Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly


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Take Your Writing Seriously – Make a Poster

A poster with the words "Caution! Painting With Words"

Poster of my own creation, with photograph from Microsoft Clip Art

At the moment I’m living in a busy household with lots of distractions and interruptions. My writing time is suffering.

I decided I needed to send everyone, especially myself, a clear message. I needed a poster to stick on my door to show when I’m writing – to ward off those continuing interruptions (from family and from myself).

A poster with the text "#amwriting therefore #ambusy"

Another poster of my own creation with a photograph from Microsoft Clip Art

So for the past few days I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of designs. I’ve added my favourites to this post.

They’re all fun, but sometimes the simplest is still the best.

A street sign with the words "Writer At Work!"

All elements created by moi.

Having a poster serves two purposes:

  1. It clearly shows others when you’ve set aside time to write. If they continue to interrupt, you can point out your sign and say you’ll be with them after your writing time is up.
  2. Most importantly, it encourages you to take your writing time seriously.

Why not take a couple of minutes right now to make your own poster or sign declaring yourself a writer?

If you’re too busy for that, you can click on one of the above images to get a bigger version and use it instead. (Sorry, I don’t have high-resolution versions for print so they may come out a little fuzzy.)

What have you done to take yourself seriously as a writer? Let us know in the comments.

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3 Posts I Wish I’d Written

3 cupcakes representing three the three posts of writerly goodness I'm linking to today.

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Today I’m asking you to take a little detour.

Below are three posts I’ve recently read. Each of them is full of writerly goodness and I want to share them with you.

I love each little gem. So instead of me rewriting this info on my blog I figured I’d send you to the source. Pick a link below and have a read.

Any thoughts on these posts? Let me know in the comments.


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Creative Writing Don’ts

A cryptic street sign with red crosses

Image credit: Microsoft clip art

Recently I noticed someone found this blog while searching for ‘don’ts for creative writing.’ That really got me thinking. Are there such things as creative writing don’ts?

Personally, I dislike ‘don’ts’ because they sound so negative. Writing should be fun and the instructions for writing shouldn’t be restrictive. Also, a lot of writing advice is subjective – advice that works for certain people but not for everyone.

However, the more Creativity and I thought about it the more we realised we could make a positive list of don’ts which should cover just about all writers.

I’ll let Creativity take it from here.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Yes, yes, we all want to create the best work we can, but perfection is a downright impossibility – like weedless gardens and toilet trained puppies (or was that just ours?).

Aiming for the perfect sentence, story, character or description ruins your freedom to create. The fear of imperfection gums up your Creativity’s momentum and leaves him/her immovable in an anxious, sticky mess.

First drafts are rubbish. That’s the nature of first drafts. Most second and third drafts are pretty dreadful too. Instead of letting this stress you, run with it.

Who needs perfection when you can be creatively, imperfectly spectacular?

Don’t Copy Other People’s Work

I’m not talking about plagiarism, which is a foregone no-no. I mean copying someone’s style because you think you have to be just like insert-favourite-author’s-name-here to be any good.

Each writer has a unique voice. By copying someone else’s voice you’re missing out on the thrill of using your own writing voice. It would be the equivalent of speaking like Donald Duck your whole life without ever discovering you’ve got the perfect voice for thriller movie trailers.

If you haven’t found your voice yet then get writing. Don’t go for perfection. Don’t copy someone else’s stuff. Unleash your Creativity at the page and just write what you feel should come from your pen.

Don’t Just Talk or Read About It, Do It!

Writing is sitting down to a computer keyboard or picking up a pen and adding words to a white page, or a pink page, or an orange page…you get the idea.

Writing is about creating words of your own. Don’t just read other people’s words – write yours!

Don’t Wait Until You’re 70 to Start Writing

You’re never too young to write. Even small children can write endearing stories.

Don’t use your age as an excuse. Use it as an opportunity to capture yourself and your thoughts at this particular age. Give yourself something to look back on and something to build on as you get older.

Don’t Expect Your Writing Experience to Match Everyone Else’s Writing Life

As mentioned above, there is a plethora of writing advice out there and it won’t all fit with your writing experience.

Some people need silence when writing, others need background music. Some outline before they begin writing, others dive right in. Some have to type their manuscripts, others can only write with the ol’ paper and pen. Some people sit right-way-up in their chairs and some people sit up-side-down (or is that just Robin Williams?).

