Moulding and honing the new Writer

As a new writer with a new blog, I am constantly overwhelmed by established writers’ sites. Many of you will already be clue-ed in to these gems but I’m still getting there and reminding of their continuance surely helps us all.

It’s not just the extent of informative comments and essays but the specifics required to mould and hone said ‘new-writer’ et al, into credible writers in their own right.

With a medical scientific background like mine, specifics truly are what constitute the difference between success and failure and in the medical situation – failure is definitive.  Academic brilliance alone will not save a life. Hands-on expertise, albeit with sound academic knowledge, will.

Writing, it seems to me at this stage of my development, draws a close parallel and the joys of reading the output of published writers’ of all genres, can only add to the background knowledge essential to success as a writer.

The following encounters left me mildly speechless this week.  Brian MacKenzie’s SuperHero Nation at http://www.superheronation.com/ and Simon Morden’s Metrozone at http://www.simonmorden.com/

Marion Lennox

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I first met this lovely lady at a Writers weekend at Robina on the Gold Coast in 2010. I had read many of her books and wanted to write in the same genre – Romance Medicals – and she was my inspiration to attend.

Marion’s session, “Romantic notions – The perfect Kiss,” was packed out. A tall lady, she had a delightful and friendly way of talking and the audience murmured appreciatively throughout, as she spoke.

“Romance is fun and fantasy, a chance to escape the serious times when life is tough,” she said, “it gives a sense of freedom to go into your head and just be someone else for a while.”

Being good at Maths she said had deflected her for thirty years into the Maths, Science stream. I felt an instant connection. 🙂

We laughed when she said her first book was written in a play pen because the kids had the rest of the house. It was her time out from the surrounding stress.

Market research wants Romance, she continued, with Georgette Heyer, Jane Austin and Dick Francis, notable writers who fall into this category. The heroine was best someone the reader could become; slip into her skin. She must be gorgeous, wealthy, never ‘unlike-able’ and never ‘over the top.’

The Hero must be to die for! Tall, let fantasy take a free hand here – tender, incredibly strong, capable and if angry, has a solid reason for it.  Marion explained he would never be a new age guy and wouldn’t help with the washing up because there was never any washing up to be done in her books.

Romance was central to the book with emotion building, conflict between the Hero and heroine – and she being ‘aware of him’ all the time. “Kisses never happen in isolation. A beautiful kiss will have a wonderful build up, will create a change and realization suddenly that ‘he/she’s special’,” as the heroine/Hero truly sees each other for the first time.

Research was vitally important and whether we touch lightly or write in depth, the topic has to be accurately portrayed. Hence her request to the AIDS hotline to ask if leopard seals contracted AIDS. She was told chimps and green monkeys get it but are not sick.

At the end we asked her to name which of her own, was her favourite story. With her love of animals, especially dogs it was easy to see why “Falling for Jack,” one of her earlier novels fit the bill.

The following link to this excerpt will demonstrate why Romance and Medicine, along with the care of animals IMO, go hand in hand.

http://www.marionlennox.com/books/rescue-cradle-lake/

Reader reviews and …ready to publish?

Anne R. Allen’s blog spot at http://annerallen.blogspot.com/ is a wealth of information on ePublishing and Indie Writers. I came across her amazing overview of Amazon Reader reviews through my egroup at RWA, and the intricacies that ultimately determine fame and fortune for many of us.

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2011/04/12-signs-your-novel-isnt-ready-to.html  was dear to my heart as beginner writer, especially the hint, “If you’re still doing any of these things, RELAX! Enjoy writing for its own sake a while longer. Read more books on craft.. Build inventory. You really do need at least two polished manuscripts in the hopper before you launch your career.”

…and snails and puppy dogs tails…become Heroes. They really do. :)

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Living in the heart of Surfers, within the current Schoolies bubble, I have to say firstly the behaviour this year so far, is excellent. They’re kids and they’re having fun.

Speaking of kids, and kids will inevitably evolve into Heroes and heroines in their own right, I thought I’d like to share the experience of being a Tennis Fan site moderator and having the good fortune to watch a sporting Hero evolve.

It began in 2004 when I took my daughter to Melbourne Park for the Australian Open Tennis and we watched a match on an outside court. The fascinating thing was not so much the match; I’m not even sure exactly who was playing except that the game was being watched by a group of Spanish speaking players and coaches including one excitable young teenager who kept clattering about swapping seats and rows, laughing and having a great time.

After about twenty minutes of this, I looked at him, squarely in the eye – he was now two seats away in the same row – and said something along the line of, “For goodness sake, please sit still,” and obviously had a frown on my face to accompany the request.

A “Mum” showing displeasure was too much for the lad and he apologised, with a sweet smile and sat still, almost still, for the rest of the match. I didn’t speak Spanish and he didn’t speak English, but he knew exactly what the problem was.

