Minutes from April 1, 2019 Meeting

April is National Poetry Month! At our next meeting, Monday, April 8th at 5pm, if you have a favorite poem or find one you like over the course of your reading this week, please bring it along to share with the group. We’ll also do some found poetry exercises—words and materials will be provided, so no pressure! On Monday we wrapped up our diverse fiction discussion by pointing out that no one discussion is going to do the trick. The topic is vast and complicated—we’re talking about the full range of human experience, after all. We picked up a few threads from last week … Continue reading Minutes from April 1, 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

Dialogue

This week’s discussion was all about dialogue. If you missed the meeting and didn’t get the handout, you can find Thomasa’s tips for writing good dialogue over here, and here’s the rest of what the group came up with: How your characters speak is just as important as what is said. Be descriptive, but resist the urge to get too fancy with your dialogue tags—”said” is perfectly fine, and leaning too heavily on more interesting synonyms and adverbs can clutter up your writing; basically, make them count. Realistic speech isn’t grammatically correct, so dialogue doesn’t have to be and can … Continue reading Dialogue

The Power of Voice

Hello Creative Writer, In the vein we’ve been in, character, over the last few weeks I’d like to offer up one other important character in the story that as of yet we haven’t mentioned. You. Or more specifically the voice in which you choose to tell your story. Now, this can be pretty interesting especially if you aren’t telling the story in 1st person, from the point of view of a character within the story. When you are “outside” the story telling and  showing the reader what is happening, what people are thinking and doing, you become a character as … Continue reading The Power of Voice

Writer’s Block

We have all been there haven’t we creative writer? You are plugging along pretty speedily on a story, the plot is progressing and everything feels great then suddenly without warning, like the entrance of a villain in a horror movie, it starts to loom. You can feel the creative river start to dry out until it is barely a stream and then BAMMMMM! Nothing. You stare at the screen or the page and you want to put words there but nothing is happening and nothing will come out. You look at your story boards, outlines, character sketches and plot maps– … Continue reading Writer’s Block

More on Character

We’re all hard at work on our character trait lists (or interviews, or spreadsheets, or whatever route you’ve chosen) for Friday. I can’t wait to meet everybody’s characters, but I’m having more trouble than I expected boiling mine down to traits on a list without going off on a lot of tangents. So I started looking around the internet for useful tips from established writers. Here’s Chuck Wendig on two nifty visual aids for writing characters: the mind map—a sort of visual-meets-textual reference of multiple characters’ basic traits—and a purely visual collection of abstract images that call to mind who a … Continue reading More on Character

Minutes from December 3, 2018 Meeting: Character Building

This week’s meeting focused on character building. We covered a lot of ground, so settle in. First off, let me refer you to this helpful post on creating a well-rounded character. We went over those five points and discussed how they can help address some common snags a writer may hit when crafting a character, including something called “the superhero problem” in which a character is too powerful to identify with, too invulnerable to allow the plot any sense of urgency, or too prominent in the plot to allow room to explore how other characters matter and are affected by … Continue reading Minutes from December 3, 2018 Meeting: Character Building

How Important is Character Development

Hello Creative Writer, We all know as writers that the act of telling a convincing and compelling tale is quite the difficult balancing act. We have to make sure the pacing is right and that the plot makes so as to avoid the dreaded plot hole. We need to make sure that the setting is believable and that there is a satisfying conclusion that lets the reader know that the story is over; whether it’s left a little open for a sequel or not. One of the hardest things to do in story building is to build up our characters. … Continue reading How Important is Character Development