Minutes from April 15, 2019 Meeting

Thursday, April 18 is Poem in Your Pocket Day! Share your favorite poem down in the comments if you’d like us to add it to the packet we’ll be sharing from throughout the day. Yesterday we shared some original poems and talked a bit about our relationship to poetry. We’d had a great time creating found poems last week but struggled when it came to putting together a satisfying poem using our own words. While all art is subjective, poetry doesn’t have as many concrete rules as fiction does. It’s harder to gauge a poem’s quality—even its doneness is a … Continue reading Minutes from April 15, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from March 25, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we began our discussion on diversity in fiction. You may recall that we touched on this topic a little when we discussed character development and especially cultures in worldbuilding: the more varied perspectives you bring to a work of fiction, the stronger it will be, because it will reflect reality; the more realistic your worlds and your characters, the more immersive your fiction will be. In yesterday’s meeting we discussed how that kind of argument fails to get at the deeper truth. “It will make you a better writer” is a handy way to incentivize inclusion, but that should be … Continue reading Minutes from March 25, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from March 18, 2019 Meeting

Sounds like everyone made good use of their time off! A couple of us have been working on unfinished novels and a couple more have been editing finished work, but we still had brain space to tackle a few difficult questions yesterday. Over Spring Break a question about finding an editor turned into a discussion about knowing when your work is ready to be put out into the world. We continued that discussion in the meeting yesterday and managed to tie it to another question, how things become canon in a work of fiction, sparked by J.K. Rowling doing that thing … Continue reading Minutes from March 18, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from March 4, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we wrapped up our workshop from last week and did a little brainstorming with the writers. Afterward we talked about the four basic types of writing: expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive writing. The first three types are crucial elements of fiction writing, and exposition was a frequent topic in this workshop—some of our stories could have benefited from a little more of it, others from a little less or some fine-tuning of what was there. It’s not always easy to tell when you need more exposition to fuel your story and when your exposition is bogging everything down. There … Continue reading Minutes from March 4, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from February 25, 2019 Meeting

This week’s meeting was our first workshop session. There wasn’t enough time to cover all the stories in an hour, so we’ll be extending the workshop to next week to fit in the last couple stories. The love story challenge proved pretty versatile; the stories were varied in tone and each one seemed to take the theme in an entirely different direction from the last. It was wonderful to have a chance to bring so many different writing voices together for each piece. We did a bit of brainstorming with the writer of each story discussed, and the writers had … Continue reading Minutes from February 25, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from February 19, 2019 Meeting

On Tuesday we discussed the format for next week’s workshop and had a brief brainstorming session with one of our writers, who’s struggling to develop an antagonist. The handout on how to workshop can be found here. We’ll likely need to split the workshop into two meetings to have time to address each story thoroughly. (Thomasa will be up first so those new to the process can get a little practice critiquing someone who’s done this before and has a thicker skin. Heather’s called dibs on going last. The rest of the order can be decided the day of the … Continue reading Minutes from February 19, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from February 11, 2019 Meeting

This week’s meeting focused on the query letter. The topic can be a little mystifying, but Thomasa’s been querying her novels for a while now and was able to break down the process for us: its importance if you’ve chosen the traditional publishing route, how to research and choose agents who are both trustworthy and a good fit for your work, how to write a query letter, and how to approach a contract once your letter is successful. You can get the handout from the meeting here. It includes a formatting guide and a sample query letter broken down and … Continue reading Minutes from February 11, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from February 4, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we talked about our writing goals: what we’re looking forward to accomplishing this year, what we’re doing to stay on track, and whether we’ve had to reexamine our goals. Last semester’s character talks have inspired us to really focus on character development in all of our projects, as well as finishing projects rather than simply focusing on word counts, and we’re looking forward to more inspiring craft talks and opportunities to experiment with new forms and genres in the months to come. Thomasa recommends Pinterest for storyboarding your projects, which helps if you don’t have space for a corkboard … Continue reading Minutes from February 4, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from January 28, 2019 meeting

First off, from here on out meetings will be limited to one hour. Anyone is welcome to hang out longer than that, but the time limit will help keep some of our discussions on track and ensure no one’s driving home too late on winter roads. Our next meeting will be Monday, February 4th at 5pm in the library. There’s no discussion on the agenda for next week so everyone can focus on their own projects, bearing in mind everything we learned about dialogue. We talked about its many roles in a narrative, how it contributes to plot and characterization, … Continue reading Minutes from January 28, 2019 meeting

Minutes from December 14, 2018 Meeting

For our final meeting of 2018, following up on our character discussions of the last couple weeks, each of our writers brought in a character, major or minor, to introduce to the group. Some came with lists, while others had chosen to stage interviews with their characters.  Pooled together, we had a range of internal and external details—family dynamics, educational background, personality quirks, physical appearance, religion, favorite foods, full family history, personal traumas, professional history, social skills, etc., and how some of those traits inform the others. It sounds like everybody came out of this exercise knowing more about our characters … Continue reading Minutes from December 14, 2018 Meeting