Saturday, April 17, 2010

Publish That Book

In 2009 author, Louise Cusack, was approached by the Gold Coast City Council 'Creative Juices' team to run a year long series of workshops with 16 writers, the aim of which was to finish the first drafts of sixteen novels by the end of the year. This group was called "Write That Book' and I was one of the lucky sixteen to be chosen from the 70 plus applicants.

Today was the second workshop day for the 'Publish That Book' Gold Coast writers group with Louise. Our group applied for a Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF) grant last year to continue working with Louise in 2010 as we struggle to pull our first draft manuscripts into shape and learn how to edit our masterpieces.

Here is a picture of us working away.

We have become a close group who keep in contact with one another in between workshops through an online yahoo group. Five of us, who are all children's writers, also meet fortnightly as a writing critique group. This means we're all busy reading each others work and giving feedback. The feedback, however, is invaluable.

Today we looked closely at the goals of our main characters, and what their motivation is to achieve their goals.

My main character's goal is to save her friend's grandmother, who is dangerously ill. Her motivation is love.

That sounds simple I know, but it took me a while to refine it down to one simple goal.

We also discussed 'Scenes', that is, choosing the right scenes, cutting the unnecessary ones and exactly what a scene should include or not.

With our scene lists in our hands we sat with a partner and looked for the scenes which showed the pivotal points of the story.

And then we stopped and had champagne.

Well, it was lunchtime. And the cafe next door did a nice lunch.

But the champagne was to celebrate the birthdays of three of us who were all born in the same year within three weeks of each other. It's also a major '0' birthday for us. (I won't tell you which).

So I baked a cake, which is unusual for me. It was a carob and sour cherry cake from a Croatian recipe. Croatian carob (Rogac) is different to the powdery stuff. Its ground texture is coarser and it tastes nutty.

Here's a close look. Normally I would put in ground hazelnuts as well.

The three birthday girls and our cake.

Now with all that working, writing, champagne, lunch and cake we also needed coffee, but one of us needed more than most. These workshops are after all exhausting!!! Whose coffees were these?

I'm not telling, except to say they were not Louise's.


microbe said...

Hi Angela, it was a great day. Thanks for the cake. Helen.

Angela Sunde. said...

You're welcome, Helen. It's a pleasure to be in a group of such lovely people.