Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 193 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis


Ventura Breeze Publisher Sheldon Brown to Explain
How and Why He Founded the Newspaper
When He Addresses VCWC on August 13
His story proves you are never too old to start something new

(Ventura, CA – July 18, 2013) Ventura Breeze publisher Sheldon Brown will be the guest speaker at the Ventura County Writers Club August 13 meeting at the Pleasant Valley Senior Center in Camarillo at 7 PM. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Brown attended the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. He became an architect and a general building contractor, and in 1968 opened a private practice. He is now retired from his practice.

On October 24, 2007, he and his daughter Staci started a local newspaper, Ventura Breeze, to keep Ventura County residents informed regarding community events, happenings, and news. In its sixth year, the Breeze has a distribution of 11,000 papers delivered to about 600 locations.

Brown will share why, without any prior knowledge of writing or of the newspaper business, he decided to start the paper and how he accomplished it. He will discuss the good things that he has learned and a few of the hard lessons. He will also talk about his belief that a person is never too old to do anything he wants to do.

Brown has lived in Ventura for 16 years; with his dog, Professor Scamp, for 12 years; with Savana the cat for three years; and with his wife of 25 years, Diana.. He has been an instructor at West LA College and Ventura College extension. He has also taught for Lake Arrowhead Parks and Recreation. He is an avid tennis player.

The evening’s presentation promises to be inspiring to all attending; no matter your age, it is good to be reminded that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

The evening’s opening act will be Shlomo Kritzer and Neal Shapiro reading selected stories they have written. At the beginning of the meeting, the club will elect new officers for it’s 80th year.


August Meeting of the Ventura County Writers Club
August 13, 2013
Pleasant Valley Senior Center,
1605 Burnley St., Camarillo, CA
Topic: How and Why I Started a Newspaper
Open to members and non-members. No fee.

For more information on the Ventura County Writers Club, visit:




The perspective you choose to tell your story from, or the point of view, is just as important as the characters, setting, and plot. Why? Someone has to tell the story and that someone's telling will color the entire narrative. What you offer the readers can be thought of as a wide angle or narrow focus. This means they will either be given lots of details about a number of characters, covering a vast period of time and different subjects, or you will hone in on one person, in the here and now, undertaking a limited endeavor. Sometimes you will be intentionally hazy and out of focus and other times you will be razor sharp.
There are three types of point of view:
First person. This is a narrator who is quite frequently, but not always in the story. The I, me, my viewpoint. This was especially well done by Ernest Hemingway.
Second person. This is the story being told as if seen through the readers eyes. "You stand outside the door listening for any noise inside the room." This approach bugs some readers because they feel as if you're bossing them around. Scarcity of imagination is a real bitch. No?
Third person. "The good old, 'fly-on-the-wall', approach." This is also referred to as the 'omniscient' or all seeing voice. Here the narrator can get into the thoughts of the characters, not just obvious visible actions and cause and effect.
First person brings a sense of immediacy to the story. Often, the narrator will even let you in on why they are telling the story. Perhaps to exonerate themselves or to justify a harsh action. In first person, the narrator's trustworthiness is something readers must establish for themselves. Maybe everything you are being told is solid gold truth, and maybe the teller of the tale is leading you astray for their own purpose.
The second choice, being lead astray, can be a trick to pull off. If the narrator proves too unreliable in what they impart, the reader may tire of the game and give up on the story altogether. Sometimes, though, a reliable narrator is a boring goody-goody who holds nothing back and has none of the humanizing flaws we've discussed before.
A reliable narrator is just that. They may filter what they describe through their own biases, but you can pretty well match what they say to reality. If you want a true and faithful guide for your readers then you should make your narrator as reliable as possible. A good example of this is Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories. A man of superlative memory and eye for detail even if he has a case of hero worship where Holmes is concerned.
Unreliable narrators may have substance abuse problems, be drunks, or deranged. They might just have shady motives for revealing things the way they do. Maybe they're after revenge or are so overcome by anger they cannot see the facts in a clear and truthful light. It is best to find a way to let your reader know that your narrator isn't on the up an up right away so they can treat what they are being told as slanted. If your narrator is trying to steer the reader or promote his/her own agenda, this is the way to go. Take a look at Edgar Allen Poe's, "THE TELLTALE HEART", for an excellent example of this technique.
We'll take a look at second and third person tomorrow., love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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