Friday, May 25, 2007

Virtual Workshop Requests

Today is the first day of summer vacation for my kids, and I promised that I would unplug and spend it with them, so no Friday 20 this week.

Last year during the week of RWA's National Conference, I did a series of virtual workshops and giveaway goodie bags for those left behind. We had a great time, covered a lot of writing territory, and never had to eat mystery chicken or leave the comfort of our pajamas or our computer chairs.

I'd like to do that again this year, if you all are interested, because I'm annoying that way. I have some ideas on improving it, too, like maybe browbeating persuading some other authors who aren't attending into joining in wth virtual workshops on their blogs. Like those authors* who nailed me with memes this past year, and who thought I was kidding when I said I would get even.

As before, I'd like to find out what topics would be of the most interest and value to you. So think it over, if you would, and share your suggestions on topics, type of workshops or whatever comes to mind in comments to this post.

*Yes, Jordan and Shiloh, you're first on the browbeating list.

31 comments:

  1. Getting over the mid-book doldrums is a topic I would love to see explored.

    And thanks for offering this opportunity - what a great idea :)

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  2. Pacing. I'm told mine is monotonous, but no-one seems to have suggestions for improving it, beyond "try varying sentence lengths a bit".

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  3. Promotional ideas that don't require the wearing of pantyhose. (C'mon, you knew I was going to say that.)
    Blogging and websites--what works and what doesn't.
    Giveaways. I'd love to do more if I could come up with an easier way to do it.
    Outlining--because I'm an outliner and I'd love to pontificate on the subject in comments. Would that get me bonsaied?

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  4. Oooh, I love all three of those ideas! But before coffee, I can't think of any others.

    Looking forward to the workshop, Lynn!

    And have fun with your kiddos today.

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  5. I'd like to hear more about craft--improving your prose. Most of what I see on blogs deals with the industry, which is great, but I'm still hungry to improve my technique.

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  6. Barbara B9:23 AM

    I can't wait! That would help me so much...how about (I'm sure you have already covered this at some time) how to flesh out a short story.

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  7. Plotting (could be outlining, but plotting, period.)

    In line with that, Conflict. Specifically, how to come up with juicy, will last the whole book and escalate kind of conflict.

    Or, whatever you decide you want to do. ;)

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  8. Revising and editing -- I never can tell if what I'm doing is helping or hurting.

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  9. I would like to second the editing and revising idea. And the pacing idea.

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  10. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I love Merylf's idea of pushing through the middle. Also, a "So you're a newbie, if I knew then what I know know," topic. I loke all the the above mentioned topics.
    JulieB

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  11. I'm with slpenney and krista. For wholly selfish reasons (I am currently editing), I'd love a workshop on editing. Especially how to cut a long novel to size without hurting its soul.

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  12. I don't know if it's something that can be dealt with in a workshop--I don't know if it's even possible to teach it--but something about ideas or inspiration for writing. My problem is that I almost need an assignment before I can write. It's one danger of being a pastor: needing a text to work from.

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  13. I'd be interested in working up action scenes. And I've read quite a lot of books recently that seem to have huge (enjoyable) twists at the end, and I was wondering if there was a good way to come up with things like that. I *think* I've got a good twist in mine, but I've been at it so long I can't tell anymore.

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  14. Having a character tell another character something the reader already knows and how not to make it boring. For example, if something important happened while the heroine was away and she needs to know about it but the reader doesn't need a recap.

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  15. Laura -- I think you mean, how to avoid the mortal sin of infodumping. That's a good thing for everybody to review now and then.

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  16. All these ideas are awesome. Just wondering, though, how long are the virtual workshops and are you limiting the amount of topics that would be discussed?

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  17. Looks innocently around, then starts to whistle as she makes her way to the exit. *ggg*

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  18. Oh, this sounds wonderful. I'd love more suggestions on the submission process since that's where I am, especially with the whole concept of the romance novel contests. While it seems fantastic that RWA's judges actually read the whole thing rather than depending on a query or a partial, now that comments are outlawed, I'm left wondering again at what the best steps should be. Oh, and just to be clear, I'm interested in all aspects of the process from the submission package, agent hunt, and the contests.

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  19. Hahahaha, Jordan and Shiloh are nailed.

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  20. I second pacing, plotting, and coming up with twists. How about ways of making characters not-boring? (looks sadly at her own characters)

    And thanks for doing a virtual workshop!

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  21. Pacing is a great suggestion. I'd also love a workshop on subplots and how to successfully weave them into stories.

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  22. Sandra10:04 AM

    I'd like to second the notion of how to improve mr prose as well as making the most of revision/editing.

    and thanks for having this workshop again!

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  23. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Plotting using storyboard.

    I've seen vague references to this - 3 act structure, sections, using a plotting board - but would like to learn, in depth, exactly what this is and how to use it for actual novel plotting.

    thanks and thanks for offering virtual workshops again.

    Siana

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  24. Sorry about that.

    I was trying to leave a comment with my name but it turn out anonymous anyway.

    I'm guessing it's because I hit other?

    Okay, so I'll try another button.

    Siana, embarrassed by her mistake. and trying again

    My Request -->

    Plotting using storyboard.

    I've seen vague references to this - 3 act structure, sections, using a plotting board - but would like to learn, in depth, exactly what this is and how to use it for actual novel plotting.

    thanks and thanks for offering virtual workshops again.

    Siana

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  25. Anonymous12:41 PM

    I love all the craft suggestions...in addition, I would like to learn more about how to build a readership from book to book. I don't mean promotions, at least I don't think I do...I mean how to build your career book by book. Either through a series (like Stardoc) through online commuities (this blog! :), or by anticipating trends effectively.

    Thanks so much PBW...

    MicheleL

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  26. Anonymous2:01 PM

    What a great idea.

    How about: How to add Romance for the Science Fiction writer who wants to write RSF or SFR?

    I find that, coming from the SF side, adding Romance isn't that easy because it's a whole different style.

    Also, Lush and Night Echoes arrived. Thank you so much for holding that contest! I've never read books by either author, though I love Holly's Forward Motion site.

    Thanks again!
    AnnaM. (Maryann)

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  27. Anonymous11:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. Above SPAM comment deleted, third straight post. Mr. SPAMmer, it doesn't matter, wherever you try to hide, I will find and delete your garbage.

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  29. Plotting, sub-plotting, and making a plot meatier (or how to come up with scenes for your book)

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  30. How to predict trends. No, no, that was a joke.

    When to call it a day on a book, as in how many rejections does it take to toss it in the trash.

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