with for years, to make a short film and to write my blog regularly.

After many years, I’ve finally learnt that I work best in creative mode if I have some form of structure around me, so I signed up for a creative writing course and dusted off a short film script, The Parrot, to put in the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Kōpere Hou- Fresh Shorts Much to my delight it made it though the first round to the final 18. Now I have to get into the final six to receive funding of $25,000 to make my film.

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Rāmere Shorts – A story in 140 characters – five word prompts

Every Friday on Twitter, Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly the NZ Book Council) give five words as a prompt for a 140 character tweet under #RāmereShorts.

I’ve been doing it on and off for a while, it’s a great way to get some inspiration going! If I don’t have an image of my own, I’ve created AI images with a line from the poem

To sip on fragrant tea
To read the words of my beloved
To feel the warm north wind
To know kindness
These the blessings of a conscious heart

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My Writing books

I’ve written about my habit of buying writing books, which I read instead of actually writing. Buying books is not a bad habit, in fact, it is it great fun, and these are good writing books. One of my favourites is “Writing Tools – 50 essential strategies for every writer” By Roy Peter Clark.

Clark is a writing teacher on which is a must read website for all writers and journalists.  As he writes, “writing is a craft yu can need tools, not rules.”

The first tool is one I often employ when trying to figure out what a story is about – begin sentences with subjects and verbs, then let weaker elements branch to the right. For example:

The Rebel Alliance destroyed the Deathstar after a pitched battle, which saw Luke Skywalker successful deploy the fatal blow through a tiny gap in the killing machine’s superstructure.

The subject is the Rebel Alliance, the verb is destroyed. Dog bites man, storms wreak havoc, politician lies, villagers rejoice are all examples.

If you can’t figure out how to start, just do simple subject verb combinations to get a structure underway, then fill in the decorative bits later.