Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Genre Games…

February 15, 2013

Lithe – definition: 1) easily bent and flexible 2) light and graceful in movement.


There are several interpretations of this word that spring to mind. A mental image of a young lithe gymnast was immediate for me, followed by a ballerina held aloft by her partner in a perfectly executed movement. Describing a character as lithe gives our readers a strong mental image with minimal exposition. For example:

Jessica’s lithe frame was no match for Doug’s bulk as he flung her onto the floor like a ragdoll.

When writing we should keep in mind that our initial story structure may change. To allow flexibility in our creative process, such as changing a character’s flaw, a plot line or even the conclusion of a story, let’s our imagination become light and graceful. The words will flow if we do not resist a new direction when it presents itself. The more we trust ourselves to embrace flexibility, the more we will discover about our unique style. Resist ‘pigeon holing’ yourself into a particular genre (unless you want to of course!). Experiment with as many genre’s as possible. Each has its own peculiarities, which may result in a realization in you or could highlight your next genre.

Try writing short stories in each style and to make it fun use the same characters – just alter them to fit their various roles. Let’s take Jessica and Doug as an example. Jessica is lithe – fragile in a romance, the femme fatale in a mystery, the innocence victim in a horror, the caring mother in a children’s story. Doug is a muscular bulk of a man – the handsome lead in a romance, the villain luring the victim in a horror, the ogre in a children’s tale or the all conquering hero. Their name and body type does not need to change.

writing-fastPaper- Writing

Why not try a couple just for fun and share them here?

February 15, 2013

This brought up memories for me and I’m sure it will do the same for you! I read a great deal as a child and will have to look deeply into which books were the top for me. However, one does ring out – Stig of the Dump – I even re-read it last year! Now to discover the meanings for me…I’ll be back. Have fun with this exercise.

Stig of the Dump, Front

Stig of the Dump, Front (Photo credit: the justified sinner)

The View Outside

I came across an exercise recently in The Daily Writer which asked the following questions:

Think back to a favourite book from your childhood.
How did it affect you?
What did you learn?
Has it influenced your life?

I scoffed, I truly did! Yeah, like a book I read as a child could still be having an impact on me now? Ha ha ha, influenced my life? *mutter grumble* And then I wrote down in my notebook the 3 books that I loved the most in my childhood…

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Toms Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce


I had to go and reacquaint my self with these books. Gawd, I haven’t read them for 30+years! So I checked them out on Amazon and Wikipedia….and wow, it all came flooding back!

Ok, you may not be familiar with…

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