Tuesday, 12 May 2009
But, alas, I must get down to writing at some point. Rainy days and early evenings are good for me. I suppose I work on plot, story line, character development and increasing tension, but I think a lot of that happens in my head when I let the characters take over. I enjoy a good yarn and hopefully that’s what I write. Writing should be fun and not a chore; so I don’t get too serious about it. There are other things in my life that are more important, like remembering to take my medication and not leaving the house in my pyjamas!
You can find me tapping away at the keyboard when there are dishes to be done, floors to be vacuumed or it is one of those “ We need to talk” times. I get a pained expression on my face and mutter, “Not now, I’m on a roll.”
I hope that helps.
Monday, 11 May 2009
In reality, I write either just before a deadline or during a sudden surge of creativity, which only seems to come on when I'm supposed to be someplace else.
I do plan a bit, so, when one of these bouts of creativity comes on, I've got an idea of what it is I need to be writing about.
I have lists of things stuck up all over my study, prompting me to start such and such or read this, research that. It's pathetic really, but keeps me aware of what needs to be done.
Personal wellbeing is also a major factor in my writing process. If I've been out doing the whole social thing, I don't even bother sitting at the computer until I can get the cobwebs cleared out. This can be a day, maybe two, three after the really big occasions (birthday bashes, social gatherings, Friday nights, Saturday nights, Sundays afternoons etc.).
All joking aside, I've really put a focus on setting little goals this year. If I put something on a list, I want it to be crossed off by the end of the week. The deadline idea is something that really works for me and the added pressure forces me to get off my duff and actually do something.
I've just realised I have used the words 'I' and 'my' enough times to rival a Dermott Brereton newspaper article, so it is best I put an end to this drivel and sum up.
Make lists. Give yourself deadlines. Ditch your friends and family. Give TV the arse. These are my lesson unto you, use them wisely.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
One way of knowing is entering our work in competitions. The Ada Cambridge Prize is run as part of the Willy Lit Fest and the Novel 2 class of VU was asked to help shortlist the short stories. As a reward the volunteers received a free ticket to the festival.
The 6th Willy Lit Fest was held on the 1st to the 3rd of May 2009. It is a fantastic opportunity for writers of all ages to find out if their stories are good.
Some writers like to plan before they begin their story. From Lucia Nardo I learnt a funky and fun way to produce a writing plan in visual form using magazine images.
Then you have to write the story. From Garry Disher I learnt how to start my story. Disher gave many examples of where to get ideas and begin writing. One important thing Disher noted was he believes in writing for yourself and not for publication.
Once your story is written and you think it is pretty good, you might send it out to a publisher. And if they think it is pretty good it gets published. Part of the publishing process is working with an editor. Sarah Brennan and Tess Moloney explained why the editing process is vital and how an editor can help you publish your work.
Once the story is published it's all about promotion. Claire Saxby, Corinne Fenton and Glenda Millard discussed how the book promotion process works and the difference between showing off and promotion.
So I guess, if you have a good idea for a story and finish writing it, it must be good. If the story is published, it must be great. It you promote it, without showing off, and people buy it and read it, it must be excellent. And if you want to know more about writing good stories attend the 7th Willy Lit Fest in 2010.
National Novel Writing Month
50,000 words in 30 days.
Chris impressed me with the manner in which he shared his NaNoWriMo experiences. He was honest and outlined many of the problems writers face, such as procrastination, lack of self confidence, and commitment to write daily. Chris suggested we look on writing as an enjoyable thing to do, not as a chore, and it’s okay to write crap with no editing until the end of the manuscript.
Writing a novel in a month gives you focus. All you need to do is commit to write nearly 1,700 words every day, during the month of November. Last year 119,000 people from 90 countries accepted the challenge and 21,000 of these completed a 50,000 word novel.
A miraculous thing happens to people when they are given a deadline and write daily. You only need to read the last couple of paragraphs from the previous day before starting again. And you do not need to do any editing in the first draft. This can help you get over the idea that novel writing is a scary thing and, knowing that no one will read your completed manuscript, helps relieve the pressure of what you write.
Everyday people who give themselves permission to write them write novels. Don’t think you can’t write a novel in 30 days. There will be some really good parts, there will be wonderful passages of language, and there will be parts of your novel that you do not remember writing. Your novel will also be crap in parts. It is important to get the first draft down on paper. The second draft is where the novel is born and you start to see it emerge. You can turn a bad first draft into a great novel, but you cannot turn anything from a blank page into a novel.
Friday, 8 May 2009
Thursday, 7 May 2009
|The Emerging Writers' Festival News|
Volunteer for the 2009 Emerging Writers' Festival!
Expressions of interest close Thursday 14th May.
Please email the Volunteer Coordinator Jodie Kinnersley [firstname.lastname@example.org] with your name, contact number, and the following details:
We are also looking for two volunteers to help out with The Page Parlour, our undiscovered press and (maga)zine event at Federation Square on Sunday 31st of May. If you’re interested in this, please let us know.
Our mailing address is:
Emerging Writers' FestivalCopyright (C) 2009 Emerging Writers' Festival All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 21251 Little Lonsdale StreetMelbourne, Victoria 8011
Rob Corbet has forwarded some more poetry from our Poetry 1 students. Once again, sorry about the double spacing, which isn't in the originals...
Big front teeth
Swings and slides, bark flies
Running, confused and happy
Coloured balloons and merry go rounds
Playing kiss chasey, hide and seek
Shivneel, I love you!
Touch hair softly back from your face
Make me feel closer to you
Warm, fuzzy socks, soft blankets and snuggling
By the open fire on winter days
Bright eyes, hot lips, warm hands, trembling
Red heart, red blood, chocolate kisses
Melted by tears and broken glass
Dark clouds of disbelief
When you and I used to hug
Having felt cold ever since
I turn away from the old couple
Hand in hand
On a park bench
The gold watch my mother gave to me
Roman numerals worn by the passing hand
An empty clock face and spilling sand
The clocks at Flinders Street Station
Needles moving quickly
Waiting, hurry up, hassle, worry
Grasping opportunity before it’s too late
Stressed out, busy streets, deadlines
People wearing black amidst chaos
Rush of life is constant.
It’s never enough. Are you enough?
Cold hands, cold heart, hot tears
He was a good man
A coffin being lowered
Life reduced to dust
A silence surrounds him.
All that’s left now
Final loving words on a gravestone.
A perfect world
White clouds spread across an open sky
Colourful flowers, a dove flying
Soft sunrise, a gentle rain.
From different backgrounds
Children playing, happiness
Friends that love each other
A hiss of steam, then I’m off.
by Tommy, Tarryn, Stephanie, Rhys, Melissa, Meady, Judith, John B, Elyse, Christine, Austin, Antonia, Antonette, Huda, Melita, Sarah C, Tomas V