Monday, June 29, 2015

EMBRACE YOUR ART - YOUR WAY - JUST LIKE CHARGAUX!

So I just came across the very cool duo, CHARGAUX.  Yes, they are the COOLEST.  I rarely buy music and I immediately got the whole album.  These girls are the bomb and they do things their way.  When writing, it's just as important to respect your own unique voice.  Let these girls inspire you and WRITE THE WAY YOU WANT TO!

FIVE TIPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS

Below is my interview with UCLA Extension's wonderful Writers Program.  I teach my infamous 'Write a Novel in 10 Weeks' there and absolutely love it.  Great program, great staff and fabulous students.  In the interview you get some of my top tips.

SIGN UP FOR CLASS HERE



New-to-the-Wp’ instructor Tempany Deckert is one of those multitalented artists that is blessed with the ability to both write well and speak well. In addition to being an author of 18 middle grade and young adult novels, she is also a formally trained actress and motivational speaker. And while she won’t teach you to recite Shakespeare or speak to a crowd of hundreds, in her fall course she will guide you through completing a novel in 10 weeks (no easy feat). Read on to learn more about Tempany, writing quickly, and the joy of working with an editor.
Writers’ Program: Tell us how you first got into writing. Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to be a novelist, or did you dabble in other forms before it clicked?
Tempany Deckert: At 13 I was extremely lucky to join a ‘gifted’ young writers group. Not only did we skip regular school to write and listen to each others’ stories, we also met professional novelists who showed us how they worked. It was very inspiring and illuminating to see into the professional world of a novelist at such a young age. But I was told in school that creative writing was not a real job so I abandoned the idea and became a professional actress. A much more secure profession! It wasn’t until a short playwriting course appeared within my acting school curriculum that writing came back into my life. From there I’ve never stopped. Novels are my main genre but occasionally I write plays, screenplays and animated TV scripts.
Wp': In your fall course, you’ll be guiding students through the process of writing a novel in 10 weeks. How do you approach what seems like an impossible and daunting task?
TD: Writing a novel is seen as a very romantic endeavor, and that is why so many people rarely complete one. It’s really about having a plan, sticking to it, and not quitting. It’s a bullheaded, fearless and determined dive into the unknown. My exercises, homework and structure make sure you don’t get lost and give up when writing no longer feels ‘romantic’. It’s very much like renovating a house–many of the activities are creative and satisfying, but several are horrible, boring, hard and exhausting. I’m the project manager who keeps you going when the going gets tough.
Wp': As a prolific writer, how do you know when a novel is “done”?
TD: It’s done when I can no longer work on it and it bores me to tears. This is also why I encourage new writers to write fast. If you spend years on a book, you will often lose interest and find it hard to complete. I also always give myself a time frame to complete my work. That makes me write to a deadline and doesn’t give me a chance to continuously rewrite. The fact of the matter is, a writer can always keep writing–it canalways be better. But you must release your work to the world and let it be shared. Plus, working with an editor is such a joy. I love editors! They bring to life elements of your book that were previously buried or confused. It’s lovely to collaborate after so much time writing on your own. You only get to experience working with an editor when you give up working by yourself. So that is also a great incentive to be ‘done’.
Wp': Do you ever miss your characters when you move on to the next project?
TD: I feel like all my characters continue to live on even when I’m not writing about them. I do miss them. Once I cried when I finished reading a book I’d written because I didn’t want the character to go away. Crazy and slightly embarrassing.
Wp': Who are some of the writers that inspire you most? Do you have any “go-tos” for inspiration?
TD: I love books and have several literary heroes. Chekov and Tolstoy are my oldies and Haruki Murakami, Lily Brett and Tom Robbins are consistent favorites. Lately I have been inspired by Maria Semple, Reif Larsen, Marisha Pessl, David Benioff, John Green and Markus Zusack. I am also very inspired by playwrights and think my friend, Martin McDonagh, is a modern master of the written word. Generally I love writers who have a nice little edge of comedy to their writing along with hopeful innocence.
If you have any questions about the course or would like general advising, please call the Writers’ Program at 310-825-9415.
SIGN UP FOR CLASS HERE
Katy Flaherty is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite). Write to her atkflaherty@uclaextension.edu.

Friday, January 16, 2015

INTROVERTS ARE AWESOME…AND NEEDED!

