Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Summary of January 2017 Meeting

winter-2024112_1920What an amazing kickoff to our new year. Forty-eight people attended the Hemet Public Library for our first meeting, and half of them joined as members. We rely on your generous support to keep the lights on, so thank you!

Here’s a quick rundown of the main topics covered, with links to handouts.

Chuck Sims, representing the Four Seasons Players, invited writers to submit completed scripts to him for consideration in an upcoming production. Chuck can be emailed at this address.

Lynne and Lindsey with author gift basket

Lynne and Lindsey with author gift basket

Cindy Finkelstein told us about a great opportunity to share your books with new readers: put them into a gift basket for the Moreno Valley Wind Symphony to auction in their fundraisers. Cindy’s daughter, Lindsey, accepted a gift basket on behalf of the MVWS. Lindsey is a musician and member of this all-volunteer symphony. For more information, contact Cindy at this email address. If you’d like to learn more about the Symphony, their website is here.

Marj Charlier spoke about How to Select a Point of View, and she impressed all of us with the depth of her knowledge. To access her notes, which you can read online or download and print, click here.

Also, since we ran a bit long, Lynne Spreen didn’t get a chance to share her Five Tips for Creating Compelling Characters, so you can access that handout here.

JoLynne Buehring had some great tips for getting the most out of your critique group. Here is a link to the list put together by the Strait/Hitt Critique Group.

George Gurney shared his approach to writing dialect in fiction. It’s all in the balance; some, but not too much. One of his books, “No Saddle for the Cowboy: A Handful of Western Tales,” exemplifies this point. Begin with dialect and then back off, because otherwise you’ll tire (or annoy) the reader.

Jerry Prager, a former high school teacher (and actor) talked about where he finds his inspiration for the murder mysteries he likes to write. He made us all laugh when he suggested his main motivation was revenge–but he was kidding! Jerry’s main character is a substitute teacher investigating the murder of another instructor…possibly by administration.

Other topics from the day: We’re always looking for writing groups, so if you need members, send your contact information to DVWritersGuild@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our Writing Groups page. Also, one of our guests suggested you might want to join a free online critique group, Critique Circle. A quick Google search found similar groups, such as Writing.com and Scribophile.com. Look them over carefully before signing on with anyone, and always keep copies of your work on your own computer.

Lastly, here’s the article about Lynne and the Guild in the January 25, 2017 issue of the Press-Enterprise newspaper.

Next month, notable author and Guild member Jim Hitt will be speaking on the topic of short stories, and CJ Hernley, author of ten books, will end the meeting with a brief presentation on giving away short works on Amazon.com as a way of attracting attention to your other books. See you on February 25, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.

Lynne SpreenThis blog post was prepared by Lynne Spreen, President of the DVWG. Lynne is a pro-aging advocate. She is a blogger, speaker, and author of midlife fiction. You may access her website here and her books here.


  1. ram1614 says:

    Lynn, I want to start coming to the meetings with Rose and Marj. Gerry was a featured reader last month at Koffi. Congrats on all you are doing!


  2. Thanks, Donna! You are more than welcome.


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