Diary Entries and Writing in Character

So I’ve been writing for a while, like years a while, and I’ve recently been introduced to the idea of writing diary entries from the point of view of your main character. To get into their head, figure out their motivations, and better understand their voice, things like that. Now I’ve never been one to keep a diary, I’ve tried several times and never really had the discipline to follow through. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like writing about myself or maybe it’s something else. But I’ve been trying for some of my characters, to try and get to know them better.
The interesting thing I’ve been running into is figuring out how they’re going to go about writing that entry. Even taking into account that one of my main character is a sullen, angst-ridden faerie teen and probably wouldn’t even think about writing in a diary but he does at least have access to all the things he’d need to write one: paper and a pen or a computer or even his smart phone. And is most importantly, literate. Now, I’ve got a couple characters who live in medieval era worlds who don’t really have access to paper or the education necessary in order to read and write. But I think they’d still want to get their thoughts out, even if they can’t necessarily write them down. But whether it’s drawing on cave walls with charcoal or ranting at the stars, I think there are still plenty of ways for them to get their feelings out. And it’s important to me, for my way of writing, for it to feel authentic to the character, even if the entry itself isn’t going to end up in the final novel.
All in all, I’m enjoying the exercise.

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Happy Canada Day.

Kayden Claremont

Happy Canada Day!

I’m very proud to be a Canadian and am very proud of our history.

On July 1, 1867 Canada became a new federation with its own constitution by signing the Constitution Act, which was formerly known as the British North America Act. Before that we were know as the Dominion of Canada. My family settled in Ontario in 1824. The family grew and prospered as Canada grew and prospered.

In 1879 a federal law made July 1 a statutory holiday known as the “Anniversary of Confederation” which was later call “Dominion Day.”

My family settled in Ontario in 1824 and as Canada grew and prospered so did the family.

it is with great pride that I celebrate Canada Day and it’s fun to be part of the family get together, the food, the fun and then watch fireworks.

How do you celebrate Canada Day?

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Tips for Writing Short Stories.

Karen Blake-Hall

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being on a panel, “Are Short Stories the New Black?” Not only am I published in short stories but I’m also a publisher of the anthology Nefarious North, A Collection of Short Crime Stories. Now I’m no expert but here are a few tips to write short stories.

First off, read every short story you can get your hands on. Anthologies are a great place to start your exploration. I always say anthologies are like a box of chocolate giving you a choice of different voices to sample.

Focus on a single incident and keep your cast of characters small. If you love to create worlds, reveal a single point of life in that world.

In a short story you don’t have the word count to develop backstory so limit it and have your characters walk on stage fully developed…

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How Do You Define Success?

Karen Blake-Hall

Success is defined in the dictionary as: degree or measure of succeeding; favourable or desired outcome. As writers we define success as a contracted book but there are more ways for us to count our successes.

One of the ways I count my success is writing 100 words a day. They have to be new words so when I do editing I still have to write my 100 words a day. Now you might say that’s not much of a challenge but I usually don’t stop at 100. I get two or three pages done each day, more on days I don’t have to go to work but if all I get is two pages every day for 7 days then I have fourteen pages or more than a chapter every week. At the end of the year, I’ve written over fifty-two chapters. Whoo! Whoo! For me.

Accountability is another…

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Multiple Intelligences

So, recently in class we were doing personality types and one of the tests was for the theory of multiple intelligences.  This theory states that everyone has a different way that they approach learning and it connects to what jobs they would find most interesting.  The intelligences are: Kinaesthetic (physical), Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Musical, Visual-Spatial, and Naturalistic.  Now, you’re rarely just one of the intelligences, people tend to be strong in three or four of them and weaker in the others.

               Now being a writer it’s probably not surprising (at least it wasn’t to me) that my strongest category was Verbal-Linguistic, I love words and languages and expressing myself through them.  Basically the textbook for my course told me I was best cut out to be an author and who am I to argue with that?  The other strong categories were intrapersonal, which is knowing yourself and working best on your own, and logical-mathematical.  I’m not the best in visual-spatial, don’t ask me to draw anything or read a map…  But it’s something I’m working on improving.

               What about you?  Which intelligence category sounds most like you?  Or, if you’d like you can take the test here: http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/index.htm

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Viking Recipies: Barley Flatbread

               Also called Osyrat Kornbröd, Viking flatbread made from barley flour is pretty simple to make.  It only has two ingredients and, though originally meant to be cooked on a stone over an open fire, can be made on the stovetop with a skillet pan or baked on an oven sheet.  All that goes into it is barley flour, which I found at my local bulk food store but can also be found at health food stores and larger grocery stores, and water; in a three parts four to one part water ratio.  A manageable amount that makes eight servings is 1.5 cups of flour and .5 cup of water.

               Once a stiff dough has been formed divide it into balls around the size of a walnut or a golf ball and roll it out as thin as you can make it.  My favourite tip for rolling dough easily (you start googling tricks when you’re in charge of the Christmas sugar cookies every year) is to place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.  Not only is it easier to roll, and doesn’t make as much of a mess, it won’t stick to your rolling pin or your counter.  Cook the bread on high heat for about 30 seconds on each side or until golden brown.  It’s best eaten right away while it’s still hot but can also be frozen and reheated.

I originally found the recipe, along with a lot of fantastic information on Viking foods, here: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/food.shtml#BarleyFlatbread