Owen’s Novel Report: The Workshop


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I recently had some feedback on my blog regarding the content. As the associate quite rightly said, there seems to be a lack of clear direction about whether the blog is specifically about the novel, or whether it is about me, as a writer, being a place where I can air my views. I’ve thought about this, and I reckon at this stage I should keep this as a blog about Dragon Line. After all, it is the platform for the book. In that respect, I need to maybe say a little more about the back-story, the characters, the locations etc and how they relate to the novel. This means not going off at tangents anymore, speaking less about subjects related to the basis of the novel and more about its central theme. I also need to show more of my creativity. In due course, when I become a little more established, I will probably turn this into the ‘Owen Law’ blog. In the meantime, however, I think it should stay as the Dragon Line blog. And quite right too! In fact, I may start writing some ‘throw-away’ scenes to include here, related to the novel’s scenario, but not used in the book itself. Hopefully, people will read it and comment on it. Still , those might have to wait for the time being as I’ve got another 60 events to write for the book and these need to make those my priority if I’m going to get it finished by early next year!

However, here’s a new series innovation – ‘Owen’s Novel Report’, where I speak about something directly related to the novel (alongside my usual a character features etc). The first one is related to an excellent workshop I attended yesterday in London with the brilliant creativity and writing coach Jurgen Wolff. Jurgen had set up a ‘Feedback’ session, whereby those in attendance could do a pitch on a piece of work, or idea, they have produced and obtain feedback. Yours truly gave a presentation on Dragon Line, providing a synopsis of the book and reading a section of one of the chapters I’d written in the first draft. Overall, the reception was positive, though I did obtain some good suggestions for improvement from the audience, including ensuring that the I cut own the amount of words I put in a sentence (how true!) to make the content punchier. Also, it was suggested that I make more use of the all the senses, to make the description more varied, and look to maybe add some more tension in to keep the reader interested.

I will take these great suggestions, and Jurgen’s advice in particular, on board for all the material I produce from now on. I’ll go back and sort all the other existing material on the first draft hen I reach the second. But hang on, I hear you cry, isn’t this all about you as a writer again? Aren’t you still drifting away from the focus on the novel? This is true, but then again I wanted to include this to illustrate just how worthwhile Jurgen’s workshops are. If anybody interested in writing would like to know more, then please see the link below to his ‘Time-to-Write’ blog, which has a wealth of information and links about writing which are worth checking out. I’d also recommend all his books.

Anyway, for me this session was about the novel, because the main thing was that it appeared to be fairly well received by those present, who seemed to find the subject matter interesting and appealing. One said she would definitely read it, if it was published! Furthermore, I obtained an answer to one question which I had been posing to myself for a while. Am I right to make the background to this story a combination of Global Warming/Peak Oil-related Apocalypse, as opposed to a Comet Impact (as was originally planned ten years ago)? The answer was most definitely ‘Yes’! This was because these issues are important today and people are concerned about them. This makes the story relevant, whatever your opinion is on these topics.

Anyway, I’ll finish there for the night. And I promise to say more about the novel now and less about myself or issues of interest to me….promise!

Owen Law

http://www.timetowrite.blogs.com/

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About Owen Law

My pen-name is ‘Owen Law’ (real name: Nicholas Davies.) I’m a science fiction writer specialising in dystopian/apocalyptic visions of the future. I’m from Shropshire, England (on the borders with Wales) and I’m in my forties. I have a background in public services and training. I’ve been working on my first novel, Dragon Line, since 2008. I’ve also written several short stories, one of which you can find on this blog (‘Matilda Leviathan‘). I now reside on the border of Shropshire and Wales, and my interests include writing (of course!), current affairs and environmental issues.
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