Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Anticipation For A Future Event Can Cloud Our Current Life…

July 13, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Anticipation

Anticipation: the action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction

Synonyms: expectancy, expectation, excitement, suspense

We all feel the thrill and anticipation for upcoming vacations, special occasions and seasonal festivals. During the months and weeks prior, we build them up into something fantastic. Our increased expectation impairs our day-to-day activities. We have a ‘countdown’ to the event or day, creating an ever intensifying yearning for our days to pass quickly. It is, of course, human nature to look forward to a special occurrence – it is hard not to.

However, in doing so, we risk not enjoying the everyday events that might also be special. Our anticipation can cloud our minds to everything else. I admit I have a countdown to a longed-for vacation but I realized my folly this past weekend. I became so focused on a future date; I was blurring some important dates that occurred prior to ‘the’ date.

A special friend got married on Saturday and although the heat was unbearable for many the garden ceremony was wonderful, as the guests saw the happy couple become man & wife. Shade was sort by some guest under tall hedges; there were containers of ice with water bottles in them and tiny bottles of bubble liquid to blow into the still air. The reception was held in a small community hall and everyone suffered the heat to rejoice the marriage. This was a celebration of two incredibly well suited people and I was honoured to share their day.

On Sunday, I visited a friend who has spent many months researching my family tree. The information gathered is fascinating and thrilling. We go back to 1628 in England, where records stop for the most part. I now have a binder full of my ancestors for my father and mother’s family tree. It will be part of an extraordinary keepsake book, I am compiling for my siblings and for their descendants to pass down.

So my weekend held incredible memories and my ‘countdown’ was forgotten for a while. I was fully present and will reflect on these events favorably for many a year. Every day is precious we need to relish them fully.

In writing, we also create anticipation for our readers, propelling them forward in the narrative to the conclusion. We plan the climax of our novels but anticipation is an important part of keeping your readers interest. If we develop a story arc that will have our readers asking questions about what could happen next, we are succeeding in our creation.

How do you form anticipation in your novels?

Share your tips, excerpts you are proud of or examples you found thrilling.

Fuub

Atrocity of War…

December 2, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Atrocity – definition: shocking cruelty or wickedness

War 1

In human history there have been hundreds of atrocities, some are part of written history but many have, alas, been forgotten as those who spoke of them have passed. Why do we not, as a species, learn from our mistakes? It is only a few generations since the ‘war to end all wars’ – World War I (1914-1918). Unfortunately, it was not the end of all wars as World War II (1939 – 1945) followed a mere twenty one years later. My grandfather served in the first and my mother and father were children during the second. When we actually look at our own families ancestry, it brings into sharp focus that these events are not that long ago. Surely, that mere fact should act as a deterrent.

Unfortunately, war is glorified in movies, books and games without consequence to the viewer/player. This must desensitize us to the actual horror and suffering. It is not up close and personal for the majority of people. Warfare can be waged from remote locations and aircraft thousands of feet above the ‘target’. For troops on the ground the horrors are all too real and they are haunted by them for the rest of their lives. I experienced this with my own grandfather, when in his old age, he would be convinced he was back in the trenches and would hide underneath his bed, pulling me down to safety.

My grandfather was also part of the Christmas truce (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce ) when both sides joined together in peace. If they could do it for a day why not forever?

War is death of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children.

Why do humans continue to slaughter each other? We are the same species after all.

What is the answer to stop? That is the age old question that no one seems to know the answer to.

I recently saw a trailer for the movie The Book Thief. It is set in World War II and follows a young girls journey. I have attached a link to the book’s summary, for those interested.

http://www.shmoop.com/book-thief/summary.html

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