Paul’s Story Trigonometry (Part 2)

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Paul’s Story Trigonometry (Part 1)

A little while back I presented an interesting model to help writers understand the central conflict in a story. I’ve since expanded upon the model and presented it as a blog post for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Germany / Austria. The post includes two different models:

  1. central conflict, two main characters
  2. central conflict, multiple main characters

I personally find these models very useful for critically reflecting upon an early draft, thereby paving the way for a strong rewrite. You might find the models useful too. Here’s the link to the post at SCBWI Germany / Austria.

Fabulous February

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With Irish poet, Neil McCarthy at his book launch in Vienna this weekend. Stopgap Grace, Publisher: Salmon Poetry

This weekend, both the creative writing and the short story programs began here in Vienna. A very busy time for me, getting to coach an intriguing bunch of international people. Nations represented:

  • Canada
  • UK
  • United States
  • Bolivia
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Romania
  • Australia
  • Croatia

I might even have missed a county or two.  As you might imagine, the writing in both workshops reflects this wonderful cultural diversity.

Also went along to a book launch: Irish Poet, Neil McCarthy has just launched his fabulous book of poems: Stopgap Grace. Publisher: Salmon Poetry. Grabbed myself a signed copy, got a photo with Neil, and listened to him read a few poems from the collection. Great music too, from his musical “troubadour” friends from both Austria and Ireland.

Open Mic for Charity

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Many people (and prairie dogs) believe wearing a hat significantly improves their singing 🙂

Along with good friends at Write Now, and with guest host and award winning YA novelist, Keith Gray, I’ll be hosting another Open Mic at Cafe Korb this December.

Proceeds to The Gruft for their winter charity action: sleeping bags and warm food for the homeless. More details about the Guft.

The Open Mic charity event is a great opportunity for creative people to meet up, to perform on stage (if they wish) or simply enjoy the performances, and to contribute to a wonderful and greatly needed cause.

When: Friday 8th December, 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Where: Cafe Korb in Vienna’s 1st District

Cost: Donation to the Gruft*

Full details and to book here

Hope to see you there

* venue hire will be deducted from proceeds

 

 

 

Vienna Creative writing Workshop

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The November 4-week creative writing workshop began on Friday at The Vienna Workshop Gallery. I was delighted to meet creative people from such diverse nations , this time as far afield as New Zealand and Eritrea to European neighbours such as Italy, the UK and Bulgaria. And of course, gallery owner, Valeria MacKnight was there flying the Brazilian flag.

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Paul and Valeria at The Vienna Workshop Gallery

Over the course of the evening participants got to know one another and share their writing in the gallery setting, with a wonderful exhibition by Brazilian artist As Marias von Leca Araujo. The exhibition runs until the 20th of November. I highly recommend you check it out!

 

October Open Mic

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Time to take to the stage…again!

An entertaining “open mic” evening is coming up this October in Vienna. Along with friends at Write Now, I’ll be hosting the evening. We’re all looking forward to the performances. It’s a unique opportunity for people to take the stage before a friendly and creative audience.

If you’d like to read out a poem, a short story, a novel excerpt, to sing a song, or just sit back and enjoy the performances, then you’re warmly welcome.

When: Monday 23rd October 2017, 7.00pm

Where: Cafe Korb, 1010 Vienna

Price: A small contribution (between 5-10 Euro) will be welcome to cover the venue hire.

You’ll find all the details on Meet Up here 

I look forward to meeting you on the night!

 

 

 

Open Mic in Vienna

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Time to take the stage!

An entertaining “open mic” evening is coming up this September in Vienna. Along with friends at Write Now, I’ll be hosting the evening. We’re all looking forward to the performances. It’s a unique opportunity for people to take the stage before a friendly and creative audience.

Guest Irish poet, Neil McCarthy will also be there on the night, inspiring everyone with some of his wonderful poetry.

If you’d like to read out a poem, a short story, a novel excerpt, to sing a song, or just sit back and enjoy the performances, then you’re warmly welcome.

When: Thursday 21st September 2017, 6.45pm

Where: Cafe Korb, 1010 Vienna

Price: A small contribution (between 5-10 Euro) will be welcome to cover the venue hire.

You’ll find all the details on Meet Up here 

I look forward to meeting you on the night!

 

 

 

The importance of title

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A title,

like the moon,

casts its subtle light,

gently swaying the story’s tide.

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Without title is writing in the dark.

With wrong title is writing in the fog.

With right title is writing in the clear moonlight.


So I told a couple of participants in the January short story in Vienna. What do you think?

Would  F. Scott Fitzgerald have written a different story with a title such as “Good Ole Gatsby”?

How about “My Travel Tales” by Jack Kerouac? Or “Black Horse” by Anna Sewell?

Did these authors write their stories and arrive at the title later?  I wonder.

How to write at a thermal spa

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a salty croc–the one guest you don’t want to meet at a thermal spa!

Writing at the Spa

 With pleasure I wrote down at the spa,

between dips in the pool, veiled in steam,

under a glistening sky—

a hedonist’s dream.

A jaunt in the sauna, too hot for me,

on a bright orange tube down a thundering slide,

in the FKK* whirlpool for those who are free,

on deckchair and towel,

with notebook and pen,

I wrote my story,

from beginning to end.

The story I wrote at the spa. The poem (attempt) I wrote this morning on the train. It is true: in that bathing paradise, while people wallowed and dreamed, I wrote an entire story.

You might conclude thermal spas are the perfect place to write. Or how about at a lovely desk beside a crackling fireplace? Neither are any good when faced with a blank page and a starved imagination.

My story first came alive in the train, on a bus, standing at a platform, riding an escalator, in another story draft that came to nothing…except that which is most important—food for the imagination. When I sat at the spa all I had to do was put pen to page. The rest took care of itself.

Don’t wait for the perfect time and place to write. If you do, you’ll be waiting forever.

By the way, 2017 is almost upon us. How will your writing year unfold?

If you’re looking for a big start, check out my short story boot camp in Vienna. I’m a tough coach—you won’t get to loaf about the pool, but you just might get to write your dream story!

FKK: Freikörperkultur or nudism