Upcoming Ideas

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month

Many of you know about this helpful event for writers that takes place in November. But are you aware that there are a lot of supportive groups that communicate year-long? If you are curious, check out NaNoWriMo Forums.

We talked about the whole NaNoWriMo matter at the August meeting. There were a number of people present that would like to take part in a local support group of our own. It will be discussed on the Facebook page.

The NaNoWriMo website offers many things for all writers, even for multi-published authors like myself. One resource that impressed me was The Week-By-Week Breakdown for the prep classes in 2020.

If you are interested in taking part, check out the main NaNoWriMo website. If you are interested in a local support group, watch the Facebook page for more discussion.

If you have other suggestions for KWA, let the board know or mention it on the Facebook page.

August 21 KWA Meeting

We have confirmed our reservation for the Sunflower Room (with the tables set up) at the K-State Extension Office (Ridge and 21st, 7001 W 21st St, Wichita, KS 67205 https://www.sedgwick.k-state.edu/) for our August 21st meeting, 1:30-4:30.

In light of the rising Covid numbers, we ask that you mask, regardless of vaccination status, for the meeting. If you do not have a mask, we will have some available.

Our subject will be Sagging Middles (no, not an exercise class!). Starla Criser will present some techniques she has used over her years of successful writing. I will bring some as well, though I think I stole them from Starla. If anyone else has a format, technique or tip to share, please do.

It’s not so much a meeting as a get together of friends for informative discussions. As usual, we will introduce ourselves and what we write.

Also, if you have a website, blog or other media that you have found helpful, please bring the URL or whatever to share. We will have a good time, lots of laughs, and will learn ways to hone our craft.

Look forward to seeing all of you there!

July 17th KWA Meeting

We have the Meadowlark meeting room booked in the easy to access, K-State Extension facility at 21st and Ridge in Wichita. Here is the link to the facility’s website. https://www.sedgwick.k-state.edu/sedgwick_county…

This is a great facility, and we have room to add many more new members. So bring a friend! The meeting is open to anyone interested in writing. Membership is not required until you decide if this group is for you. Our members work in many different genres at levels from beginners to experienced writers.

Kathy Pritchett will be hosting a discussion about how to develop characters in your writing. A character presenting about characters! Isn’t that a hoot?

Hope to see many people there!

June 19th Meeting – New location

The Rockwell Library where we used to meet is not yet available, but we have reserved the Sunflower Room at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center from 1:30 to 4:00 for June 19. The extension center is west of Sedgwick County Park, which is west of the Zoo. The address is:  7001 W 21st St, Wichita, KS 67205.

We will try to have a zoom or livestream for those who are not yet comfortable meeting in person or are unable to attend. 

Louise Pelzl (writing as Z Minor) has volunteered to lead a discussion on show vs. tell.

May 15 KWA Meeting – Zoom

Will still be meeting via Zoom, although, if the Library is not available for June, we may have an alternative site to meet in person.

 Subject this time will be plotting, tension, and how to control various elements of your story. Remember, unless your characters hijack your story, you are in control of everything: timing, setting, dialog, backstory, pacing.

“See” you Saturday at 1:30.

KWA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. I would ask the Board members to stay on a few minutes after everyone else signs off for a couple quick housekeeping items.
Subject will be plotting, adding tension to your stories and anything else y’all want to discuss.

Topic: KWA’s May Zoom Meeting
Time: May 15, 2021 01:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 933 0179 7946
Passcode: 072113

March 20 Zoom KWA Meeting

Wendell will lead a discussion about writing fantasy.

KWA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: KWA’s March Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 20, 2021 01:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 996 7338 0609
Passcode: 598444
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,99673380609#,,,,*598444# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,99673380609#,,,,*598444# US (Houston)

Notes from February 20 Meeting

Love is in the Air (Imagine Barry White singing…)

Romance is an age-old genre. In fact, none of us would be here without some form of romance. Though I did have a fellow suggest to me once that lust might be enough…

Wikipedia has a lot of info about romance, suggesting that the first romance novels began in ancient Greece. And the stories have been coming ever since. But romance takes many forms. There are YA romances about crushes. Remember your crush in middle school? You might be “going steady” but you never talked to your crush and he never talked to you. You told your best friend what you wanted him to know, and she told his best friend. Then there was high school— And romance at a “mature” age takes on a whole different spin. You compare medication lists and Medicare plans, wondering if he has a nursing home policy.

Suspense, thriller, horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, all of these genres can have an element of romance, even if it’s just a hint. Other times, the romance can be a sub-plot.

There are Amish romances, historical romances, sweet romances, erotic romances, hotter than erotic romances. Even other species romance: Lady and the Tramp anyone?

Some reference works suggest there are 7 types of romance subgenres:

  • Contemporary Romance.
  • Historical Romance.
  • Romantic Suspense.
  • Erotic Romance.
  • Religious/Spiritual Romance.
  • Paranormal, Sci-Fi, or Fantasy Romance.
  • Young Adult Romance.

Master Class suggests there are 6 subgenres: They rename the genres and leave out erotic romance. Harlequin also details the subgenres.

The Write Life posts a list of Don’ts for romance writing. All of them relate to not making the characters nuanced, flawed, vulnerable. Another don’t is Love at first sight. That only happens in Hallmark movies, and they spend an hour and 45 minutes fighting it.

Ingramspark provides a How to Write Love Scenes, emphasizing that, unless you are writing hardcore porn, it needs to be a LOVE scene, not just a sex scene. The reader should fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other. The reader should want to cheer when they work it out. And the love scenes, like every scene in your book, should move the story along. It needs to be essential to the story, not just a gratuitous scene.

