Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New from the Super Secret Writer's Workshop

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-crackle- Things have been busy and I've just managed to escape. My apologies for the delayed response, but I can only give eyewitness accounts. Handouts will commence as soon as I find access to a scanner.

Monday, June 15th

The first day of our writing institute. I can’t really call it a conference; workshop is a better term. The keynote speaker, John Dalton, was fabulous. I don’t usually have a need for an inspirational speech from a writer; I figure I make my own inspiration whenever I sit my butt in the seat. His website has a wonderful story that, if you're feeling a bit down about getting the novel done, is a great read. However, having started my new position in OT has made things a little hectic as I figure out my job. I’ve been so tired for the past three weeks that my usual work ethic has gone down the tubes. This is my chance to recharge and think.

John Dalton's Contrary Writer's Rules, as mentioned in his keynote speech:

1) It takes time to develop your work.
2) You can learn a lot from workshops, but you have to learn the most important ideas on your own.
3) Books are often boring.
4) The best writers are all nerds.
5) There's cause for hope.

In class we focused on the writing industry and making writing a career as a whole. We talked about how non-fiction is a great way to break into the writing field and establish contacts while making cash. It also teaches a writer about marketing, focus groups, and forces a writer to learn how to research.

Important distinction:
*Non-fiction talks about fact.
*Fiction uses lies to tell the truth.

I enjoyed the reinforcement about research, as it’s hard to remember that you can only fake so much in fiction. Don't be afraid to talk to experts in a field to get an accurate account of how things are done in the field. Right now, as I started rereading my police procedural book, I’m trying to figure out how much I can “bend” without outright breaking rules in my novel.

I love research. :o) -crackle-

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Danyelle said...

Yay! Missed you, Marisol! :)

Whew! If writers are nerds, then I have truly found my calling. :p

Looks like they had some great stuff!

M. K. Clarke said...

Good stuff there, Marisol. Thanks for sharing! :)

Glynis said...

Sounds very interesting Marisol, thanks for sharing it with us :)

Lady Glamis said...

What's this police book you have? I want it!

Also, what does he mean by books are boring? Does he mean boring to write? Because I need to write a post about that...... come chat with me about this. :D

Lauralee said...

HEY! So your suggestion of "muffy" spurred some brainstorming..which led to our cats new name. Molly. Just thought I'd mention it!