Sunday, June 24, 2018

Author Susin Nielsen's writing workshop notes by Leanne Dyck

"at the writers' workshop"  ldyck

On a soggy Friday in June, seven writers met at the Mayne Island library to attend award-winning author Susin Nielsen's workshop on Creating An Authentic Protagonist. I found the workshop challenging, fun and inspiring. 

In the first of four writing exercises, Nielsen challenged us to write about an emotionally-charged event in our lives. We later shared these stories with the group and gained valuable feedback about our writing from Nielsen. Our feet wet, we moved on to explore how we would bring emotion to our characters. In our next writing exercise, we used a list of questions supplied by Nielsen to build a character--what does your character like, dislike and what are the most important relationships in her life. The questions also encouraged us to think of how we would show the heart of our character to our readers. For example, what items does your character carry? In the other two exercises, we were to put our characters in emotionally-charged situations.

During the Q & A that followed, Nielsen told us to pick our favourite book in the genre we're writing. Dissect and analysis the story. What works? What techniques did the author use?

Books Recommended...

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
On Writing by Stephen King

Following the workshop, the library doors were thrown open and more people poured in. Nielsen entertained us with an author talk reviewing her career and read from her soon-to-be-published book. Nielsen began her career writing for TV shows as 
Degrassi Junior High and Robson Arms. Nielsen has won young reader choice awards--such as the Red Maple--for her middle grade novels.

Much thanks to Pam Withers for organizing and the Mayne Island Library for hosting this event.

"maple leaves"  ldyck

What's in store for July...

To celebrate Canada Day (July 1st), I've hunted through my bookshelves to find some old friends I need to tell you about. So first up for July, I'm writing a post recommending 10 must-read books written by Canadian authors.

Next, I offer a two-part spoof on the life of a writer living on a small island. (Huh, I wonder who inspired that?)--
Island Storyteller 

Then, as a former ECE (Early Childhood Educator), I comment on and review the thriller The Perfect Nanny by French author Leila Slimani.

Finally, I end the month by offering a short story about a walk in the woods--The Woods.

"huh, what's in there?" ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

This month I...

submitted 10 picture books to publishers
and a short story collection

received 1 rejection email

worked on my middle grade novel 
and short story collections

Next month... Well, next month?