Category Archives: stress

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Although I did escape with my friend, Linda for a mini break over the weekend, I did not get around to writing for me. We spent time organizing for our Words in the Park event and the launch of our writing group’s Canada 150 book project. Working together is easy and productive, we work well as a team.

Words in the Park – Saturday 30th September 10:00 am – 4:00 pm- Spark Gallery, Sherwood Park. 

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

We did, however enjoy an afternoon of history at the Fort Normandeau, where we were taught some Cree words around a fire pit. Then a wander through the fort itself and conversed with the chickens! Then onto the Kerry Wood Nature Center and a 1 km walk to the viewing/duck hide. Ducks, mostly bottoms up and two greater yellow-legs. A tour of the center – bookstore, gallery and nature discovery. 

 

 It was good to recharge the batteries, so to speak and I returned home refreshed.

 

Books:  My review: 

Santa writes with eloquent descriptions giving the reader a perfect tapestry of place and character. Her characters are well structured, engaging and keep the reader intrigued until the end. Woven between England and Italy this novel gives a taste of life in these two places and the struggle of their inhabitants. I highly recommend this book, it was a joy to read.

The Mermaid Garden

Already enjoying the intricacies of this story! And have just found out there is a sequel launching.

mind-of-the-phoenix

Writing Tips:

I wrote about how stress can have a profound effect on your writing here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/11/16/stress-blocks-creativity/

https://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block

What do you do to overcome the ‘block’?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My current flu has made concentration rather difficult so my creativity has suffered this past week.I think it is struggling against a ‘fuzzy’ head that has made creation arduous.

What illness / situation has made your creativity stall?

However, I was able to begin beta-reading two manuscripts for author friends, one is a thriller and the other a memoir. Both are intriguing in their own way. I am reading each one at separate times of the day so that I am ‘clear’ of one story line before reading the next one. I have shared a list of tips on beta-reading for those of you interested.

Books:

I continue to enjoy Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic. The writing is creative and the interwoven music elements make the story unique.With my other reading projects it is nice to let the story embrace me and lead me forward.

beyond-the-precipice

Do you tend to read one book at a time or many?

Do you lean towards fiction or factual?

I still have this novella on my pile too:

the-outcasts

https://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Maddison-Lily-Fox-Andrews/dp/1908128720

Writing Tip:

beta

If you are unsure of how to beta-read try these steps – I found them at http://jamigold.com/2014/08/introducing-the-beta-reading-worksheet/

Opening Scene:

Does the story begin with an interesting hook, creating a desire to read more?
Does the manuscript begin in the right place?

Characterization & Motivation:

Are the characters compelling, sympathetic, or someone you can root for?
Do the characters feel real and three-dimensional, with distinct voices, flaws, and virtues?
Are their goals clear and proactive enough to influence the plot (not passive)?
Do their motivations seem believable, with well-drawn and appropriate emotion?
Are the secondary characters well-rounded and enhance the story rather than overwhelming the story or seeming like they should be cut?
Are the relationships between the characters believable and not contrived?

Plot & Conflict:

Are the internal and external conflicts well defined for each main character?
Are the internal and external conflicts organic and believable, i.e. arising out of characterization and circumstance rather than feeling contrived or forced?
Are there enough stakes and/or tension throughout to make it a “page turner”?
Does the premise avoid cliché and/or bring a fresh perspective to an old idea?
Are the plot twists believable yet unexpected?
Do the characters act or react to events in a plausible, realistic, or believable way?

Pacing:
Do scenes progress in a realistic, compelling manner and flow with effective transitions?
Does every scene add to and seem important to the story?
Does the story move along at an appropriate pace, without rushing or dragging?
Is there a hook at the end of each chapter or scene that makes you want to read more?
Is the story free from information dumps or backstory that slow the pace of the story?

Setting & Worldbuilding:
Are descriptions vivid and give a clear sense of time and place?
Do the details enhance rather than distract from the story?

Dialogue:
Is the dialogue natural and appropriate for the story, not stilted or overly narrative?
Does dialogue move the story forward and reveal the characters?
Are characters’ voices consistent and distinct from one another?
Is there an appropriate mix of dialogue and narrative?

