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Showing posts from 2011

Writing the Ideal Heroine

By Christine Stewart Pardon me while a get a bit gooey about writing for a moment. I've just returned from a trip to England where I went on a (sort of) Jane Austen pilgrimage. If you call visiting her writing desk at the British Library, her portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, her grave at Winchester Cathedral, the house where she died around the corner from the Cathedral, and her home at Chawton Cottage (that's it there) a pilgrimage. Okay, okay. Guilty. I did also visit the Churchill War Rooms does that balance it out? I'm still happy that I went and I encourage you to go on a pilgrimage to visit sites related to a writer you admire, or sites from a novel you love. It can be rather inspiring. I had a terrific novel idea while traveling and, though not related to Austen or the Regency period, I give her credit for the thought. While I visited her house, I took a workshop called Writing the Ideal Heroine , which was taught by Reb

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

By Chris Stewart This may seem beyond obvious, but a piece of writing, whatever it is, has a value system, the level to which the piece holds. The high value parts are the focus, they are what drives the story and why readers read it, the lower value parts get less page time; they are there to support the high value parts. Another way to look at 'high value' parts is to think of them in terms of them being the spark that will get an editor's and reader's attention. That moment, when reading the book jacket, where your heart beats faster and you know you have to read it. Unfortunately, all too often, I read work, both from clients and published writers, that focuses too much on the low value and skirts the high. Why does this happen? Surely it's an easy black hole to avoid? It happens because writers write around the parts they are afraid or nervous to take on, or know they are not skilled enough to take on. Or perhaps are too lazy to take on. So they pay lip se

Writers Interviewed - an Algonkian Writer Conference Event in The Big Apple

What are they doing? Are we talking New York? Just a cute little piece on writer types with novels to workshop and pitch who are talking about one of our Algonkian Writer Conference events in New York. Will it prove it's possible to learn, be inspired, and have a good time all at once? Seriously though, this one is what we call the American Idol of our events. We have no Simon as such, and we don't tolerate that type of person, but we're firm and no gratuitous unproductive back-slapping is allowed. Following days of tension, on Saturday night, at our Post Pitch Cool Down, drinking is mandatory, followed by various forms of absurd behavior, if deemed appropriate. Whatever works for purposes of catharsis. If you want follow up information and commentary, link to http://nycpitchconference.com . And if you wish to learn more about Algonkian Writer Conferences: http://algonkianconferences.com Enjoy!