Creative Writing Cafe Term Two – Lesson 2: Lottie Bonner

 

WEDNESDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 2011

This evening, I introduced Lottie Bonner to my classmates. It was quite coincidental that a classmate also chose a character that had a hat obsession; a male who insisted that visitors to his house where a hat otherwise they weren’t allowed in.

TOPIC

I summarised Lottie Bonner to the class:

* A head-teacher, whose behaviour and mind-frame allow her to perceive she is a head of a political party and introduces extreme rules at school  – in relation to hats.

Missuswolf Lottie Bonner headteacher in a hat

* A hat is a form of protection, like a helmet in war. She constantly feels like she is battling and fighting for the greater good; whatever that is.

* She has an obsession with her camera, taking constant photos of herself in hats and having these draped along her walls as a ‘Hall of Fame’.

Missuswolf Lottie Bonner Camera

* With this kind of characterisation, I find her quite fitting for a psycho serial killer. Perhaps leaving hats at the murder scene as her marking her territory? Maybe even lengthen it to the sick extreme that she leaves the hat on the murder victim and arranges them in a pose? Taking a photo of her creation – ooof the possibilities are endless.

I admitted that it was a very dark character that I had come up with and I believe that is as a result of the Crime Thriller novels I have been recently reading.  We discussed my character as a group, with recommendations  about with what I could do with her. Below is a kind of ‘Question and Answer Session’ on Lottie Bonner:

1) Does she kill any kids from the school?

No, she is not a child killer

2.) Will she get caught?

I was thinking down the lines of a murder investigation where it leads up to her getting caught

3.) How would she get caught? Would she get cocky and slip up or would DNA catch her out:

Suggestions for this were:

i) She doesn’t use her own hats at murder scenes, keeps her own for her private use and purchases hats especially for the murder

ii) She buys hats from Charity shops so they have other persons DNA on (this could eventually lead to her capture; the previous hat owner recognises it as it is unique and advises that they donated the hat to a certain charity shop. The police check the cctv identify Lottie from that.

iii) Accidentally leaves her own hat at a scene – although we discussed DNA out as if it was her DNA how would we know? She would need to have a criminal record for a match and she would not be in the role of a Headteacher if she had a criminal record

4.) Could you not take it down a Black comedy route?

Discussions on black comedy took place and another idea could be that it’s a black comedy where she kills certain people who annoy her; like the milkman, or someone irritates her in passing. These characters could be built up into annoying, hatred characters and  the reader could be pleased that Lottie has bumped them off as they also irritated them! And have this where she never gets caught.

As you can see, so many avenues to go down so I thank you fellow Geek Clubbers!

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT TODAY

* Look into ‘sea-coal, persons who go seacoling on the beach

* CHINDITS – look into this, one fellow classmates story is surrounding someone that is dropped behind enemy lines (Burma/Japanese)

* That a website exists where you can find out your own JEDI name (based on someone’s story  on a Star Wars theme. MY Jedi Name is WILGE HACRA!)

* To give reader what they think is one kind of story, then as it progresses it turns into a completely different story in the end – keeps the reader interested.

* An idea for a book – a story about a group of people who love a good funeral and create stories from these charcters surrounding their lives, the love of gossip, speculating whose it will be next…

BOOKS FILMS TO READ WATCH (This week it turns out few films were mentioned in passing and not books)

* One hour photo

* Galaxy Quest

HOMEWORK – Part 2

To write in 500 words of a scene from the potential novel involving Lottie Bonner, ensuring it is a juicy scene. I think I will depict the scene where Lottie Bonner has just made her kill and is arranging the body into a pose with the hat  …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash

Creative Writing Cafe Term Two – Lesson 1: Eccentric Character’s

September 26th 2011

What’s happening then?

I have a name for my Eccentric Character;  her name is Lottie Bonner and she is going to have a massive obsession with hats! From fascinators, to wedding hats, to knitted hats, to baseball caps, you name it. It’s a form of a security blanket for her.

Missuswolf Geek Club Hats

She is a head-teacher, although her behaviour and mind-frame allow her to perceive she is a head of a political party and introduces extreme rules at school … in relation to hats.

