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Nanowrimo

Yesterday I attended the David Corbett workshop and it was motivating. We had lots of new faces who came from long distance to attend. The furthest was Chicago but also, Kansas City, Iowa City, Omaha, and northern Iowa. David based his workshop off of his current non-fiction book – The Art of Character. He had some great insights on using your feelings and emotions to create characters who are more than flat paper dolls you move around in your scenes. For more in depth details, do check out his book.  

The workshop was perfect timing. I always leave inspired to write and with this being November and Nanowrimo, that is exactly what I intend to do.

I am working on a romantic comedy that I have had half finished for a while. The characters keep calling to me so finally decided if I am ever going to be able to write anything else, I have to finish this project.

We have a very active Nano group here in central Iowa. We have write-ins every day in both the Des Moines and Ames area. I plan to attend this afternoon in West Des Moines to set my word count on fire. Maybe if I can get that flame hot enough, I can put – The End to this project.

Just so you know. Amy Tan will be in Des Moines on the 11th as the final author for the 2013 AVID program. She will be at Hoyt Sherman Place at 3:00. Hope to see you there.

Have a great week writing.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Writing a Novel

 

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H is for Hooks – Forktail Dinger, Snapper Slapper, and Googly Worm

“The whole point is to hook people and keep them interested.” – Penelope Ann Miller

Writers are a lot like fly fishermen. They spend a lot of time trying to create something to hook the reader (or fish) and pull them in.

Fly fishermen can spend days trying to create the perfect lure, the one that will catch that elusive fish in the pond. They get their inspiration from nature. That’s why some lures resemble insects.

As writer’s we don’t have too far to go to get help with our own writing. Just as the fly fisherman looks to the world around him, we can look to the books we love. What did that author do that pulled you in and how can you take that trick and make it your own?

Because a hook is so unique, it is often the first piece of the puzzle in developing a writer’s voice.

If you are going to open by introducing a character, make him charismatic, someone the reader will be drawn to and want to spend more time with.

  • Shock the reader with a first scene that ends in a way that the reader didn’t expect and can’t put down.
  • Ask a question the reader will stay up late to find the answer.
  • Hook the reader fast. If you can’t hook the reader by that first scene, do it at least by the end of that first chapter.

This should be a great week for writing, as long as you have air conditioning.

What have I been reading? – Just finished Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily Arsenault. It was an arc I won from Librarything recently so will have a review on there and Goodreads soon. It is the story of two women, friends from college. One a successful author working on her second book when she falls down the stairs of a library after a book signing. Turns out it wasn’t an accident. Her first book was called Tammyland. All about the women of Nashville and country music but mostly about Tammy Wynette and the similarities between her and the fictional author’s mother who had been killed when the fictional author was a child. The protagonist of the story is a pregnant journalist and is asked to be her friend’s literary executor to finish the second book. She feels compelled to complete the project before she delivers, knowing she won’t have time after the baby is born. While questioning the same people her friend interviewed, notebooks and a couple laptops are stolen and though she knows she may be asking questions of a murderer, she continues. The first book I’ve read by this author and I would read more.

How is your writing project going and what have you been reading lately?

If you’re in the Des Moines area, the next AVID author event is Meg Cabot, Thursday July 10th at 7:00pm, Hoyt Sherman Place.

Virginia

 

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