Craft:
Does the writing “show” the scene with the senses, using “telling” only as appropriate?
Does the writing quality allow the story to shine through and draw the reader in, or are flaws jarring or intrusive?
Is the tone appropriate and consistent for the story?
Is the point of view (and any changes) handled appropriately and consistently?

Overall Impression:
Is the voice unique, fresh, or interesting?
Does the story deliver on the promise of its premise and opening scenes?
From a reader’s point of view, did you enjoy reading this story?

Additional Questions for Comment:
Are there any confusing sections that should be made clearer? (Mark in the manuscript)
Do any sections take you out of the story? (Mark in the manuscript)
Is the story a good fit for the stated genre, and if not, why not?
Who are your favorite—and least favorite—characters and why?
What aspects are especially likable or unlikable about the protagonist(s)?
What three things worked best for you?
What three things worked least for you?

Emotions Affect Your Writing..


Emotions

Our emotions and physical condition certainly influence our moods and in turn our writing. Strong emotions, such as anger or depression subdue our creativity while feelings of love and happiness enhance it. If we are suffering an illness, our mind is filled with pain, discomfort or tiredness. Our concentration is in short supply or our focus limited. To pour out these feelings in words can dispel some of them.

As writers, we learn to use these emotional insights to the benefit of our craft. It gives us an idea how our characters may react to a certain situation and thus breathes life into our stories. Of course when we are in the midst of these feelings they are possibly too raw to even contemplate using but as with all things time heals. Jot down how it felt to be angry, shocked, sad, joyful or happy.

Did your body feel different?

Was your mind erratic or focused?

When the feeling passed, what changes did you notice?

When you can look back at that emotion and look deeply into it, it is there we find inspiration – it will strengthen our writing – and also (hopefully) help resolve barriers in character development.For example, after feeling angry does your ‘action’ scene have more impact? Did you channel the forceful nature of your feelings into your characters? Or when relaxed and comfortable can you imagine a characters reflection on a certain subject better?

How do you find your emotional state affects your writing?

Have you used a personal emotion to good effect in your writing?

Did an emotion inspire a story?

emotions

Creativity is Blocked by Stress…


We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns.

Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong?

Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best?

Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

stressed

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.

Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths.

When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply.

If possible, take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour.

Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.

If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you.

Focus on each step instead of overwhelming  yourself with the ‘whole’ project.

Give yourself a reasonable time frame.

If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

How do you cope with stress?

This link has some great ideas – http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/8-stress-management-tips-for-writers/

What are your de-stress methods?

Take A Break Mug Showing Relaxing Or Tiredness

https://litreactor.com/columns/how-stress-assassinates-creativity

5 Surprising Causes of Creative Block and How to Overcome Them

 

Lost Words – Describing My Easter Mountain Escape…


Jasper Mountains_n

Jasper National Park

apanthropinization                      1880 -1880
withdrawal from human concerns or the human world
His life as a hermit in the woods was characterized by apanthropinization.

desarcinate                                     1656 -1736
to unload; to unburden
She haughtily ordered her butler to desarcinate her baggage from the car.

locupletative                                 1802 -1812
tending to enrich
Your locupletative contributions have helped furnish the new stadium lavishly.

montivagant                                1656 -1658
wandering over hills and mountains
The montivagant hiker crossed the Alps with ease but was stymied by the Andes.

patration                                       1656 -1656
perfection or completion of something
The patration of my dissertation will be an occasion for great merriment.

stagma                                            1681 -1820
any distilled liquor
I will touch neither wine nor stagma, though I do occasionally partake of ale.

More lost words here:
http://phrontistery.info/clw.html

My good friend Linda and I escaped to the mountains for a long weekend over Easter. These words describe our experience to some extent.

We relished the apanthropinization from daily stresses to the Rocky Mountains. The glorious scenery, good company and a splash of stagma enabled us to desarcinate our troubles for a brief respite. Our montivagant and immersion into nature really locupletative our souls. In addition we were able to patration writing projects too. A recharging for our souls and sustenance for our mind and body.

Mediation Circle, Grande Cache

Meditation Circle_n