In fact, each project you work on will come out differently. Some stories come easily, others take coaxing, still others require you to get in there with an Egyptian nose hook and…eww.

Ahem, ignore that analogy. It’s given me the heebie-jeebies.

Now, where was I?

Ah yes.

Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to change your writing habits and environment if something’s not working. Follow your Creativity and discover what makes him/her happiest.

********

Now it’s your turn. What would you add to the list? Be positive and helpful. Imagine what you wish someone had said to you when you started writing.

Some of my twitter friends have already had their say. Here’s a sample of their wisdom.

  • Don’t write about your failed, unhappy relationship. – @GoodWillJohnson
  • Don’t try to mash your story into the Hero’s Journey….You shouldn’t force an idea to follow the monomyth.- @nicktatorship
  • Here’s one if you’re a morning person: Don’t check your email and social media first thing when you get up, write first. – @cjtreggett

So join the list either in the comments below or on Twitter (@JessBaverstock) and have your say on creative writing don’ts.


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2 Year Milestone: A Survey and Giveaway!

A little girl throwing confetti in the air

It was on this day two years ago that I posted my very first article on this blog. It was entitled The Need for Creativity.

Since then I’ve had a wonderful ride, and a couple of bumps along the way (including a hiatus earlier this year for health and wedding reasons).

I have made some wonderful friends through this blog, and look forward to making many more as my journey continues.

I want to thank you for reading my posts and commenting. Your time and attention is very precious. I appreciate you spending some of it on my blog.

I’ve got some exciting improvements in the pipeline, some of which I’ve already mentioned.

One improvement I’m toying with is the addition of a Resources section to my site, where I’ll collect together links to some of my favourite blogs and articles. I plan to group them according to subject (motivation, collecting ideas, writing drafts, editing, publishing tips etc.). If you have any thoughts or ideas about this, please let me know.

The Giveaway!

My e-book (Tips for Those Contemplating Insanity) is almost finished and for this coming week I’m giving away personalized pre-release copies of my e-book to those who participate in one of the two options below. (Once released, the e-book will be free, but in this giveaway you’ll get an advanced copy with your name and a message on it – just for you!)

My goal is to continue creating content which you find useful and entertaining. Your feedback is very important so please take a moment to do one (or both) of the following:

  • Leave a comment. Is there a post you’ve particularly enjoyed? What sort of things would you like to see more of on this blog?
  • Take this quick survey. (9 questions, all optional.)

Each person who comments and/or completes the survey, will receive an e-mail from me containing their personalized e-book. (Please comment below to let you know you’ve completed the survey as it is anonymous.)

I’m open to your suggestions. Your comments help me to improve.

And thank you again for reading.


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Recuperating from the Fray of Madcap Writing

A young man asleep by his computer after a pizza-fueled writing session.

I’m slowly recovering from an intense month of writing, flu and the life in between. My mum has been visiting for two weeks and we’ve been having riotous fun together.

But now it’s December and one must get back into routine! Before we do that however, let’s just take a moment to reminisce.

Things I’ve Learned During November

This is the first time I’ve ‘won’ NaNo WriMo, and I’ve learned some things in the process.

Keep Muddling Through

This draft is one of the hardest I have ever worked on. Nothing seemed to gel and I remember describing it as ‘soul destroying.’ However, it did eventually lead to a breakthrough in my novel. And, to boot, I came up with several interesting ideas, including the answer to a story problem which has been eating away at me for two years.

So I’ve learned that the most important part of writing is the ‘ing’ – the continuing process. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it’s not going to be easy, but by chipping away at it you’ll end up discovering things about your story and yourself that would otherwise never have been revealed.

Enthusiasm is Important, But Not Always Possible

My days were always easier when I was enthusiastic about what I was writing. Words flowed (at one point 2,200 words in 60 minutes) and ideas gelled.

But part of my problem was that November started one week too late. 7 days before November 1st I was ready to go! I had my ideas, my characters and my plot all lined up, I just needed to be unleashed. During that extra week stuff happened and I ended up landing on November 1st with no enthusiasm and the sinking feeling that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

Still, I sat down at my computer and started to write. I forced those words onto the page, even on days when they felt ridiculous, hollow and just plain meaningless. I knew what I was writing was rubbish, and even now that I look back on it I don’t think I’m going to use what I’ve written – but I set myself a goal and I achieved it, which gives me the following perks in return.