A lot of writers and great creators are introverts.  Many of us, including myself, have felt guilty about being an introvert and struggled against our natural impulses to spend a lot of time on our own.  'Join in', 'be social', 'don't be a wallflower' etc etc are all things us introverts have been told over and over.  Now listen to this amazing TED talk about why being an introvert is not only OK, but fantastic.  Yay!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GO SEE MY PLAY - NOVEMBER 8TH, MIDDAY, 2014 @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE, SYDNEY

Very excited the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney is reading my play, For Goodness Sakey, on November 8th at midday.  If you'd like to be part of the audience, book your tickets fast.  There will be a Q and A afterwards and hopefully, the power of the internet will beam me in from Los Angeles to be part of the fun.



ENSEMBLE STAGES Spring Reading 2014

POSTED ON 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2014

Be part of the creative process…


It’s time for 2014’s Ensemble Stages Spring Reading! Come along and be part of the very first audience to hear a new Australian script read by a stellar bunch of actors, then contribute to a discussion about your response to the piece: what you liked, what you didn’t and what changes might be made. We are very excited to present a reading of:


FOR GOODNESS SAKEYBy Tempany Deckert


It’s 1975. Australia’s attachment to Mother England is slowly loosening. But not everyone likes the change.
After suffering a breakdown, conservative history teacher, Max, finds himself hired as a private tutor for Gigi, the daughter of infamous art darlings who’ve raised their child on a regime of atheism and rebellion. The subject: Australian history. But, whose history?
In a world where adults have their noses pressed firmly up against the canvas, Gigi must find a way to step back to a place of safety, a place of control, to force those around her to appreciate the work of art she has been creating all along.



About the playwright

Tempany Deckert tells stories in many mediums. She grew up in Australia as a household name on the television drama, HOME AND AWAY, but soon fell in love with writing after studying at the prestigious HB Playwrights Studio in New York City. She is the author of 18 young adult novels, several optioned teleplays and currently holds a coveted teaching position at UCLA’s Extension Writing Program in Los Angeles, California. FOR GOODNESS SAKEY is her first full-length play.


Details
 

Directed by: Jo-Anne Cahill
Cast includes: Chloe Bayliss, Michelle Doake and Lynden Jones
Date: Saturday 8th November 2014
Time: 12pm
Location: Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St Kirribilli NSW 2061
Running time: 3 hours approximately (including read and feedback session)
Tickets: $12 / $10
Bookings: Box Office (02) 9929 0644


Flex your creative muscles.
Lend us your analytical ears.
Help take a work of art to the next level.


Friday, August 29, 2014

ARE YOU GUILTY OF THE BIGGEST EXCUSE?


I've heard it before and I'll hear it again - I don't have enough time to write.  RUBBISH.  This is the MAIN reason people don't complete a novel.  If you are guilty of muttering this lame excuse, stop it right now and never utter those silly words ever again.  If you have time to watch TV, check Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or watch House of Cards on Netflix, you have time to write.  You just aren't choosing it to write.  Single mothers with full time jobs write novels, lawyers who work fifteen hour days write novels, teenagers who are studying for the SATs write novels.  If they can find time to write, so can you.  It's all about learning how to schedule your time and be DISCIPLINED.  The time excuse is just a delaying tactic - you're terrified your work is awful - it's safer if it stays in your head than actually land on a computer where someone might read it and say, that's awful!  But the cold harsh truth is that your work has to start out bad before it will ever become good.  So turn off House of Cards, disconnect your internet and start writing.  Badly.  Because that will make you feel better than uttering 'I don't have enough time' ever again.  Trust me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WRITE A NOVEL IN 10 WEEKS

I'll be teaching my next WRITE A NOVEL IN 10 WEEKS course at UCLA EXTENSION this Fall.  Click the link below to sign up.  Only 15 spots available.

Friday, August 1, 2014

EGO KILLS THE STORY

I'm always saying that everyone has a good story to tell.  But the difference between a captivating story - one that pulls the heart strings and makes you feel something - is far removed from a well written tale.  What is the magic ingredient that separates the two? Ego.  If you are writing to impress, change the world or show-off how clever you are, the story will not land.  Conversely, if you write from the heart, from feelings that are real and genuine, the reader will pick up on it and feel those things too.  
So next time you write, check in with yourself.  Ask some questions.  Am I writing this to be clever and funny?  Or am I writing this because I'm trying to discover an answer in life that is eluding me?  When we search for answers, we are being authentic.  We are connecting to the human experience.  And consequently, we write things that people understand, believe and can relate to.  Go forth!  Write without ego and see the difference in your work.