Tag Archives: characters

Reblog: The Summer Season of Writing

10 May
Arizona

Arizona (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

by Telena Tanara Contreras

The Arizona summer is an early arriver. In late March a dry breeze descends on the valley to give spring its notice; and a mere month later Queen Summer herself follows behind a procession of scorching rays, ridiculous temperatures, and dramatic dust storms to begin her ruthless reign.
Come May, the people are done.

Snow birds lock up their homes, cover their pools, and head back north or east or wherever it is sane people run to when the weather is more foe than friend. The frugal adopt a beans-and-rice budget in order to crank up the air in homes where they will become hermits for the next five months. All projects that were started with fervor melt into burdens the initiator wishes would simply go away.

My first novel has hit that summer season.

It’s done, and has been for quite some time now. When I first finished it-before I knew anything about the publishing world-I took it to a conference sans edits and put out feelers. My feedback was favorable (the feedback I did get) but I was made aware of the need to do some editing.

After reading a few books on writing, like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King (and feeling appropriately horrified that my first draft was ever let out of its cage), I decided to put the novel through a rigorous edit-walkaway-read program …

You can find the rest of the article here: The Summer Season of Writing.

Nature and Writing

12 Apr

Writers! Are you looking for a unique opportunity to further your skills and meet some new writing friends?D.R. Leo

Check out this new endeavor by my friend, Darren Rome Leo:  Nature and Writing. From the website, “Whether you’re a serious writer, a dabbler, just curious, or devoted to another medium, our workshops offer inspiration, motivation, and real tools to pursue your goals.  Expand your creativity, see the world with a new lens, and apply it to your craft.”

Also, please feel free to share any writing workshops, groups, or programs that you have found helpful.

Happy writing! – JLB

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Shades of YA | Blog | Epic Reads | Your World. Your Books.

4 Apr

Very cool blog post!

Shades of YA | Blog | Epic Reads | Your World. Your Books..

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A definition of ‘hobbit’ for the OED | OxfordWords blog

22 Feb

A completely random post for this Friday:

A definition of ‘hobbit’ for the OED | OxfordWords blog.

 

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Matamata, La Comarca en la película de El Seño...

 

 

Getting raw…don’t skim the surface

1 Sep

I’m enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA Fiction program. I started in June 2011, and it’s been an eye-opening experience.

Not eye-opening in the sense that I thought I was the greatest writer ever and I found out I’m not. I knew then I had a lot to learn which is why I applied for the program. I also knew I needed a good butt-kicking to stay motivated, and I’ve gotten that too. It’s been eye-opening in the sense that I’m a superficial writer. I tell the facts (what happens first, second, third, etc) and sometimes I show the emotions (okay, a lot of time I tell the emotions, which is bad. Don’t do this. Ever). I tend to skim the surface of what’s really going on. My mentor for the first semester (Diane Les Becquets, who happens to be the program director and a brilliant author) has told me that I need raw, concrete details. I need to dig deeper into my characters. Breathe life into them. Let them tell their stories. Make it believable. Show the scene. Add smells and all the other senses, not just the visual. I interpret all this as writing in 2D. I need to make it 3D. Sound harsh? Not really. She’s so right. Who wants to see a book where no one “feels” the characters? Do I want to have characters no one cares about? No. What’s the point in that?

Why do I skim the surface? I’m not really sure. Perhaps there are things lurking below that I’d rather not deal with. If you’re not a writer, you might say, “Well, write about something else! After all, you’re the one making it up.” To fellow writers, you know that your stories have a life of their own and you have to tell it. You could change it, but it wouldn’t be as true. It would probably come across as fake to your readers. As Diane says about half of my submissions, “I don’t buy it.” I love her.

It comes down to this for me: Face the fears. Whatever they are, even if I don’t know and can’t explain them, I need to forge ahead and get to the center of the tootsie pop. That’s where it’s the best.

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