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?
Maybe it’s naughty but I submitted few pages of another manuscript to our current Writer in Residence over the weekend. This time it was the manuscript I am currently working on, The Twesome Loop. A romance with a touch of erotica and a reincarnation twist. It is two time periods – 2000 and 1874 so the chapters go back and forth between the two. The four main characters in each time period are linked by reincarnation and as you get to know the characters you will come to notice similarities in personality coming through.
My meeting on Sunday with Richard van Camp our current WIR was excellent. He gave me a ‘light bulb’ moment on one of the characters. This will give me a new boost in creating her in a whole different light. Now I need to find the time to revise all the scenes she is present in. An expression he used was to ‘echo’ the characters to entice the reader with the similarities between the modern day and past personalities.
I also submitted the initial draft of the book I am ghost writing to my client for her review. Fingers crossed it will meet with approval!
And – agreed to be a beta-reader for two author friends so the manuscripts are piling up!
I completed this novel – here is my review: Great story with well rounded characters, especially Emma whose bravery inspires.
A story of spirit, love and overcoming fear.
The tension builds with unforeseen twists and turns.
A well written narrative by an artful author, I will certainly be seeking out her other books.
I am now reading:
You don’t always need an outline. Give discovery writing a try.
Do you have a writing tip to share?
What book can you recommend?
It is my writers group sharing meeting on Tuesday. This is a monthly meeting where we share our stories and receive constructive critique. Later there are discussions on plot, characters, publishing and many other subjects. We occasionally have special guests and presentations on particular topics. No matter which meeting you attend, it is always inspiring and great to network.
http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/ We welcome local & virtual members – any age, any stage of their writing career.
Writers know the struggle!
Are we all psychopaths? Wow …thought provoking or what!
Care to share your favorite writer joke?
This past Saturday I had an enjoyable ‘writerly’ day – coffee with a new author friend discussing publishing, promotion, writing and getting to know each other. Then off to an author reading at Social Grounds cafe organized jointly by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and Dream Write Publishing. Although the audience was smaller than I would have liked, they were engaged and appreciative. What more can an author hope for?
I read a section of The Rython Kingdom, which some of you may know is a fantasy romance novella set in medieval England. Go figure I’m English! Anyway the book (e-book if you prefer) is actually two stories in one. The first is the story of my protagonist, Guillem Ruet a famed troubadour and how he finds himself not only relaying a tale to the King but aids in the fight against a malevolent witch aiming to destroy the King and his kingdom. The other ‘story’ is the one Guillem tells the King and his courtiers in the great hall.
I can reveal that I am working with a cover designer on The Rython Kingdom and will launch a ‘new’ cover in the next few months. Watch this space.
Local events coming up:
If you have an event or reading this week please feel free to add it to the comments below.
I would love these emotions!
Finding a way to engage the technologically imprisoned youth.
Jokes: How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to give it a surprising twist at the end.
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
– Stephen King
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
– Kingsley Amis
As I told you all earlier, I submitted part of my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch to our current Writer in Residence – Richard van Camp. He answered with:
I’ve had a read of your intro and it seems to me that you find your rhythm in Chapter 4. I found the first three chapters to go so quickly, too quickly, that I couldn’t get a lock on any of the characters or their back stories. Perhaps a rewrite of your intro? My advice is slow down; take your time. Have fun with each scene. Sights, smells, etc. Give us setting; give us tone; set the mood.
Now for new or seasoned writers, critique is a double edged sword, some is favorable, some not but all should be taken as constructive rather than destructive. Several rewrites previously I took another writer in residence advice and ‘info dumped’ at the beginning of this story to ‘set the scene’.
So do I change it or not? Do I follow my gut and revise to balance the slightly conflicting advice from these two marvelous authors? Or do I rewrite a completely different introduction? This is something I will ponder and decide after careful consideration.
Have you experienced conflicting critique?
How did you resolve the matter? Did you change it or not?
Books: My review of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
The story was a neat concept but fell short, unlike Claire’s previous two books. The character was complex, the story arc well constructed but the use of numerous synonyms of words detracted from the flow of the story – taking me out of the narrative. I understand as a fellow author that these descriptions were an explanation of the main character’s inner most thoughts but they were too much of a distraction for me.
However, it will in no way put me off reading another of Claire’s books – her ability to engage a reader is wonderful in The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August & Touch.
I have just started reading – I Can See You by Joss Landry.
I was engaged from the first page!
Writing Tip: Chuck Sambuchino
Remember the Three “P’s”: Patience, Perseverance, and maintaining your sense of Purpose.
Do you have a writing tip to share?
What book can you recommend?
Saturday saw myself and the Board of the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County host an event -the Arty Party. It took some months of preparation but was well worth the effort. We partnered with the Spark Gallery, which is the most beautiful space and the art work spectacular. The venue itself is inspiring for artisans and lovers of art alike.
The party gave everyone the opportunity to network, discover the gallery and find out more about the Arts & Culture Council and what it can do for it’s members. We gained 4 new members on the night! I am a happy President. (ACCSC)
Now I have photos to share:
With confirmation from a freelance client on Friday, I have begun working on a ghost writing project. It is exciting to delve into this client’s vision for her book and create it. Initial few pages are drafted up now.
Spark has another event this Friday too.
Share your local events for this week in the comments.
So guess who forgot to schedule today’s post – yep me! It’s late but here goes…a little humor before bed.
Share your writing humor!