Meeting Recap

meeting recapThe regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday January 21st at 6:00 pm. Three members were in attendance: Barb M., John and Diane.

The discussions included the quality of printing done by Lulu, the writing of a Mary-Sue character, the wins and losses in a character’s arc and the current day-formula for writing books, making movies and writing songs.

The lesson on self-editing covered identifying hidden verbs in sentences. Hidden verbs is the process of turning a verb into a noun and adding another verb to the sentence for it to make sense. Hidden verbs do three things:

  1. It makes the writing sound pompous, boring and flat.
  2. It tells instead of shows, and in some cases suggests nothing really happened.
  3. It makes sentences unnecessarily longer.

EXAMPLES

  • Hidden: We will make a decision on Tuesday.
  • Uncovered: We will decide on Tuesday.
  • Hidden: She gave him a hug.
  • Uncovered: She hugged him.
  • Hidden: He’d make a more thorough assessment when he paid for the goods.
  • Covered: He’d assess him thoroughly when he paid for the goods.

The endings -ment, -tion, -sion and -ance can, but not always, indicate a verb transformed into a noun and hidden within a sentence.

EXAMPLE

  • Hidden: They made the decision to fight their way out of the castle.
  • Uncovered: They decided to fight their way out of the castle.

Homework

We read our homework assignment, which was to take the following sentence and write a story.

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he/she was not.

NOTE: The character can be either male or female. You choose.

This is the first line in the novel City of Glass by Paul Auster (1985)

Word Count Goal: 433 words.

HOMEWORK for February

Take a character from a story you’re working on right now and write a 350-word backstory for them.

Meeting Recap for November

meeting recapThe regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday November 19th at 6:00 pm. Four members were in attendance: Barb M., Barbara C., John and Diane. Donna popped in for 10 minutes but couldn’t stay.

We had a short discussion about Alice’s busy schedule, the editing of her current project and the writing of a new young adult novel. Then we talked about a photo found on Twitter regarding a local publishing company and the people who decided upon/discussed the books that would be published by the company in 2020. All 12 people were females in their 30s and 40s. We discussed how this demographic would influence their choices in accepting works to be published.

Elizabeth had sent the group a link to 43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make, and we had a brief discussion on some of these mistakes, such as “shoo-in” NOT “shoe-in” and “homed in” NOT “honed in”. John brought up one not listed: “spit and image” instead of “spitting image”. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Then we discussed automatic writing, channel writing, the genius in the wall and free style writing as opposed to plotting. We spoke about cliches and when they may be used in writing.

We read our homework assignments, which was taking the words given in The Story in the Box and writing exactly 416 words.

HOMEWORK for January

Take the following sentence and write a story containing exactly 433 words.

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he/she was not.

NOTE: The character can be either male or female. You choose.

REMEMBER there is no meeting in December.

Meeting Recap

The regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday January 15th at 6:00 pm. Eleven members were in attendance: Barb M., Barbara C., Alice, John, Donna, Lynn, Mindy, Jayne, Teigan, Elizabeth and Diane.

We had a short discussion on Amazon, particularly KDP Print and the problems many authors are finding with ordering books and seeing them on the website.

Diane won’t call any impromptu meetings at Tim Horton’s until mid-March, depending on weather.

There was a discussion of story format and the flow concerning Act I and Act II and the phases of a story.

A quick presentation was given on the elements of Act II part A.

HOMEWORK

Continue writing the story started in September. If possible, write a good section of Act II, part A. Choose approximately 500 words to read to the group in February.

The story written over the winter can be any size, from a 2,000-word short story to an 100,000-word novel. It’s up to the writer.

Meeting Recap

meeting recapThe regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday October 16th at 6:00 pm. Eight members were in attendance: Barb M., Barbara C., Alice, Catherine, Donna, Lynn, Mindy and Diane.

