"Sit Down and Write" is about kick-starting your writing. The concept of "not having anything to write about" or "not being able to start" will be thrown out the window. While it is true that anyone can write and anyone can complete a novel, not everyone accepts that writing is work. It must be approached with respect for individual work ethic and an understanding about how to write even when you do not want to.
Some of what we will look at include:
1. 15 minutes a day
2. Sketching the story
3. Conversational writing
4. Journals are what you want them to be
5. Fun with murder
6. What do you mean "quiet time"?
Decades ago, scholar Wayne Booth wrote: “If we think through the many narrative devices in the fiction we know, we soon come to a sense of the embarrassing inadequacy of our traditional classification of ‘point of view’ into three or four kinds, variables only of the ‘person’ and the degree of omniscience.”
After struggling with confusing, contradictory, and uselessly vague explanations of point of view, I developed a new, richer approach. Rather than simply first, second, and third, and the confusing concepts of omniscience and limited omniscience, this approach to point of view explores a diverse variety of attributes that actually make up a novel’s point of view, but which are rarely directly addressed.
By exploring such attributes as influence, location, knowledge, presence, reliability, engagement, and much more, writers gain a far greater control over their craft. This allows them to develop more complex and powerful work, as well as exposing a wider range of possibilities than most writers are even aware exist. This expanded awareness also makes it easier for writers to develop their novel’s point of view consistently, which limits the need for extensive revision.
This seminar will guide you through the process of formatting, editing, uploading, and creating cover art for your self-published book.
Social Media has become the great equalizer. Readers are no longer exposed to just the New York Times best sellers but every Author has the opportunity to connect with readers interested in their writing and stories.
Readers are looking for new books and authors and they often go to Social Media for that next read. In addition, readers expect to interact with and follow authors on Social Media. Guess what, that means you need to be on Social Media and be active.
This session will discuss the power of social media sites such as
We will discuss key trends in online marketing strategies and tips that authors and writers can use to build their brand, meet and interact with readers and sell more books! The session is geared toward writers/authors that have not published a book yet, authors with a new book release and authors with several published books.
Interesting, quirky, believable characters are the lifeblood of successful writing. Without them, your work will fall flat and readers won’t want to come back for more, even when your storytelling is strong. It’s also quite easy to find yourself unconsciously using stock characters that you’ve been exposed to all your life, but which often result in dull, predictable dialogue and action.
This seminar will explore a variety of techniques for creating great characters, without getting bogged down in impractical lists of attributes. We will also discuss common clichés and mistakes, as well as the complexities of writing the other, and of creating characters for invented realities.
"Now What" is meant to help writers evaluate what they really want in publishing a book. It focuses on the various modes of publishing and their different requirements.
1. Reaching out to publishers
- Who is taking submissions, what are the needs for submitting to a publisher and is it the best approach for you?
2. Agents who are looking
-- Where can you find them? How do you know what they want? How do I get their attention?
3. Independent Publishers
-- What makes them different from standard publishers? Is the approach the same?
How do I do it? What steps are needed before I publish? Once I publish, what do I do? Can I be successful without a publisher/agent/Indie behind me?
This seminar will cover how to use Twitter as a writer. It will be geared towards both the novice and experienced Twitter user – experienced Tweeps (Twitter users) can mentally tune out for the first few minutes while I explain what Twitter is and how to set up an account.
Topics to be covered:
Inside you’ll find guidance on how to create
Whether you’re a first-time novelist or have a couple novels under your belt, you’ll find Agile Writer: Method will aid you in telling a great story.
We writers spend a lot of time developing characters. We painstakingly construct the plot. But there’s another make-or-break story element that deserves some love: Setting. This workshop will delve deeply into this vital element of your story.
Writers will learn how to choose the best setting for a story and how to use that setting for all it’s worth. We’ll go over techniques for using setting to reveal character, heighten tension, and solve plot problems.
In addition, we’ll engage in brainstorming and idea-developing exercises to reveal hidden aspects about a setting of your choice. We’ll dig deep below the surface, beyond the ordinary or expected, to unearth secrets about that place which will bring added dimension to your story.
Lastly, we’ll go over how to diagnose problems with setting and discuss ideas that address those problems. You’re guaranteed to come away with new ways to strengthen your current writing project.
