I learned to write at Gotham’s Writers’ Workshop. If you’re unfamiliar with their program, you should check it out. They have something for everyone. Most of their classes last for ten weeks and offer a weekly lecture, plenty of group discussion, and the opportunity to have your work critiqued, either by your classmates or your teacher depending on which course you have selected. Some of the classes I completed:
- Creative Writing 101
- Fiction Writing
- Novel Writing—several times
- Master Novel Class
- Query Writing
From the looks of this list, I was a bit of a Gotham junkie there for a while. Although I highly recommend Gotham, the best training I ever received in novel-writing, however, was from James Scott Bell. Or his book rather, Plot and Structure, which is part of the series, Write Great Fiction.
In the early stages of Saving Ben, when I was developing my characters and working out the plot lines, I worked through every exercise in this guide. Bell’s ideas helped me develop a whole new approach to Plot and Structure.
With 663 words in 15 minutes, Suemcg is the winner of Wednesday’s writing challenge. Congratulations! Sue, please e-mail me your mailing address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What sorts of things do you consider when trying to please your reader?
To win a copy of Plot and Structure, you must first complete the following exercise from the first chapter. If you are growing tired of these activities, bear with me. I promise, you don’t want to miss this one.
To quote from the book:
“Set aside ten minutes of undisturbed writing time. For those ten minutes, write a free-form response to the following: When readers read my novels, I want them to feel _______________ at the end. That’s because, to me, novels are ______________. Write from the gut, quickly.”
To be entered in the Random.org drawing, complete this exercise and provide your feedback in the comments. This contest will be opened through midnight tomorrow night, Saturday, February 9. The winner will be announced on Sunday in Chronicles’s Week in Review.
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