Learning from the Masters

Program presented by Louise Pelzl

Having worked in marketing and sales for years, there is one vital bit of knowledge I gained. It’s okay to borrow ideas that work well instead of reinventing them. We can’t use other authors’ exact words in our writing, that is plagiarism, but we can use the concept of how their work is put together – hence Learning from the Masters.

At the January meeting, I will present the first paragraphs from three or four books written by bestselling authors. Over the years it has been pointed out to me in magazine articles and numerous writing classes that the first paragraph in many books should make the potential reader want to discover more. Entice the reader to wonder where the story is going. It can set the tone of the book or it can supply a mystery clue. It can intrigue the reader enough to purchase the novel. We will explore this as a means to improving our writing. It might just take our writing to a new level.

Later in the year, we will discuss covers, back cover blurbs, red herrings (no it is not a fish), and finally the synopsis.

For the January meeting, please bring your first paragraph from any of your written works to share with the members. The members will offer a critique, if you would like.

See you January 19th, usual place, usual time.

August 18th Meeting

The August 18th meeting will be a time of learning, a time of sharing our experiences on the subjects of the month.

Drum roll here… The subjects are Cliff Hangers, Plot, and Theme. Kathy Pritchett will present a program to start the discussions off.

Come prepared to learn something new. Come prepared to share your experiences pertaining to these subjects as a writer.

And don’t forget to try one of the writing prompt challenges. Or come up with your own writing prompt.

July 21 Meeting – Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are provided to challenge our members, to get our creative juices flowing. If you haven’t joined the fun, now is your chance.

The writing prompts for July 21st are as follows:

  • What if the use of robots in school becomes a workable reality?
  • You have just met an alien from another planet. He wishes to take an earthling back to his planet. Convince him you would be the perfect specimen for him to take.
  • What would you do if you were able to communicate with animals?

If you have a different prompt that you would rather use, please do so.

May 19th Writing Prompts

As usual, we are supplying some writing prompts to challenge our members. If you don’t like any of these prompts, you are welcome to come up with one of your own.

  1. What would you pack in your suitcase if you could not go home again?
  2. It started out as an unusual Monday morning, when I …
  3. As I approached the deserted house at the end of the road, I saw …
  4. Write about a day you’d like to forget.

August 19 Meeting – How to Become an Indie Author and The Steps You Need to Take

We will have a special guest speaker at the August 19th meeting: Victoria M. Patton. She will talk about “How to Become an Indie Author and the Steps You Need to Take.”

Patton will do a quick overview and have some handouts that will have resources. She will give some marketing pointers and will offer advice on how the KWA members can set themselves up as a self-published author that will help set up the marketing aspect. And she will be happy to answer any questions.

Contact information for Victoria M. Patton:

Website – www.whiskeyandwriting.com

Facebook – @victoriampattonauthor

Instagram – @victoriampatton

July 15 – Meeting – Working with Dialogue

July’s meeting will cover working with dialogue using a unique method so the all attending members can be involved.

Without dialogue, you can only watch the action, and you will never be able to understand the emotional message. Different characters speak in a variety of ways. Real dialogue is getting into your character’s head. You have to know your character well before you can write their dialogue. Dialogue needs to be kept interesting, or you lose the reader.

Louise will have tidbits of information from a class called “Mastering Dialogue” that she took from Creative Writing Now.

Member Participation: Rather than just have a discussion, she asks that anyone who has work in progress or a completed novel to bring copies of any dialogue they want to share. You are also welcome to bring dialogue from a recent book you have read.

Bring a page for each character speaking and enough copies so each reader has their own copy. (Two characters speaking, bring two pages and two copies; three characters speaking, bring three pages and three copies, etc.) A member will then speak the character dialogue with another member, i.e. playing out the scene. She thinks it will make the reading more realistic and more enjoyable for everyone.

Each writer will have a few minutes to explain the set-up for why the conversation is taking place. Then the readers will read their dialogue. The listening members will have no more than 10 minutes to critique the conversation.

June 17 Monthly Meeting – Edit & Polish

The KWA meeting is Saturday, June 17th. Usual place…usual time.

This is going to be a critique meeting. Bring your entries for the KWA anthology, which must be submitted by June 30th. Or you can bring any other work you want feedback on.

Bring three (3) pages of your short story or two-three poems and enough copies to share with 5-6 people.

We will break into groups to give everyone feedback on their work. Time permitting, we will have a discussion on dialogue.

Don’t forget The Takeaway Table. Bring something to share with others, or pick up something that interests you.

Louise missed seeing everyone last month. She will bring pictures from her Kenya trip. She looks forward to seeing everyone.

March 18 Monthly Meeting – Discussion on Agents

Do we need to find an agent? This month the conversations will concern agents. We will share our experiences.

We will also discuss Synopsis…what they are and are they hard to do. Along with that, we will talk about Query Letters, which is often another puzzling part of the writing process.

Bring an example of your synopsis or query letter to share.

Also, remember to come and share good books you have read, and share what you liked about the book.

Don’t forget about our “take away” table. Bring books, magazines, or anything you no longer need and would like to share with someone else.

KWA is all about sharing with our members and writers who visit our group, looking for a place to network with other writers.

February 18 – Monthly Meeting – Show, Don’t Tell & More

We’re continuing the year by offering more than one topic for discussion. Essentially you get “more bang for your buck” at these meetings.

This month we will have discussions on the following topics:

  • Show, Don’t Tell (something every writer struggles with).
  • Plots: What are good plots and where to find them.
  • Settings: What are novel settings and how to find them.

Come and join the members conversations on the above-mentioned topics. Bring your ideas and thoughts to share.

Let us know your problems and see if anyone can offer some suggestions. That’s what we’re here for…each other. We learn from each other and we support each other.