Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Ask A Question Thursday

May 16, 2019
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So it seems it’s been a week of delays! Here is the question of the week.

 Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

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My answer: My current WIP is a steampunk novel and the initial scene in it is of a dream I had. It was so dramatic I knew I needed to use it somewhere.

Last week’s question: When creating your stories, do you tend to write your protagonist as the same gender as yourself – or do you use the genre dynamic as a device?

My answer: I do not have a particular gender I write about but in my novel, Life in Slake Patch I purposely used a young male protagonist due to the basic theme of the book – a matriarchal society and a young man’s life within it.

Do You Connect Physically or Virtually or Both..?

March 24, 2014
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articlesI read this blog piece a few days ago    http://tatterhoodblog.com/2014/03/16/siri/ , which resonated with me on many levels. We are fortunate to have the ability to connect with people from all over the world with the click of a button. Barring time differences we can speak face to face with them as well as converse via various technologies unthought-of in quite recent history. Technology can be a burden but also a gift. Personally, I have met other writers from as far away as America and Warsaw, to name just two. People I would never have met any other way. The American writer posted on a non-writing site and our reponses to a topic were so familiar we began emailing each other. After several months, we found out our lives were mirrors of each other’s life experiences. This culminated in us visiting each ‘homes and becoming firm friends. We call each Soul Sister. The young woman from Warsaw, blogged how she felt alone in her writing, this was a call I could not ignore, so responded with a membership to my writers group as we have virtual as well as local members. www.wfscsherwoodpark.com  She has since managed to publish her work and enjoys the connection with other writers. This is the positive side of the internet, as well as research possibilities for anything under the sun, we care to find out about. Our curiosity for knowledge can be satisfied with almost no effort at all.

However, not all connections can become physical ones and that is the shame of the internet. We cannot jump on a ‘plane at the drop of a hat in order to travel to far away countries to visit these contacts, for the most part. Our ‘relationships’ are limited to short conversations and ‘funny’ facebook posts. In short it is not a’ true’ friendship with shared experiences but that being said, still important connections for a host of reasons.

Do we hold these ‘virtual’ relationships above physical ones though?  Are we so wrapped up in them that we do not connect with those around us?

How many of you open a conversation in a coffee shop, on a train or bus, even in the food store? People around us are as interesting as those on the computer screen. Has technology taken this ability away? I remember watching my Mother striking up conversations with complete strangers all the time. As a shy child I found this alarming but as I grew up I realized without human contact, we become isolated in a crowd.

We should not be afraid to connect with people – everyone has an interesting story to share after all. Who knows it might be a story idea.

What has been your experience with internet contacts?

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Capturing Your Snippets of Genius…

March 12, 2014
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Many of us have scribbled notes on pieces of paper, in notebooks even on torn napkins, of ideas for our current or next narrative. These can ‘disappear’ if we are not careful and as we all know once it is gone – it’s gone!

There are techniques that can assist us in capturing and organizing these snippets of genius. Filing notebooks on theme or genre, keeping those scraps of paper in an ideas box or if you are seriously organized typing them up and putting into folders on your computer.  Whatever method works for you, keep doing it. Capture those inspirations – they are precious.

 These wonderful bloggers have great insights on keeping organized – take a look.

http://onewildword.com/2013/11/25/how-to-organize-your-writing-notes-and-observations/

http://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/how-to-write-down-story-ideas-so-you-can-remember-why-they-were-brilliant/

http://onewildword.com/2013/12/02/let-your-short-story-write-itself/

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Too Much Ruminating…

June 2, 2013
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Ruminate – definition: 1) to chew the cud, as a cow does 2) to think over and over again : ponder

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Is it counter productive to ruminate over a story idea? Are we in danger of over thinking the story, it’s plot and characters? Out lines are one thing but can we lose the essence of the creative process by pre-planning too much detail?

As you all know I write by the seat of my pants and let my muse have free rein. The idea grows naturally with my characters telling me their story. Once the tale is completed then I go back to edit and revise. This way, I feel I have not lost anything and can be pulled along with my protagonist.

We all have a process unique to our creativity. Recently, I attended an interview with Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian author of short stories. His technique of editing line by line would cancel out my creative process immediately but it is the way he has worked for decades. I can’t fathom how he can retain his idea, if each line has to be perfect before he continues.

These comments show different perspectives:

Ann Beattie

Because I don’t work with an outline, writing a story is like crossing a stream, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock.”

Susan Howe

“I often think of the space of a page as a stage, with words, letters, syllable characters moving across.”

Here are some more: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/

Just had to add: http://azevedosreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/stephen-kings-20-quotes-on-writing/

What is your process like? 

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