Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My First Writing Workshop - Woo Hoo!

As some of you know, I spent last weekend attending David Wolverton’s writing workshop, Write That Novel, in Indianapolis.  It was my first ever workshop/conference/retreat and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I anticipated an intense couple of days where we would be writing down so much stuff our hands would cramp. Turned out this workshop was more relaxed, with David sitting back in his chair and describing his approach to writing, sprinkled with all sorts of anecdotes. I suspect he didn’t cover nearly as much territory as he would have liked, but since he emailed us a copy of the workshop notes, I have all the info I need right on my Kindle.

The workshop was a smorgasbord of topics, including how to make your story resonate with the widest audience, how to maximize your income from books (including the handling of movie rights, which I suspect none of the attendees are ever going to have to worry about), and what to consider when negotiating with a publisher.

David is also dabbling in self-publishing, and he spent time explaining what an author needs to do to self-publish a book readers will want to read and how to market it, including how to write back cover copy and where to purchase artwork for cover designs.

One concept he discussed at length involved try/fail cycles. I already knew the MC should struggle and fail through most of the story, succeeding only at the end, but David told us that each story needs (at least) three major try/fail cycles, each more difficult than the last, and each requiring a larger percentage of the book in order to tell.

Overall, David was able to keep me interested for two eight hour sessions, which is no easy feat. So now I’m motivated to jump back into my stories and apply what I’ve learned. Wish me luck!

13 comments:

  1. So glad it went well and you're motivated to get words on the page!!

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  2. Hi CK! I'm glad that your first writing workshop was a good one. That's a great tip about major try/fail cycles. I hope you share more of the tips you gleaned. Have a good one!

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  3. Aren't you glad you went?
    Good to note about the try/fail cycles.

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  4. Wow, that was a lot of info. Sounds like a fantastic workshop.

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  5. Although I've been too busy to critique your chapters, I've been thinking about you and hoping this workshop would do what it did for you. I really need to format my mom''s picture book first, but then I can do one of your chapters. Which do you want first?

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  6. That's really awesome! Now I wish I could go to a writers conference, myself, if you got to learn so many cool things.

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I bet you ARE pumped up to write. :)

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  8. I know you were nervous about going, but I knew you were going to have a great time! Spending a weekend with a bunch of writers, learning how to improve your craft ... how could it be anything other than great?!

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  9. Woot! Glad your motivation returned and you learned a lot. Three major fails, huh? Authors are so cruel to their heroes. :)

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  10. Looking forward to reading your output from that writing workshop :)

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  11. So glad you had a good experience! Sounds like it was really interesting. Good luck with the writing now that your motivation has returned. :)

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  12. Good luck, Ken. The whole thing sounds great. I've also heard there should be three try/fail cycles.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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