  • I have a sense of accomplishment. I did it! And I’m proud of it! I proved to myself that I can write 50,000 words in a month. If that’s possible, what else can I achieve?
  • I have propelled myself through a really tough patch of writing. On day 28, as I reached my 50,000, I came up with a fresh angle on how I’m going to write this story. I wouldn’t have got there if I hadn’t spent that time and those words on my story.

So I wasn’t always a ball of enthusiasm and excitement when I sat down to my keyboard every day, but rummaging up even just a little pep to tide me through the first 500 words (and then the next 500 and the next) helped immensely. And on days when even that wasn’t possible, I just gritted my teeth and wrote the words.

We are writers. Even if all else fails, we have to write the words.

With those words now written, I can move on to my next set of goals.

Things I Have in the Works

I will now start working on the edits for my new e-book Tips For Those Contemplating Insanity, and will share with you all soon.

Also, I plan to launch a new blog early next year to do with all the whacky, wonderful, surprising and heart-warming things I have encountered in China. Don’t worry though, Creativity’s Workshop will still carry on as normal (whenever we work out what ‘normal’ is)!

I’ll share more details on these two projects as they come to hand.

Now, please share with us the interesting things you’ve learned over the past month, or year, or lifetime. We all love hearing nuggets of wisdom.

P.S. Sorry for the randomness of my posts lately. The internet and I are having a battle of wills at the moment. It took me over an hour to upload this post. Thank goodness for Freecell and Solitaire.


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NaNo WriMo Week 4 Highlights

Well, the flu is almost gone and I’ve made it over the 50,000 word hurdle!

I’m still completely out of routine and exhausted from coughing so I’ll keep this brief.

Thank you to those who commented last week with updates on their work. It was so lovely to hear from you.

We really do care about how your work is progressing so please take a moment to comment below and let us know how your week went. We’re all in this together and love cheering our fellow writers on.

Yesterday, as I passed 49,000 words, I suddenly came up with a novel-changing idea which means I’ve basically got to scrap everything and start back at square one…and I’m so excited! The new idea requires a completely different format, and my snippet today is a sneak peak at that format.

So, here goes. Please remember this is a rough draft.

For all those who remember Edward’s previous run in with the gas stove, here is his tried and true method for turning the gas on.

1. Roll up sleeves. This prevents the likelihood of your clothes catching fire.

2. Position yourself far enough away from the stove so that your hand can reach the knob but you’re still at a distance which protects your eyebrows and various other singe-able parts of your person.

3. Hold down the knob. When you hear the clicking sound, turn the knob. The flames will gush out with force. Hold your nerve and proceed to step four.

4. Depress the knob several times in quick succession. This is to ensure the flames ‘catch’ and don’t go out the second you take your hand off the knob.

5. Once you have a good blaze going, keep holding the knob down and turn it until you’re happy with the size of flames. (You’re never going to get perfectly obedient flames so just resolve yourself to fast cooking and pick a reasonable flame height. Suggestion: 2cm is probably the smallest you’re going to get.)

6. Gently and slowly release the knob. Hopefully your flames will remain. If not, repeat steps 3 to 6.

NOTE: If you do at some point need to open the cupboard under the stove, do so slowly and carefully. If opened too quickly, the suction of air will blow gas flames out and you will need to start at step 1 again.

Now, please share with us a snippet from your writing this week. It doesn’t have to be polished, just something you liked.

Remember, everyone is welcome to join in. You don’t have to be doing NaNo WriMo, and you don’t have to be writing a first draft. Share a snippet and feel proud of it.


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NaNo WriMo Week 3 Highlights

Sorry for the delay this week. I have the flu. My husband has declared it a ‘humdinger’ and my brain is mush. I’m muddling onwards as best I can.

Briefly, I’ve just passed 40,000 words (as you can see from the nifty little word count icon on the right) and I’m nowhere near the middle of my novel (let alone the end), so this looks like a first draft which will take far longer than November…how exciting!

My brother has already made his 50,000 and he’s still powering onwards. Yay! (I’m also feeling the nigglings of jealousy but I’m not letting myself dwell on that. I’m competing with a word count, not my fellow writers!)

