There are weeks when writers are alone all the time. Just the chair and the screen. But other weeks are really busy.
A BOOK CLUB PRESENTATION
I had such a week last week and it was super pleasant. A tennis friend of mine had asked back in October that I present a program to her book club. ”But I’m not published,” I said.
I agreed to do it. The presentation was last Tuesday afternoon and my friend drove me to her club, who met at a member’s home. A group of twenty friendly ladies who welcomed me with the best southern hospitality.
I had decided to not talk about my book in detail. I offered the outline but I focused my presentation on my writing process, especially how I approached my revisions. I gave examples of before and after. I showed how I strengthened my manuscript with rhetorical devices, deeper POV and power words.
I opened the program with the analysis of Kelley Armstrong’s opening of her Young Adult novel, The Summoning.
Mommy forgot to warn the babysitter about the basement.
Here’s my analysis of this great opening. First, with “Mommy”, the POV is clear and tells me the protag is young. The verb “warn” is strong and it’s the writer’s promise of a good thrill. To end on “basement” is powerful. Basement evokes darkness, dampness, spiders and spookiness. It makes the reader want to keep reading and see what’s in the basement and what will happen to the POV character.
The group loved this analysis. I don’t think they ever thought of writing in such a way. One lady told me she thought writing was a simple matter of stringing words together until you reached the end.
“You are quite right,” I said. ”Writers knit about 100,000 words together to write a novel. But it’s so much more. It has to be the right words, in the right order, in the right format.”
I had a great time presenting to this book club, and I do hope they left their meeting knowing a little bit more about the PROCESS of writing.
SISTERS IN CRIME
Sisters-In-Crime of Upstate SC received Nina Bruhns Thursday night and I attended the meeting. Nina Bruhns is a best-selling author of nearly 30 novels and is the Editorial Director for Entangled Publishing’s suspense line.
After dinner, Nina opened her chat with SIC by saying she loves to play the fairy Godmother. Some time ago, she used an app on her Kindle to “listen” to a self-published book, Playing With Poison. Despite the robotic voice, she laughed so much she just knew she had to acquire the author. Cindy Blackburn was sitting in the room with us and, on the spot, Nina offered her a two-book contract.
Isn’t that a great way to open a meeting?
Nina talked about Entangled Publishing and its unique structure and how editors are linked to the success of their writers. When I’m finally ready to submit my current manuscript, Entangled will be a serious pursuit of mine.
How was your writing week?