Robert Dugoni workshop – author encouragement

 

R DugoniI attended a writing seminar taught by Robert Dugoni. He’s a bestselling author of police detective mysteries and about 35 people arrived from all over Vancouver Island to hear what he had to say, which turned out to be quite a lot. And it was not only interesting but useful information.

I’ve written a few books now but am still learning and I learned even more on Saturday. Here’s a sampling . When  creating a character –

  • make him strong, along with other attributes he might need for his role such as leadership, cunning, loyal – all great virtues
  • give him an Achilles heel, such as depression, over-stubborn, jealous – any one which will allow him to be vulnerable
  • make him believable so the reader can identify with him, but also larger than life so he can be admired
  • make him sympathetic, where the reader can identify his fault, not pathetic where the reader can’t relate

But the most compelling part of the workshop was the ending. Dugoni reminded us to enjoy writing, and not to get so caught up in the marketing, readings, production of material that we lose the fun of it. Good words to write by.

To learn more about Robert Dugoni, check out his website at http://www.robertdugoni.com/

Merry Christmas, wreaths, garlands, swags

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Do you make your own Christmas wreaths and garlands? I went out to cut branches for my Christmas swags for either side of the door, and came back with the following –

  • red cedar (you can tell by the colour of the stems and bark)
  • balsam fir, with the delightful light green tips to the branches
  • fir, with fuzzier needle formation
  • salal, which gives great berries but stays green all year
  • hawthorne, for the beautiful red berries
  • broom, which is a weed, but adds a lovely straight sweeping component

This is what I came up with for my front door. What do you do for your Christmas greenery? Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Romantic Suspense – why I write

Let me tell you a little about me, Sylvie Grayson, and why I write!

What am I currently working on?

My current work is a story called Suspended Animation, where an ambitious young hockey player is reluctantly dragged home because of a crisis, to discover his father is too ill to run the family trucking business, and it’s about to go under from a load of debt.

At the same time a young woman has loaned her money to be invested in a trucking business but when her fortunes plummet, she needs it back. Her only option is to approach the business owner. The scene when these two, the hockey player and the young woman, meet really tickled me because they are polar opposites and the air crackles with tension.

How does my contemporary romantic suspense differ from others in the genre?

My heroes are busy guys who are trying their best to make a go of their careers. They aren’t perfect but they work hard and play hard, knowing life can throw them a curve unexpectedly, and it always does.

My heroines are smart, usually independent minded women who like to do things their way and have a plan for their lives. When these two meet up, the sparks fly, especially if they are already driving on a collision course. Then I mix in a bit of intrigue and suspense in the shape of a bad character or two, some unforeseen events to up the ante and make things really interesting.

I try to stay away from the classic scenarios – big businessmen who enter into shady deals to make a lot of money, or high flyer politicians who work for their own interests to gain wealth or influence. I feel those have been overdone, and it’s time to look for more interesting and inventive plots.

Why do I write what I do?

I have a varied and out-of-the ordinary background and I think that comes through in what I write. My father was a story teller, played the accordion and mouth organ, and loved to sing ballads. My mother was a painter, a writer and a respected poet. So I come by the wish to tell stories honestly. I also have a background in business, entertainment, travel, start-up companies, you name it. So I like to write about those things.

Life is never easy, I don’t know anyone who has sailed through without a hitch. So when I begin to throw the hitch into the mix, the leak in the lifeboat, or the thief in the scenario, it just gets more interesting and exciting. The suspense in ‘romantic suspense’ gives the love story a special impact.

How does my writing process work?

I’ve written about five or six books now, and the process has evolved. Because I also have a job, I write when I can find the uninterrupted time to do so. I usually start with an idea about the characters and the situation they’re in. As I mull it over in my mind, their personalities evolve and I start to see why they are doing what they do, and how their goals are at cross purposes. Then I work on getting them together.

When I write, I usually know where I’m going with the story. But the story can surprise me, and take me in a different direction then I planned. I find the characters come alive and soon have a mind of their own. It takes some special handling as the book evolves to stay on course but allow the hero and heroine a voice in their own story. It’s what I love to do.

Do you write? What’s your process? Drop me a line and let me know how it works for you. J