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The Fun of Writing ï¿½ a blog of information
by Richard L. Provencher
10/24/2012 / Writing
My writing combines a love of the outdoors with contemporary issues. I spent so much time hiking and camping in my youth, my dad said, Be careful you dont turn into a tree. My wife, Esther and I, live in beautiful Truro, Nova Scotia.
Im blessed with a love for words and its an honour to be called an emerging writer at the young age of 65. Some of my work is in The Dublin Quarterly, The Windsor Review, Poems Neiderngasse, The New Quarterly, Bogg, Jones Ave, Stellar Showcase Journal, Poetry Sky, Scribbulations, Canadian Stories, Quills, Rubicon Publishing, PusonWeb, Southern Ocean Review, and Tower Poetry.
My first Poetry Chapbook In the Light of Day was available through Mercutio Press at: www.mercutiopress.com. In my mind, writing poetry and stories in all genres is a global adventure, a journey without borders. As a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, I am listed on their writers website at: www.writers.ns.ca.
I enjoy sharing a view of this world, and look forward to having a full book of poetry published, along with my picture books, juvenile novels and an adult one. So any interested print publishers, and/or E-publishers can contact me at [email protected]
I like to write notes and encourage people to write. And to share these notes with their own friends who may also have an affinity for writing. If you dont mind, and if you think it is worthwhile, Ill share some of my writing thoughts as a blog although blogging is not something Ive really done before. If you get something out of it, let me know. I may not get back to you right away, but will do so eventually, be patient dear writer. Isnt that what you are"a writer. You have thoughts and ideas to share and it is such fun. So I will begin a few thoughts: (Remember, these are my thoughts gleaned from much pondering, reading, testing, persevering and writing, writing, writing, revising, revising and more revising. Whether or not I become a name writer is not important"to write is important.
A writer writes. He/she does not talk about it. Wait until the words are complete, then gab all you want. I met fine people with wonderful intentions many years ago who hail me with the same line, Boy, have I got a novel in me, its about and UNFORTUNATELY I have to change the subject because the dream seems to be beyond reach for that fine person.
I do not see the need for ANY swear words. I am not interested in writing about ripped skin, bared knuckles, nor eliminating helpless victims. That is for others who wish to do so.
Do not spend too much time, getting the right pen, the perfect corner setting, a comfortable chair, accepting mood, since time is of the essence to get that story/poem onto paper, NOW! Over the past years of my working life, I was as busy-busy as anyone could be. Writing ten minutes before breakfast, five minutes at noon, an hour after work and two hours on the week-end was my regime.
I learned to compress my thoughts, to be triggered later by a key work, it could be Lion roaring then when I did get an hour, I wrote as much as a thousand words as quickly as I could move my fingers.
My precious wife, Esther (were married 33 years, and still on our honeymoon), used to type my words on the computer, return them to me for corrections, then repeat the process, two, three, ten times. Phew. Yes, writing is fun. AND LOTS OF WORK, BUT FUN!! Now we have co-authored a number of stories and novels, and can be accessed at our website: www.wsprog.com/rp/ with a number of free downloads there as well.
If it isnt FUN, forget it, because youll begin to place a price tag on your time, and when you realize it may take two hours to write a poem, or ten hours for a short story, you may say to yourself, Is it worth it? YES.
Learn to use a typewriter, use Font 12, I like Ariel print, save your work in RTF, AND Word is the most used in the world, by MOST publishers. I also use 1.25" margins on all four sides of my page. TA TA FOR NOW.
So often we may wish to write a novel. It takes many baby steps to get there. I began with poems, maximum fourteen lines, about eight words to a line. When I saw something that inspired or saddened me (poetry is an emotional expression from the soul) I wrote key words, such as A falling limbfox watching meeyes squinting. I tried to get five triggers for a future sit down, since I was always on the go. Write it on a pad. Ones memory is like a computer, but it needs a trigger to open up the passion one felt at the time. With practice the scene can be totally recaptured.
To move to a short story, I took my five ideas from a poem that was written and translated it into five complete sentences, using the actual ideas displayed in the poems. Thus the story, a short short, would be approximately 75-100 words long.
