Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Writing Prompts from Sunday, February 9, 2020


This week's prompts had a romantic theme in honour of Valentine's Day.

Romantic Encounters


What is Romance?
In the strictest academic terms, a romance is a narrative genre in literature that involves a mysterious, adventurous, or spiritual story line where the focus is on a quest that involves bravery and strong values, not always a love interest. However, modern definitions of romance also include stories that have a relationship issue as the main focus.

Examples of Romance
In the academic sense, an example of a romance is a story in which the main character is a hero who must conquer various challenges as part of a quest. Each challenge could be its own story and can be taken out of the overall story without harming the plot.

Example 1
§  A knight who wishes to prove himself by recovering a stolen heirloom from an enemy may find himself attempting to make his way through a dangerous wood filled with thieves.
§  Once he has accomplished this challenge, he may find himself climbing a tall mountain on which a group of people are in trouble. He would save the group somehow, and then move on.
§  Then the final stage: the enemy’s kingdom. There may be a fair maiden whom he meets and somehow helps or rescues, or perhaps she helps him.
But the fair maiden is not the focus of the story – his quest is the focus. Each story can be taken out, yet each builds the hero’s strength to face his final quest. These stories tend to be serious rather than humorous and touch on strong values.
Example 2
A modern romance would include:
§  The story of a character who keeps meeting the wrong type of people in his or her relationships or has run into a problem with a current love relationship.
§  The story would focus on the struggles the character faces while finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. The whole focus would be the relationship, although the character may also be dealing with other struggles, such as losing a job, handling difficult parents, etc.
These stories may be funny, sad, tragic, serious, or a mix. The obvious resolution to the conflict would be finding the right person or saving the present relationship.


Literaryterms.net/romance/

  
Prompts


1.      “I never stood a chance did I?”
“That’s the sad part. You did once.”   www.medium.com

2.      “I love you,” he whispers under his breath as the love of his life walks down the aisle to the man he is paid to assassinate.   www.writedivas.com

3.      She was beautiful in every way but, God, her feet stank.

4.      I was used to being alone. Immortals learn to accept solitude after awhile. I only went on the blind date so that my friend would stop bugging me.

5.      Father John looked over at Sister Mary. He didn’t even know her name before she’d taken her vows, but God help him, he was in love with her.

Write a story about:

a.       A knight who goes on a quest to save a dragon.

b.      People who meet at an animal shelter.

c.       Two people who hated each other as children and meet at a singles night event.

d.      Someone who falls in love with a ghost.

Choose a candy heart (a box of candy hearts was provided) and use what is written on it to complete one of the sentences below.

        i.            When I came back from lunch, there was a candy heart on my keyboard. It said __________.

      ii.            I couldn’t wait to see what was in the mysterious package I’d picked up from the post office. Inside was a bag of candy hearts. The message _____________ was on every one of them.

    iii.            Cereal was still my go-to breakfast in the morning. But today when I upended the box to my bowl, candy hearts came out instead. They all said ____________.

    iv.            A stranger bumps into you and you feel them grab your hand. When you look, there is a candy heart in your palm with the message ______________.


Next Meeting
Sunday, November 23rd
Leader: Clare

Monday, January 20, 2020

Meeting Notes from January 19, 2020


We discussed possible dates for this year's Open Mic Night. Thursday, April 30th was settled upon. Due to the change in the library's hours, the event will take place from 6pm to 8pm.

There is a giant book sale in Elora on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Members of the group are going to go together on Saturday, May 2nd, to fill up their book bags.

We discussed more ideas for events in 2020. An informal event surrounding NaNoWriMo in November will be proposed to the library. It was also suggested we do a Beta Reader Day at one of our meetings inviting authors of the community to participate.

Continue to work on your writing prompts and submit them to Virginia for the anthology. We are hoping to publish this fall.

Writing Prompts

1. Even a kick in the butt is a step forward.

2. You go for a walk in fresh snow. Suddenly you realize you're not leaving any footprints.

3. He stared at the lottery ticket and read the numbers eleven times before he was sure.

4. Tell a story about a celebrity meeting you.

5. Her job interview did not go so well.

6. Write a story about someone cleaning out their attic. They find an old piece of clothing, and inside of the pocket is an old keepsake.

