Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Pirates and inspiration

Arrrrr me 'earties. I was going to write this post in the voice of a pirate but I've just commented over on Lynne Hackles's and Teresa Ashby's pirate posts and given myself a sore throat!

I have been to the Wrekin Writers' group meeting this morning (my excellent local writing group.) I've been a member for 17 months now and I thoroughly enjoy going and look forward to the meetings with excitement. I wish we had them more often but I don't think the chairman could cope with us for longer than a couple of hours a month! Yes we really are that naughty!

We had Mary from another local writers' group based in Market Drayton giving us a workshop on Horror Writting. Mwah hah hah mwah hah hah hah! It was a brilliant session and I'd never considered writing a horror short story before but she has inspired me to have a go. I don't think I'll be sending my finished story to People's Friend though!

Mary advised is to think about something that frightens us and build the story around that. Her reason being that if something frightens you it will frighten others too. Write what you know. I think you can build the tension up if you know how it feels to be frightened out of your wits!

There are lots of things that scare me as I'm such a wuss: Wasps, spiders, scorpions - anything that scuttles actually, someone taking my child away from me, dead bodies (particularly ones wrapped in clear plastic - I was a nurse and have been in hospital morgues too many times for my liking!) the dark, church yards, unexplained noises and movement, serial killers (any killers really), psychopaths, sociopaths, prawns (particularly cooked ones in a sandwhich?!) Ghosts. The list goes on!

I found the workshop very helpful and the main tip I took away from it was to tap into situations or things people are afraid of and use it to really unnerve your readers; what is unseen but implied or heard is better than spelling it all out for the reader - let the readers imagination work overtime! Also, not to use cliched settings like a church or old house or hackneyed phrases like 'He howled at the moon' or talk about bats in the belfrey or dark and stormy nights!

If I ever did write a horror story I'd have to write under a psuedoname as I don't think the Local Education Authority or the Board of Govenors at my daughter's school would be very happy - not to mention the neighbours! Mind you the neighbours may stay away away from me if they read my horror stories because they'd more than likely be in them!!!! Not really - I was just joking (in case any of my neighbours read this blog!) Hey it would be a great way to get your revenge on someone who had annoyed you though - write them in as a character in your horror story (changing names of course) and let them meet a grisly end. It must be a great stress reliever! I can think of a certain person who is definitely going into a story.

I wonder if I could write a pirate horror story?! Has anyone got any suggestions as to what my horror story writing genre pen name might be?!

Julie xx


Teresa Ashby said...

Ooh aar sweet revenge - tis great to give someone ye don't like a terrible end . . . and I don't be talkin about the end of the plank . . . (roll on midnight . . . I can't stand this much longer . . . your writing group sounds lovely!)

Julie P said...

Arrrrrr! cough, cough, cough, gag, cough. Arrrr! Tis a rare ole group of landlubbers in the writing group and not one of 'em fit to take to the seas! Wouldn't trust 'em to swab me decks. 'Ave a mootny on yer 'ands afore ye spliced the main brace and hoisted the Jolly Roger!

Julie xx

klahanie said...

Oooh arrrhh..Julie Sparrow...Evidently pirates tried to invade the 'Good Ship Lollipop'. Luckily, they slipped on the 'Poop Deck' and fell overboard.
Pirate horror story? I'm sure you will be able to come up with a swashbuckling tale. Ever noticed that the word, 'swashbuckling', seems to be used in reference to pirate stories? Must go now and swash my buckle..whatever that means.
Shiver me timbers...Gary:-)

Julie P said...

Happy swashbuckling, Gary!

My husband says that a swashbuckler was a term popularised by Hollywood to denote a dashing sword fighting hero. However, it's origins date back to 14th Century England when it was common for men other than of the knightly (not Kiera) class to wear a sword and a small single-handed steel shield called a buckler. It was common practice amongst the more boisterous and unruly youngsters of that period to wear their buckler slung over the hilt of their sword, so that when they walked it would swash and clank against their sword, hence the term 'swashbuckler', which at the time denoted a troublesome of unruly young man looking for a fight!

So there you go! I didn't know that either.

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

That's very good advice to write someone who has annoyed you into a story...much better for the nerves than fretting.


Julie P said...

Oh, yes, Suzanne, and the beauty of it is is that the person who has annoyed you doesn't even know that they have been written into a story that will hopefully earn you money!!

Julie xx

Fee said...

Hi Julie

EER Shiver me hearties what about J P Rowling as your horror writing name. You could also claim to be related LOL.

Best wishes


Julie P said...

I could be a long lost distant relative of hers!! That's a good idea Fee!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Pseudonym for writing horror stories? How about Ivor Dagger? Or
N.E.Bones? Seriously, I've always thought there was something a bit scary about names like Magdalena - sorry if anyone called that is reading this! Magdalena Darkness is a very spooky-sounding name. Or is that just me??

Julie P said...

Scary, scary name! Yes there is something gothic and vampirish about it. Sorry to all the Magdalenas out there.

Julie xx