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Write Now

Lessons Learned from Writing Workshop


Just returned from an inspiring weekend at the sixth annual Gold Rush Writers Conference: www.goldrushwriters.com.

As co-founder and faculty member, I am continually impressed with the quality of participants. We limit participants to 50 creative writers so we can offer an intimate, workshop environment focused on the craft of writing. Over the years, more and more of our participants have become published authors. That's a joy for us to celebrate.

This year, however, I tried to accomplish too much in my 90-minute workshop, “Bringing the Scene to Life.” My workshop covered two sessions on language (concrete vs. abstract & sensual vs. flat) and two sessions on dialogue (when/when not to use dialogue & how to write the dialogue scene). Within those 90 minutes, I gave 10 writing exercises! Lesson learned: In the future I will split these into two workshops and cut back on the exercises.

In spite of my rushed schedule, the participants got right into the writing exercises, so I'd like to share a few with my with my blog readers. Even if you think you're not a writer, I expect you could start a writing career with this one:

Give yourself half an hour of quiet time. Focus on your favorite restaurant. Write about the feeling of walking up to the door, the senses that greet you as you enter, the internal scene (what does the restaurant look like, how about the people who greet you?), the smells, the energy of the place, the tastes, the sounds, the feel of the air on your skin, the feel of your clothes on your skin, the people around you, the staff. This is not a restaurant review but a character immersed in the experience.

Let me know if you’d like more writing exercises.

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