Then the short short story could have five more sentences added to the same story, then five more, then five more, keeping each story totally complete in itself. By revising the same story, colour, taste and feelings emerge from many directions, like a painter placing another coat of passion on his/her scene. Before long you have a 1,000 word story,
I read quite a bit about how other writers wrote a book; Stephen King rattles off 400 pages plus in a steady stream. Remember to be yourself. A Canadian poet, Ray Souster told me one day as we played ball at Humberside Park in Toronto in 1965, Dick be yourself. There is only one of you and do not copy anyone elses style. I must admit I copied Ernest Hemmingways style of typing. I stood up for years, typing. Try it, you may like it. What works for you is right.
Pierre Berton, the Canadian writer, said the best advice for me, Write a scene, or paragraph or chapter that may be in the order of 12, then 2, then 20, then 4 and join them all together. It worked for me. And it may work for you.
I am very pleased to have written a novel (I have a half dozen other titles), called "INTO THE FIRE" a fantasy-adventure to be enjoyed by all ages. It's about a father and son who deal with personal issues after the death by car accident, of a mother/wife. I was fishing one day, early spring, amid the slush and late ice breakup when the idea for the story came to me. Then notes (always carry a notepad) were quickly scrabbled on a piece of paper. Key words are important in situations like this.
Words like, sleet, shadows, trees growing taller with each passing moment, stranger, dad, buried beer bottles, etc. They became triggers for my thoughts as I recalled scenes and images after returning home and laying out a one-page scenario of what turned into a 19,000 word novel.
Someone asked me one day, "Why would anyone read anything I have to say"? I explained, in my way of thinking, there are three stages for writing anything. First, a person writes for oneself, ie through a diary or journal, simply to record evens of a personal nature, not to be shared with anyone.
Secondly, a person is giddy with anticipation when they show someone special in their lives, a poem or statement about a particular day, or person. This is like the first fluttering of young eaglets who are testing the wind, even if mother does push them out of the nest. But mother also makes sure no harm comes, if the eaglet is in trouble understanding all they have to do is spread their own wings with confidence. Mother eagle catches them if need be and returns them to the family nest.
Third, a person has practiced, edited and created something they feel is beautiful, from previous jottings. And they wish now to enter the public domain. Imagine, they wish to share a view of the world, through their own precious eyes. The subjects may be about dear mother, family or friends, places the family visited, the days of former childhood, or dreams of the future. I truly believe there is no such thing as total fiction. In every story there is a little of the writer taking part in this very satisfying adventure. And onward they move.
Today, I finally tried to create a website, and I did. It's very straightforward and the URL has to be revised into something more meaningful. But it goes to show you that anything is possible. I remember the days when I had a Remington typewriter and had to pound the keys to make an ink imprint. Then if the fingers moved too quickly the keys would get jumbled. Advice: keep your equipment up to date if possible. Ask questions, take a course at the library (usually no charge) and ask writers what they use and why.
Someone asked me recently, "How long does it take to publish a novel?" And my answer is, "Each person is different." It has taken me 45 years since I first thought about it in high school. It has taken me 30 years since I began to dabble with words, such as poems. It has taken me 21 years since I dabbled with longer sentences, which ended up as short stories. It has taken me ten years since I actually wrote a first novel of 14,000 words, and began to write in earnest.
I was determined to be a published author of novels, AND I said, "2007 will be my year." I began to pray over all my work, from that moment on. It had nothing to do with ego, rather to share another way to express a view of people and places. I read years ago, "There is nothing new under the sun." And I add, "Only a new set of eyes and a throbbing heart which adds another voice to the adventure of writing.
It has taken me five years to focus on and complete many novels and picture books and now the first of these workings are being published. Yes, each person is different. Willie Nelson once said, "Some people say I am an overnight sensation," after his early songs became mega hits. He added, "It's taken me 20 years to get this far."
To any new writer, I say, "Write the best you can, and never copy anyone else. Be YOU, since there is only one of YOU."
Dear Reader/Writer, your work has significance. I am now 65 years young and thrilled to have the energy and desire to write. It keeps my brain tingling, and my fingers supple.
We who are of the older generation, notice I did not say "old," should keep our minds active and our legs in the best possible shape for getting around. Many of us have much to say through our desire to write. For those who cannot type, then use a tape recorder to reflect on life, the distant past and thus share your memories with immediate family members and preserving your thoughts for those to follow.
I still get older people who ask what to write about. "Remember when you were young?" I respond. "Tell people the good things which happened to you," I say. In my case, I had un-forgiveness in my heart towards my father because of his drinking problems as a result of the terrible things he saw during the Second World War. Then one day, 40 years later, as I thought about what he went through, even though he could barely talk about it, I forgave him all animosity and in a short period of time, a heavy weight was lifted. Four years later, dad passed away and I am thankful I had those good years which actually triggered other good memories I had totally forgotten. They became stories which ended up on paper, and more are on the way.
