Saturday, February 21, 2015

Louise Penny on Developing a Character

My wife and kids accuse me of watching "Nerd TV." Perhaps they are right because one of my favorite shows is "Well Read," which airs on the cable channel WQEDW (201 on my cable system). I just watched a fascinating interview with Louise Penny, author of the Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. When asked how she created the character, Ms. Penny replied, "I imagined him as the kind of man I would like to marry." Contrary to the advice given to most first time authors, she said that she didn't consider the market when she created the first book in her series. She did not expect the book to be published, so she wrote for her own enjoyment. Ms. Penny wanted the act of writing the book itself to be her reward, her payoff,  for doing the work. She advised writers to embrace the act of writing, "You might write ten pages about a handsome man your encounter or ten pages about a bouquet of roses." These pages probably won't be part of your finished book, but write them anyway."

If you are a writer or interested in becoming one, visit the the Ligonier Valley Writers website to learn more about upcoming LVW programs. You will also find information on submitting your articles, stories, poems or artwork for the upcoming edition of the Loyalhanna Review.

Keep writing, keep thinking , and keep the ideas flowing.

Thanks for reading.

Jim Busch     

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The purpose of story

H. W. Brands is one of my favorite living historians. He has a talent for making a work of non-fiction read like a novel. He understands the value of story. Here is a great quote from Professor Brands on the purpose that stories fill in our lives.

"Stories are simplifications of complicated realities that give us some kind of purchase, some kind of grip on the world."

You can help others get a grasp on some "complicated realities" by submitting your story, poem or work of art to the 2015 Loyalhanna Review. Submissions will be accepted February 15th. Check out the Ligonier Valley Writers website.

Keep your pencils sharp, the ideas flowing and your dream alive.

Thanks for reading this blog--Jim Busch