Sunday, May 16, 2010

Anna Mackenzie @ AWRF

Anna’s latest book – Ebony Hill – has just been released (like a week ago). It’s the sequel to The sea-wreck stranger. Anna talked about her meandering path to becoming an author – via journalism and psychology. She likened the gathering of ideas to a jigsaw – a novel is made up of many thousands of pieces – but, unlike a jigsaw, each piece has to be crafted into place to create a whole. You never know what ideas or images will come in useful in the future. For her, it is the desire to explore an issue – an emotion – that starts the ball rolling.

Bits & pieces of writing advice:

  • If you want to build effective imagery – try writing without any adjectives. That will force you to use similes and metaphors. Oh, and avoid clichés – or turn them on their heads
  • Choosing the name of characters – for Anna, the name comes with the character – but sometimes, it does need changing
  • How to deal with bad criticism – only criticism that’s wrong is ‘bad’ – otherwise, it’s just criticism, and you need to think that they may be right
  • Favourite genre – anything she can believe. Anna received loud claps and cheers when she admitted she didn’t like Twilight
  • The prize for the most original question went to: are the trees on the stage real?
  • - Annie

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