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This week on Writers Abroad 17 August 2014
Category: Site News
Oh dear, I was so proud that I had managed to do This Week on my iPad, went off for a siesta, and came back to find it wasn't there.

So here we go again.

Jo has given us a rainbow range of muses that can conjure up people, places and situations of all sorts, so ther should be plenty of scribbling this week.

Chris N has written a great blog about people who write thoughtless, nasty comments about others' writing...I would agree with every word except to say I wouldn't waste my energy treating these people with contempt...they just need to be ignored.

Jill and Vanessa each have a war story under this month's challenge, so do go along and read and critique if you haven't already.

Glyn has posted an interview with the poet Bethany Pope (no relation) ... I must pop over and read it.

Alyson is warming the bragging stool (I almost wrote 'her' bragging stool): she was runner up in both the final sentence and the 750 word comp...Jill was also runner-up in the 750 one, but didn't brag, so I am doing it for her!

Jo's profile is featured in the Members' News of the September Writers' News.

And we can all have a group brag for Julie Philips' great article about Writers Abroad (for which many of us contributed information) in the same WN issue.

Paola is collecting rejections from agents for her book, as a means to develop a thick skin, but that's another story.

There is a formal meeting this Sunday: I won't be there as I will be Finn-bonding in Edinburgh.

We'r all looking forward to our magazine, and I imagine that the powers that be have it all under control...

Now fingers crossed that this posts, and let me know of any errors or omissions!
Show me your masterpiece…
Category: Writing

Over the last few weeks I have been amazed at the negativity shown by some people toward the achievements of others. It has ranged from the shoulder shrugging ‘so what’ to the downright rude.

On the whole it has involved those who think scripting a story or novel is as easy as pie. What on earth can be difficult about: getting a seed of an idea; developing it until it becomes a basic plan; running said plan through your head until your brain is spinning; using pen or keyboard for hours on end until 500, 1000 or 60,000 words grace your pages?

Oh, and don’t forget the editing. A piece of flash fiction can take several rewrites – multiply the work involved a hundred times and your novel may be at a presentable stage.

Does that sound easy?

What I have written thus far has made no mention of a very important piece of the jigsaw that sets a germ of a notion on the path to the end product – that little spark of talent which is needed in the first place.

The comments voiced – Facebook is one outlet - are destructive and say far more about the person making them than the writer under vitriol, or his printed word.

Criticism is beneficial if it is constructive – disparaging remarks are often a sign of jealousy and should be treated with contempt.

Of course, it is not only writers who suffer the slings and arrows.

Any creative person, be it in art, theatre, music, or one of the many other facets of artistic orientation, is open to the insult of having their work condemned by the uninitiated.

It is not to say unversed people cannot have opinions. We must all feel we can like, and therefore equally, dislike, what we read, view or hear. What we do not have the right to do is cause another person to feel worthless about his attainments.

There is an added downside to crass comments aimed at those who have creative natures - the barbs go deeper - as creativity is often accompanied by sensitivity.

The answer, I suppose, is to harden our shells and remember that the ability to produce a piece of writing, bring a character to life on stage, or make a tear fall, just because your voice, and the song you sing, has evoked a memory, are gifts.

At WA we are among those we view as friends but, more importantly, who will respect one another’s precious words and give honest opinions based on moving writing skill forward. It may not be a genre or style of preference but constructive criticism is based on fair assessment of content.  

Be proud of being remarkable and when attacked, be ready with these words….‘show me your masterpiece…’



This Week On Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

Today is an important date for WA members. It’s the deadline to submit any material (poems, stories, interviews etc) we have for the new WA Magazine. Don’t forget to get your writing in. The first issue will be released on 1st September. Readers can sign up to receive the magazine at:

Blog: John has jumped in on short notice to give us this week’s blog post. It’s an interesting piece about how to go about writing a script. As John points out, we all enjoy watching drama, especially television series, but few of us write for this medium. So he has given us some tips to get started.

Monday Muse: John’s been busy this week. He’s also provided some prompts to get us writing.

Bragging Stool: Several people are sharing the stool this week. Jo’s novel, The Duke’s Shadow, has been featured in Members’ News in the September issue of Writers News. The novel was shortlisted in the Writers Village International Novel Award. Keeping with magazine mentions, two of our members, Jill and Alyson, were shortlisted for the 750 word short story in the September issue of Writers Magazine.

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Monday, August 18, 2014
This week on Writers Abroad 17 August 2014
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