Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Has Isolation Been Productive or Not?

April 2, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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As we try to occupy ourselves in isolation, has it been productive for your writing or not?

There is an emotional component to this particular imposed isolation that is subduing creativity. Our emotions have always influenced our mood and in turn our writing. Strong emotions, such as anger or depression subdue our creativity while feelings of love and happiness enhance it. Our concentration is in short supply or our focus limited. To pour out these feelings in words can dispel some of them.

You may find it is helpful to journal at this time to help lessen your heightened state of anxiety. It is also a record of our experience for future generations but maybe, also, the genus of an idea for a future work/narrative/story.

As writers we use many influences, experiences, emotions and personal knowledge in our narratives and this extreme situation may give us remarkable ideas. Think positively and use it for inspiration.

I think this particular writing tip is also relevant. With some sort of goal or deadline, even if it is only 20 minute sprints in writing can help us.

Writing Tips:

Set your writing goals for every writing session

Outline your aims for a writing session in order to keep yourself focused. It may help to write down what you want to achieve in the next chapter or scene. However, remember,  to give yourself elbow room. It is okay to depart from your scene summary if you feel the story should go (or wants to go) in a new direction. Personally, I let the story flow but some writers find writing a pre-scene enables them to maintain a clear sense of direction for each scene in relation to their story arc.

sprint

Maybe hook up with another writer and set a time to write virtually. Find a writing prompt and time yourself. There are ways to encourage your Muse, find the one that works for you.

Take care & stay safe. Stay well.

 

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday -Screenwriting Workshop, Book Review & Novel Update

March 10, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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I was delighted to win a draw for a copy of Being Grateful, Being Thankful by Sarah Butland recently and she was kind enough to send two copies, one of which I gave to a friend.

Review:

We take so much for granted – water, light, heat, friends & family, homes, finances, transport and more.
But do we ever consider life without these? A power outage, a burst water pipe, no internet service – any of these things brings the realization that when it works we don’t give them a second thought. Then we are uncomfortable, sad and sometimes frustrated.
This unique book puts us into a mind set to be thankful for our world, our life, our luxuries. We are blessed and giving thanks is a way to give back to the universe. https://www.amazon.ca/Being-Grateful-Thankful-Sarah-Butland/dp/0993786413

Remember to keep your 2020 pledge and review every book you read. Even a sentence will do!

giftGIFT Presents: Intro to Screenwriting

I attended an event on 7th March by GIFT (Girls in Film & Television). This is an avenue of writing I want to explore, learn and master. After all every fiction author wants to see their story on the big screen. The workshop focused on secrets to the golden rules of screenwriting, focusing on short film format. Teaching us how to write full and dynamic characters, how to structure our story, and how to format our script like a pro.

Do you have a favorite book you wish would be made into a movie?

Current writing:

I finished editing one client’s manuscript and almost immediately dove into another manuscript but this time for a friend, who is part of the monthly workshop, I am participating in. This will allow other authors to read my work and comment and I will do the same for them.

Update on Steampunk novel: The Commodore’s Gift.

I had a brainwave when it came to incorporating more ‘mechanical’ elements into the narrative and will add a certain physical characteristic to the Commodore. Subscribe to my newsletter to find out what it is…Sneek Peeks & Glimpses.

 

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday -Writing Workshops Aid Creativity

March 5, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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As writers we are always honing our skill and learning new styles and types of writing aid our creativity. I attended two workshops on 29th February, both gave me the opportunity to improve my writing.

As an author, we welcome constructive critique of our work, it is how we grow. So a group of local authors and I spend the first few months of each new year working on our current work in progress. Some are the result of our NaNoWriMo participation, while others are whatever story/novel/project we are working on currently. The premise of these monthly workshops is to read a certain number of chapters each month of each others work, then using track changes edit, suggest and comment on the plot arc, continuity, premise etc. Having a number of different reader’s feedback allows us to identify any inconsistencies and correct them. Obviously, we do not have to take every suggestion, it is after all our work but if there is a consensus of opinion throughout on a specific part, then we can revise and improve them. This allows us to create the best story possible prior to publication. 

