Nov 21 KWA Meeting

Do you have style? Find out at the KWA meeting on Saturday, Nov 21 at 1:30 in the Rockwell Library on Ninth Street, west of Woodlawn. Bring your PROSE work on your computer so you can analyze a section (no dialogue). We will learn what sentence constructs are analyzed in order to reflect specific points of view, and audience needs. The purpose for editing techniques will be clarified and therefore, applicable in your own work. Discover style that fits your characters, your POV, and your audience.
Sara Jenlink, who will teach the session, holds a Masters in English Rhetoric and Literature. She has used this technique to teach writing for twenty years.

Sara Jenlink – Book promotion in The Hutchinson News

KWA’s mystery novel author, Sara Jenlink, recently had an article written about her book, FACING SEPTEMBER, published in the October 8, 2015 The Hutchinson News.

The story is a murder mystery rooted in a gruesome chapter of Hutchinson’s past. It concerned the still-unsolved death of 12-year-old Kelly Lynn Albright.

To read the article, “Mystery novel inspired by tale of unsolved Hutch murder,” go to this link: http://www.hutchnews.com/the_bee/mystery-novel-inspired-by-tale-of-unsolved-hutch-murder/article_5b0ab46f-d13b-5d40-bb0d-39bb43076a7c.html

*Warning: You may have to answer a simple survey question in order to be able to read the article.

Gordon Kessler released StoryMasters

Gordon Kessler StoryMasters -AmazonStoryMasters for novice to advanced novelists; It’s a labor of love of over a quarter century writing novels and teaching the craft from Gordon Kessler.

My new book on novel writing is just out and I’m running a FREE eBook promo on Amazon (today 9/8 and tomorrow 9/9 only).

StoryMasters—Advanced Notions in Novel Writing is a complete rethinking and remaking of the eighth edition of Novel Writing Made Simple, it’s the first major revision since Edition Seven in 2010.

This is one of the most comprehensive reference and resource books on novel writing available, with complex concepts broken down into the most basic of terms.

  • When was the last time you saw subtext discussed in a novel-writing book? It’s in StoryMasters!
  • What about free indirect discourse—have you ever seen that broken down and given in simple terms so that you understood it and could recognize how important FID is to your writing? It’s in the book!
  • Do you even know what psychic distance is? Just sayin’—z’in the book!
  • Need to research a writing concept for the next writers’ meeting? In the book!
  • Having trouble with point of view and need a refresher? It’s in the book!
  • Your characters seem too flat and unreal, and you want to know more about writing 3D characters that will leap off the page? The book is where you’ll find it!
  • Don’t know what direction your story is headed and need help with plotting? Got it right there in the book!
  • Bogged down or completely stuck halfway into your story and in search of a pathway out of the mucky middle (muddle)? Ditto!
  • Want to find out how to make a novel notebook like Storybinder that will keep all your story ideas in one place? Yep—ITB!
  • Want to brainstorm your story in order to develop it more and flesh it out? It’s in the book!
  • NaNoWriMo’s coming up—do you know what StoryStormer is and how it can help you write your story quickly? Check it out in the book!
  • Want to develop emotional subplots to help characterize but don’t know how? Af-firm-a-tive!
  • Want a bang-up opening without a bomb going off? Si-si!
  • Want a comprehensive lexicon of over 500 words to help you understand the craft and business of novel writing? Roger that!
  • Want to read over a hundred quips from bestselling writers and celebrities about writing and entertaining? Of course, it’s in the book!
  • What about Grandma’s recipe for her luscious apple pie—do you think it’s in the book? No, silly! You’ll have to ask Grandma for that … but if you need a clear and effective recipe for writing gripping suspense … you guessed it—it’s in … the … book!
  • What about writing dynamic dialogue, imagery, interactive setting, skillfully shifting tenses, shifting narrative mode and point of view, simple editing techniques, manuscript formatting, an overview of the traditional publishing business and how to query an agent? Uh-huh … need I say more?

August 2015 Meeting: Preparing Your Work for Publication

Our August 15th meeting will be a discussion on how to prepare your book for publication.