Please take a moment to comment below and let me know how you’re progressing with whatever writing project you’re working on (NaNo WriMo or otherwise).

It’s difficult to pick an excerpt to share with you as my writing is very rough – scenes peppered with notes for things to add further up. I’ve chosen this little exchange between Edward and Peta as they take a walk along the street together.

Please remember this is a rough draft.

‘What do you think of Beijing so far?’ said Peta

Edward thought it best to keep the majority of his thoughts to himself at this stage, frightened he’d put his foot in it again. ‘It’s interesting. Different.’

‘Overwhelming?’ said Peta, grinning at him.

Edward opened his mouth to reply, but tripped on something and struggled to keep his balance. Looking back he saw a large screw sticking out of the concrete pavement. ‘What on earth is that doing there? Someone could do themselves damage.’

‘First lesson,’ said Peta. ‘Always walk with your eyes on the ground in front of you. This place is a minefield of trip hazards. Screws, uneven pavement, dog poo, spit, manholes without their covers. Keep your eyes on the road.’

‘Manholes without covers?’

‘Oh yes, happens all the time. I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve heard rumours that people take them for scrap metal.’

Edward walked along, looking at the pavement. It was made of up grey blocks, with a strip of light pink, ridged blocks down the side. Here and there the edges of the blocks sat up, presenting the perfect trip hazard. Now that he was looking, he also saw small puddles of spit and other things he’d rather not step in.

‘Makes you realise why Chinese always leave their shoes at the door, doesn’t it?’ said Peta.

This was a something Edward had never thought of before, and he took a moment to ponder it. He also made a vow that these shoes would never make it further into his home than the front door, already dreading the stuff he might have walked through his apartment.

That makes my story (and China) sound rather disgusting, but I swear it’s not! The situation is, however, something one just has to live with here. It’s a truism.

Now, please share with us a snippet from your writing this week. It doesn’t have to be polished, just something which you liked.

Remember, everyone is welcome to join in. You don’t have to be doing NaNo WriMo, and you don’t have to be writing a first draft. Share a snippet of something you’ve written this week and feel proud of it.

P.S. Please take a minute to read the post Obvious and amazing: Sending your creative work out into the world on Carole Jane Tregget’s blog about why we should not delete while writing drafts. It is a fantastic reminder.


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NaNo WriMo Week 2 Highlights

We’re almost half way through the month. Eek! How is everyone going?

I’ve managed over 26,000 words, although I’ve now done almost 2 weeks of ‘writing bilge.’ In the past day or two I’ve started to feel more comfortable with how my writing sounds, but it’s been quite a struggle up until that point.

A couple of nights ago I decided to change Edward’s profession from teacher to businessman in the hope that it will make certain story points easier. However, the result is that the majority of what I’d written up until that point has to change. Doh!

But here’s where the beauty of first drafts kicks in. I will make those changes in the next draft. For now, I’ve typed up some quick notes on how will I change things and then I’m continuing on with my current draft – writing as if he’s always been a businessman.

I find this fantastically liberating for two reasons:

  • Firstly, because I don’t have to trudge back to the start and begin again. I finally have some writing momentum. I don’t want to lose that by starting at the beginning again. As I continue writing, there will always be things I want to change earlier in the story. But I’ve set the precedent – no going back until we’ve reached the end. Leave a note and keep writing!
  • Secondly, because I know it will be easy to start on my second draft. I know when I pull it out of the draw several months down the track, I won’t read it and wonder where I’m going to start. I already know. The thing is a mess and lots of scenes are out of order. By the time I clean up the structure, I’ll be on a roll – having gathered momentum again to keep making progress.

So I’m very pleased with what I’ve accomplished this week. What about you? Please share with us some highlights (or difficulties) of your week.

It’s been very hard to choose an excerpt from my writing this week because, as mentioned above, I’ve been working through bilge. However, yesterday I wrote the following and decided this was what I wanted to share.

Here’s a little background: Edward has met our leading lady (Peta) on a plane into Beijing and she’s given him her phone number in case he ever needs help. After that, he was picked up from the airport by a Chinese representative of his company and taken to his new apartment.

He is jet lagged and just wants a cup of tea before curling up for some shut-eye. In the process of attempting to make a cup of tea, he discovers there is no kettle, water is leaking from under the kitchen sink and the gas won’t light. He goes downstairs to find the building manager and ends up coming across ‘Mr. Go’ who speaks virtually no English. Mr. Go is now standing in Edward’s kitchen trying to communicate with him.

