Monday, October 31, 2011

How To Plot Your Novel And Bring Your Characters To Life

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a writing workshop and blogging conference. Thank God one was online or I would have missed a wealth of information.

For the next few days I will be sharing what I learned from both.

I want to start off by saying if you have local events, attend them. This is an excellent way to network. If you can’t attend a local or travel to an event, check online to see what is being offered. You might be missing out on some wonderful information.

Both events kicked off on Thursday, but I’ll start with the writing workshop because it began in the morning.

I will be honest and say I didn’t have a clue what to expect when I signed up for this workshop. How To Plot Your Novel And Bring Your Characters To Life. I knew the hostess (Miranda Parker and Shelia Goss) so I knew I was in for some good stuff. I didn’t realized it would be a hands on workshop. I’m glad I didn’t because I would be attending the blogging conference and I would have talked myself out of attending, because I knew it would be too much. I say again don’t miss out on opportunities because you think it will be too much.

This was a private workshop so we had to register and didn’t have to worry about sharing our info. Both instructors posted their lecture and assigned homework. Homework WHAT? This is what I meant about not being prepared. Instead of backing out, I jumped right in. I informed my critquie partner of my booked weekend, but promised to do my part. So after each day at the conference, I came home to homework.

I decided to work on Miranda’s homework first because that would be my hardest. She was teaching on Plotting, my weakness. I wanted to learn as much as I could about this process.

For the first time I understood what plotting meant. I’m so thankful for Miranda sharing her knowledge with us. She took us step by step, and then broke us down until we got it right.

I learned that my story was finished, I just needed to put it in order. Miranda showed me what I needed to do. I even learned that this book would be a series of at least three book. How exciting is that.

This book is my first effort in writing a young adult book, so I really needed to know I had more than one book inside me.

Sheila’s workshop was about characters. She gave us a character sheet and we had to learn about our character. I liked her character sheet. I’ve worked with different ones, but I like that she had hers on a spread sheet and you can add others as you go.

She worked on dialogue, another weakness and offered a lot of feedback on how to improve it.

I will say that I’m slowly getting over my FEAR. I posted my plotting assignment and looked forward to the feedback. I wanted to know how to improve my story more than I worried about them not liking it. I welcomed their opinions and was pleasantly surprised that they all wanted to hear more about the story.

After the workshop Miranda and Shelia created a group so we all could continue to work together on our stories. I think this group will be very helpful each other. One of the first things we all agreed on was signing up for the NABO. To write 50,000 in a month. I know it’s a big challenge for us all, but don’t you love a challenge. I want to see if I can complete this book before the end of the year.

I highly recommend taking this workshop if they offer again.

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