I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow Ocelot Press author, Jennifer C. Wilson, to the blog today. Her latest book, aimed at writers, A Novel Approach, was published yesterday by Ocelot Press. She tells us how the book came about and what it aims to do. I’ve had a sneak peek, and I know that budding and experienced writers alike will find it really helpful.
Over to you, Jen…
Is there a novel in you? Let me help you find out…
That’s the goal behind A Novel Approach, my new non-fiction title, that I’m so excited to see coming out through Ocelot Press. I love going to writing workshops, working through prompts and exercises, and learning from other writers. And, as I’d enjoyed going to so many, I decided to host my own, working with writers through the various key stages of pulling together a piece of long-form fiction.
Over a course of six workshops, we brainstormed, wrote, and discussed, and the results were brilliant. Although it is aimed at those looking to write a novel, there were short stories generated from the prompts, as well as scenes for both new and existing story ideas. That’s the thing I think is great about prompts like this – they can help you when your starting point is the blank page, but also, if you have that initial idea in your head, but need a bit of help organising your thoughts onto the page.
The exercises will get you thinking about your characters, their voices, what they want and need, and what they’ll do to get those things. There are also prompts to bring your settings to life, making them feel real to your readers, as well as dropping conflicts into your characters’ paths, keeping the pages turning.
I really hope writers get something out of this, and would love to hear from anyone who uses it to get the ink flowing!
Based on my series of workshops held throughout 2019 and into 2020, this book is designed to help writers work through each of the key stages of their story, including:
- Idea generation;
- Creating characters;
- Describing your settings;
- Showing vs telling; and
- Keeping the words flowing when you find yourself stuck.
As well as the above, I have also added sections on hooking your readers in, leaving them wanting more, and useful resources as a writer, including how to dip a successful toe into the world of social media.
The workshops were fun, helping writers of short stories and novels alike, and I hope these exercises can help you too!
A Novel Approach: mybook.to/ANovelApproach
Jennifer C. Wilson stalks dead people (usually monarchs, mostly Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III). Inspired by childhood visits to as many castles and historical sites her parents could find, and losing herself in their stories (not to mention quite often the castles themselves!), at least now her daydreams make it onto the page.
After returning to the north-east of England for work, she joined a creative writing class, and has been filling notebooks ever since. Jennifer won North Tyneside Libraries’ Story Tyne short story competition in 2014, and in 2015, her debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Books. The full series was re-released by Darkstroke in January 2020.
Jennifer is a founder and host of the award-winning North Tyneside Writers’ Circle, and has been running writing workshops in North Tyneside since 2015. She also publishes historical fiction novels with Ocelot Press. She lives in Whitley Bay, and is very proud of her two-inch view of the North Sea.
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Copyright © Jennifer C. Wilson, Vanessa Couchman, 2020. All rights reserved.