You’re Invited to the Sisterhood Series at Fayetteville Public Library

63The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen will present a series of six ninety-minute interactive workshops geared toward beginning/intermediate writers, both fiction and non-fiction. Each session will include handouts and exercises. The series will close in Week Six with a panel where attendees may ask questions and will be invited to read their works.

  • When: Tuesdays beginning January 8 through February 12
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Fayetteville Public Library

http://www.faylib.org/content/sisterhood-traveling-pen

Week 1: JANUARY 8–Make ‘Em Smell the Coffee: Creating a Sense of PlaceA reader has five senses. Pamela Foster will discuss and use exercises to tap into the senses to create a world readers will enter and experience.

Week 2: JANUARY 15–Whose Head Are You In?—Claire Croxton will define point of view and demonstrate through discussion and exercises.

Week 3: JANUARY 22–Trimming the Fat from Your Story —Is your story flabby? Full of passive verbs? Too many adverbs or adjectives? Wasted words? Get ready for a writerly workout with Ruth Weeks!

Week 4: JANUARY 29–Interviewing Your Character —Learn to interview your characters, whether over martinis or coffee. Using demonstrations and handouts, Jan Morrill will discuss how to add dimension and depth to characters, so that readers will go beyond reading to experiencing the story.

Week 5: FEBRUARY 5–Thawing Writer’s Freeze —The road to publication is scattered with obstacles that freeze our brains and make our fingers cold on the keys. In this session, Linda Apple will address these problems and use exercises to help break through these barriers.

Week 6: FEBRUARY 12–Panel Question and Answer—Pam, Claire, Ruth, Linda and Jan will answer and discuss questions and invite attendees to read their stories.

 

Linda Apple, Pamela Foster, Jan Morrill, Ruth Burkett Weeks and Claire Croxton are authors who have been published in non-fiction and fiction genres including romance, paranormal, historical, inspirational and mainstream. Their writing activities include judging writing contests and serving as board members (including President) of organizations such as Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., a multi-genre organization with more than 600 members from Oklahoma, the surrounding states, and around the world; Ozarks Writers League and Northwest Arkansas Writers. For more information, please click on the following links:

http://www.owfi.org/

http://www.ozarkswritersleague.org/

http://www.nwawriters.org/

To enroll for this series, please contact Fayetteville Public Library at 479-856-7000.

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Writing Tips: Plotting Your Bestseller

Posted by: Pamela Foster

www.pamelafosterspeakerwriter

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“How’dya  come up with the idea for that story?”

That’s the question I hear most from non-writers.

Well, that’s the query I hear the most after, “I’ve got a great idea for a story.  How ‘bout I tell you about it, you write it and we’ll share the profits?”

For writers, a more pertinent query is, “After that first scene comes to you, how the heck do you plot your way through three hundred pages?”

The answer is that we all do it differently.

Staci Troili uses a plot board that would send me screaming into the woods.  http://stacitroilo.com/2012/07/30/how-project-planning-in-corporate-america-helped-me-write-novels/  But it works for her.   Her books are wonderful.

Dusty Richards tells me he doesn’t know until he writes each chapter what’s going to happen, says that’s the fun of writing.  Since he’s published over 100 western novels, I’m going to concede that method works for him.

Claire Croxton insists the first thing she does when sitting down to start a new novel is find perfect names for the cats. Again, the method works for her.  There’s nobody better at southern snark than Croxton.

Here’s what I do:

I generally start a new book with a vision that comes to me while I’m gazing blankly off into space or washing my hair in the shower or staring at someone at Walmart,  er I meant to say Neiman Marcus, and wondering what on earth they think they’re doing.

Once I have that first scene, I start writing.  This means I often flounder around a bit in the beginning of a book. End up with half-a-dozen false starts on my computer.  But, eventually the characters take shape and stumble through their story for me.

