Summer Break, Pause, Breather, Hiatus …

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No matter the term, the general idea is the same: WordWrites Guild is taking a little time to re-imagine and redesign itself in order to better meet the needs of fellow writers.  We are exploring fresh ways to engage and connect with the writing community, so have decided to suspend our traditional twice-monthly WWG meetings through this summer.

One of the immediate changes already underway is that WWG will have a presence at regional fairs and festivals. Look for WWG authors in Southeastern Indiana, Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati areas. We’ll be delighted to talk with you about your work and how WWG can be an effective tool for you as a writer.

We would love to hear your suggestions and ideas, so invite you to leave a comment below, contact us at WordWritesGuild@gmail.com, or text us at (812) 220-4594. We will continue to monitor this website, reply to your texts and respond to your emails throughout the coming months.

Be sure to Follow this site in order to stay informed about the many changes coming to WordWrites Guild.

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BIG WORDS of Life

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Certain qualities make life worth living.  These qualities not only affect you but also affect society.  By attaining these qualities, life becomes easier.  But what are these qualities?

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These qualities are life’s BIG WORDS.  To have a satisfying quality of life, one must be satisfied with one’s self.  Being accepted and affirmed are keys to good mental health.  Productivity is a necessity.  So is security.

But having a flawed character makes a story more interesting.  Deprive your character of something.  Think Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz who didn’t have the security of home.  In Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry, because his nationality, lacked acceptance.  Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind lacked the affirmation of Ashley’s love. When developing a character, subtract one or more of life’s qualities.

The writing prompt for the upcoming WordWrites Guild meeting is to use one of these BIG Words in your writing.  It can be an essay, a poem, or a fictional account.   Choose from productive, secure, self-satisfied, affirmed, accepted, quality of life or add your own BIG WORD of life.

The next WordWrites meeting is May 9 from 6-8 in the Depot Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library.

 

 

What a Character!

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Your character is what you make of him. He is not a self-made man. He is a “made-by-you” man. Breathe some life into him.

Start by creating a bio.  Begin with a name that matches the character. Picture your character and help your reader see him as you do. What are your character’s strengths and weaknesses? What is he afraid of? Does he have special talents or hobbies? Consider his family. What are they like, and what is his relationship to them? Know your character’s age and birthdate at the time of your story. For example, if he was born in 1845, his actions and ideas should be appropriate to the time period.

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As you write, consider what has brought your character to the start of the story. What does your character want and what must he overcome? Something to keep in mind is that your character is constructed of only a finite number of words. Unlike a real person, he is not the product of a lifetime of experiences, yet you, as a writer, must make him seem real.

Write out your character’s bio. One way to do this is to have the character write a letter to you. Use words that your character would use, keeping in mind his age and abilities. Remember, if you don’t have an understanding of your character, neither will your reader.

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WordWrites Guild’s next meeting is April 25th 6-8 p.m. in the Eubank Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library. The writing prompt for the meeting is particularly challenging. (Feel free to use a dictionary.) The prompt involves three phrases:

foment resuscitation

perennially coagulated

excruciatingly hypercritical

Use these however you like . . . and good luck.

Facing the Blank Page

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Whether you are a beginner or an author of many books, one of the scariest things for a writer is THE BLANK PAGE. Some instructors advise putting something–anything–on paper and go from there. It is a good start, a good way to clear the air, so to speak, but most writers are looking for something more.writing-pad-3229690_1920

Remember that the beginning of a story should draws the reader in.  It should capture the reader’s curiosity and make them want to read on. Think back to your elementary school days. Your reading teacher told you to ask yourself as you read, “What do I want to know?” and this prompted you to read to find out more. This is the same thing you want to do for your reader: make him/her keep reading to find out what will happen next. That means you have to tantalize the reader with story tidbits.

An old journalism trick is to use the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). Begin with two characters and a specific setting. Then add something to make the story complicated, say, an argument or a problem, all the while answering the 5 Ws.

Another option is to begin your story in the middle of a situation. Imagine a series of events, or borrow them from a newspaper, real life situations, or even something in your own life. Open with dialogue, or an action, or a description.

The story does not have to be written all at once. You don’t even have to begin by writing the first scene. You might want to choose a scene that has been playing in your mind and write that first. It isn’t important for you to know how the story begins or even how the story ends. What matters is that you have a scene with characters, and that is a good start.

