Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Writing Perfection – A Continuous Process or a Myth..?

August 15, 2014
mandyevebarnett


practice

I came across this article today and it resonated with me. We all aspire to become an excellent writer and hold famed authors up in our esteem as the ‘perfect’ writer or writers. However, not every work they produce is ‘perfect’. This not only shocks us but also gives us solace in the knowledge, even our heroes can fail. I have found  a decrease in quality to be most prevalent in long sagas or series. Does the author become disillusioned or bored with the stories? A seven book deal may sound wonderful at the inception but by book five, is it still enjoyable?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-brown-hoffmeister/reading-great-writers-wor_b_1830842.html?utm_hp_ref=literary-prizes

Have you found one of your favored author’s work to be disappointing?

Which novel was it?

Why did it fall short?

Quotes:

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success. Mario Andretti

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.  Ralph Marston

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.  Aristotle

FunDay  Today’s prompt – if you choose to take up the challenge – is to find a sentence from one of your a favored authors that you feel you can improve upon.

 

Friday – A Relief But How Much Can You Cram in Over the Weekend..?

June 20, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Friday

Friday is the day many of us yearn for all week – probably not the best way to live our lives when you think about it but there it is, the phenomenon that is the weekend versus the week day slog.

When we have a writing project and a full time job, the lure of our narrative is strong – in fact it can give us a real feeling of dissatisfaction with our normal routines. We ask ourselves why we are ‘wasting’ time on other things when all our muse wants to do is write. I have experienced this dilemma many times, as I’m sure have you. In fact, just this week, I managed to squeeze in two blissful three hour editing and revision sessions prior to evening meetings. The temptation to ‘skip’ the meetings was hard to resist but I did – I have another compulsion to stand by my commitments!

 So how do you balance the ‘real’ work week with your ‘writing wishes’?

Do you cram in as much as possible over the weekends, in defiance of chores, commitments or family?

It is not always easy to shut ourselves away with laptop or pen and paper. Our story’s characters chatter to us, ideas for the plot or next crucial scene emerge at the most inconvenient times. All of these add to our frustration but maybe it is best to understand our compulsion and make small adjustments to our routine to accompany them.

Can you get up earlier than the rest of the household or maybe stay up later?

Can you escape to the local library, cafe or park for a few hours?

Can you dedicate a period of time each weekday or weekend to writing, when your family will leave you alone? 

What strategies have you applied to help your writing schedule? Care to share?

writer_at_work

Quote – “You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.”
—Orson Scott Card

So today’s prompt is? You’ve guessed it – an idea on making time to write.

FunDay

A Blurring of Genres, Literary News and a Prompt…

May 16, 2014
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FunDayThere is a blending/blurring of genres taking place almost constantly. The latest is crime and fantasy – which by all accounts is not a new genre at all. See this link: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/15/crime-fantasy-literature-crimefest-bristol-literary-genres

Have you blended genres within your novels? Which ones?

Send your congratulations to the women who have been recognised in the Miles Franklin Prize – http://www.theguardian.com/books/australia-culture-blog/2014/may/15/women-dominate-shortlist-miles-franklin-prize

Quotes:

There is good and mediocre writing within every genre. Margaret Attwood

Genre might certainly increase some of your narrative freedoms, but it also diminishes others. That;s the nature of genre. Junot Diaz

Literary fiction, as a strict genre, is all but dead. Meanwhile, most genres flourish. Dean Koontz

Prompt:

Use opposing genres in a short story or poem to reflect how they can be blurred. Have fun with it. Romance and graphic novel, crime and sci-fi, horror and YA…find one to experiment with.

genre

A Shakespearean Celebration and Prompt…

April 25, 2014
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FunDayI could not pass up the opportunity to share the celebrations planned in the UK for Shakepeare’s 450th birthday! http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=19

The Bard would have been shocked and hopefully pleased, if he were present today with the adoration and celebration in his honor. For those who are curious about William’s life this link is great. http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=88

shakespeare

Shakespearean Quotes:

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

Fun Prompt:

In true Shakespearean hommage let us write a sonnet.

Please share yours!

For my USA followers in MA here is a literary festival to attend. http://www.newburyportliteraryfestival.org/

Fun Day Friday and An Award…

March 21, 2014
mandyevebarnett


lighthouseawardI want to thank Stacy at http://onegirlriot.com for kindly awarding me this Lighthouse Award and her kind words about my blog. There are a few rules so I’ll get right to it.

Display the award certificate on your blog.  Check
Inform your nominees of their award nominations.  Check
Share three ways that you like to help other people. Check
There is no limit to the number of people you can nominate. Check
Don’t forget to have fun!

How I like to help others:

1. To encourage writers to pursue their writing in any way that works for them. There is no ‘right or wrong’ method, just your own.

2. Share my writing journey and experiences with as many people as possible in the hope it will enlighten them. The main aim of my blog!

3. To be a true friend and follow through with my promises and commitments.

My nominees are:

http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/  My mentor, dearest friend and huge encourager.

http://risingwoman.wordpress.com/  If you read this remarkable woman’s story you will understand that determination is her middle name.

http://www.kathiesutherland.com/  A place to refresh your mind and soul. Enjoying the stillness and centering yourself.

http://knitewrites.com/ Extremely informative blog that gives me inspiration.

Quotes:

Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a phlosphic wreck.  Immanuel Kant

For me, a writer should be more like a lighthouse keeper, just out there by himself. He shouldn’t get his ideas from other people all around him.  Robert M. Pirsig

FunDayToday’s prompt – create a poem or story with a lighthouse as the central character.

 
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