Here's another installment of my notes from the All Write Now! Conference earlier this month.
During a morning session Five Star Publishing representative Tiffany Schofield gave a presentation on how writers can challenge their characters.
Her presentation included a discussion on some of her favorite recent reads and how the authors challenged their characters.
Here are some notes from her presentation:
* Readers get invested in characters.
* Read twice as much as you write.
* Step out of genre.
* Keep a journal/note what stood out as a reader and jot it down.
* For character development, describe setting.
* For pacing, balance dialogue and narrative.
* Writers can take some liberties in historical fiction, but history buffs will call you out if you make a mistake.
* Challenge your characters' boundaries (physical, emotional, spiritual, societal, and literary).
* Push through; challenge the norm.
* Question the status quo.
* Without failure, there is no growth.
During lunch, keynote speaker David Armand spoke about his writing journey from an adopted son in Louisiana to a college professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.
His memoir, My Mother's House, opens with the image of rotten peaches, bruised fruits left on the floor to rot. He felt the peaches represented his life as being discarded and bruised, but still bearing fruit.
His remarks were inspirational and focused on how books saved him and made a difference in his life. Through books and writing he was able to live his grand dreams.
He recommended the book On Writing by Stephen King as one of his favorites
He also suggested writers:
* Do the work.
* Believe in yourself.
* Take the seeds from an image to create a story.
He closed with a line from the Robert Frost poem, "The Road Less Traveled."
Although his remarks were brief, they demonstrated how reading and writing can change lives.