My project is my steampunk novel, The Commodore’s Gift. Currently 75,102 words, 201 pages, 39 chapters and epilogue. Publishing date September 2020.

my steam hat

The second workshop, I attended was a poetry workshop held by The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County in anticipation of Poetry Month in April. I have to admit that poetry is not my forte, so it did stretch my creativity a bit! We covered several types of poetry: monorhyme, enclosed rhyme, simple 4-line rhyme, coupled rhyme, chain rhyme and alternative rhyme. After an explanation of each style, we then had five minutes to create a rhyme in that style using randomly selected words. The words chosen for the chain rhyme were: after, banana, crafter, panorama, would, bandanna, could, dessert, should. Yes rather a mixed bag and it had everyone struggling, but that’s the point – we cannot learn without effort. I managed this:

Alice’s happy thought was about the contest after

As she ate her second banana

Her final piece as a genius crafter

Showed a glorious textured panorama

Comments from friends confirmed she would

Win the coveted bandanna

Her gumption knew she could

A promised reward when she won – a dessert

Even though her diet negated she should

I even managed to include the ‘extra’ point words of happy, genius & gumption in that one.

What workshop have you recently attended. What did you learn about your writing?

 

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Name that Character – Help Needed

February 25, 2020
mandyevebarnett


I am asking for help naming my heroine in my steampunk novel, The Commodore’s Gift. I have named her Owena but need to know your thoughts. I used Owena as it is a Welsh name meaning  young warrior.

The images above are for reference only, to give you an idea of how I envisage her.

To give you some background on her – here are a few things about her.

1. Comes from a upper middle class family background but not super wealthy.

2. Her mother died when she was young.

3. She was brought up by her father and older brother – they allowed her to learn from ‘manly’ literature, practice sword play and was more ‘tomboy’ than debutante.

4. She is feisty, adventurous and opposed to a conventional female role in society.

5. She stands up for herself.

Comment below with your suggestions. Thanks for taking part.

Remember you can find my books on these websites:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Mandy+Eve-Barnett

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Compelling First Lines to Capture Your Reader

February 6, 2020
mandyevebarnett


 

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How to capture your readers attention.

It seems like an easy question until you try to write it. There is always the cover, the blurb and, of course the competition of a favoured best seller author’s new book compared to yours to overcome. However, it can also be those first few lines glanced at as a reader browses the shelves of their local book store or library. These are the most worked on, pondered and despaired lines by authors. They must capture a reader’s attention so completely that they are compelled to continue reading. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It is far from easy it though.

There are some key elements that draw a reader in:

  1. Make them wonder.
  2. Begin with a pivotal moment.
  3. Create an interesting scene.
  4. Intrigue them with a character.
  5. Begin with an unusual instance.
  6. Use a compelling narrative voice.
  7. Begin with a conflict.
  8. Use a life changing moment.

Here are a couple of my first lines:

Celeste watched her daughter, Maralynn; grow over the years while seeing her power increase. She could see her own mother, the previous Eldenma’s movements and expressions reflected in her daughter. Since her own mother, Juliana and her lover, Guillem’s transition to the other realm, Celeste and her lover, Michael, were her daughter’s only protectors in the earthly realm. They knew in time their ability to protect her would end as Maralynn learned how to control and manipulate her powers.

“Come back, here, Bubble – you’ll get stuck up there.”

Lenni called to her pet in vain. Bubble climbed up the bark of the tree in her usual wobble side-to-side manner, getting higher and higher. As she watched her pet, Lenni could see the two moons begin to converge in the magenta evening sky. Once they were one moon, she would need to be safely at home behind the dome wall. Lenni realized there was only one thing she could do, climb up the frackist tree and carry Bubble down.

These are the first lines from a book I re-read quite often. It was the first book I found that centred around reincarnation, a fascination of mine.

Ferney by James Long.

As he looked for the bones of his long-dead wife, old Ferney came close to death. Caught in the traffic jam that resulted, Gally Martin’s life changed.

Care to share your favourite first lines & links?

 

 

 

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