The April 11th meeting of Wordwrites Guild is in the Depot Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library from 6:00 to 8:00.  Pat Hanlon, author of Hooker’s Bridge, will guide participants in a physiological study to help flesh out characters.  This is a not to be missed event.

What Is Fame?

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Do you enjoy writing? Can you picture your name on the cover of a book? Do you dream of having that book on bookstore shelves? Do you aspire to become a famous writer? Fame, my friend, is the star of hope for all writers. 

But what is fame? The dictionary defines the word “fame” as “Being known about by many people.” If that is the case, then the question we as writers must ask ourselves is: how does one become known about by many people? Interestingly enough, it is not always by being the best writer. The answer to becoming FAMOUS is getting your name out there. The world must hear about YOU, talk about YOU, see information about YOU. Promote yourself. Keeping your name and writing in the spotlight equals fame. 

You may ask, “Am I a writer? Can I even call myself a writer?” Quite simply put, a writer is a person who writes. To be a good writer, one must write frequently–sometimes a little, sometimes a considerable amount. To become a proficient writer, one must make writing a daily practice. As the old adage says, “Practice makes perfect.”

Keep in mind that writing does not stand alone. To be a good writer, one must also be a reader. Study the works of other writers. Take note of the way words are combined, the rhythm of the words and phrases, the way plots are contrived, the way characters are developed. Use these skills and styles as a springboard for your own writing.

Share your work with others. Wordwrites Guild is the perfect place to do this. The next meeting is Thursday, March 14 from 6 to 8, meeting in the small cubicle inside the front door of the Lawrenceburg Public Library.

The prompt for the meeting is to use the following phrases in your writing: confetti in the rain, fighting neighbors, grocery store, next month. The fun begins when we share our writings and see how the phrases take on different (and sometimes hilarious) personae.                                                                                        

Ah, February

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February is a strange month.  We begin the month by idolizing a burrowing rodent and bestowing upon him the honor of becoming (without a college degree, mind you) a long-term meteorologist and expecting him to do what even real meteorologists cannot: predict the weather six weeks in advance.  It goes without saying that the tiny creature would rather spend its time in its hole with fellow groundhogs than be the center of attention, if only for one day. 

The middle of the month, we turn romance over to a curly-haired, chubby-cheeked toddler and award him a quiver of arrows with which to shoot perfectly good, law-abiding citizens through the heart in the interest of love.  To pay homage to his little fellow, we purchase red cellophane-wrapped boxes of chocolates, massive bouquets of pink and red flowers, and heart-covered underwear and lacy lingerie to present to our loved ones to whom we utter such phrases as, “Here’s my heart,” and “Be mine, Valentine.”

The month ends with a salute to our Presidents who are depicted as caricatures of themselves masquerading as auto sales representatives and benevolent department store clerks.  This practice probably causes all past Presidents to roll over in their graves.  Nevertheless, people look forward to honoring Presidents in this way because it affords usually hard-working citizens to enjoy a workless day to lounge about in their pajamas.

Yes, February is certainly strange.  In the future, when archaeologists uncover data about life in the 21st century, they will undoubtably shake their heads in disbelief and declare present day Americans to be a very odd culture indeed. 

With this in mind, yet having no connection to the above passages, we bring you six February words to use as your prompt for “unFebruary-like” writing:       groundhog,    second,    leap,    heart,    quiver,    president.     You will notice that none of the words are capitalized.  Therefore, the expectation is for you to use them however you wish.

Please join WordWrites Guild for their February 28th meeting, open to all writers regardless of level or ability.  It offers a opportunity to share writing as well as a chance to, upon request, have writing critiqued.  The next meeting is from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Eubank Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library.

February, the Month of Love

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The best and most beautiful thing in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.  – Victor Hugo

To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that’s everything.  – T. Tolis

February is the month of love. What are your thoughts on love? Jot them down. Write a poem. Begin that romance novel. Most importantly, tell someone you love them.

Wordwrites Guild would love to have you visit on Valentine’s Day and share your works in the Depot Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library from 6:00 to 8:00. p.m. 

The writing prompt for the upcoming meeting is to use the following words in your writing: sunflower, russet, grand, open, unfurl, nothing.  The average mark is to use 4 out of the 6 words.  For a challenge, use all six.

Congratulations to Wordwrites Guild member Laura Priebe on the publication of her new book All Things Work Together: Reflections on the Life of Leatta Ruth Priebe Spomer. Available at Amazon.com.

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