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  • Chalk The Sun » Editing your Novel: Guns, Corpses, Numbers
    functions for notes I am going to try one out for my sequel Highlight in the draft MS what clothes characters are wearing you don t want your rapist unzipping his jeans when he s in track pants Note what gun phone car we don t want the baddie firing ten rounds when he s got a 357 Magnum which holds six Double check telephone calls across time zones I had to rewrite several scenes in which I had got the five hour time difference between Greenwich Mean Time and Eastern Standard Time the wrong way round as in Have I woken you up Er no it s three in the afternoon Don t forget temperature and time if you said it was 9 a m and 30 c the start of a chapter don t let your protagonist put on a woolly a few pages later at noon Make margin notes on times and days it s easy to lose track especially when you are switching between different characters within a tight time frame I had a tendency to make my heroine hungry it sounds more dramatic but Simona Sideri as an Italian was very strict about mealtimes and quite frequently gave me notes like She had three hours at the hotel before the gunmen arrive in which she could ve eaten a perfectly adequate lunch The body count was another issue on which Simona and I differed she had twenty one corpses and I could only find twenty After listing all the fatalities we realised the missing cadaver was an unfortunate dread called Mouse in Rat Records I rewrote so it was clear that he was only a GBH not a homicide If you are writing chick lit this problem may not arise but you ll probably need

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2971 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Simple Solutions for Novelists: Plot Knots
    as they are hygiene and fashion conscious plus they are in quite enough trouble already without throwing themselves on the mercy of strange men in bars whose wives probably take a dim view of overnight guests anyway So I contrive ways for them to retrieve their luggage and documents I ponder the trusty old bell hop using a pass key and the back stairs to spirit away their bags with the help of the handsome taxi driver but would these poor guys risk losing their jobs and possibly gaining a larceny charge for two women they hardly know Two women whom they believe are on the plane back to London I toy with fortuitously timed phone calls to the hotel or maybe a quick return trip in the small hours to check out officially but much as these gals love their Manolos there is a madman with a Glock 17 laying in wait for them I work out lots of convoluted schemes with long winded unconvincing dialogue designed to make these ruses work then it hits me they don t get their luggage Period I can indeed opt for the Jack Reacher solution but make some capital and comedy out of this stylish pair spending a week in sarongs Bob Marley T shirts and flip flops Simple I move on now I need to deal with the last week of their three week holiday The action s over so do I give my readers a daiquiri by daiquiri account of their relaxing last days Just a summary Both options dilute the tension and with all this free time wouldn t Kim shag the taxi driver She s been wanting to for 243 pages but I need her to save it for the sequel so I could drag out the action

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2965 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Testament of Youth: You will leave the cinema a pacifist…
    of 1914 beautifully with lush green scenery and wide shots showing Vera her brother and friends revelling in their youth and high spirits As the war takes over Vera s life with ever increasing horror and loss the camera moves in to focus tightly on actor Alicia Vikander s expressive face panoramic shots depict grey rain acres of brown mud sopping wet khaki uniforms the only primary colour is the red gore flowing from the wounded Kent draws stupendous performances from his extremely young cast which are deeply moving yet he is restrained and true to both the text and the period Where a Hollywood director would have wallowed in the emotions Kent gives us the English stiff upper lip appropriate to the era We see Brittain s father played gruffly by Dominic West studying the railway timetable assiduously to conceal his feelings as his only son goes to war We watch from the window as a telegram boy arrives at the family home we know it s news of Edward s death but we do not see West s reaction we just hear his stomach churning wail of grief In Juliette Towhidi s terse script no one says that they ll be there for for Vera or advises her to move on this is England before Princess Diana s death or the intrusion of Oprah Winfrey Kent is also true to the social conventions of the period Vera does not run around unchaperoned like so many of her historical Hollywood counterparts At the same time the director avoids any obvious comedy as the stout auntie waddles after Vera and her beau on their dates Kent s touch is always light which makes the impending doom even more affecting Despite the bleakness of the story the film is incredibly compelling

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2949 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Five Steps to a More Creative 2015
    of 17 syllables divided into three phrases of five seven and five You may not normally write poetry but experimentation frees the imagination so try it A tight focus on a central image works I chose red lipstick marks on a glass a reminder of passion spent and Jo wrote this Lipstick kiss smudges on my crystal wine glass rim But that was last night Next a flash fiction piece Choose three words from your brainstorm list an abstract a noun something that suggests action or a personality I ll go for Scarlett red rag to a bull red velvet which gives me an inspiring name a mood of provocation and anger and an object For a setting I ll choose the ever fraught festive season with all its heightened emotions and expectations Write down five facts about your potential character write a speech for them see what emerges Scarlett hates her name she is thirty eight self contained an efficient P A she has cultivated a respectable dull image to prove her name and by implication her flamboyant mother wrong I might play with the associations and put Scarlett and Mummy in the bullring at Ronda on a Christmas break Now what might challenge or change my character What might promote some action change the status quo turn a moment into a story I am thinking unsuitable red velvet evening gowns annoying mothers charging bulls dark eyed matadors blood and sand I want the story to end with Scarlett transformed embracing her name draped in red velvet red hair red dress red lips reconciled with her mother I m not sure how this will happen but I am going to write three key scenes from the beginning middle and end and see what the muse throws up Do try

