Writers in NYC this week

 

DSC_0820  Jill Shavis I started  reading after joining my first book club.  The Lucky Harbor series was a fun read and each book can stand alone, but we met a community of wonderfully sweet romantic stories.

DSC_0824Carla Cassidy is a Harlequin novelist. She has written well over 150 books in various groups for them. I enjoyed the suspenseful romances the best. The Scene of the Crime series felt like mini movies I could pickup anytime and enjoy. I think her best work to date as the book called LEVEL FIVE, even my DAD loved it.DSC_0822Last, but far from least is NORA ROBERTS. My spouse even loves her because she writes S-Fi series as J.D Robb.

I got signed copies of books to read for months. Thursday through Saturday I will be attending conference workshops and events with the RWA (Romance Writers of America) where each of these authors started with years ago… Who knew I was in such good company?

One year

This month is the anniversary of this blog. I haven’t had many views but I still want to attempt to continue. After joining a writers group I was asked if I had a blog and so I will continue my feeble efforts.

Writing is not as easy as I thought,98e1f-_dsc3633 it is possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. The craft of writing takes into count pace, motivation and conflict. GMC- as I have learned is the most important thing to remember.

G= goal . does every character have one, is your story goal oriented? A character can have inner goals, or life changing ones. but he or she must have a reason for the reader to be interested.

M= motivation. What motivates your protagonist or antagonist? Is there something in there present or past that draws the reader in? This is important but don’t info dump too much set up, begin with action! Prologues are amateurish. Show don’t tell how a person comes to terms with their past and goes on with their future. Sprinkle in tid-bits of background creatively throughout the storyline.

C= conflict. Conflict is something that makes a reader want to know what is next. It is not a simple quarrel or discussion that gets heated.When a fire burns down the house and a once rich kid becomes homeless that’s conflict. When a proposal is ignored and feelings of doubt come to the romantic hero that’s conflict. When someone struggles with what they are to do with their life you have conflict. So in that aspect- I guess I am full of it.

As a writer I face conflict, motivation and goals every day. Writing about them in ways that matter will only help me become a better writer and person. And perhaps one day  the world will read my work and think, Wow she can really put onto paper a great tale. I wonder why no one has ever done this before?

Write on!- Diny

I did IT!

I was hesitant to do the NANOWRIMO Event but plunged in full gear. I sort f cheated having been working on a current project for the last couple of years and stalling out.

The idea was one I’ve been playing with for a long time. And trying to et it down right I was given some excellent insight as what was and was not working. Having a place where I felt I needed to be accountable, helped.  Also the feeling that so many oters were struggling right along with me also pushed me.

Do any of you know someone who did this? Have you tried in the past?

50,000 words in 30 days is a great challenge.

The cute little video and certificate to print out was a surprise.

Write ON!

Di

Places for writers- old post

I have been writing for a long time. Mostly for myself and family- until I ran across the site of  fanstory.com in 2004. http://www.fanstory.com/index.jsp   There I am called Diny.

Then I started to learn the craft. People there helped me edit my book, my poetry and my thoughts.  I believe I remained true to myself and used the site for what it was originally designed for; to learn and find like minded people who also wanted to do the same. As I continued to grow I noticed the site starting to be more of a social gathering spot. I met writers from all over the world. There was a big gentle guy from Australia, a funny English lady who touched my heart and even regular guys that you would never imagine to possessed a poetic soul.  It was there I first began writing stories and attempted my first novel.

Today I revisited the site and entered a contest which doesn’t even close until after Feb 2015.

I was struck with the feeling of coming home. For no matter how much I continue to work on 2 novels and short stories etc… I will forever remain a poet at heart.

I am looking forward to attending a writers retreat next month and growing more.  It is a pleasant surprise to find writers who share the same love of words and thoughts. The expressing of such things remains a constant joy in my life. When I am down, troubled, or lost in life’s daily drama and routine it is words that take me back to where I find myself most satisfied.

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Write On!- Diny/ Diana/ Di

 

 

 

UPDATE… The writers retreat was fantastic- I want to go every year! I hope to make lots of new friends readers and colleagues, MRW rocks!- Diana

Research Miles and Smiles

Yesterday I spent almost 4 hours in the car driving back and forth to southern Missouri. Well maybe not as south as I could go but 80 miles south of Kansas City.  My son had to go work on a truck near Archie,Mo. I took the opportunity to research Archie a smaller town of about 1,170 souls.

