Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Summary of Feb 22, 2020 Meeting

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Another engaging and informative meeting that got us thinking about how to structure our novels.



President Jim Hitt opened the meeting by discussing how editing is the most crucial part of writing, and indeed where true writing takes place.

He shared a book titled “Monster She Wrote: The women who pioneered horror and speculative fiction” by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson. And also read a Langston Hughes poem called “I, Too” which highlights that we are all brothers and sisters beneath the skin.




  1. Welcome to our two new Guild members.
  2. Sandy announced she received an invitation for a speaking engagement with the California Writers’ Club in Ontario, through our website.
  3. Jim did a reading of the short story “Like an Earthquake” for YouTube.
  4. Jim and Michelle both announced openings in their respective critique groups.
  5. Lynne announced that she now has a web team to assist with various aspects of the DVWG website.
  6. There is still time to enter poetry, fiction, or nonfiction in our Guild magazine


Writing Tips


Sandy Schuster-Hubbard, Vice President for Membership.

Sandy’s tips addressed the oft dreaded writers’ block which she explained stems from fear, perfectionism, and self-criticism.




This Month’s Speaker


Our speaker was Kathi Macias who has 67 publications to her credit. She talked about the glamour of a new project and how to keep up your energy and motivation until the project is completed.

She discussed her book “The Train of Thought Writing Method” which uses the metaphor of train cars as a guide to navigating the writing of a book. From the cow catcher that nudges away distractions, to the boxcars which are likened to story scenes and the need to make them all essential to the overall work, and to the caboose, which leaves an image of a satisfying ending to a story.

Her essential take-aways were:

  1. Focus on the theme of your story
  2. Characters need to be three dimensional and memorable
  3. The ending of the story should be tied to both the beginning as well as the theme

Kathi offers coaching, editing, and ghost-writing services in addition to speaking engagements and her own writing work. Contact Kathi here: http://www.kathimacias.com



sandy schuster

Sandy Schuster, M. S.

The Diamond Valley Writers’ Guild meeting of March 28, 2020 will continue the September 2019 discussion of Story Structures.

Sandy Schuster, M.S. will present:

  • The difference between plot and structure
  • The 3-Act Structure and
  • The 4-Act Structure as bases of several well-known structures
  • The Blake Snyder 15 beat structure for all genres

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m., but come earlier to chat and mingle with our “tribe” of members and guests who love reading and writing.

Please join us on March 28, 2020 at the Hemet Library, 300 E. Latham Ave., Hemet CA. The program runs from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., followed by self-hosted lunch at Emilio’s Mexican Restaurant in San Jacinto.





This blog post was prepared by DVWG member, poet and artist Renee Howard Cassese. You may access her  Facebook page  here and her books here.

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