August 27th, 2015
Kate Cuthbert (Escape digital imprint) and Sue Brockhoff (Harlequin Single Title)
Pitching is way to get attention, get to know editor or publishing house
Good way of getting manuscript in front of editor
Before you pitch:
Are you ready?
- Who are you pitching to?
- What are they looking for?
- What are they not looking for?
- What are their parameters? Eg genres and subgenres, word length etc (category is 50 – 60k, while single title is around 80k – 90k)
- Do your plans and theirs coincide?
August 26th, 2015
Describing emotion: balancing show and tell
Body language and action
In active storytelling, action is king
93% of all communication is non verbal
- Primal instinct is at work (constantly aware of our environment)
- We are all adept body language readers (and so are our story readers)
- Use body language to convey your character’s comfort zone & emotional range
August 22nd, 2015
Sharing characterisations & emotions without telling or info dumps
Do more with less
If you are describing appearance, also include emotional description
Learn to convey information with powerful word structure rather than writing it all out
What does ‘Show, don’t tell’ really mean?
- It is the drop in your stomach when you jump out of an aeroplane
- It is the crunch of your feet as you walk across leaves
- Sound of birds
- The chafe of cold iron against skin
Take your readers on a sensory adventure
August 22nd, 2015
And the flipside is using flaws / negative traits
Hobble your character with flaws
- A flaw is a negative quality that emerges in a character’s personality as a result of an emotionally hurtful experience
- Just as we have a survival response for physical dangers (fight or flight), we instinctively protect our emotions from harm as well
- Flaws act as unhealthy emotional armour to ensure the same emotional pain doesn’t happen again
Flaws have deep roots, it is hard to get rid of them.
August 22nd, 2015
Building a hero / heroine from the ground up
– What makes a reader fall in love with a character?
– How can we create these types of characters ourselves?
– How to create deep compelling characters that stick with a reader.
- Offer a view into the characters and his world that is both compelling and addictive
- Provide experiences that are new, yet rooted in real human experience
- A powerful bond that forms when the character’s experiences triggers the reader’s own emotional memories
4 elements to reinforce empathy and fascination
- Emotional connection
August 22nd, 2015
And so, dear readers, it is once more unto the breach…
An interstate trek, stranded at airport for ages as shuttle didn’t turn up, eventually finding and checking into hotel. Followed by an attempt to register the day before the conference opened (foiled!) so as to avoid a stupidly early start on Friday. Alas, stupidly early start it was…
The high level outline of my program at Romance Writers of Australia 2015 ‘Get Fresh’ conference is as follows.
- cocktail party
- core conference
- awards dinner
- core conference
Some of my friends from previous cons are around, but only attending the social functions (going to the Melbourne Writers Festival instead).
It is a shame there is no literary stream this year, I would have really enjoyed it.
July 21st, 2015
One of my colleagues had her birthday a while back, and I wanted to play around with some new papers and wooden embellishments I got around Christmas time.
The papers are from Prima Marketing’s Epiphany collection (specifically the Striking Appearance design), which has distressed, watercolour-esque backgrounds with black doodle style images. There is a light and whimsical feel to them, even the ones that have black backgrounds and borders.
I took one of these with a birdcage design down the side. Trimmed the paper and edged it in burgundy, and layered onto black card, then a bit of lace wrapped down the right side. One of the offcuts had a butterfly design on it, so I also edged it in burgundy and layered onto the first piece, overlapping the lace. Then I used one of the matching bird wooden embellishments, which had already been painted in a whitewash.
May 28th, 2015
Jupiter Ascending was, in a word, Fabulous. In two words it was Absolutely Fabulous.
My slightly longer review is that I think I understand why reviewers aren’t liking it much: because they don’t understand that it is the film version of a Space Opera roleplaying campaign. I don’t know WHY they were expecting something else, let alone WHAT that was. But when you consider other space opera includes Star Trek, Flash Gordon, Star Wars and even The Fifth Element (which is also fabulous but quite nonsensical most of the time) – none of this has great dialogue, all have over the top characters and action scenes, and most are episodic in various ways.
Here are my thoughts and comments from a few different blogs and sites over the past two months, put together in one spot and (hopefully) a little more coherent. I saw it with Dave and we both came out of it wondering why people keep complaining about the crazy plot. It was obviously a movie that was supposed to be lighthearted and funny and not take itself too seriously. The actors were in on the joke, but it seems a lot of the critics didn’t get it. Maybe they were wanting a dark and gritty Matrix clone. But it is Space Opera! Not Cyberpunk.
The is The Wachowskis Do Space Opera. And they did it brilliantly. I loved that Jupiter decided to save the earth instead of her family. I love that she spent the whole movie hitting on Cane while he tried to be restrained. I loved that – unlike most sci fi movies – the female lead was fully dressed the whole time. In the gamut from Barbarella to Lilu Dallas, I can’t really recall a time when that happened before. And the romance was great – tbh I find space opera is all romance, whether of a regency or a planetary kind. I’m good with that, it is one of the reasons I love the genre.
I can only guess that most of the reviewers who keep going on about the cra-cra plot aren’t that familiar with space opera, including the various roleplaying games and computer roleplaying games. It was there by the truckload, and tbh one of the best renditions I have seen. I just don’t get what other people were expecting from a space opera movie no matter who made it.
May 21st, 2015
My former director left my workplace recently, and this is the card I made for her from those in my team who used to be in her area.
Cream cardstock folded to a square card, edged in blue ink. Strip of blue, white and gold chiyogami paper mounted on blue metallic paper, and then placed down right side of the card. Cream flower edged in blue and attached to the card, then blue diamantes placed in the centre of the flower. Inside was ‘All the best’ stamped in blue.
There were left over bits of the metalic blue and chiyogami papers, so I used them along with another flower on the envelope to tie it all together.
May 18th, 2015
Dave and I went to see the new Sydney production of this show recently – he has never seen it on stage before, although he has of course seen the musical version movie. On the other hand I have seen it at least 6 times before on stage (it may be 7, I lost count), including several previous productions / casts. Original Australian production (1989 Sydney cast, both versions), original Broadway production (in 1991), 10th anniversary Australian Production (1997), plus very familiar with the International soundtrack which blends cast members from around the world.
Overall, I am torn about this new production. The music was good (ie the orchestra). I thought the new set design, incorporating digital images in place of the revolving stage was good – although there were definitely times when I missed the revolving stage. The stage direction seemed to make a lot of changes that were borrowed from the film version. I guess that was ok – although the prologue in the warship rather than in the mining colony was imo unnecessary. Not only was it a change from the story, it then negated how Valjean was able to set up in business mining the same material.
But oh my – the individual performances? Incredibly disappointing. The review in The Australian said that the cast has no show stealers, that “cast members don’t impose their personalities on their roles. Rather, they channel them.” I feel that is giving most of them too much credit to be honest. Some of them felt like ghastly caricatures, and were painful to watch – and listen too. Also while the overall sound of the ensemble was really good, there was another issue – everyone was fast, way ahead of the music. Not just the ensemble, but soloists too.