Suraya Dewing's blog

How do we give a character personality?

I was working with a writer this week and I asked him to add details to a character so that it became more recognisable. I often find that writers assume we know their character simply through what they say.

Russian Writers

Recently, a writing tips page pointed out the importance of reading Russian authors if you want to become a skilled writer. http://literatureproject.com/anna-karenina/index.htm

Are loose ends in a story ok?

Does every story need to be neatly tied up with every loose end accounted for? In her blog ‘Loose ends in a story’, KM Weiland talks about this and it makes very good reading.

It also set me to thinking about my own storytelling. The serials have taught me to write more open ended stories. As I pondered the question of whether all stories need to be neatly tied up, I realised they do not. Life does not come in neatly tied packages, so why should stories?

Tenses

One thing the serials reveal immediately is change in tense. If one chapter is in the past tense and the next in present it stands out and causes the reader to pause to figure out what is going on. It can be quite confusing.

We all have writing challenges. Mine is where to put the commas. Other people try too hard to be clever instead of letting the story tell itself. Others struggle with tense.

Technology in partnership with tutors

The EDTech for Export one day conference at Te Papa, Wellington, was the first gathering I have been to where every speaker said something that was relevant to what we are doing at The Story Mint. The content was engaging and inspiring. There are some remarkable people exploring ways to make education relevant to students and using these solutions around the world. It is truly exciting.

A writer's list

Metro (a popular NZ magazine) editor, Simon Wilson, recently produced an excellent list of tips for writers.

There are some that are stand out must do’s in my view so, while the reader of this blog can go to the list through the hyperlink provided, I would like to choose some that stood out for me and explain why they resonate with me.

Never limit your potential by the way you think

Recently I attended a dinner to announce the Tool Black team, a group of 14 of New Zealand’s top apprentices who are going to compete against other trade apprentices in Sao Paulo in three months’ time. The dinner was the final step before going to compete on the international stage against 72 other countries.

So You Think the Book is Dead. Really?

‘It’s official, the book is dead’ according to the Huffington Post. It supports its case by showing an image of old Readers Digest condensed books cut into the shapes of letters and for sale for $20. I was never a condensed book reader, preferring the original novel to an edited version, which left out ….well, what? However, they must have served a purpose for those people who were time-short and wanted to get through the latest Wilbur Smith in a hurry.

So You Think the Book is Dead. Really?

‘It’s official, the book is dead’ according to the Huffington Post. It supports its case by showing an image of old Readers Digest condensed books cut into the shapes of letters and for sale for $20. I was never a condensed book reader, preferring the original novel to an edited version, which left out ….well, what? However, they must have served a purpose for those people who were time-short and wanted to get through the latest Wilbur Smith in a hurry.

What makes people happy?

Whenever I read a headline that claims to define happiness, I am immediately cynical. Why, you might wonder, is this? Surely, happiness is a state to which we should all aspire.

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