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No Wasted Ink Newsletter & Ramblecast - August 2023
a newsletter and voiceover podcast by Poet Laureate Wendy Van Camp
Welcome to the 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.
A common question I am asked is “How do you do all that you do?” It is a fair question. I’m writing books, submitting poems, coordinating public events for my city, teaching, and setting up readings for myself and my speculative poet friends all over the United States. It can appear to be overwhelming on the outside.
For me, it is not overpowering at all. I am a planner and goal setter by nature.
How I do it is to visualize an idea of something I would love to do. Be an astronaut. Write a book. Produce and direct a movie like my idol George Lucas. I had heady dreams when I was young and no one there to guide me. I was a girl from a lower middle class family with parents who barely made it out of high school and teachers who did not see or encourage me. I did not see myself as a poet when I was young. While I did write some poetry in my childhood, my focus was more on novels and filmmaking.
Over the course of my life, I’ve fulfilled most of my childhood dreams, except to go into space as an astronaut, but who knows? Even that may come to pass someday as technology makes it easier for everyday people to transcend the atmosphere.
Once you visualize the goal, you find small steps to take you closer to it. When writing a book, you get an idea and then set out to write a rough draft, edit the book, and then go through the publishing process either as an indie author or via a more traditional route with a publisher.
In those steps, you realize you need to learn the writing craft, how to edit your work, how to set up a writing schedule and more. Nothing happens overnight and sometimes it only happens by sheer will. It is a lesson most writers and poets need to learn.
I hope you will look at all the small steps you need to take to accomplish your writing goals. Write your book, compose your poems, and let your creative soul go forth.
yours in poetry,
Developing Strong Characters: Tips for Creating Compelling Protagonists and Antagonists
Ah, the world of fiction, where our characters come to life and take us on journeys through their triumphs and tribulations. As authors, we hold the power to mold these characters to captivate readers and keep them turning pages late into the night. How do we do this feat? To breathe life into our protagonists and antagonists, make them jump off the page and into the hearts of our audience? I have a few tricks up my literary sleeve to share with you.
First, let’s talk about flaws. No, not the kind that makes your character trip over their own feet (unless that’s their thing), but the kind that makes them human. Flawed but relatable characters are the bread and butter of storytelling. They are the ones we root for, the ones we understand because they struggle like we do. So,sprinkle some imperfections into their personalities. Perhaps your protagonist has a fear of commitment, or your antagonist remains haunted by a traumatic event from their past. These flaws not only make them realistic, but also provide growth throughout your narrative.
Next, let’s delve into the depths of motivations and goals. Every character, be they hero or villain, should have a reason for their actions. It’s not enough to say your protagonist is out to save the world or that your antagonist wants to watch it burn. No. We need more meat on those bones! Dig deep and uncover the driving forces behind their choices. Maybe your protagonist is seeking to right the wrongs of their past. Or perhaps your antagonist is fueled by a thirst for power, driven by their desire to control and manipulate. Give your characters’ compelling motivations, form a foundation for their choices, to shape the course of your plot.
In the symphony of conflicting values and beliefs is where the real magic happens. When your protagonist’s principles clash with those of your antagonist, fireworks ensue. It’s like watching a verbal tennis match, with each player defending their position. Explore those gray areas, the moral dilemmas that force your characters to question their own beliefs. These clashes of ideologies create tension, raise the stakes of the story, and provide opportunities for character development. Plus, it keeps your readers on the edge of their seats, wondering which path your characters will choose.
Creating compelling protagonists and antagonists is an art form. It requires a delicate balance of strengths and weaknesses. To create motivations and goals to power conflicting values and beliefs. It’s about making your characters relatable and multi-dimensional. Which helps readers become emotionally invested in their stories.
Unleash your literary prowess and give birth to characters that will live on in the minds of your readers long after they’ve turned the last page. Happy writing. May your characters be as vibrant as the world you’ve created for them.
This science fiction haiku poem first appeared in a magazine called “The Starlight Scifaiku Review” in Spring of 2023. It was part of a series of scifaiku entitled “Cosmological Speed” and is about the study of the Earth’s movement through space. Poem is by Wendy Van Camp.
August 3rd - Anaheim Open-Mic at Anaheim Central Library 5pm (featured reader)
I will be reading a selection of my speculative and literary poetry at the Anaheim Open-Mic. My books will be available for purchase after the event.
August 12th - “Every Word Matters” an academic paper presentation and book signing by Poet Laureate Wendy Van Camp
Muezo, Anaheim, CA
August 23rd at 5pm - Prompts To Poetry – A Poetry Workshop
Euclid Library, Anaheim, CA
Bring your writing materials to this fun brainstorming session with Poet Laureate Wendy Van Camp. She will give you a series of literary fiction prompts and ask you to write the details for a poem in only a few minutes before moving on to the next prompt. Crazy? Maybe so, but this method of rapid ideation promotes high levels of creativity and helps keep the poet’s inner editor out of the creative process. Expect to create at least six new seeds of poetry that you can grow into a full poem by the end of the workshop. At the end, you may read your poem to the class.
Star*Line - scifaiku [reject mother’s hand]
AnaConZine 2023 - Three Random scifaiku poems
Many thanks to Editor Heath Row and to Krystal Rains
Slice of Cake: Interview of Wendy Van Camp by Claire Buss
Con-Tinual Special Event: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Con-Tinual: Fandom - Lost Conventions
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 - 4
Anaheim Poetry Review 2023
Free to Read: https://anaheimpoetry.com
Eye To The Telescope: Quests #46 - Fall 2022
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