nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘writers’ retreat

writing a novel … next (brave) step

with 12 comments

For the past two years, I have been working on a novel.   The working title of the book is ‘Saving the Landing Church’ – the actual title is ‘Open to the Skies’.  For more information about the process of writing ‘Open to the Skies’, have a look at the category ‘writing a novel’. https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/writing-a-novel-telling-a-story/

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The book is about a woman who falls in love with an old church and decides to save it from demolition, in spite of active resistance from members of the community.

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the setting for my novel … an old church and its hall and rectory are moved to a new location along the St. John River to create a writers’ retreat …

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After taking my book through nine drafts, numerous readings of bits with my writing groups, and a third-party edit, I have taken the next (brave) step.  I am sending my novel to three publishing companies.  I chose the publishers based on their dedication to Canadian authors and subjects, their willingness to read unsolicited manuscripts, and their current book lists.

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It will be a long wait.  I know from past experience that I may not hear from them for six to eight months, and then it will likely be ‘no’.  This is not lack of confidence or uncertainty about my skill.  It is reality – most book publishers get up to a thousand submissions per year and, of course, can only choose a few of these to publish.  However, on my side is the characteristic of doggedness.

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I will be sure and let you know what happens next with ‘Open to the Skies’.  Meanwhile, I’ll be busy working on a sequel to the first book and, of course, on my poetry.

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2015 at 7:34 am

writing a novel – taking a break from the draft

with 12 comments

On Friday of this week, I begin a weekend Maritime Writer’s Workshop with the University of New Brunswick’s College of Extended Learning. I will work with a dozen other writers at revision of our written work under the leadership of Joan Clark.  Joan is an award-winning novelist of both adult and children’s fiction, and I am anxious to find out what she thinks of my work.

I have chosen to submit ten pages of my novel ‘Saving the Landing Church’ to be examined during the weekend.  I will get some good insight into how other writers respond to my writing.  No doubt, I will also discover some aspects of my writing that need improvement.   I hope the other writers will find my work interesting and help me discover some strengths as well as weaknesses.

'Etruscan man'

Sometimes it is difficult for me to hear criticism about my writing, but I have to listen carefully and keep an open mind …

I will also read and comment on the work of the other writers.  This will help me to hone my own editing skills and discover more about what readers like in written work.

Once I have done the workshop and incorporated various comments into the draft,  I will take a three-week break from my novel.  I will put the current (third) draft away.  During that time, I will not read the draft and I will try not to think about it.  Then, after March 4, I will spend a couple of days reading a paper-printout of my novel.  The theory is, it will be new to my brain after the break and I will see, with great clarity, what I certainly should have seen before.

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I expect to find:

simple edits (Sadie takes a drive on the car, rather than in the car)

discontinuities in the action (Sadie goes for a hike a week after cracking her ribs)

slip-ups in characterization (Nicola suddenly has blue eyes instead of green)

cases of inverted time (July cames before June)

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birches in winter

I may discover that Tom and Sadie are going for a walk and listening to the rustle of the leaves in the birch trees in the dead of winter….

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From these observations, I will make some changes and then will come a series of decisions about how to get my novel published.

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on the road to novel publication

on the road to novel publication

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

February 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

writing a novel – re-purposing a church

with 10 comments

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So the poet has decided to write a novel…

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Title: unknown

Working Title: Saving the Landing Church

Setting: a writers’ retreat and an abandoned church

Characters: main character – a writer who operates a writers’ retreat

Plot: moving a church? (in part)

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Since the main character in my novel is a writer, it makes some sense that she would like to earn her living as a writer.  However, she has not yet published her first book, so there are no book deals or royalty cheques.  She turns to an occupation pursued by many talented writers, the education of other writers.

In my book, I want to establish a situation that could eventually lead to other books.   So, I have given my protagonist the dream of establishing a writer’s retreat.  Her idea is to hold writing workshops at this retreat, perhaps every weekend once she establishes herself.    She will be able to teach writing techniques at the retreat,  or hire other writers to carry out workshops.  She wants to sponsor reading events for the community, to encourage interest in local writers.  Now, all she needs is a place to carry out her plan.  She does a little research, selects a community where the artistic sentiment has established itself, and purchases a piece of land nearby.

detail of a larger drawing Jane Tims November 29, 2012

And then she sees the Landing Church, about to be abandoned by its congregation.  She falls in love with the church.  She re-imagines it as a perfect place to hold her writing retreat.  A serene, tranquil place for writers to think and write.  A place with good acoustics for readings.  A place 10 kilometers away.

Now, how is she going to get that lovely little church to her own property???

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

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