MasterClass: Find your character’s voice… through song!

Are you one of those people who loves to sing and write? Then you know that music taps into our deepest emotions – it’s a brilliant way to express yourself. Music is what many of us turn to in order to express joy, anger, a broken heart, or even frustration. So wouldn’t it seem the obvious way to help us access those characters we are writing about, the ones who just don’t want to reveal themselves? Perhaps you are writing a novel and the main character isn’t developing, or you can’t get a clear sense of who they really are – sounds crazy since you are the one who made them up in the first place – but writing deep, emotional characters that resonate with a reader can be difficult. Getting past the superficial characteristics and finding out what truly makes them tick takes work.

Write Now has made it our mission to occasionally  offer workshops that are outside of the box. Sure the basics are necessary and we will continue to offer those, but every once in awhile someone like Catrina Poor comes along and ‘voila’ we are standing outside the box  looking at a very common problem (evasive characters) and thinking, what would be a different approach? There are always benefits to uniting different genres of art – the results can be inspiring, insightful, and sometimes very practical.

In this particular workshop – which we are offering as a MasterClass because it will be intense, and you will come away with a very new approach – Catrina will teach you hands on, and with a lot of one to one attention, how to find your character’s authentic voice, using singing, song analysis, and basic performance techniques. She is highly professional and talented. You will not be disappointed!

For those of you who are considering this workshop but perhaps are feeling a bit apprehensive about singing in front of a group, rest assured, the environment will feel both creative and safe. The focus is not on your singing ability, but on your character. And you can always go home and practice what you’ve learned!

Classes will run for three Sunday afternoons – October 15, October 29, and November 12.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Reserve your space now! 

Some Words Don’t Need to Exist…

by Kirsten Donghey

This wouldn’t be a writing blog without at least one post about writers block (WB). So here goes…

One of my favorite pieces of advice about WB came from the American Novelist, Richard Bausch. I had the pleasure of listening to him lecture a few summers ago at the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada.

He said, “There is no such thing as writer’s block. Just lower your standards and keep going.” His philosophy is basically that you go for quantity over quality. The editing can come later. He went on to say that he wrote every day, without excuse. He wrote while his wife was in labor with their sixth child.

To some of us this sounds extreme. But he has written eleven novels and eight short story collections. He gets the job done.

In other words, don’t even acknowledge that WB exists. Pretend that the concept has never been invented.

I had an interesting conversation with a writer friend of mine last week. I was telling her about a fear I had of never finishing my book. She said, take a walk down the street and act like that thought doesn’t exist. Release yourself from the thought and if it tries to come back into existence, act like you don’t understand. She triggered something in me and instantly my mind went back to a time when I was in my twenties, when I wrote constantly because I wanted to.

I began to recall what it felt like to not have the burden of responsibility. That feeling when anything is possible. And it became clear that my novel had become a responsibility.

I also realized that by acknowledging WB I was indulging myself in all the talk that comes with it. The pontificating about the causes of WB, the ways to over come it and so on. So if you don’t allow yourself to acknowledge WB, you also can’t allow yourself to discuss it, because it doesn’t exist, right?

Normally I would end a post like this asking for feedback about how you deal with WB. But that would just start a conversation we don’t want to have, right?