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Linger Longer Tags: Linger Longer Characters

The words ‘Linger Longer’ might suggest a bed and breakfast in Brighton but today they are very relevant to this blog!

Consider how it feels when you close the last page of a great book. Does a period of mourning ensue as your relationship with the characters ends?

Well-rounded characters are memorable and I am curious which characters have lingered in your head. Maybe even influenced your life choices.

 Did ‘George’ in the Famous Five inspire a love of adventure when you were growing up? And  if I remember correctly, George the tomboy of that group was actually Georgina. 

Dare I ask if Mr Darcy (no...not Colin Firth!) Influenced your life with his brooding good looks and superior nature?

Did Atticus Finch prod your social conscience and did Madame Defarge spring to mind each time you picked up those knitting needles?

I remember a series of books which kept me spell-bound in my early teens. These books clearly influenced my career decision having pursued a career in nursing.  The Cherry Ames series to which I refer, was written initially by Helen Wells and later, by Julie Tatham.

The series begins when Cherry is a student and follows her through various jobs. School nurse, flight nurse, cruise nurse and so on. Cherry survives all sorts of scrapes and I loved her! A long time later whilst haunting second hand bookshops on holiday, I found a well-thumbed copy and gave it to my eldest daughter.  Each holiday thereafter our quest was to find more in the series and my husband would sit outside patiently reading the paper whilst the girls and I would go on, ‘Cherry Missions.’

http://www.series-books.com/cherryames/cherryames.html

Jumping ahead to the present day, on a recent trip to Perth in Western Australia, someone recommended the book, ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes.  I was told it was a ‘must read.’ (I hasten to add this kind of glowing endorsement often has the opposite effect on me)

Nevertheless, I took the book and began to read. The MC is a young girl called Louisa Clark and without giving away the story, Louisa is a brilliantly described A character who is deeply flawed in many ways. She undergoes significant changes and not all for good.  

Yes, I was on holiday so I finished the book in three days. This was several weeks ago and the character of Louisa still haunts me, to the point that I have just ordered the sequel! This must say something about caring for the character and has been a salient reminder of how necessary it is to fully flesh-out the characters in my own writing.

Thinking about why Louisa has stayed with me, is it because she didn’t care what the world thought of her  quirky, ill-matched outfits, that she suffered from a lack of confidence some days, got drunk and even threw up on occasion on others? There were times when her hair was greasy and equally there were the times when she felt beautiful. Essentially, she was human in every sense and I think it was the gentleness and compassion of her character which made her so likeable.

So, in conclusion and  just like the bed and breakfast place in Brighton that has been weathering  storms on the seafront for years, which characters lingered longer for you and why?

***

This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing ex-pat writers

It’s good to see so much activity on WA and great contributions from our newer members.

Speaking of which, it’s the year for Members Meet. Lesley, Hamish and I met for coffee last week in a local town and got to know each other better. An event to be repeated soon. And a good number of us are able to make the meeting in Oxford in early September. I don’t think I have missed anyone in my emails about that, but watch out for further announcements onsite as well.

Nicola is in the hot seat on the Bragging Stool this week with a very successful promotion for Break Out (Book 1 in her Dark Desires series). I don’t think I’ve missed any other brags but please let me know if I have.

Sally will be supplying this week’s Monday Muses, with plenty to get our teeth into, I’m sure. Just have to find a spare 20 minutes…

Chris N has written a thought-provoking Blog Post this week based on her own experience and asking if writers should be brave and focus on a specific genre instead of spreading themselves too thinly across poetry, flash fiction, short stories and novels.

The April Challenge will be going up soon, so if you fancy some incisive critiquing on a piece that you plan to submit somewhere, now is your chance. And comments are always gratefully received.

There’s also plenty going on in the Works in Progress and Chapter Group forums, where a number of members have posted pieces or parts of longer works, so have a look and provide some comments if you have the chance.

There’s an Informal Chat scheduled on Skype next Sunday 10th April at 11h00 CET. And the next Formal Chat is on Sunday 24th also at 11h00 CET, with me in the chair.

I think that’s it. Please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.

Have a happy and productive writing week.

 

Procrastination or publication...
Category: Writing

April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWrMo as I discovered on...April 1st. If you don't have a web site, you can't get your offering chosen for online exposure but that hasn't prevented me giving 'write a poem a day' a go.

You can write anything you wish but each day you get a prompt, to use or reject as you wish. The first day suggestion was to produce a lune. For those not familiar with the form, it is a three line poem with a 5-3-5 syllable count. There is also a variant which has a word based count, three lines with a 5-3-5 word count. Either form was acceptable.

I enjoy learning about the not so familiar poetry forms so decided to try my hand at the lune. In the space of half an hour, I had written six, three of each type. I don't want to bore with all six, which I'm certain require tweaking, but here's one example of each.

Syllable based:

Woman writhes in pain

new life cries

I am born today.

Word based:

Vile words, low sinister voice

spine chilling howl

murder of mind and heart.

Having always loved poetry, I am finding myself drawn to writing it more often. I wonder whether I should concentrate on it as my genre. I feel I have no specific area of writing to call my own. My files of short stories and flash fiction, and finished but not edited novels, are witness to it.

Do other members seek a niche, are you at home in an area of expertise, or are you happy to write what the muse dictates?

Personally, I know that I need to move forward with my writing. Whilst I am delighted my work is included in various anthologies, by no means least our very own WA publications, I yearn to have a complete work published.

Should I dedicate time to editing one of my three novels, complete Daisy Tales, my short stories for the young, or put together a book of my poetry?

 As I write this my resolve is strong to make a decision and go for it. The big question is, will a night's sleep erode my determination? 

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