Tuesday, April 8, 2008

DiAnn Mill's Fiction Mentoring Clinic

Each year most of us make decisions about what will help our writing the most. I'm not rolling in money and most of the writers I know fall into that same category, so we choose. We go to this conference, but leave off another. We enter 1-2 contests, but decline on others. We choose an online course as opposed to going out of town. This year my first choice was to attend DiAnn Mill's 3 day workshop in Tulsa, OK.
Now that the workshop has completed, my evaluation tells me it was one of the best writing decisions I have made. The compacted training covers every facet from title to marketing.
Goals stated on that first day are met and surpassed by the end of the third.
Wednesday we studied deepening characterization using the characters in our WIP and showing them in different situations. With an evil gleam, DiAnn leaned toward us. "We have time for one more exercise." And we did, many many times, evaluating them as a group, so everyone gave their own input. That day ended with our titles. Often a member of the group had the right title input for another participant.
Thursday we began with our first sentence hook and our story hook, always working at tightening our first five pages. DiAnn's clarified dialogue purpose and place. A movie with strange twists give us examples of symbolism and tightening the "sagging middle."
Though I had a family emergency pull me away Thursday night, I've received an e-mail of class notes for Friday from DiAnn on plotting the longer book and the "grabber proposal" and "plots that dance."
Because we attended the workshop, we were invited to join a loop where further help will be forthcoming in weeks and months to come.
I've now finished what DiAnn says never do with my summary of the workshop. "No flashbacks or back story in the first fifty pages." That statement will strengthen my fiction along with much other great helps. I now have a new scene to write and an improved beginning. I've learned to subscribe to the tension on every page.
Thanks, DiAnn, and thanks to the other seven people in my class. If you're in the process of choosing where to spend your money and time to learn, go to DiAnn's web site and check out when and where her next fiction mentoring clinic will be given. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
Happy writing all,
Janet K. Brown


Linda Broday said...

DiAnn's workshop sounds amazing. So much information crammed into just a few days. I can see why you came back really excited and eager to write. That makes spending the money and time really worthwhile. Good for you! You're growing and learning. That's what the craft is all about.

Karen Kelley said...

I can't wait to hear more. Maybe you'll give us a brief update at the next meeting.