Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nonfiction blast!

Just got back from the Southern Breeze Conference and was a little nervous because they had so many good workshops to choose from-Thank you Lisa Stauffer. I was afraid I would miss something good and I probably did, but my good friends, Pat, Jana, Mary Ann and Irene promised to share (and they did).

Friday I chose to do Darcy Pattison workshop on voice and boy did I get my money's worth! Ever wonder how to make an old grouchy woman sound? Or make two boys the same age have a different voice. Or how about a dragon? This workshop taught us how to think consciously to make our characters have the voice we wanted them to have.

I did not get to attend her other workshops on Saturday because I wanted to concentrate on writing for magazines and nonfiction, but as a bonus, all attendees got a CD with her workshops on them. thank you Darcy!

Robyn Hood Black and Sharon Mitchell gave the class some good insights on writing for magazines and some Do's and Don't that you can check out on Robyn's website.
Sharon took us through how to write something you don't know, but may interest you and do the research. Great stuff!

Then I took Brad Strickland's History, Mystery and Research. He gave us a copy of his power point and if you weren't able to make the class he had extras on the freebie table. He also has a new book out: The Secret of the Sealed Room-A mystery of Young Benjamin Franklin- can't wait to read it (already have my signed copy).
Everyone knows how to write a mystery right? You start with the ending and work backwards. Duh! No wonder I was having such a hard time. I knew the ending of my story but I was trying to write towards the ending instead of backward. I'm going to give this a try. If any of you have tried it let me know how it works for you.

Heather Montgomery did an excellent job with : Real World: Work for Hire/Pay your Bills. We've all heard to study the markets, and I thought I was. Wrong! You have one week to check out Heather's power point on her website
Scroll down to "What's New" and find her SCBWI topic.

I now have a better understanding of how to slant my article towards a particular publication and can't wait to try it out.

Spring Mingle is right around the corner so get to writing and polishing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Freebies at local libraries

Just got back from the Midsouth SCBWI conference and am jazzed.

I didn't get my first page read, :( but it was such a good exercise. I feel not only did I get a really good first page but a whole first chapter. Later that week the Florence-Lauderdale library had a free class on the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL). I thought I would learn about how to get books from other libraries ( I did) but it was so much more! For those that are writing non-fiction it is like paradise. All these research bases available to you not only from home, but if you are traveling you can still access the information (FREE!) In this economy when it is costly to travel it's good to know you can do a lot of the research without ever having to crank your vehicle.
Our library also has classes on digital photography,Microsoft power point, genealogy online, excel spreadsheet. The list goes on and on. Have you checked out your local library? What are some of the free things offered you have found useful?