No Wasted Ink Newsletter & Ramblecast - April 2023
April is National Poetry Month!
Welcome to the first monthly No Wasted Ink Newsletter and Ramblecast My name is Wendy Van Camp and I’m the Poet Laureate for the City of Anaheim, California. This newsletter and ramblecast is not affiliated with the city and is my own personal newsletter. All views stated here are my own.
It has been incredibly cold here in Southern California this past March. I can’t remember ever wearing sweaters this late in the year! My cat spends most of her time curled up on my electric foot warmer. She looks like a limp noodle, but seems pretty happy. Being an artist and writer, I’ve worked from home for the past twenty five years, first as an artisan jeweler and then later as a novelist, videographer, and illustrator. My main writing genre was always science fiction and fantasy. I became a poet almost by accident around eight years ago when on a whim, I took a scifaiku workshop at a local science fiction convention. Scifaiku is science fiction themed haiku. I was hooked. Somehow, speculative poetry has become my main form of writing and led to my becoming a poet laureate. But I love it and while I still write essays, short stories, and novels, I doubt I will ever stop writing poetry.
I hope you enjoy this first installment of the No Wasted Ink Newsletter and Ramblecast.
Yours in poetry,
Characters that Stick: The Importance of Voice, Personality, and Backstory
Let's talk about one of the most crucial aspects of writing fiction: characterization. It's creating characters that readers care about and relate to, and that's no easy task.
So, how do we do it? One key is to give our characters a unique voice, personality, and backstory. Think about it: what makes your characters stand out from the rest? Maybe it's their quirky sense of humor, or the way they use long words that nobody understands. Whatever it is, make it memorable.
Another important aspect of characterization is personality traits. We want our characters to have strengths and weaknesses, just like real people. By giving our characters distinct personalities, we can make them more interesting. This will drive the plot forward.
Backstory is also a crucial element of characterization. This is the character's personal history. It includes their family, upbringing, experiences, and significant life events. By fleshing out a character's backstory, we can understand their motivations and desires. Giving reasons why they behave the way they do to forward the plot.
Now, all this might sound like a lot of work, but it's worth it. Characters with depth and complexity are more engaging to readers. They can make our stories stand out from the crowd. Plus, as characters interact and face challenges, their personalities and motivations evolve.
So, there you have it. Characterization is a vital part of writing fiction, and with a little bit of effort and creativity, you can create characters that readers will remember long after they've finished the book.
This science fiction haiku poem first appeared in a magazine called “Far Horizons”. It was part of a series of scifaiku about immigration to Mars. Poem is by Wendy Van Camp.
April 4th - Proclamation for National Poetry Month at Anaheim City Council Chambers - I read a poem and announce the Anaheim Poetry Review to the City Council of Anaheim. City Council Meeting is always free to attend.
April 6th - Anaheim Open-Mic at Anaheim Central Library 5pm (reader)
April 8th-9th - The Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies (IASFS) (Virtual) - A pre-recorded excerpt of my academic paper ”Every Word Matters: Using Poetry Concepts To Enrich Your Prose” will be shown at this virtual conference. https://iasfs.in/
April 11th - Anaheim Poetry Review Launch Party at Anaheim Central Library 5pm (Editor, TV Producer, and MC) Public is welcome. Free to attend.
April 15th - AnaCon, a science fiction convention at Anaheim Central Library 11am to 4pm (Table signing and panel) Public is welcome. Free to attend.
April 14th to 16th - Flights of Foundry (Virtual) I am a panelist and moderator. I will also teach a workshop on speculative poetry at this international science fiction convention. Register for the event at flights-of-foundry.org.
Indie Author Magazine - February Issue - Top Ten: Twitter
The Flying Saucer Poetry Review - February Issue - Reprint of my poem series “Signs of Novel Technology” and the group Renku “Quantum Entanglements” (pushcart prize nom)(#1 Critters Reader Poll)
Medium - Scifaiku - Warp Drive
Medium - Scifaiku - Magnetotail
ConTinual - The Panel Room - Podcasting and Videocasting for Authors (Podcast)
LINKS TO SOCIAL MEDIA
Portfolio - http://wendyvancamp.com
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/author/wendyvancamp
Medium - https://medium.com/@wvancamp
Twitter - https://twitter.com/wvancamp
Instagram - https://instagram.com/nowastedink
Mastodon - https://me.dm/@wvancamp
The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z8HMPF2
The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OU1V45A
Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry
Volumes 1 - 3
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