Goldie's Blog

Blogging and Other Matters

5 July, 2011 | By Goldie Alexander

The problem with blogging is that you have to be prepared to maintain it regardless of how busy you might be with other projects. I can see how a blog could take over from ‘more serious writing’! So I have left off blogging these last two weeks. Mostly I have been out of town and when I returned, I was too busy marketing ‘The Youngest Cameleer’ and the ebooks ‘The Grevillea Murder Mystery Series.’ (I’ll use a future blog to discuss some ways and means of successful marketing)

Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling too many projects. However, I have found that a blogging platform seems to be a popular form of presenting material that might interest other writers. Since publishing ‘Mentoring Your memoir’ I get many requests for help in writing up other people’s material. There are tips on my website as well as in that ‘how-to-text’, but perhaps they aren’t enough. So if you’re feeling a bit lost here are three important ideas to keep in mind as you create your story.

• Try to include a balance of males to females. It makes for more interest. Spend lots of time creating convincing characters. You should know them as well as you know yourself.

• Make your text ‘gossipy’. Above all use dialogue to show how your characters think, speak and behave. Insert body language between pieces of dialogue.

• Always remember: SHOW DON’T TELL

• Don’t give up, no matter how bogged down you get in the middle. Instead create a plan. When that won’t work try taking a long walk while thinking about other things. I find that process usually works.

Perhaps I have already mentioned that I belong to a book group that discusses kidlit. We make a point each month of reviewing a story picture book, a junior novel and a YA novel. Many have not stood the test of time – though we mostly felt illustrators did better than writers. This month we covered Shirley Hughes. Her illustrations still work, though we had doubts about her texts. But my local librarian tells me that they stock every SPB she has ever written and they are unfailingly popular, maybe because every child can relate to the simple action. Our junior novel, ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ led to an interesting exchange on ‘political correctness’ and whether authors are more hamstrung these days about what they dare tackle. ‘The Changeover’ by Margaret Mahy led to intense discussion between those who love it – I do- and those that felt the prose had become cumbersome.

Perhaps the same goes for popular adult fiction. While in the past I loved Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’, his latest ‘Mary Ann in Autumn’ does little more than tie up loose ends. I think it might be to do with style. Whereas writing ‘gay’ lit in the past was exciting and novel, now it has become so acceptable, it’s ended up as somewhat boring.

Someone out there please, please disagree???

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