The Last Year of Childhood is now undergoing the 3rd edit. It is set in Granville, a small village south of Trinidad. The novel is about two young girls,12 and 14, who are best friends, but are opposite in personality in many ways. However, they share one thing in common - they both have arranged marriages, from which they must escape. But when they try to help each other, their problems become much worse.
I have done lots of things that have made my life varied and very interesting. From Nursing, to running my own design and manufacturing company - hard work but great fun. Lecturing in Business and Marketing allowed me to communicate with people who I could help. A very important part of my life was being a mother and step mother, then a mother again. Now I am writing fiction set in Trinidad. The Last Year of Childhood, is the the first novel of a series, set in small village, Granville, during Colonial times. If you have enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, you might enjoy The Last Year of Childhood. The genre is similar.
I find it so important to connect with other writers from time to time. It is like watering a plant, feeding it from time to time, nurturing it gently and watching it grow. Really. The benefit can be felt when spending an uplifting day with other writers. The buzz of inspiration and growth, turning to motivation for writing, and feeling the sense of soaring.
No writers block can penetrate this.
Keeping good company is an essential for writers.
Today, I spent the time with seven other writers - members of the Romantic Novelists Association. It was brilliant!
Recently I came across a very large group of writers, mostly unpublished, who really resented the idea that writing can be learnt. They believe that writing is a talent. You either have it, or you don't. They believe that it cannot be learnt, no matter what. I couldn't understand this.
I think the opposite. Sure it is always good to have some talent, but even that is a starting point. Having come late to creative writing, I really believe that writing a novel can be learnt. The "How to Write" books, the Creative Writing courses - casual and with qualification courses, writing conferences, have all taught me a great deal. But even those aren't enough.
Of course writing must be put into practice regularly. And continuous writing and dedication to getting to a goal, is necessary for improvement. When I return to what I wrote the first year, I'm embarrassed... in fact it is hard to return. Not that it was all that bad. In fact, I am often pleasantly surprised. But the style is different now - less formal, less jarred, less awkward.
However, something in those pieces of writing didn't always work. Sometimes the characters were lacking in something; the sentences were awkward; the dialogue was repetitive.
But what makes it difficult to write a full novel, is structuring. Good structure, makes a novel hang well.... as well as well drawn characters, plot and dialogue.
Whether there is talent or not to start with, it is the Energy, Effort and Enthusiasm, and the willingness to learn from every source, that will make writing improve.
This is an interesting and amusing piece from Nicola Morgan's blog. Please read it if you are interested in becoming published. It rings true ....amusingly true, if you feel the desperate pangs of hunger of becoming a published author.