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?
This week’s events for me are mostly Board meetings. The first is tomorrow – Writers Foundation meeting where we will be planning our annual conference among other things. The conference is a major event for the foundation and we are always delighted to welcome prestige presenters. The event is open to members and non-members and is always an enjoyable and informative day.
On Wednesday I will be chair for the Arts & Culture Council board meeting and again there will be planning to commence for our 150 year Canada celebration in the summer.
Both boards enable me to indulge in the arts and spread the word in and around our locality.
Do you belong to a board? How does it help you and your community?
Gallery 501, Sherwood Park – Exhibit
January 6 – Feburary 26, 2017
Saturley paints Canadian Contemporary Realism. Making art for over thirty years, and painting in acrylics for fifteen. Saturley gained national attention with her paintings inspired by Canadian culture and sport including goalie masks, Canadian athletes, the Canadian flag, the Montreal Canadiens, Alberta Rockies, and Canadian wildlife.
Other writing events:
The Galiano Island Literary Festival, which will kick the new season February 17–19 with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Carmen Aguirre, Janie Chang, Anosh Irani, Jennifer Manuel, Heather O’Neill, Bev Sellars, and Yasuko Thanh.
Please share your local writing events here.
A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.
“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is—”
“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”
Care to share a joke or two?
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?
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
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!
What could possibly go wrong today? A full moon and Friday 13th. For me it has always been a good day. How about you?
I thought this literary coffee display was worth sharing today.
This one will make you groan!
Q: What would you get if you crossed a locomotive with the author of Tom Sawyer?
A: A choo-choo Twain.