7. Write about a character's secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about.

8. "You're early," he finally says.


Next Meeting:
Sunday, February 9th, 1:30pm
Leader: Sonja

Monday, January 6, 2020

January 5, 2020, Meeting Notes


Happy New Year!

Virginia announced that we will be proceeding with the anthology. We don't have enough submissions so we are extending the deadline to September 1, 2020. Please submit any of your writings created from writing prompts. Expand on them if you feel it is necessary.

We discussed the 4th Annual Open Mic this coming April. It should be the week of April 20th. Patricia will consult with Harry, and then the Library, as to what date would be suitable.

Brian announced that he participated at his first Open Mic with positive feedback. He is a new member of our group and are proud of how quickly he is progressing.

Brian also announced that the gentleman who played Big Bird passed away. MuppetsMindset.com is accepting submissions of tribute. Brian submitted a poem which was accepted.


Writing Prompts

January is the month of beginnings. According to the Romans it was ruled by the two-faced god Janus. One face looked backward to the past, one forward to the future. Write a story or an essay inspired by one of  the following:

1. A character, looking back, makes a decision about the future.
2. An inauspicious beginning.
3. Something that started out well but ended badly.
4. Something that started out badly but ended well.
5. The beginning of a relationship.
6. People laughed when I told them my New Year's resolution.
7. At least this year started out better than last year.
8. Janusz is the Polish form of "John", meaning "God is gracious" or at least that's what the book of baby names says. The Janusz I went to school with didn't reflect God's graciousness. He was more like Janus - two-faced.
9. There's an old saying "In my beginning is my end". I sure hope that isn't true.


Next Meeting: Sunday, January 19th, 1:30pm
Diane will be leading.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Escape With a Writer Sunday Author Call Out



Happy New Year!

One of the fun things I've been doing this past year is a Sunday blog post called Escape with a Writer Sunday. I've had a very busy few months with some great authors, but I'm always looking for new people to appear on my blog!

Who can join the fun? 
Anyone! I've had authors from all over the world send me their bios and book information to help promote their great new novels.

How do you find the site? 
Easy, peasey! Check out http://dbator.blogspot.com to see what I do and read about new-to-you authors and their books.

Do you have a book you'd love to promote?
Please find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dianebatorauthor/ or message me via my website http://penspaintsandpaper.com/index.html

All the best in 2020! 

Diane 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Writing Prompts from November 3, 2019


Writing Prompts

1. Things I should have said, things I could have said, and things I would have said. We all have these stories in us - the stories of what was left unsaid. Write about one of them (and the regrets or impact it had on you).

2. By the time the officer arrived, Jacob had done his dirty work.

3. I thought I had a perfect (marriage, career, etc.) and then, Fate, as Fate so often does, threw a wrench into the works.

4. If I could just make it home before David opened the letter, our lives could continue as they were.

5. Finnigan, my father's long-dead gray cat, always appeared in the house just before someone in the family died. Who had it come for this time?

6. That night, she put the beautiful porcelain doll, the one she'd bought at the antique fair, in a chest of drawers in her sitting room, and went to bed. Some time in the night she got up when she heard a sound like a child crying, and found the doll lying on the floor outside her bedroom door.

7. She stared into the crumpled car at her own mangled body, when a woman in a pale blue suit appeared and said, "You must come with me now." She protested vigorously so the woman said, "We will let you live this day over again but you must discover the one moment in it that could have changed this outcome, not just for you but for many others as well."

8. Hannah dropped the hitchhiker off in front of the house where she said she lived. It was a cold rainy night, so Hannah watched her as she ran up the driveway toward the front door, to make sure the girl was home and safe. But the girl never made it to the door - she vanished into thin air.

9. The turbulence was the worst she'd ever experienced on a flight and she was glad when they touched down safely; but when she entered the airport from her gate, everything looked, not radically different, but subtly and disturbingly different. This couldn't be Toronto. A passing flight attendant assured her that it was.

10. If you could go back in your life and relive one day in your past, what day would that be?


Next Meeting
Sunday, November 17th
1:30pm

Headwaters Writers' Guild 2020 Meeting Schedule


Below is the schedule of meetings for 2020. Leaders are not listed here. That copy was emailed to group members.


