Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Summary of Sept. 28, 2019 Meeting

At Guild meetings, we try to vary topics from month to month between matters of craft and those of business. At our September 28, 2019 meeting, we were pleased to learn about story structure from Guild Vice President Sandra Schuster-Hubbard.

Many thanks to Sandy for her excellent, if abbreviated, presentation on story structure. It was abbreviated because a small-group exercise using Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat was so enthusiastically received, we ran way over on time. After lively discussions, each group reported out. Not only did we learn something valuable and motivating, the exercise allowed us to get to know each other better, always a bonus. While the camaraderie, creativity, and good energy was memorable, I learned even more about the topic, and left the meeting highly motivated.

Sandy is an engaging and diligent teacher. What a fun day. Time flew, and Sandy had tons more material she would have liked to share with us. When the meeting concluded, the group affirmed interest in asking her to present a story structure workshop in the future.

Also, I’d like to thank Liam Bruce for (again) helping us with our AV challenges! Liam seems to know exactly how to get the library’s elderly laptop to communicate with the projector. Many thanks.

Lastly, Guild Member Hanna Stephenson announced that she had just illustrated her first children’s book. If you’re a children’s book author and have questions about working with an illustrator, you might ask her about that experience. Congratulations, Hanna.

Writers’ Corner

We always appreciate hearing from Jim Hitt, an award-winning author who recently, with his wife Vicki Allen-Hitt, started their own publishing house. Jim spoke with us about book formatting in the development of a paperback or ebook. Two of the tips he shared were (1) do not indent the first line of a chapter, and (2), do not begin a chapter with a word ending in “ing. There was some debate as to whether or not indentation is required after a hiatus, or scene break, inside a chapter. I did some research, and found that Joel Friedlander (TheBookDesigner.com) recommends not indenting the first paragraph after a scene break.

You’re welcome.

Elections Reminder

Remember we will elect a President and Treasurer at our next meeting. Lynne Spreen is stepping down as President but has offered to serve in the newly created position of Webmaster, which may ease concerns about technical knowledge, should you consider running for President. If you have served as treasurer for your club or service organization, you probably have enough experience to handle ours. Also, the board’s workload is deliberately kept very light. We meet every other month for 2 hours. Because I like to remind everybody this is a hobby not a vocation. Please contact Lynne before that if you have any questions about serving.

National Novel Writing Month is Approaching

Lynne Spreen describing NaNoWriMo

Can you write 50,000 words in one month?

Yes, you can! How do I know this? Because I did, and in this short, 2-video series, I describe how I prepared for and succeeded at that accomplishment while traveling extensively during the month of November and also throwing/attending the usual holiday parties. I mean, what sinister person decided, of all the months of the year, to choose NOVEMBER for a writing marathon? But I digress.

For those of you who are planning to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), you can learn more about how to prepare and succeed by watching two short videos. Thanks to Wendy Knepp for the mention, and to the Interrobangs Critique Group for inviting me to speak. Here are the links:

How to Succeed at NaNoWriMo Part 1 and How to Succeed at NaNoWriMo Part 2

 

October Guild Meeting Announcement

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A Matter of Craft

with

Wes Rand & Barry Solloway

 

At our final meeting of the program year, we’ll be visiting with Las Vegas writers Wes Rand and Barry Solloway.

Authors of gritty but realistic political thrillers (Barry) and westerns (Wes), these two authors are veterans of the business, having pushed through writers block, time constraints, craft and development, and marketing challenges. Both have started their own publishing houses, Wes after a challenging experience with Lulu Press. Barry’s book is in the process of being turned into a movie.

At this meeting, Barry will talk about getting started on your writing journey, and Wes will share information about character development and research. Character development for the protagonist generally takes two paths: full description for the reader to visualize what the author wants, and scant description for the reader to imagine how he looks on his own. We’ll discuss pros and cons of each approach.

We’ll also discuss using solid research to enrich the story. Expert scene development not only helps with reader visualization, but it can also teach the reader something new.

So join us for our last meeting of the year, and be sure to plan for lunch at Emilio’s afterwards!

That’s Saturday, October 26, 2019, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., at the Hemet Public Library, 300 E. Latham, Hemet CA. Free and open to the public.

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This blog post was prepared by Lynne Spreen, President of the DVWG. Lynne writes women’s fiction with romantic themes. You may access her website here and her books here.


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