Each person has a wealth of information they can share, so get to it, right now. Readers are waiting. Persevere---Your day will come. I have children's novel, and picture books seeking publishers. My wife, Esther, and I have co-authored a number of them.
Hello Readers, I keep busy writing poems, short stories, and tidying up my novels for submission. (I now wish to have my novels published by e-publishers, since I believe it is the wave of the future). If you really wish to be a serious writer, you have to begin another collection of words to begin your next project. On the other hand, if writing is simply a fun occupation, then why not write regularly. Also, try to write from different perspectives, from the point of view of writer, subject or someone on the sidelines watching with interest. Each of us has a skill to share and that is part of the writing-challenge.
New writers must be careful from the wolves out there. A whole industry is interested in getting your money to help you along. Be aware, do research and watch out for those interested in costing you a fortune to get published. Do research, ask questions from writers or friends, seek advice before you end up paying a fortune to some stranger.
For those who are fortunate to get a publisher, make sure of one item. IF you wish to purchase copies to sell to friends, what will it cost you per book? What minimum number of books must be purchased to get postage paid for shipment to your door? An important aspect is, does the writer have to pay in advance prior to receiving books? I am amazed at how different some companies are, from 20-40% discount for writer-purchases; and paying up front to not having to pay publisher for a year. Ask questions. Don't be shy, because the Publisher should not be the only one making money on YOUR STORY. Right? Take care, from Richard L. Provencher
Richard L. Provencher and his wife, Esther, live in Truro, NS. They have many stories and novels, in print and online. Richard also writes poetry and many are journals and other areas..
Hello dear readers: I enclose the following story as an example of what is considered a Short, Short story "The Writer" gives an idea which can easily be re-styled re a different point of view for different markets, and yet retain the flavour of a precious idea.
AN EMERGING WRITER
Sit down. Stretch finger muscles. Adjust bi-focal glasses and scratch your belly. The screen faces you, computer humming, waiting for a new slant on memories.
Some stories and poems are persistent, like mosquitoes taking on new shapes each time in the re-telling. They peck at you like a family of Chick-a-Dees, their antics anticipating frequent revised descriptions.
To whom will you submit these gems this time? Will it be another Not taking on new clients publisher repeatedly advertised in a writers magazine? Or the editor who said Send me your full manuscript. Then six months later in response to a query, Didnt you get our E-mail stating we are no longer interested? Sorry.
And barbs of sarcasm do not diminish me. You call this a poem? I rise above the critiquing. Have you not tried taking a writing course? My feathers are those of an eagle. I am above their shortsightedness. I am a writer. I am me.
You have a nice way of expressing yourself is todays unexpected thermal that greets my soaring. Yes, we do wish to receive your manuscript. Send it soon. Now I rise triumphant. My eagle wings stretch fully. A shrieking emits from my mouth. A shuffle of paper greets my new son. Busy fingers fly across my computer keys.
Dear Readers, I truly believe God has placed a special gift within each of us, whether it is caring for others, or writing stories as I do and many others as well. Five years ago, I prayed for something good to happen in 2007 and am truly blessed with getting more stories and poems published in print and online. And it is taking place. During your own writing journey, do not hesitate to share, then read your poems and stories to friends, family and get together with other writing friends and repeat at a coffee house or local library. Each of us has a different perspective on what we see and feel. How wonderful to read about those different perspectives. Go now and do it. God bless everyone. RLP
A reader must engage his/her audience. Use facial expressions, try different voices for your characters, and place life into the spoken word. It's even fun to use your audience to make certain sounds as you read the story. It also allows them to listen more carefully, when words like wind, horses, etc. are spoken, followed by your audience's corresponding words, or actions.
For instance, when "tree" is read four or five can stand up each time the word is heard. Try out an audience of friends or family and you will have some fun. And get excellent feedback on your own written story. All the best, from Richard LP.
Well dear readers, I am going to take a break from writing about writing. So I am going to sign off for now. I hope the above info has been helpful. If you have any specific questions, let me know. Remember: don't talk about writing, WRITE. Best wishes, from Richard L. Provencher, and my wife, Esther, Truro, Nova Scotia.
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Richard L. Provencher
Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.
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