Welcome to Author Writing Prompt Week 2! This week, I'm hosting children/YA author Fran Orenstein. She has a wonderful prompt for you guys, and I hope you'll join in.
Rules: All you have to do is comment, including your name email address to be entered for a chance to win Fran's book The Spice Merchant's Daughter! You may also post your work for the prompt as well. We would all love to see it!
(Giveaway open to US/Canada residents only!)
(Giveaway open to US/Canada residents only!)
Fran Orenstein, Ed.D., award-winning author and poet, wrote her first poem at eight and received her first rejection for a short story at age twelve. Her published credits include a ‘tween mystery series, The Mystery Under Third Base and The Mystery of the Green Goblin, a fantasy series for ‘tweens, The Wizard of Balalac and The Gargoyles of Blackthorne, and the second edition of a ‘tween fiction novel dealing with childhood obesity and bullying, Fat Girls From Outer Space, two young adult historical romances, The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, and, coming in June 2011, The Calling of the Flute. Her poetry book for young children is out-of-print, but she plans to reissue it with additional poems in 2012.
Moving into literature for adults, prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in various anthologies. A book of poetry is currently in the works for publication in late 2011. Fran is currently seeking a publisher for a recently completed novel about a woman’s most devastating loss and her eventual redemption.
Fran wrote professionally as a magazine editor/writer, and also wrote political speeches, newsletters, legislation, and promotional material for New Jersey State Government for fourteen years. She produced professional papers on gender equity and violence prevention, which were presented at national and international conferences.
Fran has plans for more books in the ‘tween mystery series, as well as more YA historical romance novels. She also has plans for a second woman’s novel dealing with marital emotional abuse. She is currently writing the third book in the fantasy series, The Centaurs of Spyr.
Beating The Block: one writer’s cure
by Fran Orenstein
Scenario: The Bard sits at a table, quill in hand, creating words that will live on for 400 years, perhaps a thousand years; words spoken by actors over the centuries, memorized by school children. He strokes his beard, scratches his head. Putting quill to paper he writes, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar….”
Just then he is interrupted, perhaps Anne calls him to dinner, or a blot of ink ruins the paper. When he returns a day or so later his mind is blank. Why was this character Marc Anthony going to make a speech? Is it a necessary speech? What was the purpose? Is he wasting his time creating a play out of some ancient murder nobody cares about any more. He fiddles with the fire that is dying in the hearth. He checks the inkwell, sharpens the quill, stares out the window. He does everything but write the next sentence. Imagine Julius Caesar never written because William Shakespeare developed a writer’s block that he couldn’t break.
At some point during the writing experience, every writer gets blocked. I have gone into a manuscript that was flowing beautifully and couldn’t write another word. It seemed boring, inane, insipid. What was I thinking? Who would want to read this? Yet, just yesterday it was exciting.
Have you ever closed down the computer, covered the typewriter, or put the pen in a drawer, and your stomach churns every time you think of starting again? I have a simple solution that works every time. I go back to the beginning of the manuscript and start editing and rewriting. As I move along, I realize it’s really good. I understand why I chose to write it. By the time I reach the point of yesterday’s despair, I know what comes next. Even if I only write one page, I’ve moved on.
Once I learned that, I always go to the beginning of the previous chapter and read it through. I generally find things to add or change and it inspires me to continue writing. Bedsides breaking the block, I’ve been editing and rewriting as I go along. Every writer has some technique or there would not be any books. This is one suggestion and the next time you face writer’s block, try rereading to get back into the thread and feeling of the story. Whatever you do, don’t give up…it isn’t fatal.
Visit her at www.franorenstein.weebly.com