Thursday, June 23, 2016

Visiting Author Annalisa Crawford

Greetings. My friend Annalisa has a new book out. I asked her to stop by and tell us about her writing. I started her off with a tough question:

Rate the importance/emphasis of these literary elements in your writing, (1 being meh, 10 orgasmic): setting, character, plot, action, description

Hi Mac, great question. Right…

Setting: 3. To be honest, setting is one of the things that I add in later, usually at the request of an editor who can’t visualize the scene! Most of the time, it’s just not that important to me—most of my stories could probably happen in a vacuum.

Character: 10. Yes, the most important element, to me. One of the stories I wrote a few years ago started out as a conversation between two women. There were no speech tags, no action, just dialogue—I wanted to see if I could tell a story by the conversation alone. Eventually, I rounded it out to submit it, but it was an interesting experiment that I would like to try again.

Plot: 8. My plot usually comes from my characters, but it’s obviously important, because it’s why readers keep reading. You can have interesting characters, but if they don’t have a reason for being together, there’s no story.

Action: 6-ish. I think action is important in genre fiction a lot more than in the gap I’ve slipped into. My characters are more likely to discuss why that action was important than to take part in it.


Description: 7. I probably find description much more important as a reader than as a writer. I remember some of my favourite books because of the beautiful words the author used to convey the setting and the characters. As I grow as a writer, this is becoming more important. A competition judge once said I conveyed an awful lot in what I didn’t say. That remains one of my favourite compliments.


You. I. Us.
Publication date: June 10, 2016
Genre: Short Stories (Single Author)


In You. I. Us., Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during  poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely on in a moment of crisis, a group of middle-aged friends inspire each other to live remarkable lives.

Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”


About the author
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child.

www.annalisacrawford.com

9 comments:

  1. Congratulations Annalisa. Character is key for me as a reader. I don't have to like the character, but I do have to wonder what they will do next - and care.

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    1. I've read so many books where I just didn't care, I hope I've learnt how to do it effectively :-)

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  2. Thanks for hosting me today. Your question really got me thinking :-)

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  3. Hey Annalisa. I'm with you on setting. I always get asked to be more descriptive. If I like a character I will read every book they appear in.

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    1. I always seem to slow down when I have to add too much description. Other authors handle it so well.

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  4. I think your number code was pretty accurate. Character does rule, but I admit I like when the setting is almost a character (think of Hogwarts). On that note, I'm horrible at setting. It's got to be the right mix. You know what? Writing is darn hard to do!

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    1. One of my favourite novels is set in New Orleans, and that seems to be a character in its own right too. That book made me work harder on setting, but not that hard :-)

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  5. Ooh what an interesting question. Character is usually first for me!

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  6. Your characters tell you all you need to know about your story, if you listen to them.

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