Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Continued Education of...

Another Sunday gone, another week to come. It's been such a nice, relaxing day. Once Mini and the guys are finished with supper, I'm going to put Mini in the bath. Beyond that, the evening is all mine.

Today was the official end of Lori Wilde's High Concept workshop. I'm thrilled with everything I've learned throughout the course. If you ever get the chance to take the same workshop, go for it. Without a doubt, I'll be using the lessons I learned there throughout the rest of my writing career.

Not only that, but I discovered the high concept for my current project - the one I'm about to start the write-ins on. What I learned totally helped me sculpt my idea. Not really in a new way, but it gave the story a new focus. Everything seems to gel better than it did before. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a writing project in the past. The workshop was totally worth the investment. I highly recommend it.

Starting tomorrow, I'm taking Lori Wilde's Plotting From Theme workshop. This is the last of my "right now, as I see it" writing struggle/learn it or die trying learning sessions.

Theme has always been that elusive element for me. Until the NOLAStars, Written in the Stars conference back in March, I ignored theme when writing. I didn't understand how to find it in my work, so forget trying to label it or hone it. Pfft!

At NOLA, I took Robyn DeHart's writing workshop and she explained theme in a two step process that jammed a grain of understanding in my brain. A character has a "wrong idea" and by the end of the book, that idea has changed. That quest from point A to point B is your character's theme. That totally blew my socks off. I wondered why no one had ever explained it to me like that before.

Now I'm digging a little deeper. After this upcoming theme workshop, I should have no excuse to say I don't know how to put together a story of [pick your poison] length. None. Zilch. Nada. My hope, after all this, I'll be able to look myself in the mirror and say "I set out to do what I planned to do January 1st, 2010. I tackled my writing weaknesses, and I overcame them."

The truth is, you never stop learning as a writer. I know this is a fact. I've heard countless successful, published authors say this. So, really this has been a quest to reach the baseline for writing knowledge. This is the where I touch nose to the intermediate level of writing. The only thing I wish is that I'd made a pledge to learn these things ten years ago.

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