Romance Writers of America, a group to promote the writing of romance, has lots of resources available.

But the thing to remember is that romance writing should also be GOOD writing. Make your characters nuanced, flawed, realistic. Give them backstory that comes out as needed. Go into deep POV. Make the plot realistic (even if it’s fantasy or sci-fi. Even Lady and the Tramp works on that level). Above all, create characters that you and your readers can care about, cheer for.

In my romantic suspense, More Than a Point of Honor, the heroine is attracted to the hero but has doubts fed by the antagonist. The hero is attracted to her, but fears she is in league with the antagonist. The hero’s goal/motivation/conflict is initially revenge, but as the attraction to the heroine grows, his GMC changes gradually, until revenge is replaced by the goal of protecting her at all costs.

In my police procedural in process, A Little Shame, hero Scott stumbles into a relationship, while confounded by a romance he witnesses between his mentor, who is Scott’s mother’s age, and a new flame. The romance is a subplot, but it does manage to complicate his getting to the bottom of the mystery.









From Kathy Pritchett

February 20 Meeting

Here are the details for our zoom meeting on Saturday at 1:30. We will have a special guest joining us to discuss and answer questions about her career as a romance author.

KWA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: February KWA Meeting
Time: Feb 20, 2021 01:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 943 1159 8252
Passcode: 498196
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,94311598252#,,,,*498196# US (San Jose)
+12532158782,,94311598252#,,,,*498196# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
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Meeting ID: 943 1159 8252
Passcode: 498196
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acMeNZmi4A

Writing Opportunity

Here is something from the Wichita Public Library that might interest you as either a writer or reader. Submit your short stories. https://www.wichitalibrary.org/
The following was in the library’s newsletter and has more details, forwarded to me by another member.
Let your short story be seen by readers all over Wichita. You can now submit your short stories for placement in the Library’s three short story dispensers in Wichita! Click here to create an account on the online portal. Read below for story prompt ideas and for complete terms and conditions.
Writing PromptsWichita has no shortage of ghost stories. Choose a local legend and tell us what really happened. How did the projectionist who haunts the Orpheum die? Why does the woman with the blue handkerchief refuse to leave the Eaton Hotel? What ghosts haunt your Wichita dreams?

You are walking your dog on a windy day when an unusual tree branch blown to the sidewalk catches your eye. On closer inspection, it’s not a tree branch at all. It’s…a dinosaur bone?

Write an “epistolary novel,” a story told entirely through a letter written to one of the characters.

Write about an event that doesn’t go as planned. Examples of events that might go awry include: New Year’s Eve, the first day of school, or the year 2020.

The bronze statues by Georgia Gerber that line Douglas Avenue in downtown Wichita see a lot of action on any given day. Pick one of them and tell us who they are and how they got there. What does the Barefoot Businessman think about what he’s reading in The Wichita Eagle? What do the mother and little boy see in a window of the Kress building? Is the busker having any luck today?

Write a story that takes place the same year you started kindergarten. What political events and cultural trends happened that year? How was technology different? How will these factors shape the narrative and setting for your characters?

A “macguffin” is defined as an object or device in a work of fiction that furthers the plot. Using the “macguffin” of a sealed shut, featureless cardboard box, tell a story about the box, who is responsible for it and what might be inside it.

Imagine a world where humans hibernated during the winter. Write a mystery story that takes place in this hypothetical universe.

Write a story that takes place in a singular setting; that setting is the last building you went to that wasn’t work, school or home.For horror writers, think of the last time something scared you but it turned out to be completely harmless. Write a story where that harmless thing is the story’s antagonist.Douglas and Oliver, Murdock and Washington – Select a Wichita intersection and develop a story around two characters that take their names from the streets in that intersection.In the tradition of Franz Kafka, write a story where the protagonist goes to sleep a human only to wake up as an animal of your choosing.On January 1, 2021, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald entered the public domain, which means that the novel is no longer protected under copyright. Incorporate elements from The Great Gatsby into your story in the same way other public domain characters (like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula) have appeared in contemporary fiction.

Terms & ConditionsSubmission Requirements
The author should submit an original story/poem in English. For stories in English, the maximum length is 8,000 characters (including spaces). The work must be fictional, or deal with historical or biographical topics in a literary manner. Journalistic works, nonfiction articles or essays, etc., will not be accepted. Stories can be of any genre, e.g.: drama, romance, science fiction, etc. Pornographic or erotic texts are not permitted.
Author Information
Authors shall submit their work using a Short Edition account they will need to create. The author should clearly indicate how they would like to be credited for their work. This name will appear next to the title of the story.
Rights, Guarantees and Responsibilities
The author declares that he/she is the sole author of any text he/she submits, and that this same text is an original creation. The author declares that he/she controls the copyright of the submitted text, meaning that he/she has never transferred these rights to a third person/entity.
Copying and Distribution
The author grants a non-exclusive right to the project organizer to reproduce, correct and publish his/her stories via Short Story Dispensers belonging to the Wichita Public Library. The copyright of the work shall remain with the author. The author agrees and acknowledges that in this specific case, publication and distribution of their work shall not result in the payment of royalties from
Short Edition.
Selection and Publication
The coordinators of the Wichita Public Library project have sole discretion in selecting works for distribution via the Short Story Dispenser. They may also reject or remove works from the dispenser without giving any prior notice or justification to the author. The author can also ask for his/her work to be removed by notifying the project coordinators in writing.
If you have any requests, please email shortstories@wichitalibrary.org.