A hat is a form of protection, like a helmet in war. She constantly feels like she is battling and fighting for the greater good; whatever that is.

She is obsessed with a camera, taking constant photos of herself in hats and having these draped along her walls as a ‘Hall of Fame’.

I have yet to imagine what kind of route this will lead down for a story but to date it seems the best I can do. With this kind of characterisation it appears to be quite fitting for a psycho serial killer, perhaps leaving hats at the murder scene as her marking her territory…..maybe even lengthen it to the sick extreme that she leaves the hat on the murder victim and arranges them in a pose….taking a photo of her creation……

Love Missuswolf xx

Image from Unsplash

Book of Recommendation to assist in Getting Published

I have spent my lovely Sunday afternoon with my beak well and truly indulged in this book whilst the footy escapades on the box entertain the hubby.

I have read 82 pages today and this has included me completing a spreadsheet bursting with vital information about agents, covering letters, presentations of manuscripts but to name a few.

A high recommendation for any budding authors out there wishing to embark on their journey to publishing. This has become my bible!

 

Love Missuswolf xx

This entry was posted in Library.

Clean Cut – Lynda La Plante

 

THURSDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER 2011

Well, I have moved onto yet another Thriller writer; Lynda La Plante, following another recommendation.Missuswolf Clean Cut book cover Lynda La Plante

I have only managed a couple of pages this afternoon but I intend to get stuck in when I cosy up into bed tonight. I love opening a new book and waiting to see how it all unfolds!

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER 2011

I am half way through this novel and I am enjoying it. As opposed to the James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell I have recently read, it’s based in England and although it is about murder and awful offenders, I can relate to it more as I can actually visualise  the Police Detective Characters as well as the scenarios i.e the setting up of Major Incident Rooms around the  police stations. Having worked in an administrative role near this type of environment makes this book ever more realistic.

The main character’s strength captures me. DI Travis not only has gruesome murders to contend with, she has a rollercoaster of a personal life to try to run parallel with her work. Thanks to the lovely late Indian Summer and the fact I am night shift tonight, I managed to get a good hours read in the glorious sun this afternoon (makes the book seem less scary whilst read under a bright blue sky). I hope to read a little more this evening during any ‘Q’ times (will not mention the word for fear of jinxing myself)

WEDNESDAY 05th OCTOBER 2011

I finished reading this book last night after attending Lesson three of Geek Club. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it kept me intrigued all the way through albeit at times I did struggle keeping up with the storyline as there was a few characters involved that all linked together. Not to fear though, the author handled this brilliantly by providing a recap several times towards the end as part of the wrapping up of the investigation. Very clever and an interesting storyline.

Love Missuswolf xx

Creative Writing Cafe: Term Two – Lesson 1

 

WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2011

Missuswolf Creative Writing Cafe Typewriter

 

Term two of the Creative Writing Class kicked off today with a bigger class size than last term, with new classmates, which adds a different and more exciting dynamic to the discussions.

It begins with a bit of form filling; ensuring  we are educated in the usual housekeeping rituals of toilets/fire exits, putting our signatures to this so that in the event we happen to walk into a fire or wet ourselves, the onus is on us.

Once this was complete, we each had to introduce ourselves to the class, advising what we wanted out of the class, what we are currently reading and,if anything, what we are currently writing.

Normally, I hate this scenario. My heart pounds and my hands perspire.

However, this term I seem to have found a bit of inner confidence and, out of character for me, couldn’t wait for my turn to tell all.

I think this new-found confidence is the fact that since Term One ended in July, I have managed to read five books, all by different authors, all completely different categories and, best of all, I have read a Stephen King. As Stephen King was mentioned so heavily last term (and three times in the 45 minutes before my speech) I felt this was a significant development, proving that my attendance at this class had resulted in me changing my reading habits.

Plus, I would like to write a novel about women’s roles during the war and how their role in society changed when the men want off to war. I visited Eden Camp over the summer on, which had been recommended by a woman at this class, and I fed this back.

TOPIC

The second part of this class linked into our homework.

We looked at four eccentric characters; David Icke -sports commentator/goalkeeper for Hereford United,Susanna Kennedy – countess of Eglintoune,Herbert Spencer – Social Philosopher, John Alington – Farmer.

