Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Whoa October!

Where did the time go?

October was a busy month for our writers but many managed to make THREE meetings!  Our meet-ups were busy with critiques, writing prompts, lessons and lots of discussion.  Thank goodness we have such a versatile group and were able to fit it all in nicely.     

Things started off with Paul’s first novel submission and critique.  As this was only our second novel to review, it was quite brave of Paul to put his up for scrutiny.  He definitely set the bar high for the rest of us as he handled the critique session, which ran too long (completely my fault) with utter patience and gratitude.  Congratulations to him for taking another step forward in the writing process and working on his rewrite.  We are all learning a great deal from this process!

Another interesting topic was our character analysis discussion.  Character development is crucial in novel writing but also difficult to do sometimes.  We filled out character profiles and wrote stories from the character writing prompt list which we shared during a meeting.  We have some really creative writers and not only were entertained but also given some good advice from our more experienced authors.  Please take a look at a few of these stories under our creative writing submissions tab.

October brought the beginning of a recurring lesson on how to analyze your writing.  This has been led by Dennis who has put in some extra time for our Bayou Writers and given us some great information along with handouts!  In our first lesson we discussed the three elements of a story; Plot, Characters and Drama.  We broke down the differences between a novel and a short story.  Then last but not least, we discussed the rules of Narrative (show don’t tell) and Dialog (be specific and precise) which is still a discussion in progress.  We will try to get the handouts posted on the blog bulletin board soon.

Another treat for October was our first glimpse at Allen’s manuscript.  He brought in his first two chapters (or first two days of Hurricane Katrina) for us to critique.  We have implemented a few rules such as timing each person’s response so we don’t run too long.  We are not allowed to repeat comments that have already been made about the manuscript.  Once everyone has had a turn to speak then we open up for a fifteen minute discussion where even the author can participate.  Allen’s short piece worked perfectly for this format.  It was honest, useful and positive for all. He did an amazing job.  Congratulations to Allen on his work so far!

Needless to say it was a busy month for us and things don't seem to be slowing down as we approach the holiday season!  We continue to welcome new members and look forward to them joining our humble meetings.   You don’t want to miss out because we have some new and exciting things coming soon for the BWC!

As always, it is incredibly inspiring to spend a couple of hours with new friends and discuss writerly things.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone Thursday!

Until then... Happy Writing,


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creative Writing Meeting and New Challenge

Thanks to everyone that participated in our last writing prompt challenge.  We had some great work submitted which contributed to a fun and amusing meeting last Thursday.

Several of the submissions have been posted under the Creative Writing Submission link (above) for you to enjoy and make comments.  There are several others that will be added later in the week, so keep an eye out for those awesome stories.
If you could not attend but would like to submit your own writing for posting, please email it directly to me!

Please note that we had to push our next meeting to Thursday October 3rd, at Nuvolari’s in Mandeville. This time we will be focusing on Character Development.   It seems to be quite a task for everyone and is certainly a skill that is worth practicing.  We will discuss how to create a character that your readers will care about .  Then we will share our next writing challenge which is an exercise in creating such a character.

This writing challenge is a little more in depth because we want to really get to “know” your character.

First you will need to click on the link for Character Profiles below and Fill it Out.  This is very important so please do not skip! 

Next choose from one of the three writing prompts and compose your story!  You have 1000 words or less this time.
Please print your character profile page as well as your short story.   We will pass the stories around first and then pass the character page around in order to discuss whether they match!    

I am quite excited about this exercise and cannot wait to see what you all create!!!
As always…Happy writing!


Character Profile Link:

Writing Prompts for Character Development

1) Dating Deception
Your character meets someone on an online dating site. Your character writes an e-mail to the person, describing him/herself. Write the e-mail. This e-mail contains two lies. What are they? Why did the character tell them? Also: your character has a very mistaken idea of the impression he/she makes on other people. What impression does your character think he/she makes? What impression does he/she really make? Figure all this stuff out. The character arranges an in-person meeting with the person he/she has met online. What happens at the meeting? Write the story.

2) Character Contradictions
Invent a character who has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don't fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story.

3) Self-realization
Your character thinks he/she is good at something, but he/she isn't. Something happens that makes your character realize this. What? What does your character do about it? Write the story.





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Writing Prompt Challenge

Hey Bayou Writers,

Here is the writing assignment for our next meeting, September 12, 2013.  As we discussed, there are three writing prompts to choose from and you have 500 words or less to do it!

Please print at least one copy of your finished story for the meeting and we will exchange them when we get together Thursday.  Your partner will critique your work and make any suggestions so you can get immediate feedback.  If time allows then we may read a few of these during the meeting.
Please choose one of the following:

 Brian A. Klems
You’re at the doctor’s office for a regular check-up when the doctor suggests you get a flu shot as well. You hate shots, so you come up with the most outlandish excuse as to why you can’t get one. Start your story with “You’re not going to believe this, but … ” and end it with “And that’s why I can’t get a flu shot today.”

Brian A. Klems
You’re on a top-secret spy mission—for your grandmother. She can’t make it to her Monday Night Bingo (you tell us why), but she’s certain that one of the regulars is cheating, and she sends you to check it out. Conduct a covert operation to catch this cheater in the act.

Brian A. Klems
You’re a taxi driver in a one-light town. You’ve arrived at the county library to pick up your passenger, a girl no older than thirteen. She says, “You see that Mexican restaurant across the street? In about five minutes, a man is going to come out of that restaurant, and I want you to follow him.”

Happy Writing!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Welcome Bayou Writers

Welcome to the Bayou Writer’s Club Blog which serves writers in the New Orleans and greater New Orleans, Louisiana area. 

This blog belongs to the members of the BWC and will help accompany our official home located under the Meet Up website:

Please also refer to the Meet Up website if you are interested in joining our group.  Our official calendar and meeting descriptions can be found there.  We meet on Thursday evenings, approximately every two weeks, in Mandeville or Metairie.

 If you are a member and would like to provide a guest post then please contact our co-organizers, Rebecca or Lisa.  Items we are looking for are anything local that can benefit our writers like workshops, seminars, writer’s conferences, and book signings.  We will also consider creative writing techniques, exercises, and processes.