Monday, 15 April 2013

F1 & writing a cliff hanger

So this weekends F1 took a new turn whilst last weekends explosive situation simmered quietly in the background. But once the race was under way the tension was forgotten, with new strategies in play (much like taking your reader along a new path) the game moved forward.

Vettel started back in 8th place and battled the odds to regain his lost and usual pole position. I have to admire his tenacity.

Sadly for Webber, the gods had it in for him this weekend, and one mechanical failure after another struck his car until finally one wheel actually fell off his racing car while travelling at about 80 miles an hour. Thank goodness his car wasn't travelling at his usual high racing speeds; the potential catastrophe that could have ensued once that wheel span off, would have made the headline evening news.

This nightmare situation got me wondering. The limelight has stiffed away from the two heroes yet I’m certain that the simmering discontent and tensions remain unresolved and haven’t finished unfolding.

And the final run up to the finish and the checkered flag was gripping...shouting at the telly became almost an obligatory requirement depending on who you support, because as a viewer and a supporter, much like any reader, you have your hero to support.

2013 promises some very interesting results this F1 season.

On a personal note I’m so pleased that Lewis Hamilton finished in third place ahead of and held off Vettel and glad that Jensen Button didn't put in too shabby a performance ether by finishing in 5th and Paul Di Resta hung on to 8th.

A good weekend for our British F1 racing drivers who now all drive for different teams, which is probably a good idea in light of Red Bulls’ current media circus!

This weekends F1 performance felt like that great book where the chapter that follows straight on from the cliff hanger introduces new heroes and ignores the crisis, leaving the reader wanting so much more…

Friday, 12 April 2013

F1 & Character development

F1 is one of my passions. And writing is another.

So how could recent events in this year’s early F1 season possibly have anything in common with my writing?

Last weekend a battle royal developed during the Malaysian Grand Prix that was fascinating to watch as events evolved but how could any of these actions between Webber and Vettel be relevant to writing?

Well for me – it’s more fun to write about flawed characters.

Without personal issues to deal with throughout the development of a short story or a chapter in your novel the reader would find lead characters without defects less appealing to read about. Their flaws show how humans err.

The more failings and tension the character displays adds to a scene... the better the chance an author has to hook in a reader.

Last weekend Vettel ignored a clear team order to stay behind his fellow team mate, Webber. (The F1 rules allow for this instruction to be issued and none of us spectators now why that specific instruction was issued.)

Webber exasperated by his fellow team mate over taking him simmered with a dark brooding contempt for Vettel that any heroine would find irresistible. And yet he contained his anger in public.

Whilst Vettel seemed unrepentant and turned to camera, then apologised as a six year old might- when sent by an embarrassed parent to confess and own up to being in the wrong. It was to say the least, an insult to Webber, as Vettel was disingenuous and insincere. At worst he lied and appeared arrogant.

Both scenarios made for fascinating viewing in this case and would translate well to the page and make interesting reading. We the spectators will watch this coming season with added interest as our heroes fight for what they believe to be right.

A desire to win, at ant price to be the Champion!

In my humble opinion Vettel should be suspended for one race to encourage him to obey instructions and play fair. But it seems that Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, appears to be impotent, by not reprimanding Vettel.

Again another fascinating asset, for any character/writer as this situation reveals the tension within the team. Why would a race leader choose to disregard such a public and flagrant abuse of his authority? I do not have the answers to this question and yet ruthless behaviour is often what we need for a character to succeed.

I for one shall watch this seasons F1 with added interest as the frisson between Webber (a personal favourite, what’s not to like?) and Vettel is bound to prove very entertaining.

Now if only I could write a character like this for my novel...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

In this virtual world...

Yesterday’s sad news that one of my on-line friends had died got me thinking: How do you tell on-line friends, acquaintances that someone they may have known/knew virtually, has passed away?

Is there an online guide to etiquette?

Do I just jump in and tell other people?

And what happens to that on-line presence where we all work so hard to sell our stories and ourselves to potential readers through our blogs and web sites.

I wondered if anyone had experienced… been left hanging on, waiting for a response that quite naturally can’t continue if someone has passed on.

I’d heard about 'Living Wills' with regard to personal health issues but I had not given any thought to who would control my web page after I've gone... or doesn't it matter?

Will someone be expected/have to pay my on-line web page fees to my host domain site?

Did I leave a hint to the passwords that I've fiercely protected (to keep you site safe) because we are encouraged to do this?

So could someone access my site to leave vital information or update my followers?

In many respects perhaps the answer maybe to consider putting in place a ‘Living Will,’ to deal with the here and the now of how I would like people to find out in the virtual world, rather than leave them wondering what happened to me once I've gone. Or there again perhaps just having that conversation with a loved one, might be the answer.

It’s certainly got me thinking…

If any Twitter guru’s have these answers then please, and if you can/feel you can share…

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Life is short...

Today has turned into one of those days that you don’t expect.
Because I’m experiencing a feeling of regret.

That feeling when I knew I should have done something, but I didn't do that something and now it is too late.

I made a friend on Twitter and she and I would meet up for lunch or coffee at Brighton Marina and have a wonderful discussion- it was always a fun date. One that I always looked forward to keeping. Last time we met it was February… so not long ago.

My life got busy- I mean really frantic/hectic type busy. And a nagging voice kept telling me to drop Penelope an email or a text to make our next date. I didn't listen to the nagging voice-over tape in my head.

Another Twitter friend dropped me a DM today to tell me that Penelope died, quite unexpectedly, a little over two weeks ago.

I’m stunned.

No more lunch dates with Penelope discussing our writing progress, as both of us were writing a book.

No more laughs.

Penelope was a lovely lady full of life, laughter and a sense of adventure- I shall miss her company. Rest in peace Penelope, and thank you for all the conversation and kind encouragement you gave me while you were here and we spent time together.

Today’s sad news has served as a timely reminder that I need to keep in touch with more of my friends.

Life is short
Break the rules
Forgive quickly
Kiss slowly
Love truly
Laugh uncontrollably
Never regret anything that made you smile