These are characters from across the Centuries who are eccentric in different ways. We read through some extracts on their behaviour and discussed this as a class, analysing them and working out what underlying triggers could have contributed to their behaviour.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT TODAY

* That an American Website exists called Duotrope’s digest – that accepts submissions of short stories

* To ensure I have a good opening line and paragraph as some readers won’t persist with a novel if the first chapter does not grab them

* That Stephen King’s philosophy is ‘read for four hours, write for four hours a day’.

* That a novel is about 100,000 words

BOOKS TO READ

* Rosie Thomas – Sun at Midnight

* Rosie Thomas – White

* Rosamund Lupton – Afterwards

* Ernest Hemingway – The snows of Kilimanjaro and other short stories

HOMEWORK – Part 1

My homework, if I choose to accept it, is to create an Eccentric Fictional Character – whom I will write a story about the following week as Part 2 of this homework. Tasks are:

* To make notes about them

* Leave clues about why they have gone this way

* Keep in mind the story I could tell about them

I will keep you posted with what ideas I come up with and my final submission, as well as the feedback I receive once I read it out next week…..eeeek!

Wish me luck.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image from Unsplash

Preparing for Creative Writing Cafe – Term Two

 

September 19th 2011

Good Evening,

With only two days to go until the school bell signals the return of Geek Club, I am starting to prepare not only myself, but my trusty equipment that will see me through the next ten weeks.

Seventy Thousand

Once I have had a quick sleep following night shift, my mission tomorrow is to find myself a lovely notepad and folder to house all my classwork and homework.

My intentions are:

* To be better prepared  this time and to appear more studious(!)

* To avoid my hurricane style from last term – a scrappy notebook that’s crammed with all the course handouts

Hence the mission to get myself a lovely pretty folder to file the handouts in and an even prettier notebook to write my notes, thoughts, dreams, desires …(I fear it may be used more as a shopping list than anything else oops)

Love Missuswolf xx

Postmortem – Patricia Cornwell

SATURDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2011

After completing my second James Patterson novel this morning, I am now moving onto another recommended and well-known Crime Author – Patricia Cornwell. Yes, this is also my first Patricia Cornwell book.

Another day spent powering through the Love/Hate relationship I have with a place I call work (today strangely being muchos love for the job. It won’t last) I found myself rewarding my weary, exhausted head with a new escapism in the world of Kay Scarpetta on my lunch break.

My kick was only fulfilled for a mere fifteen minutes, only as I had to return to work, but it was the antidote I needed.

Already I can’t put it down, only a few pages in. Again, like James Patterson, we are thrust straight into the storyline and,  a phrase used commonly at work, you hit the ground running.

I am night shift tomorrow, perfect opportunity to get stuck into this little gem …

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 19TH 2011

I am about to embark on my last nightshift prior to four days off. I managed to squeeze a few pages in last night at work, however I turned out to be a little busier than first anticipated (I know, on a Sunday evening as well would you believe!). I made up for it by reading a few more pages when I woke up this afternoon.

I am thoroughly enjoying this book as I feel that I am learning from it, that the main character is a Chief Medical Examiner and it explores the scientific areas surrounding her role. I particularly like how it broaches the subject of a female in a strong job position battling in a still male dominated environment, even  in this supposed equal opportunities era. She is an interesting and inspirational character, and I am only a few chapters in and I feel her frustrations already.

Let’s see how much I get read tonight …

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 20TH 2011

An unusually quiet night shift allowed me to get a fair few chapters in last night so I am working my way well and truly through this book. There are more questions being tossed around my mind now as to who the killer is and I am finding myself starting to become suspicious of every character; which I think is a recipe of excellent writing by the author and a dash of my wary mind …

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22ND 2011

I devoted a couple of hours first thing this morning to complete this book whilst the hubby ventured off to play golf. It had me guessing right up until the end, which I do like in a book as that holds my interest.

I was  pleasantly surprised that I did guess right about a scenario that occurred towards the end (which I will not go into for anybody who has not read this yet).

