Harvest Time

A few days ago I had a brilliant opening sentence.
But I didn't write it down and even under the shower this morning (don't think too hard about that) it didn't come back to me.  So I'm convinced of the importance of writing things down, immediately. It's what we have iPhones for, for heaven's sakes.

As well as a choc full iPhone, I do have notebooks (as I'm sure you do too) crackly with ideas, but I hardly ever go back and read them. Sometimes it's just taking a pencil and dragging it over a piece of paper that allows the important ones to take root. But I do have a new notebook, that I am intending to read, for harvesting some of them.

It's going to be colourful.

After The Agents Party this week, I'm convinced about pitching the story to yourself first before you start to write. So, can I fill my blue book with pitches tempting enough for me to write at least one of them down, at length? A few standby editorial opening sentences might sneak in too.

On writing stuff down here's a great tip from Philippa: 'using the hands frees up many a creative person. Get marker pens, crayons, felt-tips, chalks - something physical to connect with your younger self.' If you're like me and the act of writing isn't as much fun as the the dreaming up, chuck away all those horrible biros and get some Sharpies.

This week, once again, the blog break turned into a blog morning, hunting for the diaries I made the kids write when we were in Australia - thank you Candy. Catriona's piece had me pondering the meaning of Lorem Ipsum ( it's Cicero, you know) and yet again I marvelled at the talent of the illustrators, reading Anne-Marie's report on Helz Cuppleditch's masterclass and John's fantastic exhibition success this summer.

Next week you can look forward to:

An interview with author, teacher and tutor for the next London writers' masterclass, Pippa Goodheart

Hope it's great week!

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is all over the place, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta. You can contact her at editor@britishscbwi.org.


  1. Thanks Jan. Looking forward to reading W&P next week, sounds like it'll be good...

  2. I am a Sharpies fan too. Thx for another chirpy editor's letter, Jan.

  3. I have a box full of Sharpies! When I'm procrastinating, I use them to make pretty zentangle pictures. Not what you want to hear from a budding author, but hey, it works for me.

    1. Ooh Viv, had to google 'zentangle' - I see what you mean - lovely!

  4. Of course if you use Sharpies you can really only write on one side of the paper but it's worth the sacrifice, I think:)

  5. I have a confession: I don't know what a sharpy is? Do I get booted out of Scoobie for that?

    1. They're permanent marker felt tips - fine point for writing and thick for marking stuff. The pens in my picture are the fine point sharpies.


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