I love going to writing workshops, seminars, and discussions. I love being around writers and I always learn something. I always take a lot of notes and pictures and pick up every handout, and card or bookmark I can find. Since I started this blog I’ve been especially determined to gather all I can.
The problem is I don’t go back to those notes and handouts. I get all inspired and anxious to write but it doesn’t last through my day-to-day life. Another big problem, for me, is that I write articles on Old West history. Although some of the information I learn can be applied to all writing the inspiration tends more towards fiction.
I like to write fiction. One of my dreams is to write a cozy mystery, or a ghost story, or . . . well, you get the idea. Through my writing group I start a lot of stories but I seldom follow through with them. They are sitting on a shelf or a few have even made it into the computer.
When I won an on-line writing class at a recent all-day seminar I wasn’t sure I’d take advantage of it. I’m so glad I did.
The class I won was through Laurie Schnebly Campbell. She has a variety of classes which build on each other. Each workshop is a series of email lectures including homework assignments. Classmates may also chat with each other.
I signed up for “Plotting via Motivation” thinking I would start on that ghost story novel.
What an amazing experience. Because I was working every day and had those assignments to turn in by the end of the three weeks I had pages and pages of information ready to start writing. I knew all my characters and why they were doing what they were doing.
The notes and information didn’t disappear into my file drawer. I printed out the lectures and assignments and took them everywhere and worked on my story every day. I loved it. I learned so much because I was applying the information and Laurie’s great comments directly to my own work.
Well, I couldn’t stop there. I signed up for the next class, “Master Class: From Plot to Finish” and ended up with a scene by scene “outline” of the novel. It’s all very basic and I’m sure things will change as I get into the actual writing but I’ve never gotten this far with all my fits and starts.
I’ve done National Novel Writer’s Month and have 50,000 words written for a number of books but I never went back to them. I’ve taken creative writing classes and attended many workshops. Nothing has gotten me going like this.
I had no idea this would be so beneficial. A special thanks to Laurie for introducing me to this mode of learning/writing. I have another one of her classes on my to-do list.
I know there are other classes out there so if you have taken an on-line class that was especially helpful please spread the word through a comment below. Then go check out Laurie’s classes. If you haven’t taken one before you will be so glad you did.