All Because of Chickens

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Morning Musings: We’re not the age our audience is

Another Saturday and I'm still missing the old mornings of nothing but cartoons.

Hope your week went well.

As both an editor and reviewer I've wondered and am asking our authors today...How do you keep your own teen years' experience out of your story, given the time period differences?

Working in a senior school gave me ample opportunity to see how teenagers behave and to observe how their lives differ from my teenage years. I'm currently writing the sequel to 'DAFFODIL AND THE THIN PLACE' which takes place during the First World War, so I've had to think about the difference between teenagers in 1916 and Daffodil, who is a twenty-first century teenager. However, although technology and circumstances have changed over the years, I think that teenagers of today still experience uncertainty and lack of confidence - I don't think that has changed much over the years.

I think a little bit of my teen years’ experience creep into my stories. But I try to focus on how today’s teenager would handle the situation. Also I see what my teenagers have gone through. I watch a lot of teen type shows. I read a lot of MG and YA novels.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Morning Musings: Ouch that hurt…me more than the character?

Happy Saturday,

Our blog here is for middle grade, tweens, teens, YA, and even New YA, so what's better than a question from a teen? Today's comes from my fifteen year old and future film maker:

What are your feelings when killing a character off...villain or otherwise.

I don't have any sympathy with the villains in my stories, so it seems appropriate when they suffer! However, I know that the other characters will triumph eventually, so I don't worry too much when they are challenged or experience problems.

I find it hard to put my characters through pain. Just like with my kids I don’t like to see them in pain. Life is full of pain and problems. We learn and grow from those experiences. If your characters don’t have conflict, problems, and pain, they don’t grow. If there is no conflict, there is no story.

I think the expression, “I feel your pain,” sums up my reaction to the trauma my characters face. In my first novel, Search for the Red Ghost, my protagonist, Jake, went through a tremendous amount of emotional and physical pain. His mother died. He thought his father blamed him for her death. A mountain lion killed his horse, and his desire for revenge drove him alone into the desert. I put this thirteen-year-old grief-stricken boy through severe hunger, thirst, and fear, and I felt every moment of his pain.

Several studies have analyzed the effect of one person’s pain on another, and have concluded that pain can be transferrable. It doesn’t matter if you see it yourself, hear about it, or even read about it. Pain creates an intense emotion that can be felt by someone else. I find that enlightening because it means I am not as crazy as I thought I was. Whew!

Graham Greene, an English novelist, said, “Pain is easy to write.” That may be true for some, but it is not true for me. I want my reader to feel the challenges and the struggles that my characters go through, and that includes their pain. For me, as the writer, that means I must feel it too. If I don’t, then how am I going to make the reader believe? Why do I do it? The simple answer is that I am the writer, and my characters take me along for their ride wherever it may lead as long as I agree to bring their story to life in all its glory and pain

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Morning Musings: What’s new for you this year

Super Saturday!

If you think something's gone crazy don't worry I didn't get the upload done in time. Not the best start for the New Year; however, Dawn's here to tell us what's coming up new for her.

Wow! I have so many plans for 2017, my head is buzzing! I'm currently about half way through a sequel for DAFFODIL AND THE THIN PLACE, which is set during World War One. I've also been asked to write a play to commemorate the end of World War One and the return of the service men. This will be performed in 2018, and I've already planned and started writing it. In 2014, I wrote a play to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War One, which was performed in my home town that year. Last year, it was performed in our twin town in Germany and this year, in our other twin town in France. However, I have been asked to collaborate with the production company who produced it, to change it slightly, so that it can be taken into schools and performed. And there are several short stories that I want to write too. I'm tremendously excited by all the projects I've got lined up for 2017!

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note: