Creating Unforgettable Characters workshop – review.
I attended a library session hosted by the writer in residence. Although the evening was enjoyable and he relayed many personal stories to highlight how we can use our life experience to create characters, there was not much in the way of ‘practical’ tips. This was rather a disappointment to many that attended. A character sheet was handed out but it can be downloaded from the internet easily enough. It would have been a lot more instructive to actually have writing exercises and then discussion so we gained valuable feedback on our character descriptions.
Have you attended workshops that fell short or exceeded your expectations?
The Twesome Loop manuscript review.
I asked a friend, who is not a writer but a reader to give me her honest opinion on my manuscript as there are two time periods and multiple characters in the story. I wanted to know if the story was too complex and required drastic revision. Not only did she read it in record time but loved the story. This was her last comment:
“Finished 5pm local time. From p.89 today. Yay for Gerald , I was swinging punches at Brett too. P.96 love description of Rome, have visited some of those places. Your draft book was enjoyable. Had no problems with characters , followed story OK. Well done.” Doreen.
My reason for wanting this review was that a professional author thought I should cut out characters ‘as there are too many’ – however as he does not write or read historical romance, I was loathe to discard characters I thought rounded out the story. I think I will continue editing but will keep the characters. I did look at the prospect of separating some of the characters into two other novels but I think it would detract from their stories to do so.
Have you stuck to your guns on a manuscript?
Did you drastically revise a novel so characters were omitted?
A freelance client contacted me after some time away asking for more work so now I have to juggle her internet lessons, due 27th February with ghost writing a book for another client. And refining an erotic scene for a reading I am doing on 25th February – what’s that saying – when it rains, it pours! No I am not complaining.
I am 2/3 through Ava Moss by Joss Landry. After which I have Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic.
In addition I have a manuscript to review for an author friend so I have plenty to read.
What book are you reading currently? How do you like it?
“Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear).” — Diana Athill
What’s your favorite writing tip?
February 15, 2017 at 11:28 am
I am reading some unpublished manuscripts.
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February 15, 2017 at 11:24 am
Mandy, I have heard the “too many characters” thing before on a manuscript I edited a couple of years ago. I’ll tell you the same thing I told that author: “In your case, DO NOT cut your characters or material.”
If you have carefully evaluated your writing and characters and have determined they are well fleshed out and there for a reason, one size does not fit all when it comes to professional feedback. Their background knowledge, preferred writing style, and familiarity with genre matter a great deal. Creative work suffers when it is cookie-cuttered into moulds; the heart is lost.
I am so passionate about this and have a story to tell, so rather than posting a long comment, I am working on a blog post that I will link back.
February 15, 2017 at 11:44 am
Thank you for your support – I thought the story required all the characters – it deepens the readers experience in my mind.
looking forward to reading your blog post.
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