Sunday, 25 October 2015

Facts & Digressions in Fiction: Prose Workshop with Helen Hagemann, Friday 30th October. Class to read three extracts from Honey Brown's Red Queen. A writing exercise on "digression" and discussion will revolve around creating space for facts and digressions, esp. Brown's limited facts.

1.00pm - 3.00pm: Room 3, Upstairs, FAC North Wing
OOTA $20 - NON-OOTA $25

I Digress
For certain kinds of readers and writers, the best part of any book (often literary, though not always) is not a moment of supreme tension or complex gathering of plot strands. It’s an astute observation or unexpected description—some digressive phrase or passage that the writer seemed to pluck out of thin air. Yet when we sit down to write, we’re often overwhelmed with the practical necessities of motivation and plot and momentum and, as a result, find ourselves barreling down a straight line. The problem, we realise, is that we don’t know how to step off that line. [from Read to Write Stories]

Entering Story Facts or Events
Story events may take your character to a new physical locale or to a new psychological place. Red Queen is a psychological thriller, H.M. Brown (Honey Brown) and therefore steers us away from the biological facts of a deadly virus; the often touted "too much information." We know it is deadly in her portrayal of corpses and decaying bodies. 'I stepped down from the rock and onto the body of the man. He was on his back, his chest pushed up from something under him, his arms hanging either side, his legs twisted and caught in undergrowth.'
Reviews: The lack of details surrounding the virus itself and the lack of knowledge about how it came to be is hardly distracting as the reality of the situation through Shannon's eyes suggests that these are not details that should be expected to be known. 
"There is not so much focus on the Red Queen virus other than it is out there and is the reason for isolation and the danger that the introduction of an unknown person represents. Her descriptions of the Australian bush that surrounds the cabin are so clear that you can see, hear and sadly sometimes smell the action." [from Books and Musings from Downunder]

Honey Brown lives in country Victoria, Australia. She is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novels Red Queen (winner of the Aurealis Award), The Good Daughter (longlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award), After the Darkness, Dark Horse (winner of the 2014 Davitt Award) and Through the Cracks (shortlisted for the 2015 Davitt Award).
Honey began writing novels in 2000. Before settling down she worked and lived in various remote places throughout Australia. She spent her childhood in Tasmania, growing up in a convict-built house. In her late-twenties she was involved in a farm accident, and now lives with the challenges of a spinal injury. Her most recent release, Six Degrees, a collection of erotic short stories, is available in bookstores now. She is currently working on her sixth psychological thriller.


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