My Writing Workshop

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I grew up with a Mom who was always explaining things. I rarely had to ask "Why?" because behind every "We're going to do this." was a "Here's why!". Eventually I would meet people and teachers who despised my obsession with "WHY". These people taught me to keep track of my questions and seek out the answers on my own.

When I decide to try something new or to get better at something I've been working at for a while, I always take a step back to consider my questions. My questions usually revolve around "Why?" and "How?" which both make great starting places for learning.

Resolving to start working on a novel meant that I had some serious learning to do. I had an idea of WHAT I wanted to write, but I had lots of questions to answer before I was ready to sit down at my writing table. Out of my curiosity on the process of novel writing, a workshop was born. I didn't plan it out beforehand, I just kept my eyes open for things that might be helpful and ended up stumbling upon resource after resource.

Here they are, organized by category:

Video Series

Story Structure with Dan Wells  2

There are five videos in this series. You can get through all five in about an hour. One of my greatest weaknesses in writing fiction is the plotting process. Basically, prior to watching Wells' videos,  I didn't have one. Now I do!


7 Habits To Reach Your Writing Goals with Jerry B. Jenkins 3

Right around the time I decided to get writing, I came across  those two webinars. Both authors are working on building an online community, so I have a feeling that they will be offering both sessions again in a few months. In the meantime, you can check out a post  that Emily wrote, this list of books on writing, as well as Jerry's articles on writing.


The Portable MFA in Creative Writing 6

The Art of X-Ray Reading 8

Mary Higgins Clark's advice was to always be learning more about writing, especially in the beginning. I came across the first book at the library and knew it was the perfect tool to get me going. Some of the examples in this book are not very savory, but the exercises and explanations are great. The second book JUST came in at the library, so I'm excited to dig into that next.


First Drafts and Advice For Writers with Neil Gaiman 1

Conversation with Mary Higgins Clark for more from her go HERE 5

Writing Process of Roald Dahl 7

I am always listening when writers talk about writing and especially when they talk about their personal writing routine. I'm more apt to pay close attention when it's a writer I have enjoyed, but I'm really just interested in seeing what I can learn from other writers.

My writing workshop covers a little bit of everything...Plotting, character development, important habits, researching, getting published, practice exercises, and most importantly: sticking to it. I have a feeling I'll always be learning. Now it's time to do join Clark in asking "What if?" with a pencil in hand and Dahl in "putting my bottom in the chair."

Happy writing!

*The tiny numbers following each resource show the order in which I used each one. :) 

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