On Writers and Writing

If there’s one thing I love at least much as writing, it’s talking about writing. (A lot of writers might say that, and that’s why we don’t always get as much actual writing done as we’d like.) So, how about we give writing about writing a try?

Even though my stories are set mostly in the Maritimes (P.E.I. and Nova Scotia), and my recollections of growing up on P.E.I. are fond, I have to admit that living in “Upper Canada” has certain advantages. One is the many opportunities to see, hear and sometimes even meet and learn from some of Canada’s most celebrated authors.

One of my favourite things to do every fall has been to join some of my writer friends at various events during the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). Here, one can attend panel discussions, interviews, readings and book signings featuring internationally celebrated authors.

Over the years, I’ve collected quotes from many of them, little bits of advice from those on the summit of literary achievement that make a great deal of sense to those of us still killing time around base camp. My plan is to pay out some of those wise words here in this blog as time goes on.

Something I’ve done a lot of down here at base camp is read books about writing. Many are recommended by other writers, or literary agents, or writing schools; others have been hunted down by my writing friends and me as we struggle to educate ourselves on the finer points of such things as structuring plot, creating well-rounded characters, balancing the “telling” of our stories with the “showing” of them, and all that fiddly stuff that makes the difference between an okay story and a great one. Eventually, time permitting, I’ll post a few reviews of those books as well.

Also, I’m a firm believer in reading the literature of the country in which I live, so now and then I may have something to say about this or that Canadian book. There are many Canadian writers who deserve much more attention than they receive and I’d like, in my own small way, to help change that.

So, come on by whenever you feel like it and we’ll talk (or write about) Writers and Writing.


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