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Publications and Reading

22nd August, 2015
Hey readers out there,
I would love to hear from some of you, you are out there somewhere right? As much as I can blather on about anything it would be wonderful to have some input so I can respond to things instead.  So please feel free to offer up ideas and opinions as we would love to hear your voices mixing in with ours.  I am lucky to have found two other wonderful people to contribute to this blog and with whom to share the fun and the angst but I and they can assure you that we adhere to the principle of the more the merrier.  In the next few blogs we are going to make more of an effort to introduce ourselves and also Miss Tee Rose, a silent watcher at the moment but nevertheless a future voice in the making. For now the only thing I can say is that we are all from different genres, something I have hinted at previously and I am hoping this will make us more interesting for all of you.  Be sure to also keep an eye on our pages over the next few months.
            This time and for this blog however I am happy to keep blathering and am going to discuss reading again but from a different perspective.  I mean I read to understand readability; to learn what it is that hooks us in or alternately has us putting the book down and away after a few pages because it is a necessity for me.  One of the best ways to improve what I do is to check out what is out there.  However I also read to learn more about my craft as a craft.  Consequently I belong to various organisations or publications.  Newsbite (NSW Writers Centre) is one of these organisations although I live in Queensland and also subscribe to the Queensland Writers Centre.  When it comes to learning there is never too much to look at.  I have included their logo to encourage people to recognise it and to go onto the site.
Monday 20 July 2015
News and Opportunities from the NSW Writers' Centre
This is actually from a few months ago but I like to go back and to take another look from time to time as you always discover something new.  It doesn’t pay to take things for granted.  In this edition I was particularly taken with Kirsten Tranter who took one of the Newsbite workshops this July just gone.  Yes, next time I will write something sooner but I am new to this blogging life and didn’t think fast enough.  
Kirsten is theauthor of the internationally published and critically acclaimed novels, A Common Loss and The Legacy and is currently teaching Creative Writing at UC Berkley University.”  Kirsten had some simple but effective things to say about character development.  When asked about a common mistake writers make in their work she says:

 “...Sometimes I see writers trying so hard to create consistency in their characters that they wind up producing what E.M.Forster would call a "flat" character - a character who doesn't change or grow or ever surprise the reader, a character with none of the contradictions and inner conflicts that are part of producing depth and true complexity.”
She adds:
“If a character can convince us that he or she genuinely wants something or is afraid of something, I think they begin to feel real. Probably the most important thing for me is not to over think a character before I begin writing. I think characters reveal themselves through action and interaction with their environment and other characters. I'm a big believer in trusting instincts so I try to give my characters fairly free rein, even if they have reactions or desires that I can't logically explain, or don't make immediate sense. I trust that they will move the story forward in the right direction, even if I can't see the whole picture right away.”
      That makes so much sense to me that I had to go back and check a few things in my book.  I mean I naively thought that except for some final editing it was finished but when I thought about what Kirsten was saying I realised in trying to keep my characters consistent I had almost lost their essence even if only in some sections. It really goes back to the telling and not showing factor.  In our frenzy to explain everything we can go too far. This brings me straight back to reading for professional improvement.  It is vital; it is what keeps us on our toes. 
     Wow, it’s quite overwhelming for someone who only just had the courage to call herself a writer to consider all these things but if I don’t then I can’t call myself a writer.  It’s funny I thought being a writer would mean being published but instead it means willing to improve my art and I think this might just be the harder thing to do.
To read more from Kirsten or to simply learn more about the writers centre itself go to:  (Just highlight and click on the last three words.) 
Ciao till next time when Queensland gets chance in the blog especially since attending the latest workshop was such a great experience for this little novice blogger.

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