Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

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Ask A Question Thursday

May 23, 2019
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Today’s question is: What is your motivation for writing more?

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My reply is that I have so many stories tumbling around in my head, I have to keep writing to get them all out. Many of you know I only began ‘writing’ when I came to Canada so I’m now making up for ‘lost’ time! I have always been creative but for whatever reason I had never written ‘stories’ before for the explicit reason of allowing other people to read them.

What is your reason – leave a comment below.

Last week’s question: Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

 Katie O’Connor.

I’ve done that. Some of my best ideas come to me in dreams. If I was a thriller or suspense writer, I’d have even more writing material. My brain likes to frighten me at night.

Signs of Panic – NaNoWriMo 2013…

November 26, 2013
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Clamant – definition: 1. clamorous; noisy; 2. compelling, or pressing; urgent

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With only five days left to achieve the magical fifty thousand words of the National Novel Writing Month challenge, many participants are now feeling the pressure.

If you are fearing the 30th November link up here for some pep talks:

http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks

My own experience this time around in NaNo, I found I ‘lost’ motivation when I tried to keep to my plot model. Having the story mapped out before me, hindered my creativity and I lagged behind dreadfully. Trying a new genre – cowboy romance – has added to the struggle but I am determined to make that goal. I may not sleep for the rest of this week but it will be worth it.

My word count today is 45,844, leaving a tantalizing 4,156 words left to create. I have to squeeze them in between a conference planning meeting tonight, an orthodontist appointment for my daughter on Thursday and organizing and packing books on Friday evening for an all day event on Saturday. Will I make it? I hope so. To be so close and not succeed would seriously suck!

How are you coping with these last few days?

Have you already achieved the target 50,000? Or surpassed it?

Do you have any words of wisdom to achieve the total?

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Character Development…

January 9, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

Yesterday’s word had me puzzling on how to incorporate it into a blog article. Could I be clever enough? Then life got complicated and I had to leave my train of thought and deal with the situation. So you have two for one today! I’ll let you be the judge on the outcome.

Sobriquet (sho-bri-kay) – Definition: a descriptive name or epitet – a nickname.

In character development we give a lot of thought to our character’s names, personality traits, appearance and their motivations. A name is a vital part of creating a mental image of our character for readers. The right name can give them a quick visualization of our character’s age, ethnicity, gender, and even location, and if we are writing a period piece, even the era. For example if I say the girl was called Britney, you would probably picture a young girl because of the association with Britney Spears. However, if a female character were called Edith or Edna, you would imagine someone born several decades ago. So you see a name is not just a name.

A burly man would be called something like Butch but not Shirley, unless of course you are going to tell the story of his struggle throughout childhood to overcome the name.  There are plenty of web sites available, which list the most common names for each decade and locations around the world.  These are great resources for writers, who require particular names for period stories or want to stay true to a certain decade.

The use of a nickname will also give your character an identity, be it an unkind one given by a bully or one of respect or fear for the bully. You would expect Big Al to be just that, a large person, however Little Mikey would be the exact opposite. Nicknames, or sobriquet’s can work very well in defining an ethnicity as well but care must be taken not to offend a person of color. Obviously there are certain words that were in common usage decades ago that are not politically correct now, so we need to be diligent in their use.

English: Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellari...

English: Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) in their Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica) home on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our second word for today is: Symbiosis  – Definition – the living together in close association of two different organisms especially when mutually beneficial.

My immediate thought was two-fold, family and writing life. Most of us have to balance these two sides of our lives, it can be tricky at times but life on the whole is better if we can. From my own experience I know that ‘Mum’s writing’ was thought a bit barmy at first. My family members would notice me frantically typing but had no trouble interrupting me. It took some time for them to understand that the act of writing was extremely important to me and when I was given the space to write, I was happier. Three years down the line, I have worked out a flexible routine and everyone knows my writing is not a passing fad but an essential part of me. So much so that they notice how much happier I am once words have been put to page. The benefits are obvious a happy Mum means a happy home. Getting to this point was not easy but I am glad I persevered.

How do you balance your writing life? Can you share your experiences?

More Motivational Thoughts

March 12, 2011
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I have written about motivation on my blog before but the longer I write the more I believe my motivation is the pure joy and satisfaction I gleam from it. To call this all consuming passion a hobby really trivializes it – to my mind anyway.

The act of creating a character, a scene, a whole world is so enjoyable. Obviously it would be nice to be published but it is certainly not my prime objective or motivation. The act of crafting a story populated with characters of your own making and guiding them through an event, or an experience as you engineer the how, why and where is tremendous.
I may not be as skilled as some but it does not diminish my delight in the art. An art I will continue to enjoy and hopefully master as time goes on.

Motivation….

January 19, 2011
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Does your motivation suddenly disappear? Do you feel overwhelmed? Are your ideas and ‘storyline’ a distant memory? Have ‘life’s demands’ got in the way?

We can all feel at a loss at times – the demands of work, home and loved ones push our writing life down the ‘to do’ list. The urge to shout and scream at those around us with a ‘let me alone’ is most certainly a common occurrence amongst writers. So how do we balance (or more appropriately juggle) everything?

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The solutions are going to be as different as we are – you may be a mother of seven or have a twelve hour work day – no matter what – there are solutions. The trick is finding the one(s) that work for you.

For my own situation – full time work, full time ‘domestic goddess’ (sounds better than chief cook and bottle washer eh?) mother and secretary for an organization. I find that slotting in even a short period of writing helps me not begrudge all my other roles. It might be ten minutes whilst eating my lunch or jotting down notes waiting for an appointment or plugging in my ear phones and ‘distancing’ myself from the family after supper. My point is you don’t always have to allot huge chunks of time to write. You might be surprised at how much you can do with the imposition of a ‘time limit’.

Seize the opportunity to write, jot down and muse – anywhere, any time. Carry your passion for writing with you always.

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