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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Summer Break

Cayman Writers' Circle is now on a break for the summer. We will meet again on Tuesday, 3rd September, at Sunset House, "My Bar" (outside, covered bar area).

In the meantime, Happy Writing!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Writer's Block and getting started writing again

Writer's Block is described as an inability to write, which is not due to lack of skill. According to Wikipedia it is often due to lack of inspiration or lack of confidence, or a feeling that the particular project is too overwhelming.

One of the suggested solutions to Writer's Block is to attend a Writers' Group, where there are other writers who may suffer from the same condition. The group offers support to writers, and also the opportunity to start writing again, by the use of writing games and exercises, as well as the discipline of having to produce something.

Another suggestion is to write about reality. Going to a new place and describing the scenery in as much detail as possible, analysing the character of someone you know, reporting on a conversation you've had, or journaling your feelings are all ways of returning to writing.

Reading is the obvious source of inspiration and learning, and we can gain much from observing someone else's style, but it is important to write with your own "voice," in your own style. People often worry about how to develop their own style, but this is something that should come naturally, in the same way that speech comes to us naturally.

Writers are their own worst critics, and it often seems that the more talented they are, the more harshly they assess their writing. They hesitate to start until they are confident that what they produce is near-perfect, but in reality, the best way to start writing again is just to sit down and write, without worrying about the results.  

Friday, 19 July 2013

Beginning a Story

"They say that when beginning a story you should always try to catch people at some interesting juncture of their lives, like when they have to make a choice or a decision, or when someone has betrayed them, or at the start of love or the end of love. It's better to come across them at some kind of crisis than in the middle of a long, lazy summer where nothing happens."  - Maeve Binchy

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Joining a Writers' Group

"Writing can be very lonely, and you can get great attacks of self-doubt. So...it makes sense to bond with a group of like-minded people who have also set out on the same kind of journey. For one thing, it will stop you from thinking that you are the only person in the world mad enough to believe that there's a book in you, and for another, it means you will meet sympatheitc people instead of dealing with those who think you are crazy and should be learning belly dancing or car maintenance instead." - Maeve Binchy

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Getting Started as a Writer - Quote from Maeve Binchy

"Writing is a bit like going on a diet: you should either tell everyone or no-one. If you tell everyone, then you can never be seen feeding your face in public without appearing weak willed. So that's a way of reinforcing your decision, and some people find it helpful. It does mean that you're somehow obliged to lose the weight you had promised aloud, or indeed finish the book. Or you could go the other route, and tell nobody - just hug your secret to yourself. Get thin by stealth, write the book, then burst onto an unsuspecting world with your new shape or finished manuscript. But whichever way you do it, you will need discipline and some kind of plan." Maeve Binchy.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Analysing a Piece of Writing

For the month of July, the group will be bringing our writing and commenting on each others' work. Here are some questions that might be useful when commenting on someone else's writing.



Analysing a Piece of Writing
 
1. Setting
 
i)                    How well does the writer describe the place where the story is set?
 
 
 
ii)                   What details are there to give you an idea of the time the story is set in?
 
 
 
2. Characterisation
 
i)                    How believable are the characters?
 
 
 
ii)                   How do the characters develop?
 
 
 
3. Structure and Development
 
i)                    What kind of structure does the plot/poem have?
 
 
 
ii)                   How well does the plot/poem develop?
 
 
 
4. Conflict
 
i)                    What internal or external conflicts are you made aware of?
 
 
 
ii)                   How is this brought to a climax and turning point?
 
 
 

 
5. Theme
 
i)                    What is the theme or message to the story/poem?
 
 
 
ii)                   What did the writer set out to achieve, and to what extent have they achieved it?
 
 
 
6. Style
 
i)                    How would you describe the use of language?
 
 
 
ii)                   What use does the writer make of symbolism or metaphors?
 
 
 
7. Clarity
 
i)                    How easy is it to understand this writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   How well does the dialogue work?
 
 
 
8. Your Reaction
 
i)                    What is your emotional response to this piece of writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   Does the writer make you want to read on, and if so how?
 
 
9. Improvement
 
i)                    What, in your opinion, may be missing from this piece of writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   How can this piece of writing be improved?