Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG: A Resource for You





This is my post for November’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  To read other contributors click here.



In 2011, I participated in a Grubb Street fiction workshop taught by author Lynne Griffin via a grant through our local libraryAt the time, I’d written a first attempt at a novel, a mess I’d consigned to a folder on my flash drive.  During the six week workshop, I learned much about POV, voice, and setting, but the lesson that resonated for me focused on conflict.  Through Lynne's classes, I realized my first novel was a disaster because I had been afraid to raise the stakes.  A confessed coward, I refrained from forcing hardship on the characters I created, and whom I’d come to love.  As a result?  Ho hum...

During the spring before the class, I’d started a second novel, and though I had to take several breaks at critical junctures before I could bear to force my protagonists into overwhelming and sometimes tragic circumstances, the lessons I absorbed from Lynne allowed me to do so.  Now, on my tenth revision, I still have a long way to go, but when I think about the impact that class had on me, I know I’d never have my second, improved story without it. 

Aside from the bla, bla, bla backstory above, I gained one more thing from Lynne’s class. From 2006-2009, she and three of her partners took turns writing for their blog, called  the Writer’s Group.  There, they shared experiences in regard to all things writing, and though they no longer contribute to it, the blog remains public.  Their engaging essays impart truths and reassurances related to the technical and emotional considerations associated with writing and publishing.  When I need practical help or feel most insecure about my journey, I peruse the subjects they covered back then and it always helps to keep me going. 

Check out the Writer’s Group.   Maybe it will help you too.

What resources do you turn to when the writing journey overwhelms you?

14 comments:

Angeline Trevena said...

I actually did a degree in Creative Writing at university and I loved all the things I learned. Before, I just thought that you just splurged your thoughts onto paper and that was it, but the technical side of it is fascinating as well as important.

But there's always more to learn. I'm lucky enough to be part of a writing group and we beta read for each other and learn things from one another all the time.

Old Kitty said...

What a lovely resource to return to time and again for some writerly comfort! Thank you. I tend to seek out the few friends who know that I try to write creatively. Even a nice email from them helps! Take care
x

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, that's a tough question. I don't have a blog to turn to like you do. But I turn to my blogging friends who I've met through blogging. I used to participate in forums, but I don't have time for that anymore.

Miranda Hardy said...

I turn to other writers in the area to push my limits and we help motivate one another through the rough patches. Sounds like a great resource and glad you got a lot of valuable info from that class.

M.L. Swift said...

Great Post, Liva.

There is a defunct blog called Plot to Punctuation that I reference when stuck on all things literary. He hasn't posted in over six months (at last check), but has invaluable lessons in his archives.

When I feel low spiritually, I turn to My Utmost for His Highest, quotes and affirmations to feed my soul.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have a few writer friends I keep in touch with and we find time to encourage each other and offer advice. I feel they help me more than I help them.

cleemckenzie said...

I find sitting down and actually talking to my writer friends is my best recharge. In just a short time I feel so much calmer about what I'm doing and what I have to do!

E.J. Wesley said...

There are so many 'little' things that add up to a big impact on a story, Liza. Conflict being among those. Amazing what not giving a character what he/she wants will do for a story!

Thanks for the link, btw. Def going to check it. :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks for pointing out a great resource. I think a lot of writers shy away from conflict when that's what we should focus on.

Camille Picott said...

I agree, it is SO hard to do mean things to your characters! But you're right, it's so essential if we want our stories to have actual plots. :) Good luck with your novel!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I will check it out!
I can do bad things to my characters, but not really bad. Killed one already - I'd like a few to survive.

Johana Vera said...

I have no qualms about making my characters suffer. Thankfully.
Now that makes my sound like a psycho, right? But it's true.
I know that in the end they're gonna make it. And people die every day, don't they? Um, I'm not helping my I'm-not-a-psycho case here.
I have other problem that's way worse than yours. If the elusive muse escapes me, I'm screwed. People say "don't rely on 'inspiration', just write and even it's it sucks, it's still writing". I don't function like that. If I lose inspiration, I'm toasted. See? About 157% worse.

Carol Kilgore said...

It's so hard to torture our characters. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And eventually it actually becomes fun wondering what awful thing you can pile on them next :)

C.M.Brown said...

I enjoy the interactions I make with other writers on the internet, I am left feeling connected to people with similar interests who understand me. It is a valuable tool.