If you're at the start of a career in writing (or art, music, game design, film, etc.), you know that the game is always changing. New technologies keep blowing away the old model for making your living in a creative field. So how can you possibly plan for a long-term career in your field when there's a new revolution every five minutes?
Simple: you play the long game. Approach your professional and creative development as a constant growth process that is years or decades in the making. Focus on self-education. Develop your evergreen business skills, such as project planning and time management. Master the fundamentals of craft that apply to all storytelling, whatever form it takes.
Most of all, you must learn how value is exchanged in creative fields. Business models change. You must be able to understand how and why a writer gets paid, so that you can make your way forward in the creative marketplace.
After the lecture, participants will outline their own years-long career plan, with practical advice from author/entrepreneur Rob Balder.
The spoken word preceded the written word. It is possible to write a story – at least at short lengths – in all dialogue. Man’s first storytellers regaling colleagues around a campfire used dialogue, and when the story was passed along, it became all dialogue – until it was written down after writing was invented.
The skills needed to listen and study dialogue will be reviewed, as well as the best ways to train your listening skills.
Participants will learn:
The beginning of every novel is a contract with the reader. It promises to make you feel certain emotions, or to engage your mind with new ideas. It sets up the conflicts that must be resolved for the ending to feel satisfying.
But readers of different genres speak different languages. They will have different expectations for characters, for plot, for the focus of your narrative. How can you write a contract if you don’t know what language you’re speaking?
This seminar will outline the ways in which a writer implicitly promises certain things at the beginning of a book, and how those promises differ depending on the genre you are writing. It will also tell you how to know what genre your story belongs to, and how to deliver a satisfying experience for your genre readers without falling into genre cliches.
This seminar provides the attendees with a better understanding for why authors should work with editors. The attendees will learn from a professional editor the benefits of using an editor, how to find and select a freelance editor and the available resources to do this, and how to develop the author-editor partnership. Also, the attendees will discover how the editorial process works and what they can do to enhance it.
The seminar is based on the viewpoint of an experienced editor who pays forward her successes and candidly shares what you can expect from working with an editor.
Stories of heroes undergoing significant transformations are as old as stories themselves. In this talk I will offer an analysis of human transformation in heroic storytelling and in the lives of everyday people. I’ll describe what a transformation is, why it is important, what causes it to happen, and how it varies from hero to hero. I will argue that the hero’s transformation is the most central yet most overlooked component of the monomyth of the hero as described by Joseph Campbell (1949) in his classic volume, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I will describe the ways in which the hero’s journey parallels various stages of healthy human development, during which people undergo moral, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical transformations. We will describe the many triggers, dimensions, processes, and consequences of the hero’s transformation. My concluding thoughts will focus on the role of the hero’s transformation in the personal development of the hero, in good storytelling and for the well-being of society.
Conflict is everything. Every moment of a successful novel, from the first scene to the final resolution, is driven by conflict. There should be conflict on every page. If a page goes by without conflict, you’ve lost us. However fascinating your topic, your scenery, your characters, if there’s no conflict, then there’s no movement. There’s nothing for us to fear, or cheer, or believe in. There’s no emotional investment. A page without conflict is the page at which we will set the novel down.
There are the big conflicts, of course, with shouting or violence, and this seminar will talk about how to deliver those to greatest effect. Even more importantly, however, this seminar will teach how to create mini-conflicts in every scene and every conversation, engaging readers in the emotion of every moment.
The face your book shows to the world—the one on which it will first be judged—is its cover. A professional cover and interior design gives both you and your book credibility and helps to attract potential buyers. But great design is much more than a title with a pretty picture. How can you know if your design is really its best?
Sarah Lapallo Beck, the owner and Creative Director at Inkwell Book Co., will draw back the curtain on her own design process to help you to understand how she creates a finished book. She’ll explain basic design principles and how they apply to books, teach you how to recognize both good and bad design right away, and give you some do-it-yourself tips.
She will also delve into detail on interior book design and how your design choices can enhance or detract from the reader’s experience. This in-depth overview of book design is important information for any author to have, as it gives them the tools, knowledge, and resources to work with a designer or do it themselves.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.Join Jean Andersion as she shares her experiences as the NaNoWriMo Liaison.