Sunday, 14 February 2016

Whatever is the Page 99 Test?

I'm guest-blogging again for the Campaign for the American Reader, an exciting site about books that feature some interesting pages. This week, I'm writing for their Page 99 Test. 

Have you ever been in a bookshop or library and opened any book at any random page, then taken that book home with you on no other basis than what you read on that page? That's what the pg 99 test is all about, and it's not a bad rule of thumb for finding something new to read in a sea of books and authors. 

Ford Madox Ford started this idea by saying "open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you." 

I believe all writers must be curious about what happens when someone walks into a bookshop and opens their book at a random page. But it's a brave novelist that applies this test to their own books to see if their books willt stand up to incidental scrutiny.

I screwed my courage to the sticking-place and did the deed.

To find out what I discovered on page 99 of In the Moors, the first Shaman Mystery, follow the link:
Nina Milton's page 99 test to the Campaign for the American Reader.

And don't forget, if you want to taste and try the Shaman Mysteries,  you can use Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature at Nina Milton's Amazon Page

Friday, 5 February 2016

Rectangular Memories – Mind Mapping for Writers

image by K. Jasven

The concept of mind mapping may have evolved from the mathematical spider diagram, but, not being a mathematician, I wouldn’t know about that. What I do know is that by placing a single concept, in the shape of a word, phrase, or image, in the centre of a piece of paper, and using word representations, associations and memories to expand outwards, answers fall into place.
This technique prevents you from losing those tiny peripheral thoughts that may be the nub of creativity, and encourages new ideas to drop from the muses.
I use a mind map at the start of each new story I write. I’ve also used it to help poems along. I start by drawing a circle in the centre of my paper. Inside it I put an image, phrase or word, something core to my initial idea. Alternatively a random word or image can produce quite amazing results.
This week, I'm guest blogging again for and I'm talking about mind mapping because one of my OCA students has recently written an unusual poem, right at the start of her Degree Pathway, in her first assignment. To read the poem and the rest of my blogpost, go to rectangular memories at We are OCA.

…I feel quite privileged that you chose to use my mind maps as an example! : ) Thanks! Kat Jasven, OCA Art Student