Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poetry workshop

Good morning all and welcome.

In the last few days I have been talking to Brian from The New Author about a number of projects, and one we would like to run in the next week or two is a poetry workshop where we will give you an image and ask you to write a poem about that image. I have done these exercises before and they are very useful in getting the imagination flowing but we would like to do more than that with this one so we will be asking you to concentrate on certain things within your poem as well. Not the creative stuff, but the mechanics of what makes a good poem.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing please let either myself at ( or Brian ( know of your interest so we know how many we have. I plan to be available throughout the entire workshop at any time (unless asleep) to help along the way but the extent of that might depend on the numbers.

This exercise will be lots of fun and we will all learn quite a lot from the exercise if past experience is any guide.

Have a nice weekend and I look forward to posting the outline and the aim of the workshop next week.

Drop by and have a look at Brian's site ( your going if you have not visited it yet, its a great site with tremendous posts on writing.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Now fix it up

Finally I am back to finish off my brief series on writing a manuscript.

Last time I talked about putting the manuscript down and leaving it a while. Now it is time to pick it up again and read it from start to finish the first time. You will do this many times over the next year or two but this is the most important read in my opinion. This first pass will tell you if the story line makes sense, it will tell you if the book tells your readers want you want it to. I always find it a good idea to read this first edit reading with the point of the entire story in the back of your mind so that you can see if there are any inconsistencies to your premise.

Most times I change almost every line of this first pass through and I often loose as many as five thousand words. They were words I could afford to lose of course.

Listen to the feedback that others give you on your story as well. Make sure the time lines are right, listen to their questions and what confused them and please take note of anything they say does not fit. If it is wasted then it does not matter how good the piece of writing is, if it doesn't help the story or play some part then get rid of it. If you have to then cut it out and paste it in a folder that contains all the great pieces of writing that you want to use later.

Once you think you have it roughly where you want it call this the second draft and break it down a little bit. Join a writing group and ask for feedback on the first chapter. You might be surprised at how helpful other writers are and how on the mark some of their feedback is. They have all been through the process of having their manuscripts turned down (or most have).

Once you have the first chapter perfect take a look at the second. Give it to the writing group and don't be afraid of their criticisms. Welome them eagerly and once you have reached the end of the third chapter send it off to a publisher or an agent.

The rpocess has started and there may be lots of frustration, heartache and hard work ahead, but their is the chance of getting your book published and nothing in thios world quitte feels the same as that.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For use on those days when the words just aren't flowing. It allows the air to clear your thoughts, the wind to create abstract art from your hair, and the police to wonder just how fast it might go.