Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pflugerville Library and National Novel Writing Month

Pflugerville Library may be small but boy are they supporting NaNoWriMo in a big way! Just look at some of the events coming up. Becca Sexton writes:

"October 21st at 7pm, we're having a novel planning session. Local NaNo vets will talk about the pros and cons of planning your novel before the November 1st start date and share their tips and tricks for surviving NaNoWriMo. Then, on Sunday, November 1st, we're having an "all-day" kick-off event at the library (from 1--6). There will be refreshments, goodie bags, writing games, and plenty of time to get those novels started! We're having write-ins on November 12, 19, and 24 from 6--8pm and a Wrap Party on December 1st from 6--8 pm. At the Wrap Party, we'll do a raffle drawing, share excerpts from our novels, and award a prize to NaNo "winners."

We're also having an author talk on November 3 at 6:30. Daniel and Dina Nayeria, authors of the YA supernatural novel Another Faust will be on hand to talk about their book and the writing process."

I love libraries and this is one of the reasons why!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last Book in a Week class of 2009

With holidays the way they are, this will be the last Book in a Week class it's practical for me to offer in 2009. The good thing is that it will sort of coincide with NaNoWriMo.

This isn't your typical writing class. I'm told I ask questions people have never had asked before and that it helps them see writing in a whole new way. Some of the projects people have worked on in my classes are already under contract.

The funny thing is, I've also had people let me know it changed how they see life. They are interacting with others differently because so many of the questions that are about writing also apply to how we see life and the people around us.

My goal with my classes is always to help people discover who they are as writers and how they write best and what works for their books. Running through all of it are ideas that will increase the odds that an editor and/or agent will be interested in their work.

So....if any of that sounds appealing to you or you know someone who might think so here is the information:

  • Book in a Week $75 ($40 if you have taken it before)
  • Dates: October 19, 2009 to November 20, 2009
  • Deadline to sign up: October 16, 2009
    Class size is limited.

Note: All lessons and class discussion are by email so they can be read and responded to at whatever time of day is most convenient for YOU.

Class Description:

Have you started a manuscript and not finished it? Does life or self-doubt seem to get in the way? Do you ever feel as if you're banging your head against the wall trying to write a book someone will want to buy? Would you like help brainstorming elements of your story? Explore the possibilities of who you can be as a writer? Would you like to write better, faster and more easily than you ever have before?

Book in a Week is a process that will help you get organized, learn techniques that make YOUR writing easier, faster, better and more FUN! Learn who YOU are as a writer and what works best for YOU. Discover the elements that make a compelling story. Write that book you've been wanting to write—and do it faster than you ever thought possible!

This class will take you through every step of the writing process—from beginning to brainstorm all the way through sending material out to be published. And it will help you discover who YOU are as a writer.

Weeks 1-3:

  • Preparing to write the first draft of a book in one week
  • Creating compelling characters or how to write about real people in nonfiction
  • Planning plot elements or structure in a nonfiction book
  • Significance of names
  • Effective paragraph and sentence structure
  • Using imagery and sensory detail to add impact
  • Writing effective dialogue
  • Creating a productive writing environment
  • Enlisting the support of those around you
  • Mentally gearing yourself up to write faster (and better) than you thought you could

Week 4: Intensive Writing Week (November 7, 2009 through November 15, 2009)

This is about discovering how writing fits into YOUR life. You can't do it wrong. You won't fail. No matter what happens you will discover more about yourself as a writer than you thought possible during that ONE WEEK of writing!

Week 5:

  • Evaluating the writing experience itself
  • Making revisions
  • Sending out material

Payment for the class may be made by check or by Paypal. To sign up send an email to April with the title of the class you wish to take in the header and in the body of the email please put: your name and whether you prefer to pay by check or Paypal. Also, please let me know if you have taken the class before. Note: If cost is an issue, please let me know and on a case by case basis we may be able to work something out. Note: If you do not get a response back from me, please try emailing me at April2. Unfortunately email does sometimes simply disappear into cyberspace.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Oceans We've Never Seen

A native American shaman stands on the shore of an ocean some five hundred years ago. All his life he's lived in the high desert and never seen anything like this. He might have heard about big bodies of water but until this moment when he stands there seeing the ocean, it was not something he could have comprehended.

That was an image I had when I was doing a visualization exercise and it made me think and wonder about the oceans we've never seen—and can't comprehend unless and until we do.

As a writer, I'm used to thinking I can imagine anything. But my imagination tends to rely on photos. When I've relied solely on descriptions and then seen a place or object I've read about, so often it turns out to be very different. Even so, those descriptions expand my horizons.

I value expanded horizons, you see. I value discovering the oceans I've never seen and having my comprehension of what's possible expand. I hope that to some degree at least, it's something I do for readers and when I teach my online writing classes—bringing them oceans they've never seen before. It's why I try to have the unexpected in my books and ask the questions no one else asks in my class lessons.

I look forward always to discovering new oceans I've never seen. How about you?