Thursday, April 05, 2012

Chichester Writing Festival - Part Three

As I mentioned yesterday I was nervous...I was going to be on a panel with three other writers - Shelley Harris, Adele Parks and Jane Sanderson and with Greg Mosse entitled Fiction-True- Because I Say So. Yesterday's post gave you the gist of the panel on non-fiction and I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about our panel except that it well received...and people were surprised at how supportive we all were of each other...

Just after lunch we had a panel on What They Want. The panellists were Felicity Bryant-agent, Jon Wood - publishing director at Orion and Stewart Ferris - co-founder of Summersdale Publishing and author. I took only a few notes and quite frankly they aren't much use to me or anyone except the stats from Orion that Jon quoted...

20% of all sales at Orion are from ebooks and it's higher in the SciFi at about 40-50%...he also commented that he doesn't just 'buy' a book but the author (not sure I phrased that correctly but I hope you can get the idea)

There were two great sessions in the afternoon but I was too drained to write notes...again appologies.

However a glass of wine or two and a meal I was able to take notes for Kate Mosse's wonderful interview with Joanna Trollope...after  an exhausting day I doubt these are very reliable but here they are...

KM – The writers who are benevolent last – they love people
Story is how we do things – very keen on it
You can be far too young to write but never too old
Nothing new about the human condition – she had something to say to her generation – she has a voice
Her earliest novel wasn’t brave enough – didn’t push it far enough…The Choir
She listens to the world – what are the zietgiests, chronic eavesdropper
She starts with the story idea then characters…comes in a patchwork of characteristics…roams through the press for names until something fits
Plots the first 25k then plots the end – but then lets the rest develop organically
More of a notice rather than a writer, not a stylist, good on a good day, internal process – a journey that will last
The spectacles through which we see the world – are words – where we feel most at hom
Writing is about humanity
She wrote the first novel on a full tank of fuel but the doesn’t have the accumulated rocket fuel – a responsibility to the readers, more skill and assurance
Believe a degree of vulnerability and anxiety is vital
Conscious of creative engineering to make characters different and reflective of her own reactions

How do you feel about being too young to write? I tend agree but on Sunday one of the writers was just 27...maybe it depends on what you are writing and who for????


KMLockwood said...

Thank you for these notes - it was a great weekend. The youngest writer was David Whitley - and he writes ( as I do at 51) for young people. My post is focused on the aspects of the CWF that helped me in that role - so I was glad to read your different perspective.

liz fenwick said...

I really enjoyed your post and found your perspective interesting...I never felt there was any difference in writing for children except that children are tougher critics...if the writing and story aren't good and don't have them from page one then they don't go any readers may give a book a bit more time- sometimes :-)