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Building a Writing Community: A Chat with Paul Butler

Posted by on 17 December, 2012

As I’ve said in earlier posts, I approached novel writing arse backwards.

Once I had an 80k manuscript written, I realized very quickly I needed to learn the craft. The story part was easy, learning the technical side of it was a mountain I’d yet to climb. I approached our local writers association, the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) and through them discovered a local writer giving back to his community by offering workshops on various aspects of technical writing. I’ve done a few of these now and, am pretty sure, Paul Butler has not seen the last of me. 🙂

Novelist, teacher, and friend, Paul has an uncanny ability to help you see right to the heart of any block your work in progress might pose. I spoke with Paul recently and asked him to tell us a little about what the upcoming year will bring from HB Creativity and of his proud moments from 2012.

Paul Butler: HB Creativity specializes in two kinds of courses, both centered on that marathon of the literary form — the novel! We’re presently gearing up to begin again in 2013. One course is an eight unit online course, which can take a couple of months or much longer depending on the pace and work schedule of the writer participant. The participant sends in an extract, gets a very detailed critique covering every aspect of the work including style, character, tense, point of view, how the piece likely will affect the proposed structure of the novel etc. The other is a small class, intensive live 8 week workshop series. Another of these is about to begin in February 2013.

2012 was a very gratifying year as many fine clients’ projects coming to fruition. Lesleyanne Ryan’s Braco (Breakwater Books) which she has been published and has deservedly garnered top reviews. Linda Abbott’s The Loss of the Marion (Flanker Press) has also had a tremendous response both critically and commercially and is already in a second printing. Tara Nanayakkara’s Priya’s World (Inanna press) is a special work of tenderness and insight and has been given a great sendoff in Toronto, Halifax and St. John’s. It’s wonderful to see these, and other, talented, hardworking writers getting the success they deserve!

Still looking for that perfect gift for the writer in your life? Check out the fabulous workshops and learn more about Paul’s novels on his website.

2 Responses to Building a Writing Community: A Chat with Paul Butler

  1. David L. Benson

    “The Loss of the Marion” is not historical fiction by any definition. It is so wildly inaccurate, anachronistic and silly in all matters pertaining to history, geography, culture, transportation and language that one wonders whether the author chose to be deliberately contrary. The book is one more badly written Newfoundland fantasy, based, not on history, but on ignorance.

    • katerobbins

      Hi David, thanks for stopping by. I haven’t read ‘The Loss of the Marion’ and so cannot comment on it one way or the other. I’m certain the author, like any, would be interested in your comments though, however I do not have the contact information to share with you.

      From my perspective, I don’t mind a little fiction thrown in with my history. I try to do my best to get my time period accurate, use appropriate language, clothing, politics. From there I don’t mind if I create a main character who wasn’t the owner of a certain title at the time. Setting and backdrop should be historically accurate (within reason), the people placed there and how they reacted to the events around them is the fiction. Still, I think different authors veer from historical accuracy in different ways.

      Again, thanks for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger. 🙂

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