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29 ways to stay creative June 28, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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A friend shared this with me – 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

I like it. I know I should tidy my work area, small as it is. I don’t have a full desk to work with. I have one of those work stations you get from Fantastic Furniture and squeeze into the corner. Oh, what I would give for a desk. I like the idea of collaboration. I did ask this friend, a while ago, if she’d collaborate on my steam punk world, since she is an awesome world builder, but she was busy. And when she says she is busy, she isnt making excuses. A couple of kids, some overseas Skype calls, even martial arts. She has a full life.

I have not written a skerrick this week. I’ve been knocked out with head cold/ virus/ chesty cough. Yummy.

If you have any other tips, besides the 29 displayed, please share them.

 

Cheers!

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And so it begins…. June 22, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in Uncategorized.
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I have heard many people bag Babylon 5 as a TV show. But I liked it…

Tonight was the first webinar/coaching call for my Copywriting Dream Team. This is going to be 12 months of coaching, homework, assignments, growing, learning and doing. I will be setting goals, agreeing to contracts, telling people I am going to do something, and then doing them because I told someone I was going to do them.

I am looking forward to this. I believe it is a positive step forward, it is me taking some control in my writing life and making it happen. When I say take control of my writing life, I do have control of my writing, but I mean more of the writing life which pays the bills.

I do write, and my writing life currently involves heated boardroom discussions on a hollowed out moon which is a Corporate Headquarters for the Evil Corporation; mapping lands and designing flying dirigibles and the anatomy of dragons; editing a novella for publication; writing witty repartee on facebook. oh ha ha ha ….

No, the writing life i want more control over is the paid variety. I want more copy writing. I know I am good at it, I just want more of it. I want to have more control of what I can write while at work. Currently it is a lot of- if you have further queries….

Being the first call there were things to set up and establish, things to admit to yourself, and to the group. The #1 thing I said I wanted to gain from this group, this year, from the coaching was to feel legitimate, to gain confidence in meeting people and clients, and writing to the strict guidelines of what a client wants, but to stretch my creative brain while doing this.

I think this is one thing I truly love about copy writing, that you can be creative, and have to be creative, but you are given strict guidelines, usually, in which to work. Your wild and crazy imagination is given a focus, is given direction. I think this is what I need. I know my mind can go in crazy places. Just the other day a fellow employee me told me he always enjoyed the strange places my train of thought took me. Last week it took me to stops including what parts of a dragon’s body would be useful.

So finding some rails to guide this crazy train of thought I actually find very productive, an efficient use of my energy if you will. The excess energy could power a light bulb 🙂

So, my homework for now is to buy a hard cover A4 note book for the Dream Team. This is going to be tricky. I am a stationary geek. Do you know how many AWESOME hard cover a4 books there are out there? Oh no! Matt, why did you not do your homework this month? I couldnt afford ALL THE BOOK! … tee hee

In this book I am going to write my goals, write down how much the course is costing me and then tick off each job I complete and then pay off my course.

There is some reading involved, some chapters from the copy writing manual sitting on the shelf over there, and to think of 2 good questions for next time.

Wow, what questions to ask….

The science of werewolves, and the uses of a dragon’s body. June 7, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in books and reading, writing.
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Traveling home from work yesterday, reading the free newspaper commuters read, I came across a story where scientists have discovered the ‘werewolf gene‘. It has been a scientific fact for a long time, people who have excessive facial or body hair. But now they have found the werewolf gene!

This excited me because now, for me, werewolves fit a certain kind of logic which I appreciate. When creating worlds, magic, ships which fly through the stars, there needs to be a logic, even if it is your own logic. You need to understand the world you have created, otherwise it will not make sense to you, and your readers will see this.

The magic in my steam punk world is based on sigil magic, the power of the written word, of symbols. Well, most of it. I have always believed sorcerers had magic in the blood. Hmm, maybe the blood cells could be covered in sigils at a tiny microscopic level. . .  anyway. There is a logic, to me, for my magic system.  Functional magic, alchemy, it all has a logic to me.

And now, werewolves have come into my logic. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mystical and supernatural about werewolves. Something controlled by lunar cycles, the irresistible urge of nature. I have grown up reading high fantasy and science fiction. So having a creature turn hairy and howl at the sight of a full moon is fantastic and I like it. It’s just now there can be an actually truth behind the werewolf, a logic.

There are cars controlled by mind control; growing replacement body parts with your own stem cells; cloning; artificial intelligence and cybernetic eyes. Right there you have scientific logic to create an awesome cyberpunk story. It would not be too far-fetched, even by today’s technology.

All we need now are flying cars… 

Kind of related to this, and my need of logic, is something I have been thinking about this week. Dragons. In my steam punk world they exist. I am now thinking about scale. I have dracon, or draca, not sure what to call them yet. Tiny dragons, the size of your forearm perhaps. Skittery little creatures that can be domesticated, if you feed them well. Great for keep the local rat population under control. But there are also the larger dragons. But how large do I want them? Large enough to ride? Massive and imposing? Or like a large cat or whale shark?

This question has become important to me in the sense of what can you do with a dragon’s body? I have uses for them. Dragon scale shavings in potions and anti-dragon ammunition; dragon-proof clothing. Meat? Ivory trophies? All of which I plan on including. But, if the dragon is too large, does that mean hunting and killing one provides you with a massive bounty? Sure, high risk, high reward. But I plan on some of my characters having dragon related paraphernalia. DId they get it themselves? And if so, why are they all not fabulously wealthy?

And if the dragons are large beasts of magnificence, are there few of them? An old ancient race with dwindling numbers? Then that makes me sad killing one for dragon meat and dragon leather.

I am leaning towards the size of a large cat. That fits the mould of a hunter, for me. A large hunter at the top of the food chain, yet still within the realms of being hunted. And if you manage to kill one, you get some dragon scale, claws, meat etc, but not enough to make you super wealthy.

This is something which I am enjoying about my current world building project. I would never have bothered to think about the size of a dragon, or what things could be harvested from a dead dragon’s body. But I like the logic of an aerial hunter that is fast quick and vicious, yet intelligent and wise. Plus, it lends itself nicely to the smaller dragon kind, much like domesticated cats.

As an addendum to this, rather large post, I believe I mentioned in previous blog posts about my love for electronic publishing. Call me slow to realise, or LTTP (Late To The Party), but I have recently discovered Smashwords. I am looking at stringing together some short stories and posting it on there. I will blog about this in future, the dilemma of free books to garner an audience, or setting a price for the books to obtain READERS, not just those who grab free stuff for reading later if they feel like it.

I have also mentioned previously on my love of werewolves, and those who may be real, it seems finding a werewolf gene, and Smashwords, caused some delightful symmetry. Lunar Nights. I don’t have an e-reader yet, so I am not going to buy this now, but I like how this werewolf has popped out of her blog and into Smashwords.

My turn next.