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2937 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » So Farewell Billie Whitelaw (1932 – 2014)
    s Frenzy 1972 Even as a child it struck me as strange that this little old lady basked in the reflected glory of a niece that she saw perhaps once or twice a year If Billie Whitelaw visited her or sent a Christmas card it was a big event for Mrs Fowler The slightest connection would be used to turn the conversation round to Billie The blue silk s nice PAUSE Billie wore blue to the BAFTAs You know my niece Billie Whitelaw the actress Yeah we knew and we used to giggle about it when the poor probably lonely lady had left my mother did a nice line in impersonations even Auntie Keshia would make stolid Polish jokes about the star struck aunt As I grew up I realised that Billie Whitelaw did rather more than a bit of telly working with Joan Littlewood acting as Samuel Beckett s muse and starring in his most challenging plays buried up to her waist in Happy Days and strapped into a head vice for Not I When Billie Whitelaw returned to mainstream cinema as Violet Cray in the 1990s movie The Krays with Martin and Gary Kemp my mother remarked She s got a bit of work again then Old Mother Fowler d love that In fact she rarely stopped working on stage and screen from her post RADA debut in 1950 to Hot Fuzz in 2007 Billie Whitelaw had no idea about the evenings of adoration Mrs Fowler conducted around a sewing machine in a little attic room in West London but they created a personal interest in her fame and fortune for me which will last beyond her death Ardella Jones Billie Whitelaw s obituary 1 Comment Colin Bruce December 22 2014 Good gossip The pleasure of an attachment

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2932 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » blog
    Christmas bash and book swop is looming and I have yet to choose my pre loved book to review wrap and consign to the party pile Shall I recycle the one I received last year none other than Fifty Shades of Grey I m sure our students rigged that result and I still haven t Read More Did Interstellar need a theoretical physicist or a script editor Posted by admin on Nov 9 2014 in blog No Comments When it comes to making a sci fi blockbuster I m not sure it helps to have a theoretical physicist from Caltech as an executive producer In the case of Interstellar it might ve been better to hire Robert McKee to lick the story into shape and channel the ghost of Elmore Leonard I m sure Christopher Nolan knows Read More If you tick 5 of these you are probably a writer Posted by admin on Nov 7 2014 in blog One Comment 1 You start a diary every year which peters out by February ditto holiday journals which end once you leave the airport and things get interesting 2 You want to write a brilliant book and make loads of money in that order 3 You spend at least an hour analysing the movie and why the Read More Five Reasons Why People Don t Write When They Ought To Posted by admin on Oct 23 2014 in blog No Comments Writing creatively is a messy emotional business fraught with self doubt and self consciousness thwarted by procrastination Not writing creatively is equally messy motivated by fear justified by self deception haunted by regret Creative writing tutors need doctorates in psychology rather than literature So let s get to grips with the denial 1 I don t know what to write

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?cat=12&paged=5 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » admin
    Christmas bash and book swop is looming and I have yet to choose my pre loved book to review wrap and consign to the party pile Shall I recycle the one I received last year none other than Fifty Shades of Grey I m sure our students rigged that result and I still haven t Read More Did Interstellar need a theoretical physicist or a script editor Posted on Nov 9 2014 in blog No Comments When it comes to making a sci fi blockbuster I m not sure it helps to have a theoretical physicist from Caltech as an executive producer In the case of Interstellar it might ve been better to hire Robert McKee to lick the story into shape and channel the ghost of Elmore Leonard I m sure Christopher Nolan knows Read More If you tick 5 of these you are probably a writer Posted on Nov 7 2014 in blog One Comment 1 You start a diary every year which peters out by February ditto holiday journals which end once you leave the airport and things get interesting 2 You want to write a brilliant book and make loads of money in that order 3 You spend at least an hour analysing the movie and why the Read More Five Reasons Why People Don t Write When They Ought To Posted on Oct 23 2014 in blog No Comments Writing creatively is a messy emotional business fraught with self doubt and self consciousness thwarted by procrastination Not writing creatively is equally messy motivated by fear justified by self deception haunted by regret Creative writing tutors need doctorates in psychology rather than literature So let s get to grips with the denial 1 I don t know what to write Read More Older entries Newer entries

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?author=1&paged=5 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » So Farewell Billie Whitelaw (1932 – 2014)
    Frenzy 1972 Even as a child it struck me as strange that this little old lady basked in the reflected glory of a niece that she saw perhaps once or twice a year If Billie Whitelaw visited her or sent a Christmas card it was a big event for Mrs Fowler The slightest connection would be used to turn the conversation round to Billie The blue silk s nice PAUSE Billie wore blue to the BAFTAs You know my niece Billie Whitelaw the actress Yeah we knew and we used to giggle about it when the poor probably lonely lady had left my mother did a nice line in impersonations even Auntie Keshia would make stolid Polish jokes about the star struck aunt As I grew up I realised that Billie Whitelaw did rather more than a bit of telly working with Joan Littlewood acting as Samuel Beckett s muse and starring in his most challenging plays buried up to her waist in Happy Days and strapped into a head vice for Not I When Billie Whitelaw returned to mainstream cinema as Violet Cray in the 1990s movie The Krays with Martin and Gary Kemp my mother remarked She s got a bit of work again then Old Mother Fowler d love that In fact she rarely stopped working on stage and screen from her post RADA debut in 1950 to Hot Fuzz in 2007 Billie Whitelaw had no idea about the evenings of adoration Mrs Fowler conducted around a sewing machine in a little attic room in West London but they created a personal interest in her fame and fortune for me which will last beyond her death Ardella Jones Billie Whitelaw s obituary 1 Comment Colin Bruce December 22 2014 Good gossip The pleasure of an attachment to

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2932&replytocom=24535 (2016-02-15)
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