Tag Archives: short stories

Countdown

Late blog this morning as was busy early, but just popping in to say have a great weekend all! The countdown begins and next week I will be posting short extracts of some of my published short stories and maybe novel extracts too on here in my own countdown until Friday!

So watch this space folks!

Happy Friday!

dreams-1

 

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On This Day… 22/11/2016

Today sees the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy. Three years ago I had the official launch of While No One Was Watching, my debut novel. And what a three years it has been.

The same year I won the inaugural Bath Short Story Award, was shortlisted in the prestigious Commonwealth Short Story Prize and my story, The Theory of Circles, was also nominated for the highly acclaimed Pushcart Prize! It was hard to top that in a year!

The following year also saw successes, the biggest of which was finding an agent.

Since then I have had something published each year to keep that short story momentum going and had numerous signings and events along the way. I also moved to Essex, joined a gym and met a lovely man.  So personally and professionally my life has changed.

Give me a WHOOP!

Novel wise, I have still got the other three novels and been working on at least two new novels but am waiting for something to happen. My agent is so incredibly busy and she has now joined a much larger agency where her focus has changed more towards non-fiction. She still represents… me for the time being, but I am now making plans for 2017. I need to have another novel out there now!

I talked about my novel, and this whole idea of using a real event, such as the Kennedy assassination, woven into the fabric of fiction at the U3A event last Friday. Aptly timed of course for the anniversary. We used examples from film and talked about the historical novelists like Philippa Gregory and Sharon K Penman and where the historical novel sits (although mine is not a historical novel per se) in terms of representation of history. Can fiction change what we believe and is that a good thing?  It went down really well and I sold 14 books which isn’t bad for an event like that!

I will share links to the U3A site as they also took photos  when that is live.

So on this special day, I am sharing links to my novel again (sorry!) for anyone who has not read it! Give it a go! Christmas presents?

 

New cover WNOWW

Buy me

Thanks and thoughts to Kennedy and what the world might have been if he was still here.

Would I even have written this novel?

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Need help?

I am so blessed that from the day I started to work with writers on critiques and edits, I have never been without a steady stream of work. I also work with Cornerstones and so take work from them, at the moment I mentor three lovely writers. I arrange my day so I write in the mornings and then  some days, like today, I just work, but it’s great and I am so grateful I get to do what I love every day.

On my wall is a plaque that reads ‘Create The Life You Love’ and I can’t actually believe I did.

I plan to introduce a couple of day-long workshops next year; one will be local to where I live, another might be in London if we have enough interest; a day workshop on writing and where to take your edits. If anyone is interested in the London one please let me know as I will need to look into venues. I also would like to offer some more mentoring with novels or short story collections as I feel this works really well so might open a couple of spots initially for people with serious intentions of making 2017 their year. So if interested in this, please let me know.

If you are simply looking to hire an editor or someone to really critique your work then please do check out my website. It gets busy but I am happy to pencil you in for edits — a couple of spots still available for 2016 but then I am booking for 2017.

Check it out!

www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk 

So I wish you all an amazing weekend whatever you do… and remember if you want to give an unusual Christmas presie to a writer friend why not give them a gift card for a critique of a short story (2- 5000 words) £50 including follow-up… or for shorter pieces up to 2000 £25 and  I will send a certificate and they can use it any time in 2017.

That is all!

life-is-about-moments-create-them-motivational-daily-quotes-sayings-pictures

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Old Hallow’s Eve

That creepy time of year is upon us. It brings to mind sitting around a fire telling those spooky tales.

We did a couple of collections of stories like these over at Bridge House… my brother did the covers of a couple of them and Gill’s son also did the cover of one…

What do you think?

devils-demons-and-werewolves

Cover by Justin Wyatt

BUY ME

(I have a story in this called Things That Go Blog In The Night!)

scream

Cover by Ashley James

BUY ME

spooked

Cover by Justin Wyatt

BUY ME

And I will leave you with some lovely images from a Halloween Party I went to at the weekend. Mal says he has never dressed up before so we had planned to go to a party at a local pub until Dave at the gym invited to his house party which was much more fun!

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You really want this as your personal trainer?

me-1

You really want this as your editor? 

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Love at first stab?

us-2

It’s love really!

me-2

Look into my eyes…

happy-halloween

Oh dear. Say no more!

Hire me as your editor or else?!!!