The down town business district consisted of a barber shop a very small post office closed store fronts and a library. I pulled into the library. Two sweet ladies answered all my questions and gave me more to think about. My novel I am currently working on is set in a very small town and near the Arkansas Missouri border. In my story we have a very rich land owner who owns the majority of the county and is a scrooge-type miser. His recent death is what our hero Matthew(may change that name) is dealing with as his grandfather is well known and unloved- he has felt alone his entire life.

I want a diner at the center of the town to be the gathering place and the beginning and ending where progress will be shown.  I didn’t see a diner in Archie.  Another strange thing was they had NO grocery store and have to travel to a bigger city for that.  The school was huge- but then it also taught grades K-12-which is common in smaller burgs.

The crowning glory was he town park- It was small. But it was also a family named place done in a memorial to those who served in the surrounding areas in all branches of the military. Something I may take into advisement to add to my story. I also got a name and phone number t a lady who is willing to answer more questions and is involved in the historical society for the county. WOW.

Events in small town USA are centered mostly around School athletics and programs. People go to K.C. for night life. Just some insights into rural America I found interesting.

Writers Retreat MRW

I was as nervous as a cat in a rocking chair factory! I wasn’t published by one of the big 5… I was self published in 2005- did I even belong in a real writers group? Well et me tell you something, there are writers everywhere!- Some ex-cops, school teachers, housewives and professionals who actually make a living doing what I dream of. All of which are as sweet as chocolate! they welcomed me with open arms. They made me feel worthy and down right good!

I understand we all can improve and was down right flabbergasted at the comments after critiques. Those who have been writing for years were as interested in improving and getting help as the novice like myself. Books are another world compared to short stories and poetry. I have learned more in the last 4 days than I have in all life when it comes to writing.

The ladies who shared the weekend with me were so encouraging that I think I might actually be able to do this full-time one day… What a great time. I can’t wait for next year! In the mean time I will be posting excerpts and improving my craft and hopefully bring a new book in the making with me  next year.

Revisions, edits and time

Let us look at the process of the beginning of a story- First from who’s POV should this be? After much thought I changed that… Then I learned about passive voice and active ones. Then speech tags. Construction and flow. Later a friend of mine who is invaluable to me taught me that DEEP POV… make your reader feel and see the story- They want to know the character and be there with them. Readability is key. All this and we only have words upon a page to portray this…

SO here are three different attempts- See if you agree which one is best

First seven lines…  (old a year ago)

As the tin bell clanged to announce Gina Lever’s entry to the Springtown Café, she inhaled deeply the fragrance of bacon and freshly brewed coffee.  With the millennium just around the corner it was odd to see the decor of the fifties so alive.  Not only did the diner resemble the long ago era but it actually existed, suspended in time, since many of the furnishings were brand new.  The tiny restaurant was the only place to eat in the Arkansas-Missouri border town of Springville. The old Hotel had few visitors, the bottling company had closed and the storefronts were mostly empty, yet The Springville Café was bustling with customers.

Gina looked over toward her usual booth to find it occupied by Matthew Chance.  She also knew why the young man was there; with the death of his grandfather he was alone now.

 

(newer this year)

His family was broken before he was born.  Matt knew money didn’t buy happiness; he never wanted for anything, but that.  Being the richest kid in the county hadn’t brought much joy to his family situation.  He witnessed family bonds of kids at school and now that graduation was over, Matt wouldn’t even have those examples on a daily basis.  He never knew his parents.  Sam Chance, his grandfather, didn’t share anything least of all information.  Matt would give all his money to have what so many others took for granted.

 

After study work and suggestions from a real editor…

Holding the last piece of crunchy goodness, Matthew Chance took a bite, I bet you, heaven is full of bacon, he thought as he sat in the Springville Diner. He looked at his watch for the hundredth time this morning. A fresh batch of cinnamon rolls, spread a thick blissful sugary scent over the diners. Matt visualized the huge pecans and melted gooey caramel. His mouth watered as he considering ordering one to go and stabbed the last bit of egg onto his fork. When he was finished, he’d be forced to return to the outside world, a world that thought he should be grieving over his grandfather’s death.