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This week on WA 17th July
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad ex-pat writers writing

Dianne has posted this weekís Monday Muses, a great selection with something for everyone. An image will follow later today.

Jill has written a fascinating blog post about how her extensive travels have inspired her writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and that she derives more inspiration from far-away places than those on her doorstep. Some of the people sheís met while travelling may appear in stories (that sounds familiar!).

The Bragging stool is groaning under the combined weight of the members occupying it this week. I think we had better invest in a bragging sofa.

  • No less than 5 members have stories in the Ad Hoc line-up this week: Angela, Crilly, Chris N, Laura and Sue (how many is that in a row, Sue?);
  • Sue is on a roll with her story ĎTrip of a Lifetimeí shortlisted in Writing Mag;
  • Angela also continues her winning streak with a highly commended and a place in Stringybarkís anthology for ĎCaged Birdsí;
  • Lauraís spooky story was awarded third place in Morgen Baileyís 100-word comp; and
  • Lesley read out via Skype her story during the launch of Chris Fieldenís Nonsense Challenge Book.

Phew! Have I missed anyone? Huge congrats to all. Thatís a fabulous result for WA.

The July Challenges and Opportunities are up, with something for everyone, but feel free to add competitions or writing opportunities. And there are some pieces for critiquing.

WA Magazine. Although itís now a while since publication, the mag is still current, so please do let people know about it if you get the chance.

Membersí writing visions. A number of us have now posted up our visions of where we see ourselves in 5 yearsí time and what part WA can play in getting us there. Itís not always easy to plan so far in advance, but none of it has to be engraved in stone and I found it a useful exercise. It will also give us more clarity in recruiting new members. So if you havenít done it yet, have a think about where you want to be Ė and get some inspiration from the visions already posted.

Thatís all this week. If Iíve missed anything or got anything wrong please let me know.

Happy writing week.

Coming to your senses Tags: Writers Abroad writing senses in writing

I find it hard enough to think of a topic when itís my turn to write the weekly blog post. Itís even harder today in the aftermath of yet more terrorist attacks in London and Kabul. In the end, I decided to focus on something very close to home: using our senses in writing.†

When I first wrote fiction, I described my storiesí settings using only sights and sounds. I portrayed what I fancied my characters could see or hear in their settings. But, of course, in real life we experience our environments with the other three senses, too, even if we donít consciously acknowledge it.

I had a light bulb moment when I read an article (which I canít now find) about describing what all the senses could experience in a fictional setting. Character and plot are the most important elements in fiction, but the setting and how your characters experience it are significant, too. Your readers get a more complete view of the space in which the story takes place and your characters are more rounded if you can evoke what they smell, touch and taste.

Itís not always easy to remember to do this, but a seminar by the novelist Tracey Warr at our local writing group a while ago has helped. One of her exercises particularly resonated with me.

Tracey got us to stroll around the village for 10 minutes, noting everything about the environment and how we experienced it. I noticed the sights and sounds first: the yellow French post van, children shouting and screaming in the school playground, two elderly ladies chatting in the middle of the road, a cat rolling in the dust.

As I focused more deeply, the other senses tuned in. And so I perceived the rough gravel under my sandals, the warmth of the stone bench I sat on, the scent of cut grass, the cool touch of the village fountain and the slight smell of chlorine in the water. I almost picked up and licked one of the pebbles that line the fountain but then I remembered the chlorine.

This exercise reinforced for me the sensorial aspect of writing. Moreover, it sparked off ideas to use in my stories.

So try the wandering about exercise sometime. You can do it alone or with someone else so that you can compare what you found. Itís inspirational and Ö it gets you away from the computer, the internet and too many mugs of coffee!

This Week on Writers Abroad 3rd April
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing ex-pat writers

Those of you on Facebook will have seen that it was awash with April Fools, or Poissons díAvril as they are known in France, on Saturday. Some of them were quite clever Ė like the discovery of a Bronze Age duck to rival†the Uffington White Horse! Material for a story there, perhaps?

Itís Biekeís turn to supply this weekís Monday Muses and she may well provide the opportunity to develop some of those April Fool stories.

Laura is down to write this weekís blog post.

The Bragging stool is occupied this week by Sue with, quelle surprise(!), her †59th consecutive week on Ad Hoc. Chris Nís ĎGramps Retreatí was also chosen for Ad Hoc last week. And Laura has not one but two brags, with two pieces of flash fiction accepted by online journals. Congratulations to all.

WA Magazine. The deadline for copy was 1st April, so if youíve promised something and havenít yet submitted please send it to Jo ASAP so that she can get on with putting the mag together. The pinned post in the Mag forum, Issue 6 Content, shows who is down for what. Red indicates it has been delivered.

The April Challenges and Opportunities are now up, with something for everyone, but feel free to add competitions or writing opportunities. The March Challenge is still up with several pieces for critiquing and suggestions for opportunities.

Following the last formal chat, Jo has started a forum to gather ideas for attracting new members and for meeting their expectations better. There are some interesting thoughts and ideas already, but go along and have your say if you havenít already.

Thatís all this week. If Iíve missed anything or got anything wrong please let me know.

I will be absent for a few days. Iíll try to fill in gaps above before I go.

Happy writing week.


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Monday, July 17, 2017
This week on WA 17th July
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Big Book of New Short Horror
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