Meeting Happenings

What a day we had yesterday at the Bow, NH RWA
meeting. It was our first meeting of the year. The meetings run from September to June, if your interested.

Yesterday there was a deep discussion over the changes taking place between the National levels and the chapter levels. But, not to worry, it is all good changes that seems to be creating a bit of havoc in some of the chapters. I’m sure it will work itself out. I’m not going to go into detail. For those who need to know more you can contact your local chapter for more information.

After lunch the best part of the meeting took place. It was our speaker Hannah Bowman. She gave us a workshop on Plots, Structures, and Pushing your Characters.

It was a great workshop.

I will only highlight some of her points here. You can look for her at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference which I hear is coming up soon.

Hannah uses a check mark approach for mapping out conflict and climax within a story. You can use this approach while either creating your plot outline or with a finished manuscript where you give it a go over to see if there is enough rise and fall of conflict in your story. The check mark can be used with multiple character development in the way of a graph. Use colored pencils and you will see how your characters rise and fall at different places within your story.

I saw what my goal would be too. That would be to have all the characters begin at the same point and have them all end at the same point. This may seem to indicate that closure of the story has happened. If they don’t end at the same point you may be looking at a cliffhanger.

Some readers like cliff hangers and then there are others who are completely turned off by cliff hangers. Personally – I like both.

Next week
is the Monadnock Writers’ Group in Peterborough, NH. They hold their meeting downstairs in the Peterborough Library. This meeting is open to the public and they will have a speaker as well. So if you are in the area come on by. The meeting starts around 9:45 am. I like to get there early so I can meet and greet.

ROW80 Check-In:

I haven’t been to active with my checkins as of late. I really need to get my butt back into action and disicipline my self to make these posts on Sundays and Wednesdays.

So for the past week I have been slogging. I let the internet distract me from finishing up the revisions and edits of Witch Book. That is the last book I need to go over before I begin working on my next fantasy book to go with my Orgarlan Saga.

I think the Teen Contemporary series has come to an end. Or so it seems.

But you never know, something might happen with either my son or daughter to spark a new Contemporary idea to take hold. See, kids do have their uses when they are older, they just don’t know it. (lol)

My daughter is waiting for the next Orgarlan book to come out. Jeesh…

I guess I had better get to work on that.

Have a great week and don’t be shy, check out your local writing group if you haven’t already. It could be a rather fun experience.

Check out other ROWers and cheer their progress along…

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Speaker at the Bow Meeting #ROW80 #RWA

Yesterday I became officially hooked into the Romance Writers World. That’s right, now I am a member of the NH Chapter too. This is a good thing. They are such a great bunch of gals and fun to be around and full of great information. They meet at the Baker Free Library in Bow, NH on the second Saturday of the month.

We had a speaker visit us at the meeting yesterday. This is one of the great benefits of attending a local writing group meeting. Next weekend I will be attending the meeting at the Monadnock Writers’ Group at the Peterborough Library on Saturday. They too will have a speaker.

Our guest was Kristan Higgins and wow what a speaker!

 

She is the author of 9 bestselling – 9 mind you – romances. She is also funny, witty, and full of great information. I see she has a blog too. http://kristanhiggins.com/blog/

So yesterday she left us with some tidbits on writing. These bits would probably work for almost any type of fictional writing and not just Romances.

The title of her presentation was Chapter One – I am born

Kristan explained to us how the first chapter is the most important chapter in any story. It is the chapter that gets the reader to keep coming back for more. It is your hook. So here is a condensed version of some of her tidbits.

  1. “Wicked Awesome First Line”
  2. Tone – Funny, Tragic, Terrifying, Elegant – “Don’t mislead your reader by writing a funny opener and having a tragic ending.”
  3. Theme – “What is your Book about?” – Show what your Character does not know.
  4. Personality – Demonstrate through action – “Beware of the cliché in character development – Create a Character the reader can relate to. “Romances are about the Character.”
  5. Character’s beliefs is somewhere stated
  6. Everyday life & World – where the story takes place and how things work in the character’s world. If the character has emotional scars, give glimpses and let the readers use their own imagination.
  7. Keep the first chapter Lean and only include the key players of the story.
  8. Seeds of the past – Flash backs, but don’t tell the reader EVErything.
  9. Immediate Goal
  10. Character Flaw – “why she doesn’t have what she wants just yet.”
  11. Character in Action – “Don’t have the character just sit there doing nothing. Create some disturbance or conflict, hooking into the emotions of the character so the reader can relate to them.
  12. The Hook – Last line of the chapter and its job.
  13. Call to the Adventure – Why life can’t continue to be the same after what has taken place in the first chapter.
  14. “The last chapter of the story should echo the first chapter.”

Then she gave us a list of NO – No’s

  1. Flash back – sometimes okay if used properly
  2. Dreams
  3. Secondary Plot lines
  4. The next four heroes & heroines in your series – keep them out of the picture as best as you can and don’t let them steal the show.
  5. Overt revelations
  6. Grocery list of descriptions
  7. Prologues can sometimes be allowed if they are very important to the story. But don’t give away the trump card.

 

At our meeting we have a Pro Liaison and she is great at giving us writing challenges to take us through the month. They are more like exercises to help us get out of the way of our muses. This month’s challenge is to write crap for 5 minutes every day to kill your inner critic.

Okay – I found an outlet for my crap writing. I have this manuscript I started in 2010 for NaNo and never finished it because I thought the story line was crap – Maybe something can happen with it and I can shape it after I finish writing the crap in the first draft. Yesterday I did 500 words in the five or so minutes I worked on it. Who know what could happen with this story.

 

ROW80:

This week was a blah week. I was sick and didn’t feel like doing much of anything but sleeping. I even missed a day of work from my everyday job. It isn’t like me to call in sick.

I’m feeling better, and yesterday I was able to pick up some motivation from the girls at the Bow meeting. So yeaH! I added another 1k words to Road Salt. The first draft isn’t anywhere near the word count I am seeking but at least the story line is over 2/3rds done. I can see the end of the story off in the distance.

After what I did with the revision on Witch Book I am sure I will be able to make my word count when I go back and add some fluff to the story. I tend to do the opposite of most writers. I write tight and have to force myself to add the stuff our imaginations are made of.

Have a great week and may the ROW be with you… If you have time come check out some other ROWers and cheer them on Linky List.