Sunday, May 13, 2012

writing workshop takeaways

image courtesy of french kissed postcards

despite low energy and a big switcheroo in weekend plans per doctor's orders, yesterday i indulged in an all-day writing adventure - write your heart out, washington at the washington post. we were blessed with five gifted speakers and i penned heaps of notes for you and moi. here they are:

tools of the craft

write before you think you can.

lower your standards, especially at the beginning. (this goes for everything new we try, right readers?)

focus on an inciting incident - that moment in time where normal life changes dramatically.

write in the active voice. (always a struggle of my passive prose)

put key words at the end of the sentence. ex. "the queen, my lord, is dead."

the most important form of punctuation is the white space.

short sentences have big power.

move things around to give emphasis.

to report is to render information, stories are for transportation. 

art of storytelling

assume nothing before you begin. 

go where the story took place. 

every hour of organizing the story is worth three hours of writing. 

think "how can i keep the reader reading?" and leave bread crumbs throughout.

read stephen king for technique.

in the absence of concrete information, people expect the worst.

the best way to learn techniques is to read with a purpose. 

the more periods in a passage, the slower the reader will move which is good for suspense and emotion. 

read strong voices so you know what a strong voice sounds like.

writing from the heart

accept that there is ugliness or discomfort with what you want people to hear.

we are such mysteries, even to ourselves.

the heart is confusing and contradictory. 

go places and listen to get stories, ideas, or to best understand. read, read, read.

writing with a point

look at both sides and err toward one with more truth. 

the best stories are hidden in plain view.

use details and color to make a point. 

ask yourself

what is my specific goal as a writer? what do i want to accomplish next in my writing?

what would success look like?

who do i need to connect with in order to make this happen?

what is a reasonable schedule for accomplishing this writing goal?

finally, enjoy this link to an early podcast where i share my journey to publication. 
may your writing dreams come true. bisous. x


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1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Useful useful tips, I will definitely be coming back to this post! Thanks as always for sharing :)
xoxo