Welcome to Dragonscale Clippings

Inside the mind of a writer...

My motto for 2012: Quality, not quantity

I am currently exploring the sensation of Sound...

Monday, 29 November 2010

What Inspires Me - Part 4

Nature inspires me greatly. 

Nature makes me stop and think. Nature makes me slow down and consider. When I slow down and think, I write haiku. I find it excellent discipline as a writer to create haiku. Restricted to 19 syllables, I have to make sure every word counts in order to paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind. This is good because on first drafts I tend to be too wordy. 

The changing seasons and the variable weather inspire me a lot. (I suppose really that I didn't need variable before weather, did I?!) Nature changes all the time: -  grows, fruits, decays, sleeps - a seemingly endless cycle. 

In my novels and stories I include observations about Nature - the weather, the seasons, things that I notice. Sometimes people who read them query my descriptions. But I only write about what I've seen or heard. You have to slow down and pause in order to really notice things properly. 

Nature, in all it's varying forms, will always inspire me to write.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

What inspires me - part 3

People are very inspiring! 

I find I draw a lot of inspiration from people. Although I don't like to be around too many people for too long (crowds drain my energy) I enjoy meeting different sorts of people. Anything from physical appearance to mannerisms, what people say and how they say things - these are all inspirational to me as a writer. 
I don't use everything I see or hear but certain things that stand out from the "norm" I nearly always use. What intrigues me is how someone can say one short sentence, and even though I won't necessarily use that sentence in a story, the words spark off a whole scene for a book. 

It doesn't take much to be inspired. You just have to be open to inspiration and be aware that it's lurking in the not-so-obvious places...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What inspires me Part 2

Other people's comments and work!

Negative comments when phrased constructively, really help me to improve my writing. Of course, positive comments also really help too. 

I belong to two postal folios, one for Fantasy and Science Fiction writers and the other for general fiction. If you're interested in joining us and have a completed book that needs constructive criticism, email me at freya.pickard@gmail.com and I'll send you the contact details. 

The folios are excellent because the quality of writing is extremely high, often better than currently published books. Everyone has such different ideas and various ways of executing a plot that I feel I've learnt more from these two folios than from anything else, including a creative writing course at college. It's how people write that is so revealing. And when you're reading one chapter of a book every 2 months, you have time to analyse and really think about what the writer is doing. 

I also subscribe to Dial 174 a magazine for poet lovers. There's always something for everyone in each quarterly issue and I find it very inspiring to read other people's work. The poetry ranges from traditional iambicpentameter and rhyming couplets to haiku and blank verse. There are also several short stories in each issue as well as articles. I have yet to win one of their in-house competitions though...

I used to subscribe to Scheherazade, when it was still being published. This was, in my opinion, the best small press magazine for fantastic fiction. Not only was the quality of the writing superb, but the illustrations were like something out of an expensive fairy tale volume. Each issue was indeed a magical read. I'm hoping that one day Scheherazade will return to print. 

Comments, other people's work, all these things inspire me to write more and to write better. If I don't keep honing  my skill it will die.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What inspires me to write - part 1

Many things!

Other artists and creative people  inspire me to write. A photo, a painting or a poem will often open windows in my mind. Feedback from other people is also not only encouraging but inspiring too. 

Over the past couple of years I've subscribed to a free 'zine that features creative people - photographers, poets, novelists and painters. It's called Ends of the Earth and is available by email subscription at myendsoftheearth@gmail.com if you're interested. It's sole purpose is promote high quality creative work.

There are 3 issues each year in April, August and December. This year I have had 2 poems featured in the April and August editions. In the December issue I have a poem and a short story about Dracomagan. 

Feedback from other artists as well as non-artists is very important to me. It shows me where I should be going next and reaffirms when I've created something that has a wide audience appeal. 

Even if the feedback is short and sweet, such as I liked that, it means a lot.