2020 Meeting Schedule
All Meetings at the Orangeville Public Library, Start time 1:30pm

Sunday, January 5th
Sunday, January 19th
Sunday, February 9th
Sunday, February 23rd
Sunday, March 8th
Sunday, March 22nd
Sunday, April 5th
Sunday, April 19th
Sunday, May 3rd
Sunday, May 24th
Sunday, June 14th
Sunday, June 28th
Sunday, July 19th
Sunday, August 16th
Sunday, September 13th
Sunday, September 27th
Sunday, October 4th
Sunday, October 25th
Sunday, November 8th
Sunday, November 22nd
Sunday, November 29th – Christmas Social

Friday, November 1, 2019

My First Writing Conference by Diane Bator



This feels a bit like an essay I did once in school.  What I Did This Summer by Diane Bator. Remember those? Only this one is about something I did for the first time as a published writer. I attended a writer's conference. Yes, it's taken me eight novels to finally get to one!

I've read posts by friends who travel to conferences all over the place but was lucky that the Writers' Community of York Region sponsored one in Newmarket, Ontario this past weekend. This was the first event the WCYR had ever hosted and it was well attended by over 100 writers from all over Southern Ontario including Patricia and I.

We started the day in the atrium of the Newmarket Town Hall with coffee and muffins and received a great new folder to take notes in. After a few brief words from on of the coordinators, we broke into groups for our chosen morning sessions.


Our first session was with romance novelist Zoe York, author of more than 50 romance novels. She discussed Marketing for Genre Fiction. A lot of writers in the room were either looking to publish a novel or had published 1 or 2 novels. The one thing I found most interesting were the questions she gave us to think about no matter where we were at in our journeys.


  1. What genre do you want to be writing and what type of books do you want to write? ie. genre, heat level, setting, tone, etc.
  2. What are the next 5 books you want to write?
  3. Can you group thematically or do they exist in the same world? Explain that world in a common theme in a sentence or two. ie. small town romance with sexy cowboy.
  4. On a blank piece of paper, list all of your work to date, published or unpublished, finished or in draft/dream stage.
One of the other things they offered throughout the day were 20 minute Blue Pencil Meetings. The opportunity to sit with a fellow writer or editor (including our own Marilyn Kleiber) and ask them questions as well as getting feedback on their novel. I passed on the chance for this conference, but Patricia was very happy with the feedback she received.

Lunch was simple, soup and sandwiches along with some yummy chocolate chip cookies for dessert. While we ate, we were also able to purchase raffle tickets and enter them to win several beautiful baskets donated by sponsors, including the writing group I belong to. Draws were made at the end of the day. I didn't win any, but Patricia did!

After lunch we were treated to a keynote speech from Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans and two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. He is a huge fan of being a Plotter when he writes his books. In fact, he plans them in great detail before he writes something I don't think I could ever do! I'm part plotter, part pantser. One thing he said that surprised many people in attendance was that he still works full time. After writing seven novels and receiving many awards, he still must hold a 9-to-5 job.

I was a bit concerned about the afternoon session. The handouts we'd received the week before suggested a very academic-style of session. Luckily, Kate Freiman, author of romantic fiction, was entertaining and the whole afternoon was more interesting than I expected. She discussed blending genres and story structure. Hard to believe I was the only self-professed mystery writer in the room.

Back in the main banquet room afterward, winning tickets were drawn for the gift baskets then my friend and I left. On the way out the door, we received a swag bag with some bookmarks and the like as well as three books. These were mine!
  1. Lac Athabasca (a play) by Len Falkenstein
  2. Doc Christmas by Neil Enock
  3. Mad Men and Philosphy, which is an anthology.
Yay! More new-to-me authors!
I have one year until the next (fingers crossed!) York Writers Conference. I may do some searching and find a couple more I can fit into my schedule. 

In the meantime, I won't quit my day job, but I won't stop dreaming and writing either!

Looking for more New-to-You authors or familiar authors? Visit my blog every Sunday for Escape with a Writer Sunday at https://dbator.blogspot.com/

Feel free to check out my books at http://bookswelove.net/authors/bator-diane-mystery/

author of Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, and Glitter Bay Mysteries.