Many hours spent marking student assignments but now it is over. I wanted to start writng again straight away but the brain wouldn't cooperate, so I have been reading and pottering around and now I am ready.
Spent 3 hours reworking bits of a fantasy series novel I was asked to write, and now I think it is working better. A fellow member of CCBC list kindly emailed me her notes from the Pikes Peak 2004 conference - the sessions with Donald Maas, who wrote "How to Write a Breakout Novel". They came at just the right time, where I could apply each of the points he makes to the fantasy novel in order to deepen character and motivation. It only meant adding a few sentences here and there, but I think those are going to be important sentences in terms of deepening the character and the story. I had read the Maas book a while ago (borrowed from a friend) and now I think I will look at it again.
Am reading a Linda Newbery book at the moment and finding it to be very engaging. The main character has a horrible younger sister who you just want to slap! This is the kind of book that I like to read first, then analyse for how she achieves the depth of character. I also read '(un)arranged marriage' by Bali Rai. It's published in the UK and is about an Indian arranged marriage, from the male's point of view. I found it to be a strange book, in that a large proportion of the story was just "told", as if the character was sitting in front of me telling me what happened, and then what happened next. Exactly what we are told, as writers, never to do! There were certainly many places where I wished the events were being shown in a scene, but overall the style didn't bother me too much. I do wish it hadn't been quite as much "telling" though.
The rest of my week will be more rewriting. A middle grade novel that needs work before giving to a valued writer friend for a critical read. Then maybe new words on another project. I hope.