Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

It was another good meeting

August 2nd, 2017

Another good meeting even with the inclement weather. We welcomed Lee, a first-time attendee who braved the downpour in order to visit with us, we hope he enjoyed our company and will return.

Our discussion centered on eight questions addressing a single question; ARE THERE GAPS IN YOUR STORY ARC?

In our previous blog I introduced the subject and previewed the questions as follows:
  1. Who is your main character (MC)?
  2. What does the MC want?
  3. What's the main conflict that keeps the MC from getting that want?
  4. What's the event/situation that sets the MC in motion to achieve the want?
  5. What are the obstacles the MC encounters, keeping him/her from the want? (Obstacles should escalate, building tension)
  6. What's the event/situation that makes the MC go "All-or-Nothing" to win the want? (This is a moment in which there is no turning back)
  7. Does the MC win or lose?
  8. What's the effect of the win or loss on the MC

Our discussion took off with the first question and we were into it hot and heavy. Some of our authors do not write fiction but even they contributed saying, "Many of the perspectives used in developing fiction stories can be use in non-fiction pieces as well."

Using a biography for a fictional character is as important as using a true biography for a person in real life. In writing the details of a person's life, the author must be accurate in stating facts, dates, and happenings. If inaccuracies occur in even a minor detail, the entire work comes into question. 

A similar thing happens in fiction. Making a mistake about your character's history often leads to confusion and the reader will pick up on the error. Two things may happen, the reader will ignore the faux pas and continue, the best of circumstances or, the reader will lose interest and close the book never to pick it up again; nor will they purchase a work with the author's name attached in the future. 
Even in fiction accuracy counts.

We rolled on with many thoughts and opinions, the characters cannot be bland, they must have a personality, they must grow and change with emotional rifts, highs and lows, love, hate, anger, happiness, sadness, selfish thoughts, and all the good and bad things people face everyday. We can make them too good to be true or too bad to believe, it's up to the author. But, no matter how we make them, we must make them true in their world, the world we create for them.

Our discussion went on a bit longer than normal but we finally wound down and coasted to a stopping point. After a short break we heard from six of our authors, reading from the latest work and looking for opinions and guidance. 

Darienne read the travelogue detailing her summer vacation in touring some of the most beautiful vistas in the United States. Her descriptions were graphic and filled the pages with wonder. Some suggestions were given and she is going to do some editing and present the piece again in the near future.

Peter, in his ever magnificent style, read from his collection of letters. This one was from Morier, a friend of the Colonel, espousing the qualities and failing of Manon, a beautiful and seductive woman who is vying for the Colonel's love a second time. A wonderful and complicated story of love won and lost. Peter also read five selections of his poetry, Memory, Victim, Skin, Baboons, and Rising Sun.

Ed's poem, Songbird, taken from a bluebird remembered from childhood, gave us a metaphorical look at life.

Rod read the first chapter of his Charlie Bascomb Adventure still under construction. 

Bruce gave us another installment of Promontory Castle, a wonderful tale in iambic pentameter. In this episode, the prince and princess escape the evil invaders and learn to become citizens of the realm, a boon if they ever regain the throne.

Noreen's wonderful wit and Irish brogue create a combination that brings happiness to whatever she reads. This piece entitled, God's Waiting Room, was not about Florida as one might expect but instead it was a humorous look a death and what it might be like awaiting assignment in the afterlife.

Because of our extended discussion we ran out of time and look forward to two readers, Don and Ernie, at our next session. We don't know where they'll take us but, we await the journey.

Our next meeting is on August 16th, at the Nokomis Fire Station, as usual. We hope to see you there and until then, KEEP ON WRITING!

Rod
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