We had a short discussion on book printers and self-publishing, then a 15 minute discussion on filter words. To learn more about filter words, visit Diane’s blog post: Filter Words – Who Knew? Not Me.

From our homework, each member answered the following two questions:

  1. What is it you want out of your writing?
  2. How do you define writing and publishing success?

There was a wide range of answers including the overwhelming urge to tell stories, to make money, and to touch readers with their stories. Success meant readers discussing their stories, looking for the next book and having an emotional response to the stories. Making enough for financial freedom and winning awards were also considered success.

Also from the homework file, members introduced the main character from the story they plan to write between now and June 2019.

A quick presentation was given on the elements of Act I.

HOMEWORK

Write the first scene (or more) of the story involving the character created from the character sheet exercise. If possible, write all of Act I. Choose approximately 400 words to read to the group in November.

The story written over the winter can be any size, from a 2,000-word short story to an 100,000-word novel. It’s up to the writer.

WRITING TIPS

Write in Sprints: This means set the clock for 20 or 25 minutes, then write. At the end of the sprint, take a 5 to 10-minute break. Sweep the floor, put laundry in the machine, take the dog out for a pee, run to get the mail, take a walk around the yard, etc. Then come back to do another sprint. Keep track on a sheet of paper and colour in every sprint you complete. Do one or as many sprints a day as you want.

Don’t Break the Chain: Write every day. Set the same word count or make different ones up every day. But write a minimum of 100 words a day. If you write every day, the story stays fresh in your mind, and it is easier to keep writing. Make it a habit, and it becomes a life habit.

Meeting Recap

meeting recapThe regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday September 18th at 6:00 pm. Ten members were in attendance: Art, Barb M., Alice, Catherine, Barbara C., John, Donna, Lynn, Mindy and Diane.

We had a discussion on the closing of CreateSpace and the transfer of paperback books from there to KDP Print. You can learn more about that from Diane’s blog post No One is Surprised: CreateSpace Closes and KDP Print Takes Over.

CRITIQUING

Members critiqued Donna’s submitted chapter.

HOMEWORK

Members read stories written by other members as homework.

New Format for Homework

We’ve decided to change things up a bit. Instead of a very short story being written for each meeting, we’re running a series of mini workshops on the basic construction of a story: Act I, Act II and Act III. One larger story will be written during this writing season.

Homework for October Meeting

Members must answer these two questions:

  1. What is it you want out of your writing?
  2. How do you define writing and publishing success?

Also, to start constructing their story, members must complete the character sheet for at least one of their main characters and introduce this character at the next meeting.

The next meeting takes place Tuesday October 16, 2018.

Meeting Recap

meeting recapThe regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday June 19th at 6:00 pm. Seven members were in attendance: Art, Barbara C., Gary, John, Elizabeth, Donna and Diane.

We had a discussion on the new ‘publishing’ companies taking advantage of new writers and how writers can avoid those that only want to make money off the writer, not the books they publish.

CRITIQUING

Members critiqued Elizabeth’s submitted short story.

HOMEWORK

Members read stories written by other members as homework.

Homework for September Meeting

To be announced in early August.

Updating Member Pages

Members are asked to check their member page on this site and to let Diane know if they want anything changed or updated. The full list of members is here.

If you don’t have a page, please send Diane some information and she will create the page for you. She won’t be updating them over summer, so if you have something you want to add, contact her before June 30th.

This was the last writers’ meeting of the season. We are now on summer break. The next season begins September 18th.

Meeting Recap

On Tuesday June 11th, the self-publishing branch of the East Hants Writers Group met at the Elmsdale Library. Members in attendance included John, Donna and Diane.

Diane gave a presentation on how to format the interior of a paperback book using MS Word was discussed.

Meeting Recap – Self-publishing

On Tuesday May 29th, the self-publishing branch of the East Hants Writers Group met at the Elmsdale Library. Members in attendance included Lynn, Art, John, Donna, Barb M. and Diane.