With me so far? Remember, this is first draft stuff so it’s pretty rough at this stage – spit and polish comes later.

Edward fumbled around in his pocket. There, on a piece of paper, was Peta’s phone number. When she gave it to him, he actually had no intention of using it, but right now he would give anything for an English speaker. He dialed and then waited.

‘Hello?’ said the voice.

Edward sighed in relief. ‘Hello. This is Edward. We met on the plane.’

‘Oh hi! How’s life?’

‘Frustrating.’

‘Ah,’ she said. ‘Welcome to China.’

‘There’s a leak under the kitchen sink and the gas won’t work. I think the building manager is here to look at it but I can’t understand what he’s saying.’

‘You think the building manager is there? Are you worried you’re hallucinating?’

‘No, what I mean is there is a man here who I think is the building manager.’

‘Ah. I get you. Do you need some help?’

‘Yes,’ said Edward. ‘Help is exactly what I need.’

‘So leak under the sink and a problem with the gas, right?’

‘Right.’

‘Let me talk to the guy.’

Edward handed the phone over again. Mr. Go had been feeling all the pipes under the sink and turning the tap on and off. He stopped, wiped his wet hand on his shirt and took the phone. The two of them had a chummy conversation, after which Mr. Go handed the phone back with a smile.

Edward put it back to his ear. ‘How did that go?’

‘He already knows about the leak. He says he’ll need to go get his stuff and come back to fix it.’

Edward felt his eyes close. ‘Great,’ he said, with no enthusiasm.

‘He’s going to look at the gas now.’

As she said this, Mr. Go pushed down on the stove knob. The stove clicked a couple of times and then belched fiery gas. Mr. Go fiddled with something, Edward was too tired to see what. Then Mr. Go pressed the knob again. This time the gas flames leapt over a foot into the air with a percussive whoosh, like the first few seconds of a rocket liftoff.

‘Mm,’ said Mr. Go, with a nod. Then he turned to Edward, gave him the thumbs up sign and said, ‘Okay!’

Edward realised the breeze in his mouth was caused by the dropping of his jaw. ‘Okay?’ he croaked. ‘You call that okay?’

Mr. Go glanced back at the stove. He pushed down the knob again, resulting in the same violent explosion. ‘Mm. Okay.’

Edward couldn’t peel his eyes off the spot where the flames had just been. The merest whimper escaped his lips.

‘Do you need me to come around?’ said Peta, her voice sounding suddenly far away. ‘I think you need someone there with you.’

Edward tried to speak, but the heaviness had now migrated to his throat and nothing would come out.

‘Where are you staying?’ she said. ‘What’s the address?’

A further realisation hit him. ‘I have no idea where I am.’

‘Give the phone back to the guy. I’ll ask him.’

Edward mechanically handed the phone back to Mr. Go, who was watching Edward with amusement. He started chatting, then pointing in different directions with his finger. Nodding a couple of times, he said ‘bye bye’ and gave the phone back again.

‘Turns out I live really close by,’ she said to Edward. ‘I’ll be over there shortly.’

Edward gurgled something in reply and then she hung up.

Mr. Go pointed to the sink and then to the door. He said something, then toddled out.

Edward staggered to the couch and eased himself down. Asimov hopped up beside him, putting his head on Edward’s lap.

‘Good grief,’ Edward said to no one in particular. ‘What have I got myself into?’

For the record, my gas stove does exactly that. We have to lean back whenever we light it so as not to catch any part of our person aflame. Ah, China. What fun.

Now, please share with us a snippet from your writing this week. It doesn’t have to be polished, just something which you liked.

Remember, everyone is welcome to join in. You don’t have to be doing NaNo WriMo, and you don’t have to be writing a first draft. Share a snippet of something you’ve written this week and feel proud of it.

P.S. I’ve just come across this interesting new writing blog called Swagger run by 8 writers. They’ve already posted some interesting articles. My favourites so far are Becoming a Writer (a reminder on the true definition of ‘writer’) and Can’t Please Everyone (which is something I’m always forgetting). Take a look and enter their Swagger Swag Giveaway (hurry though as it ends November 15th).


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An Explanation, A Forecast and An Article

Hello all!