On the whole, an interesting book – as I stated earlier because the main character is a Chief Medical Examiner, the book describes forensic medical procedures and explains them.

Thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to reading more of Dr Kay Scarpetta’s escapades.

Love Missuswolf xx

Best! – Short Story Competition

Famous women’s magazine ‘Best’ is running a Short Story Competition with a deadline of 4th October…so I better get writing Littlewolves!!

Although the generous Prize of £1000 is pretty tempting in its own right,  this is an opportunity to get my backside into gear and write a short story over the next couple of weeks!

I have had to collect four tokens over the past couple of issues (thanks mum!), which I have to send off with an entry form and my final masterpiece(!)

The word limit is 1,000.

My task this evening…if i choose to accept it…is to read the past few issues of Best! to gauge what kind of audience the magazine is aimed at. I have three short stories that they have previously published to read (and assess!) to get a feel of what style and topics they like to feature.

Now just to brainstorm ideas ….

UPDATE FOUR HOURS LATER!

I have done it! I have written a (very rough) first draft start to finish! I was starting to panic that I would not have an idea as I seemed to be getting no-where for ages.

Then suddenly, a flash of inspiration from an advert on telly would you believe! It sparked a chain of thought and forty five minutes later, the story has been born and has learned to walk. Yey!

Although I won’t tell you what advert it was as it will spoil it.

I just need to redraft it a few times prior to submission…

Love Missuswolf xx

Postcard Killers By James Patterson

  • EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 13TH 2011

As the remainder of the winds from Hurricane Katia continued to batter our flat, I settled down to read a few pages of my next James Patterson adventure.

Once again, I was sucked right into the storyline and ended up reading through over 100 pages (oopsies! considering I was back in on Early Shift the next day, this was not really in the plan to get carried away and have a late night).

I read an article on the internet yesterday that Stephen King was not a fan of the style in which James Patterson writes. In my opinion, they are both two completely different writers with different styles. I like the pace of James Patterson’s books, you are thrown in and swept along straight away into the storyline. I have only ever read one Stephen King novel (The Stand, featured in my previous ‘what i am currently reading’)to compare too; and that was a much slower paced book in comparison; chapters are longer, writing is smaller. But they both deserve and have earned their titles in their own rights.

SEPTEMBER 14TH 2011 UPDATE

I have been hooked today, on my first day back at work on an Early shift (blah!) cramming in as much reading time as I can on my breaks. No doubt it will be groundhog day again when I go to bed and can’t put the book down. The storyline is based around a couple who murder honeymooners in different countries in Europe. It is particularly intriguing how it tangles one of the journalists into it. I don’t want to give too much away but I am enjoying the storyline so far and making me bloodthirsty for more …

MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 17TH 2011 UPDATE

In the words of Gordon Ramsey…DONE!

This book has had me gripped over the past couple of days, I haven’t been able to put it down; breaks at work, quiet times at work, last thing at night/first thing when I wake up…and I was told by a colleague that this isn’t one of his best! So my God I am excited to read more of James Patterson as I did enjoy this.

The idea of the storyline is an interesting one, although a bit disturbing. I think it is a book that you could envisage being made it to a Thriller/Crime Movie as although the murder scenes are gruesome, the clever description enables you to conjure up a vivid image which I think would work in a film (Think CSI style murders).

On the whole,  a thoroughly enjoyable and all questions – well that I had anyway – were all answered towards the end of the book.

Love Missuswolf xx

The Return of Creative Writing Cafe …Term Two

CREATIVE WRITING CAFE …TERM TWO!

I am delighted to announce the return of my attendance at Creative Writing Classes!

Missuswolf Creative Writing Cafe notes and coffee

I have applied to go back and (hopefully!) if they have enough interest, the course is scheduled to start on Wednesday September 21st!  So watch this space as I will be bringing you brand new updates on my progress throughout my 10 week journey.

I am excited this time around, now that I have my blog set up I will be able to keep you posted along the way with:

* What my homework is each week

* What ideas I have come up with

* Publication of my final version to be read out at Geek Club

* Plus feedback that I receive from the class.

I also welcome your thoughts and opinions on the pieces that I submit aswell so all comments/feedback welcome.

Love Missuswolf xx