“After decades of feature writing for newspapers, and teaching journalism, I decided to move to fiction. I enrolled in a creative writing program at a great university, planning to learn how to write short stories. Forced to do a course NOT in one’s chosen field as well, I chose the novel…came up with a story, got honors and even found an agent based on the first chapter and outline. I was hooked. But as I slogged through the writing and rewriting of a first draft, I realized it wasn’t working. It lacked tension – even the fast pace that I’d thought would come easily.
I was ready to quit. That’s when I was introduced to editor Dr. Julia Stroud. Being a psychologist as well as an editor, Julia is the first ‘teacher’ who has succeeded in showing me basic techniques in order for the author to “inhabit the characters”, to bring their motivations, inner struggles, fears etc. to life. Julia gives me practical tools, which allow me to effectively engage the reader, put him/her right into the action and keep them there.
Julia’s expertise as a psychologist also provides me with reality checks on the plot (i.e. believable human behavior). Finally, is also a true pleasure to do creative brainstormings with Julia during which she helps me to see elements of the plot that impede the story and those which deserve more time and space. Best of all, we often come up with great new ideas together. Working with Julia is wonderful! I am still at it.”
Brenda Zosky Proulx
Novel in progress