It has been quite some time since you last read a post on my blog, and I would like to apologise for that.

The Explanation

At the beginning of the year I returned to Australia, to introduce the new man in my life to my family and to visit some doctors to find out more about a health problem I’ve been suffering with.

The man in question proposed – leading to the planning of a wedding and culminating with July 9th being one of the most treasured days of my life. The doctors, on the other hand, were stumped by my health – my constant debilitating fatigue caused by an as yet unknown factor and not helped by the stress of weddings.

Long story short, I am now back in China, happily married and trying out acupuncture with the hope it will provide some improvement.

Gradually I am beginning to feel slightly like my old self again, and with that comes my return to this blog.

The Forecast

I am taking things very slowly at the moment, as I have very little energy to work with. Therefore I cannot promise a large amount of content. My aim is to do things gradually but consistently.

Over the past 10 months Creativity has been working on weddings and coping mechanisms for my health, all the time complaining about the lack of energy to do other creative things – like write! So she and I are both a bit rusty.

But, creativeness goes in cycles. We all hit patches where life forces us to drop things in order to manage our priorities. Once we’re past the crux of the situation, we then need to get our Creativity going again. So I’m going to write about getting my Creativity back into the swing of things, and hopefully spur you on to greater fun with your Creativity.

I’m also planning on interviewing some of our readers about their Creativities and how they use them. If you have any ideas for interview questions, I’m very happy to hear them!

I also have an idea for an e-book in the works, so hopefully I’ll have more to show for that soon. It’s still in the infant stages, so please be patient with me.

The Article

On Saturday, as I was contemplating what I was going to write in this post, Dan Goodwin over at A Big Creative Yes posted this article – How Battered Old Paint Pots And Writing Haikus Taught Me To Be More Creative.

It really sums up how I’m feeling at the moment – faced with a battered old paint pot – but it’s reassured me that this is a normal feeling and one that will go away with use. Toddle along and have a read. It’s a wonderful reminder.


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The Mysterious Oval

The mysterious oval

Recently I watched this TED talk by J.J. Abrams. (Warning: The video includes a scene from the first episode of Lost which may disturb some viewers.) In it he said:

Maybe there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this statement. Mystery is an important part of plot and capturing people’s imagination. It’s the essence of the ‘hook’ which draws a reader in.

Let’s face it, if we know all the answers up front, what is the point of continuing to watch the movie or read the book? It’s the fact that you do not know/understand certain aspects, and the answers are not coming easily, which brings you back to the story again and again until you know it all.

The truth of this reasoning is being drummed into me every day at the moment. You see, I live next to a school. Being summer holidays right now, the school is using the time to renovate their yard.

The yard used to be covered in bitumen, but a couple of weeks ago they ripped it all up in preparation for building something new. To begin with I’d look out the window to see how far along they were in their work. As the days went by, I became hooked.

Why?

Because I can’t for the life of me work out what they’re doing. Once the bitumen came up, they dug a shallow trench in the shape of an oval, lay concrete at the bottom of it, and then built two walls of bricks in the ditch. You can see the result in the photograph at the top of this post.

But why?

I’m completely flummoxed. Each time I walk pass the window I just have to look out, because I want to see if there are any new clues. Anything which could tell me what they’re doing.

And of course, the best part of not knowing is coming up with theories. When they first drew the oval, I thought it was going to be a race track, but the ditch put a hole in that theory. Next I thought they were laying the foundation for a covered area of some kind, but that’s not coming together either. So I’m back to square one.

However, in the process I’m learning how to structure mystery.

  • Progress is essential. If nothing is happening, then even an intrigued watcher will lose interest because you’re not showing them anything new.
  • Theorizing should be encouraged. If the watcher comes up with their own theories, then they feel like part of the process, and have a vested interest in seeing if their theories are true. It also provides you with that glorious moment when you twist the plot and the watcher has to start theorizing all over again.
  • Controlled confusion can work to your advantage. The watcher doesn’t need to know exactly what’s going on at every minute. In fact, the best mysteries are the ones which, in the process of revealing the answer, force the watcher to go back through all their assumptions and work everything out afresh – either in their heads, or by watching/reading your work again.

Have you had similar mysterious experiences in your life? Do you have any suggestions on what the mysterious oval could be? I’d love to hear your comments. In the mean time, I have to get back to my window.