On October 30, 2010 I attended the ENCORE 2010 Workshop at Rhode Island College. Here is a list of the speakers that presented at the workshop:
J. L. Bell - Writer, Editor and Historian. (http://www.ozandends.blogspot.com/)
Melissa Stewart - Author. (http://www.melissa-stewart.com/)
Lisa Papademetriou - Author. (http://www.lisapapa.com/)
Jo Knowles - Author. (http://www.joknowles.com/)
Yolanda (Leroy) Scott - Editorial Director at Charlesbridge. (http://www.charlesbridge.com/)
This was my first workshop and I am excited to say I cannot wait for the next one. The networking of other writers, both published and unpublished, is informative and rewarding. Here are some of the discussions that were given at the workshop:
1. There are two kinds of writers – Character Writers (are most interested in people) and
Plot Writers (are most interested events). I now realize I am mostly a Plot Writer.
2. Write to your strengths, revise to your weaknesses.
3. Assess your scenes – make sure each scene has a turning point.
4. Turn your manuscript into the book it wants to be, by writing to your maximum potential.
5. Tell stories that both surprise and satisfy.
6. Use memory observation to find inspiration.
7. Do your research on choosing the right publishing house; increase your odds.
One of the writing prompts we were given was “THAT NIGHT” (from "Jo Knowles"). We were given a few minutes to come up with something using that as the start of a story. Here is what I came up with:
That night, the crunch of the leaves under my feet almost gave me away. The birds in the trees ruffled their feathers, at the sound. Yet, the two men in the clearing had not heard me approach. I inched my way forward; fearful of giving myself away. It was near the fallen log that I crouched low, feeling sure that I would not be discovered, while I watched and listened.
One of the men was throwing dirt back into a hole that they had apparently dug, while the other man grumbled, “Hurry up, Harry!”
“Keep your shirt on Ralph!” said the one called Harry. “I’m shovelin’ as fast as I can.”
“We gotta get out of here,” urged the man called Ralph. “C’mon, c’mon.”
Harry had finished filing in the hole and Ralph was kicking leaves over the freshly filled hole.
It was then that I had this uncontrollable urge to sneeze! “Ahhchoo!” I jumped to my feet, almost tripping over them in my hurry to do so.
“Who’s there?” roared Ralph.
“Let’s get ‘em, Ralph,” urged Harry.
Quickly, I turned. I ran back through the woods; my braids flapping from side to side, keeping my arms outstretched in front of me, pushing away branches to clear my way.
TIME RAN OUT at the workshop on this prompt and that is as far as I got with this writing exercise. Who knows maybe, I will use it as part of a book.
There were many more writing prompts and ideas. This is just a sampling; if there is a SCBWI Workshop in your area. Sign up! You’ll Love it!