Today I’m prepping for doing an all-day (10 to 5) workshop on Saturday for the Oregon Writers Colony in Portland, Oregon. They support writers through workshops and an annual writers conference (this year is their 30th), and have a house that is used as a writer’s retreat. You can see more about the OWC here.
I’ll start off the day with a Killer First Page session. Workshoppers have submitted first chapters/prologues, just as writers do here for a critique on FtQ. In fact, the process is the same. I hand out copies of the first pages, the class reads and makes notes, then votes on whether to turn the page or not. We then discuss why or why not, much as happens here, and I offer my notes. I expect to once again have writers’ eyes opened to what strengthens or weakens opening pages through this immersion technique.
Included in reading and voting is a bit of lecture on story questions and the first-page checklist as aids for analyzing and writing first pages. That should take up most of the morning since we can have thorough discussion of craft with no real time restraints.
In the afternoon we’ll dig into craft. The first couple of segments will deal with presentations about experiential description and dynamic dialogue. Writing exercises are included, including one that features a dragon. Writers will read aloud what they’ve created and I’ll be doing some critiquing and coaching. The dialogue exercise is particular fun—I solicit a few random lines of dialogue from the class, and then they used the dialogue in writing a brief scene for a scenario that I’ll give them.
Then comes a shift in focus from the narrative craft side of things to the storytelling side. We’ll dig more into creating a strong narrative tension from the beginning through writing in media res. I’ll get into techniques for creating tension on every page, and explore creating characters that readers can care about or connect to.
All in all, I’m looking forward to a fun day—there is nothing I enjoy more than talking with writers about writing and coaching them to lift their art and craft. Very rewarding. If you’d like more information on the workshops I offer, go here. I do them at writers conferences and in smaller, more private sessions for writers groups.
For what it’s worth,
© 2016 Ray Rhamey
My books. You can read sample chapters and learn more about the books here.
Writing Craft Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling
Fantasy (satire) The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles
Mystery (coming of age) The Summer Boy
Science Fiction Hiding Magic
Science Fiction Gundown Free ebooks.