Friday, December 01, 2006

Workshops Work

It's Friday, which means the Writers' Group blog entry for today highlights what each of us did this week to take new steps toward creating a meaningful literary life.

Three of us, Lisa, Lynne and Amy went to a Grub Street South workshop with Stace Budzko called Characters in Conflict--The Art of Storytelling.

Stace pictured above, holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College where he teaches composition and creative writing. Through discussion, lecture and writing exercises, Stace challenged us to create conflict in our writing, rich in complications for our characters. These complications propel plot, deepen characterization and flesh out character motivation.

Thanks to Amy for organizing this event in cooperation with Buttonwood Books. And thanks to Stace, he was interesting and his ideas thought provoking.

So here is what we did this week to make a literary life:

Stace is a dynamic and motivating teacher. So glad he got me thinking more and more about my new protagonist. What makes her tick, her ambitions and fears.

I finished the revisions to my novel based on the detailed feedback from The Writers' Group; I owe you everything, friends. I also sent out four charming notes, thanking writers for inspiring my own work. Finally, I've drafted my query letter and hope to start sending it to agents soon. If anyone is willing to do the agent dance for me, I'll send you a charming note too.

I finally rewrote (more on our processes in future posts!) the biggest chunk of the middle of my story to remove a character. Ugh. Knowing I missed a great workshop, I did skim a couple of Jessica Page Morrell's chapters in Between the Lines, and expect to rewrite the next bits quickly, with the finish in sight!

Though I had a crazy busy work week, I found a way to sneak out to hear Stace. I finished edits on my novel and gave my manuscript to my friends at The Writers' Group. It will be my turn to hear feedback in two weeks. I signed off on the written material that will be on the cover of my parenting book, due out next September.

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