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Mid Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: this week writers abroad

A little late, but here is a snapshot of what's happening on WA this week:

Laura has supplied us with lots of motivation for our Monday Musing, so if you need a little inspiration check them out.

Nicola's Blog on the use of English or American is promotoing lots of discussion. (And she's also updated her profile picture and is looking fab!)

Our WA meeting was very well chaired by Dianne on Sunday, the notes are up in the Meeting Room so if you couldn't attend, check them out for news on the WA Mag.

Alyson and Jill have submitted October Challenges, so if you have a mo, please provide some feedback - it's on my to-do list for today!

The Bragging Stool is being warmed by Paola who has yet another story published in The Oldie

And we're nearly into November, the drastic drop in temperature here has left us with heavy head colds so please excuse the rather dull summary. Happy Writing!


English vs American
Category: Writing

While most of my characters are English and my stories are usually set in the UK,  my publisher is American, my editor is American, and most of my readers are American (if my crappy sales on are anything to go by.) Early on, my editor suggested (but in no way insisted) that I use American English. It’s never bothered me and not something I feel particularly strongly about, and so I agreed.

I’ve had to become aware of the differences between American English and what we speak back home. It’s not just spelling, like realised and realized, but also actual words. We have lifts, Americans have elevators, we have pavements they have sidewalks. Pubs are bars, cafes are diners, and boots are trunks.

And it goes deeper, to the food we eat and the way we celebrate certain festivals. Halloween for instance is a huge holiday in the US, not so much in the UK. Though that’s changing as we get bombarded by the influences from abroad.

The same with language. I watch so much American TV that I reckon I speak pretty good American now (though I don’t think that works so much the other way around—I don’t think Americans watch quite so much UK TV) and words are being integrated into everyday language all the time. I’ve got to the point when I’m not always sure whether something is “American” or if it’s “English.” Luckily, I have some American crit partners who are happy to point out the errors of my ways (What’s a jumper, Nicola?)

Then this week I got my latest edits in for my third Brazen book, Taking Control. My editor said that I should add some English flavor and could I drop in a few typically English phrases here and there. It’s not that easy…it's a balance because it has to be things the American readers will recognize as British rather than things that make them think… what is she going on about?

I asked my American crit partners and they suggested “bangers and mash” but I just couldn’t fit it into the story. I’m still working on it…

So what do you think? Should we preserve the English language in all its unadulterated glory or would you be quite happy to have your English people riding in elevators or walking on sidewalks? 

This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

Knowledge Oasis School

May knowledge spout forth like a builders hose spraying sand off a concrete patio.  Another dramatic week at the Knowledge Oasis School unfolds. It turns out that the long-term staff, (pyramid plasterers), have successfully got rid of three Principals and are doing their best to oust the present one. We are all incarcerated in an unfinished block of flats overlooking a Shell petrol pump and a roundabout. Anyway, through the grid of a mobile phone mast I can see distant palms.

The staffroom is buzzes with Machiavellian intrigue. Pupils are dropping off like flies. One boy said that he prayed for a girl to leave and she did. My class was cancelled when they didn't show. A baldy sargeant major dominates morning assembly and yells at the new 'conscripts'. To be honest, it's very entertaining.

Turning to more peaceful pursuits, Vanessa's blog contains useful tips about public speaking and meeting the author. It is a remarkable achievement to write a novel, promote it at a book launch and scaringly give a presentation at the Parisot Literary festival. Well done, Vanessa.

Alyson has posted a link in Bits and Bobs from Prima magazine which is looking for stories about real-life experiences. Don't hold back on your overseas adventures.

Nicola's latest book is really going strong – huge congrats again for her prestigious and successful output.

Finally, Vesna has given us the opportunity to get writing with inspirational prompts. You can take your pick from architectural design, a parable about wealth and happiness, key words. There are various photos of a stunning pink tree, cutesy pug, empty shell, and Hollywood starlet making an impression. No time like the present to let the muse flow.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Mid Week on Writers Abroad
Recent Blog Posts
English vs American
Posted by Nicola

While most of my characters are English and my stories are usually set in the UK,  my publisher is American, my editor is American, and...Read More

Rolling in the Aisles: Giving an Author Talk
Posted by Vanessa Couchman

I wouldn’t say they were exactly doing that at last weekend’s Parisot (SW France) Literary Festival, but I did make the audience laugh a few...Read More

Losing the Muse
Posted by Paola Fornari

Four weeks into our new posting in Accra, I came across this paragraph in a blog post:

 There are so many perks to this...Read More

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