The annual Bookworm International Literary Festival is in full swing here in Beijing. Authors such as David Sedaris (Barrel Fever, Naked, Squirrel seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary, etc.), Peter Hessler (River Town: Two years on the Yantze, Country Driving: A journey through China from farm to factory, etc.) and A Yi (Gray Stories 灰故事 and Bird Saw Me 鸟看见我了), are visiting The Bookworm for talks, workshops and literary dinners.
This event became a sold-out success due to the hard work of the people at The Bookworm and the fact that we are
very a bit isolated in Beijing when it comes to networking opportunities for aspiring authors. The festival is like an oasis in the desert and people have been known to get quite giddy at events (and not from the wine).
During the past week, I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a Characterization Workshop, presented by Priya Basil (Ishq and Mushq and The Obscure Logic of the Heart).
This workshop came at exactly the right time, as I am editing my novel and have realised that my main character needs some ‘oomph’. How is she going to save the world if she is so damn nice all the time? The workshop helped me realise that I have not lived in her head enough. I needed to worm my way in there and set up camp for a while.
(Sorry Honey, I’m going to be a bit more absent than usual for the next few days. Just wipe the drool from my chin every once in a while, if you don’t mind. Thanks, love you!)
However, the proverbial light went on when Priya encouraged us to trust our intuition and have the confidence that we are writing a good story. There is a lot of advice ‘out there’, but it is important that you realise that not everything is going to work for you. At some point you have to
stop obsessing take a deep breath, sit down and write.
So, I’ve got my camping gear and am ready to go and create some kick-ass attitude for a girl who seriously needs it. Let’s go save the world!