Diane gave a presentation on how to make book covers using PowerPoint. Both eBook and paperbacks were discussed.

Here is the cover the group created in play.  It was not created to be dynamic. It was created to show a few of the many tools available in PowerPoint.

book cover

The next self-publishing meeting takes place Tuesday June 12th.

MEETING RECAP

The regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday May 15th at 6:00 pm. Eight members were in attendance: Art, Barbara C., Barbara M., Gary, John, Elizabeth, Donna and Diane.

We had a discussion on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law that comes into affect May 25, 2018. Anyone operating a blog, a newsletter or other form of mail out that gathers information from subscribers needs to reaffirm their subscribers interest in subscribing.

More about this can be learned by Googling it or by visiting D. G. Kaye’s post on the matter.

A discussion was also had on the recent trademark fiasco regarding the word ‘cocky’. Online, it’s referred to as #cockygate. Diane wrote a post regarding this disaster: Every Writer Has a Dog in this Fight.

Taking ownership of a single word in the dictionary hasn’t happened before, but some people are aiming to do that. We hope this never happens. Trademarking a word in a series or a phrase is one thing, but claiming all right to it is something different.

CRITIQUING

Members critiqued Art’s two submitted chapters, and during this, we had a discussion on character development throughout a series.

HOMEWORK

Members read stories written by other members as homework.

Homework for June Meeting

Go to PIxabay (a site that has free photographs) and search for one of the following terms:

  • water
  • funny
  • east
  • book
  • mystery
  • wood
  • ancient

Choose one of the photographs from the results, and write a story it inspires.

Genre: open, fiction; word count: 450.

REMEMBER: Other members of the group will be reading these stories at the April meeting. Please print the stories in an easy-to-read font type and size. Size 12 is okay, but 14 is better. DO NOT put your name on your story. PLEASE NOTE: the word count is only 450, not our usual 500. Please stick to the word limit.

Updating Member Pages

Members are asked to check their member page on this site and to let Diane know if they want anything changed or updated. The full list of members is here.

If you don’t have a page, please send Diane some information and she will create the page for you.

The next writers’ meeting takes place Tuesday June 19th. This is the last meeting before we break for summer.

The next self-publishing meeting takes place Tuesday May 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Meeting Recap

The regular writing craft meeting took place Tuesday April 17th at 6:00 pm. Five members were in attendance: Art, Barbara C., Gary, John and Diane.

We had a short discussion writing and learning from podcast. We discuss writing blurbs and keeping a notebook of ideas and things to do to keep our writing on track.

Members read stories written by other members as homework.

We had a short discussion on techniques for writing, including showing and telling in a story.

Homework for May Meeting

The challenge is to take half a title from one short story and half a title from another short story, mush it all together and create a new title. Then use that title to inspire a story.

You can use titles from short story collections you own or you could check out magazines online that publish short stories.

This page provides links to several short story magazines in Canada. One of them is the Antigonish Review in Nova Scotia.

From their recent issue #192, you could take the short story titles “A Grave with a View” and “Logging the Black Spruce” and create “A Grave Black Spruce” or “Logging with a View” or “A Grave Logging” or “The Black Spruce View”.

These are only examples. I suggest writing down ten titles (they must be more than one word titles) and mixing and matching until you find something you like.

Genre: open, fiction; word count: 450.

REMEMBER: Other members of the group will be reading these stories at the April meeting. Please print the stories in an easy-to-read font type and size. Size 12 is okay, but 14 is better. DO NOT put your name on your story. PLEASE NOTE: the word count is only 450, not our usual 500. Please stick to the word limit.

Updating Member Pages

Members are asked to check their member page on this site and to let Diane know if they want anything changed or updated. The full list of members is here.

If you don’t have a page, please send Diane some information and she will create the page for you.

The next writers’ meeting takes place Tuesday April 17th. The next self-publishing meeting takes place Tuesday April 3rd.