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Building on a Dream…

Here is a simple message. I have been thinking a lot about all my lovely clients and the way we often become friends. I feel as if we are all in a dream factory; we support one another towards our goals. It’s important to have those dreams — those things that get us out of bed in the morning. If we have no drive then we have no sense of purpose in life. So today I am celebrating dreams and hopes and wishes. If anyone has ever knocked those down, said dreaming of being a writer (or whatever your dream) is all ‘pie in the sky’ use that anger to fuel your drive all the more.

It is not easy being a writer and rejection is part of that, but for every rejection you learn, you move forward, YOU MUST be receptive to criticism and take it as a place to learn from. If you believe: YOU WILL succeed.

Have a great Monday and an amazing week everyone!

dreams-1

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Friday Again

Where do the weeks go, it’s like God has reset all the clocks in the house and it can’t really be mid-October can it?

Yesterday we had no power and I had the oddest experience… at midnight; my dad standing in my room shining a torch in my face saying, “There is no power.” What? ” The new boiler…” (only fitted Monday!) “… has leaked water all over the garage floor.” Oh. “And none of the power will come back on.” In my half-dazed state, I think I grunted and couldn’t help think the torch in my face was really from an alien and the apocalypse was upon us. Well,  am reading The Girl With All The Gifts! Then he said, “So no point you getting up early as you can’t work, is there? Thought you needed to know.”

“Oh. Yeah. Thanks, Dad.” I think.

So that is why there was no post yesterday.

I got up at a ‘normal’ time, went to the gym, the man put me through my paces personal training me and boy can I feel it this morning. Then I took him out for a healthy lunch (a reward for hurting my muscles? Er…) as it would have been Lee’s birthday (in heaven eleven years next week) so I thought in an odd way, going out with the new man seemed a good thing to do… well you know what I mean. We toasted Lee with our slimline tonics. And when I came back we had power (boiler isolated) and  being looked at, hopefully, fixed, tomorrow. So we don’t have heat but thankfully it’s not that cold.

And so here I am today with power. We all have power.

The power to write. The power to be whatever we want to be. The power to live our dreams. And right now the power to look forward to another weekend. I will, of course, be working all day Sunday as I have three lovely mentoring clients at Cornerstones at the moment so have some chapters to read 🙂 as well as the other 7/8 novels all lined up and being edited on weekdays over the next few weeks. Did I tell you I love my writerly life? 😉 I have the power! Oh and my own writing in the mornings too of course!

So everyone, have a fantastic weekend, whatever you do.

Do you have the power?

Make-it-count

 

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Worst Points, Crises and Resolutions in Stories

Does your story have a ‘worst point’? 

And by this, I do not mean a part that reads worse than the rest, I mean a point when things could not get worse for your characters? This is a phrase used in screenwriting most commonly and represents the point in the story when you place your characters in maximum jeopardy. This is when your readers are on the edge… shouting at the TV,  refusing to stop reading even though it’s passed midnight. This is not the quite the climax but a point before that when the protagonist appears to have failed in their mission; when the object of their desire that focusses the plot appears to me furthest from reach.

For story to work the central character must have an active goal and what are called the forces of antagonism which present obstacles to attaining that goal. This is the point when all those forces come together. For story to work the character must make a choice at this point in order that he can continue to resolve the burning question of the story and this may well be the point when we see that ‘want’ shift to ‘need’ I talked about earlier in the week.

The worst point is actually the point when it seems impossible for the hero to succeed. Now he chooses and those flaws come into play. The cleverness of structure comes into play here for this to work… so this is the CRISIS and is the moment before the CLIMAX.

Think of the climax as the moment the hero finds release from the final inescapable predicament. This is when you engage with the dramatic need and overcome the flaw. This is a ‘must have’ scene and in film parlance is known as the ‘obligatory scene’. You have no story without it.

Here we get the pay-off that justifies the reader’s investment in the story. It’s very rare this is subverted and the hero dies although you will see this. e.g. the Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men. If you do kill the hero at the crisis point is has to be fo the greater good of the story and essential for its overall message to work.

Think of the inciting incident as being the question that created the story… what will happen? Think of the climax as being the point when you say: THIS.

The climax is usually too complex to be a single scene and so what follows is the denouement which really means to ‘untie’ so represents where you unravel and explain the threads even though you are really tying them up! Now this is the final pay-off of everything you set up.

You established a flawed character and a mission, you confronted them with obstacles (opposites), you turned want to need and resolved by restoring the balance!

The greater the drama between inciting incident and how this is resolved, the more dramatic tension you have!

And here endeth the lessons for this week on the craft of writing!

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

Dream it and it will be

 

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