Sonny Collins, a KWA member-at-large and the unofficial historian, will be explaining how to set up your book for publication with Lulu Press and Amazon.  He might also touch on developing audio books as well.

Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings, whether or not you’ve scribbled for years or are thinking about finally sitting down to write that book you’ve always dreamed about.  Our members bring a wealth of experience, and we look forward to hearing from them at each and every meeting!

KWA holds monthly workshops the 3rd Saturday of every month from 1:30 – 4:00 at Rockwell Public Library, 5939 E. 9th Street, Wichita, KS.

We also hold “write-ins” every Monday evening at McAlister’s Deli, 330 N. Rock Road.  Come by and say hello!

The Best Books on Writing

I realize that many of the writers in the KWA have found their personal strides.  But I am a writer still exploring my creative voice.  As both a writer of fiction and a poet, there are several books that I return to time and again to refuel and bring zest to my work.   Hopefully a suggestion here will bring you some inspiration as well.

Each of these books is available for sale, but for ease I linked each book cover image to the Amazon listing.  Please keep in mind that many of MY copies were borrowed from the public library, but I highly recommend supporting Wichita’s own Watermark Books.

Letters to a Young Poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke“Seek those [themes] which your own everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the belief in some sort of beauty—describe all these with loving, quiet, humble sincerity, and use, to express yourself, the things in your environment, the images from your dreams, and the objects of your memory.”

These letters are available in a variety of translations, the best of which is the M.D. Herter volume. The advice shared with a wider audience in 1932 remains timeless.  A writer doesn’t have to be a poet to appreciate the sentiment that writing is difficult and that writers should find the courage from within to continue.

 

Writing Down the Bones
by Natalie Goldberg

GoldbergGoldberg is my favorite writer for practical writing advice.  She combines her Zen practice with her devotion to daily writing, and the result is gracious encouragement for every writer.  One of the early chapters, “First Thoughts,” describes the daily writing exercise, even down to choosing a pen that gets you excited about writing..  Goldberg believes you must write through the bad results to get to the good.  And writing everyday is the ticket.

 

The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron

This book literally describes a course of action that aspiring artists and creative people can execute to unleash their own Cameroncreativity.  On a week-by-week plan, The Artist’s Way retrains the brain to look and see the world in new ways, which will begin to feed into the creative life.  While written more for the ‘artist,’ each week’s efforts are beneficial for writers.  For example, toward the end of week 2 [in the chapter “Recovering a Sense of Identity”], one exercise is to “List your five major activities this week.  How much time did you give to each one?  Which were what you wanted to do and which were should?  How much of your time is spent helping others and ignoring your own desires?”  Sometimes acknowledging what keeps me from working on a project motivates me more to manage my time differently.

The Art of Fiction
by John Gardner

gardnerIf you write fiction, you must read this book.  I had written stories for years before I realized that I was making some basic mistakes by violating the reader’s sense of psychic distance.  I am embarrassed to say that I was also quite happily attached to clichés.  Gardner essentially breaks down elements of a story, providing great samples and examples of what works AND what NOT to do.  Ironically, there are popular genres where certain things Gardner determined were errors are actually acceptable forms—like in Romance, readers accept the easy slide between one point-of-view and another.

 Tell us what YOU read!

This list is not exhaustive.  There are many other books available to inspire the writer within.  The best resources are often other writers.  What is your must-have book?  Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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DSCN0574 A Poet and a writer, April Pameticky tries to find balance between her professional life as a writer, teacher, wife, and mother.  Her chapbook of poetry, Sand River and Other Places I’ve Been will soon be released by Finishing Line Press.

Catch up at AprilinWichita.

Excited about KWA’s new year

I am very excited about the changes for KWA this year, not that the previous years have been bad. Everything changes over time. Hopefully, the changes help smooth procedures out, help add benefits to members, and help everyone get more comfortable with their fellow authors.

Erin has done a wonderful job creating a new website and blog for KWA. Her time is stretched so thin that we all need to give her a special thank-you. Thank you, Erin!

Please be sure to check back here often for more exciting new things in KWA this year.

Starla Criser, KWA 2011 Secretary