In case you’re not already thoroughly confused about how best to plot, click this link to find out what everyone from L’Amour to King to Irving have to say about plotting.  http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/thoughts-on-plot-by-famous-writers/

Here, finally, is my point.  There are people out there who will share with you what works for them.  Take advantage of that knowledge.  Part of the writing process is sorting through all the expert opinions and dividing what works for you from what you need to drop like a hot rock.

In the end, it’s your story. Only you can find it and only you can tell it.

Join the discussion:

So, how’dya come up with story ideas?  Once you’ve got that idea like a splinter in your brain, how’dya plot the rest of the book?

The Sisterhood’s Premiere

The following post is by Pamela Foster and originally appeared on her blog, Pamela Foster Secrets and Vices.
     Writing is a solitary addiction.
     Because of my craving for writing time and solitude, I’ve never been a person to have many friends.  I held people at a distance, my emotional force field protected the real me. Like any addict, my addiction was my life.
     So, imagine my surprise when I found, not one, but four women to share my writing journey.  From agonizing over plot, through the publication process and the challenge of marketing, these four ‘sisters’ have eased my pain, sharpened my skills and just generally made my life more joyful.
     A few months back, we officially became The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen. Our first speaking engagement was Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop Conference.  Our hope was to get our message across AND to entertain.  I think we accomplished our goal.
     Ruth Weeks started us off by acting the part of a humble, frightened writer trying to pitch her work to a snooty agent, played by Linda Apple. Thirty seconds in, Ruth flung off her jacket and revealed more bling than Liberace.  And cowboy boots.  Hot damn, those boots of hers.  Ruth strutted a demonstration of stepping out, believing in yourself, and making the magic happen in your writing career.  I mean, the woman showed us how it was done.
     Once Ruth had folks fired up, it was my turn.
     I pointed to my tiara. Yes, you read that right–my tiara. I touched the giant, gold star hanging around my neck, whirled my feathery pink boa.  I held my book over my head danced and yelled, “I’ve been published!”
     My sisters yelled and stamped their feet and threw confetti. The celebration lasted approximately thirty seconds when Ruth, holding a sign that said “Reality Check,” stepped up and, foot tapping, demanded my lovely glittery crown and my adorable star. The bitch even took back my lovely pink boa.
     Then, I spoke on the reality of having a book published and likened the experience to running a small business.
     Next, Jan Morrill acted out a skit she’d written about how, while the rest of The Sisters took that fork in the road marked Small Press and skipped happily to publication, she choose the road to New York Publication and spent a year waiting for the phone to ring.  This presentation came complete with the song Let it please be him. It must be him.  It must be him bursting forth into the conference room , while demonstrating her reaction each time the phone rang as she waited and waited to hear from her agent.  My favorite part was when she skipped down the path to stardom in her sunglasses, the frames of which were in the shape of glittery gold stars.
     In stained chenille robe, pajama bottoms and soft, fluffy slippers one of her dogs may have chewed, Patty Stith, aka Claire Croxton demonstrated what happens when you sit down to write, AFTER, just for a minute, you check your email, Facebook, Twitter and of course, your favorite blogs.  Social Networking is vital to building a platform after all!  As Ruth moved the hands of a giant clock, Claire tapped on her laptop, commented on blogs and networked her little heart out until the clock showed eight hours had passed and she hadn’t written a word on her new novel.  Claire spoke on managing your time.
     Linda Apple stepped up with a rubber snake around her neck and, like Marlin Perkins with the giant Anaconda, she successfully wrestled into submission.  Her opening line was “Most people would rather wrestle a poisonous snake than speak in public.” She then beautifully demonstrated how to speak in front of an audience with ease and grace.  Linda spoke on the importance of building your platform as a writer.
     Lord, did we have fun.  Who’d have thought that a lifetime of living in my own solitary little world, mainlining words and struggling to reveal the truth through fiction–who would have even suspected that this would bring me into the glorious company of a sisterhood like this?