That night, to my absolute surprise, Lleyton Hewitt played a Round Three match on Centre Court and who was his opponent? Yes, it was seventeen year old Rafael Nadal no less. He put up a great fight and was applauded with a standing ovation by most of the crowd who had enjoyed the match so much, they forgot to be parochial. 🙂

Being one of his early fans who had actually told him off and asked him to sit still, got me hooked and I began to follow his progress as the tournaments took him far and wide around the globe.

Having a professional sports person in the family, although not in tennis, I felt I had an insider’s POV and understood much of the coaching, training and assorted difficulties a young sportsman faced. After posting comments on the original site usually regarding all of the above, I was asked to help moderate and am still at it.

It’s been a joy and many of the guys and gals have rallied to travel to the various venues over the years, meet each other, get an autograph and cheer our Hero on. The last few years, some from overseas have made it to the Aussie Open and next year I am going to Monte Carlo, joining fellow members from all over Europe, together with some Americans and Canadians…and me.

It has been an interesting journey, firstly being lucky enough to watch someone develop into a world class player – and all this from a little kid with a gorgeous smile who nearly drove me mad.

So I look at the Schoolies and try to imagine how they will evolve. What will they choose to do and will I cross paths with any of them again. Who knows, one may well be my Doctor in ten years time, so I am generous with my smiles.

Cheers!

Moving along but slowly…

With Schoolies about to begin here on the Gold Coast – for those abroad, it’s the end of school celebrations for senior school leavers –  I was thinking this week, that I feel a bit like that.

They’re celebrating a definitive end to childhood, and an entry into the adult world. For me, read published Author, but we are all brimming with great ideas, enormous hope and vitality for the road ahead, awareness of some of the pitfalls, we’re ready to participate, even hold back a little or take that giant step – all of it.

So that’s me, a teenager in the field of creative writing – an unpublished author, suspended in a time warp. However, with my childhood a fairly distant echo, I’m finding other skills gained at great expense and time like my golf handicap; add frustration-carefully managed to the mix;   😉  and fluctuating on the cusp of A-grade, opened up the world of competitive sport.  Even if I largely avoid this rich seam of Heroes and heroines in my stories, it’s a learning experience on how quite a large group among us these days think and carryover these thought processes to other aspects of their lives.

Experiences of all kinds and the time to consider them in this fast-paced world are gifts too few of us get the chance to enjoy fully. I’m hoping my Heroes and heroines take every advantage of mine.

 

 

Medically speaking

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Several months ago I discovered the website of C J Lyons.  http://cjlyons.net/

This enthusiastic, talented and very kind lady made a huge career change from a Medical Doctor specializing in Paediatrics to a writer specializing in “Thrillers with Heart.”

Not only did I receive a free ebook with that promotion, in return for a comment at her publisher’s site on reading it, but this busy lady re-sent it as I couldn’t download the first copy.

We exchanged several emails – I was wished all the best with my writing and it was the first contact with an overseas author – a complete stranger and a member of this extraordinary group of women writers who despite the competitiveness of the pursuit, are so warm and giving to others.

Many thanks, CJ

Valerie Parv

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My first encounter with “Writing Romance” occurred in the early 1990’s by chance as a listener to a radio program where Valerie Parv was a guest discussing her new book, “The Art of Romance Writing.”  I ran out and bought a copy.

I was totally enchanted, still working full time, participating in further studies in Medical Science, and generally too busy to do much more.

So “The Art of Romance Writing” sat beckoning, stationed between Muir’s Pathology and Dacie and Lewis’s Practical Haematology for the best part of a decade, whilst I read sections, tried my hand at short stories and thoroughly enjoyed creative writing.

I mentioned this to Valerie at the recent Romance Writer’s Conference in Melbourne and it brought a smile to her face. She said she liked the idea of her book firmly ensconced amongst the Pathology tomes in my office.

Needless to say, my genre is “Medicals” – and Thank you, Valerie Parv.

In the beginning…

Welcome to wendyleslie‘s blog. This year has been a revelation for this writer – with a Romance Writers Conference and a first novel under her belt, many new and enthusiastic friends, fresh ideas and a nerve wracking few months ahead awaiting “The Call.”

As a Medical Science professional, the switch to creative writing has been as dramatic as the change from technically inspired passive voice to the active dynamism of real life characters with Goals, Motivation and loads of Conflict.

The unstinting help and genuine advice given both in person and online by my fellow devotees to this writing genre has been phenomenal. My aim for this blog is to progressively add information that has been helpful to me and to encourage others to join in the fun and write.

—ooOoo—

It’s been a week and with baby steps, I’ve added more information to my Dashboard and am enjoying the discovery process. I find deletion of mistakes, whilst a good learning process, most difficult when remnants remain and refuse to go away. Never mind, my heroines find a way and I will too.

Speaking of heroines, my second lady is currently helping me put her story – just as she wants it, on the page. It could be construed as interference but I like the feel of a team effort. As long as the Hero stays where he is designated, all will be well.

I’ve spent the last week getting used to the stream of Twitter notifications arriving in my email inbox. For those who are ‘following me’ at the moment, stick with me. I’m reading them all with great interest and following links to everyone’s blog or website.

—ooOoo—