Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Theory on Thursday with Fiona Palmer

My second fabulous Theory on Thursday guest is the absolutely delightful (yes, I know her and can account for this) Fiona Palmer. In fact, she's so nice, no one can hate her for getting her FIRST ever book published to the FIRST publisher she subbed too! Well, okay, I give you permission to hate her just a tincy little bit.


Now, without further ado, I'll hand over to the lovely Fiona Palmer, author of gorgeous rural fiction, The Family Farm and Heart of Gold published by Penguin!

My one and only craft book – Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver.

I was up to my neck writing my third book thinking I was getting better at this writing caper…but no, I was not as good as I hoped. I think you are always learning the craft of writing…especially for me as it takes me a long time to learn and remember things. But my publisher told me about this great book that I should read, and she’d wished she’d read it ten years ago. So straight away I ordered Immediate Fiction.

He wrote it in such a way I could easily follow and had many ‘light bulb’ moments. I must admit I hate reading books with information in them, anything that gets too technical, I switch off. Many of the times I’ll be reading a page and realise I didn’t take any of it in. But Jerry writes like a novel, he sucks me in and I’m nodding my head agreeing with him. I didn’t find it hard at all once I started.

He gives great examples, which for someone like me is very important. I need to see how it’s done and not just be told about it. (the whole in one ear out the other)

He goes on to say how important conflict is and not to avoid it. The amount of times I’ve glossed over a scene instead of having the characters ask each other the ‘harder’ questions we’ve been dying to hear, is a lot really. And it’s not until it’s pointed out do I see that they are the bits the reader wants to see.

He talks about Want, Obstacle, Action and Resolution. They are the dramatic movement and he goes into detail about each one so you really understand.

Also -It’s the thought that counts! The mind leads the body – When you feel emotions your body doesn’t react alone, your thoughts happen first. He has great pages on this with wonderful examples. Real in depth details on emotion.

Jerry also covers Point of View, rewriting, self editing. And stage/screen and marketing towards the end of the book (which I didn’t get too). But the rest of the book was well worth the read. I have markers and dog ears on all the great pages so I can go back and reinforce what I’d learned from him. I recommend this book to all my friends. J

Thanks so much for stopping by Fiona!! This book is currently on order for me from Booktopia and I'm expecting it any day. Can't wait.

Has anyone else read Immediate Fiction? Did it grip you as much as Fiona?

Check out Fiona's latest book Heart of Gold.

CJ Wishart is a hardworking country girl with a heart of gold but a life that can be tough. Her job as a wool classer is back-breaking, her family life is a disaster and, after a string of dating debacles, she's put men in the too-hard basket.

When strong, handsome Lindsay arrives on the scene as their new shearer, CJ can't help but take notice. They have an undeniable spark, but can she handle the complications and potential heartbreak of falling in love?

With help from her friend and an endearing old farmer, CJ learns that when you stay true to yourself and open your heart, anything is possible.

Set in the colourful world of the shearing sheds, this is a lively and uniquely Australian story of love overcoming adversity.


Cathryn Hein said...

I'm with you, Fiona. This is a great book. HIGHLY recommended and I'm definitely in the "wish I'd read this years ago" category. I have other craft books, but it's Immediate Fiction that has left the biggest impression.

Thanks Fiona and Rach. Another excellent post. Enjoying this series!

Anonymous said...

Hi ladies. Immediate Fiction is my number one reference book on the craft of writing too! It is just BRILLIANT and most importantly it is not boring. I, like Fiona, was nodding my head constantly in agreement.
Thanks for the great post ladies! :)

Mandy Magro said...

Sorry, the above comment was from me! Forgot to write who it was from...blonde moment :) :) Mandy

Anna Campbell said...

Waving madly at Rachael and Fiona! Fiona, thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't heard of that one (and I would have thought I'd heard of most craft books - they're a bit of an obsession!). Will definitely check it out!

Juliet Madison said...

Thanks for the book recommendation Fiona! I haven't heard of that one. I have many unfinished craft books, good stuff in them, but I often find them very long and hard to get into without feeling overwhelmed. I like something I can 'get' and start implementing right away.

Coleen Kwan said...

Is it my imagination or is Fiona the spitting image of the lovely heroine on her cover?

I've never heard of Immediate Fiction. Sounds like a good book!

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks Fiona for guesting today - I'm hanging out for this book's arrival in my post box!

Cathryn - glad you're enjoying the segment :)

Mandy - lovely to have you here with another recommendation for Immediate Fiction.

Anna - waving madly back :) I hear ya on the craft book obsession. HEnce this segment!

Juliet - like you I have many unfinished too. I have the obsession like Anna but I rarely read them enough to use them well!

LOL Colleen! Very good observation. But I don't think Fee was the model!

scarlet wilson said...

But it looks SO like her! Not heard of this book, so will go and look it up!

Helene Young said...

Thanks, ladies, for another lovely post and recommendation. I've ordered my copy now!

My agent had recommended Immediate Fiction as well but I hadn't got round to chasing it down...

Fiona Lowe said...

Fiona, thanks for the rec! I hadn't heard of it either but it sounds like it has some great 'nuts and bolts' writing craft in it.
LOVE your cover and of course your wonderful Aussie stories.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Rach and Fiona,
I have never heard of Immediate Fiction. Who is the author?

btw, I've read both of your novels Fiona, Loved them. :)

Fiona palmer said...

Wow I can't believe so many haven't read it yet. Well i hope you all get something out of it like i did. Thanks so much for having me Rach.
Coleen thanks...i wish lol.

Louise Reynolds said...

Thanks for the great review, Fiona. I'm joining the queue to buy this book. Hadn't heard of it either :-)
And I think your heroine on the cover certainly does look a lot like you.

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks everyone for popping by. My copy of this wonderful book arrived today, so looking forward to getting stuck into it this weekend :)

Thanks again for coming Fee!

Fiona Palmer said...

No worries Rach, I feel very special to be here. And wow at all the comments :) I'd been flat out and hadn't been able to comment earlier, sorry. (I have a burnt face from the sports carnival on friday, racoon eyes now lol) Looking forward to next thursdays blog :)

Nas Dean said...

Hi Rachael, Hello Fiona,

Lovely to 'meet' you!

Thanks for the great review, sounds interesting. Would definitely be checking this one out!

Bec said...

Love a good craft book. Will have to go look this one up!