|Getting ready for the presentation|
Last Sunday I gave an author talk to Celebrate Virginia’s mystery book group, the Page Turner’s. They in turn invited the community, which resulted in a wonderful turnout. Now, I’m not so naïve to think they were all coming just to hear me! Members of Page Turner’s provided Finger Lakes wine, crackers and cheese as accompaniments to my talk.
After a brief background introduction, I shared information on what is involved in writing – anything. The number one ingredient is passion. Whatever they are writing, they need to be passionate about their subject. That will make the writing fun, and readers will sense it. What do you wish to accomplish? What is the story really about? And this question will come up multiple times throughout the development of the work. Because the characters will change, the plot will change. To keep yourself on track, you have to keep asking – what is this story about?
I then went into decisions an author has to make: Genre, main characters, plot line (s), time frame, setting, and will you be a plotter (outlining) or pantser (just write and see where it goes)?
I shared some funny stories about how my some of characters took over, and the results of their demands. And when you type “the end” it isn’t. You need to have beta readers, and you need to edit, edit, edit. (But know when to stop.)
Listen to the music of your works, I told them. If the words and sentence structure are correct, the words will be like music to your ears. If not, then a sour note will be evident.
I finished by explaining the latest in the publishing world, why I chose to self publish, and the marketing process. Yes, you have to have a social media presence.
I think everyone had a great time – at least they told me so – and I think I gave readers a better understanding of how books come about.