The writer’s academy at Daystar University had its third session on Saturday February 1, 2014. Participants were treated to a cocktail of seasoned authors, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Toni Onita Michama and Alex Nderitu. This week the session was all about developing a good story idea. An idea is defined by the Oxford advanced learners Dictionary as a plan, thought or suggestion especially about what to do in a particular situation.
Everyone who has a conviction that they are writers must have a story to tell. The big question is how do you come up with a story idea, sustain it and remain interesting throughout a book?
Yvonne Adhiambo author of Dust and a Caine Price for African writing winner of 2003 said that you have to kill the voice that tells you it is not good enough and write on. Yes she also goes through similar influences of perfection, probably due to the Kenyan system of education that aims for nothing short of perfect. That’s the reason why it took a longer time to release her first novel which won her the award. Yvonne said that an author needs to hold on to a book until they are satisfied that what they are releasing is satisfactory to them. She also said that ideas are chameleons, so one has to flow with and not be tense about them. You have to let the characters speak and you should get out of the way of your story.
Toni Mochama last year’s Burt Award for Literature winner and among the three African authors to be awarded the Miles Moorland scholarship for writers this year through his upcoming novel about Nairobi in 2063, and a columnist for the Standard Media Group said that we are privileged to live in a country that has a lot of drama happening. From politicians who think that single women should not be leaders to mysterious murders. This stuff, he said is good manure for novels. He also said that publishers do not care about pitiful stories that are told every time in Africa. One can tell a sad story in an appealing way.
Alex Nderitu the E-Books guru and author of innovative titles like Kiss Commander promise and The Moon is Made of Green Cheese said that catchy titles attract the eyes. A book is judged by the cover and title so as a writer; one should avoid boring titles that could send people to sleep. He reiterated the fact that every author has been stressing- a good writer must be an avid reader. He was the first Kenyan author to release an E-book in 2001.
The Creative Academy is the place to be as an aspiring author. Come next Saturday from 8 am at Daystar Valley road Allen Groove campus and let your ideas flow.