Category Archive: Fiction

Clearwater Writers Weekend Retreat

What: Writers weekend retreat with experienced writer instructor
When: Mar 9 – 12, 2017
Where:  Reflections Inn, 6873 Highway 12, Kooskia ID

Why:

Gain inspiration in beautiful natural surroundings at the Clearwater River. Join a small group to share the insights of an experienced university writing teacher. The Clearwater Writers Weekend serves writers from a wide variety of writing genres.

Faculty:

Paula Coomer holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Univ. of Idaho. She has authored 7 books of poetry and prose, including Summer of Government Cheese, Nurses Who Love English, and two well-received novelsDove Creek and Jagged Edge of the Sky.

Visit their website

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/clearwater-writers-weekend-retreat-2/

Clearwater Writers Weekend Retreat

What: Writers weekend retreat with experience writer instructor
When: Mar 9 – 12, 2017
Where:  Reflections Inn, 6873 Highway 12, Kooskia ID

Why:

Gain inspiration in beautiful natural surroundings at the Clearwater River. Join a small group to share the insights of an experienced university writing teacher. The Clearwater Writers Weekend serves writers from a wide variety of writing genres.

Faculty:

Paula Coomer holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Univ. of Idaho. She has authored 7 books of poetry and prose, including Summer of Government Cheese, Nurses Who Love English, and two well-received novelsDove Creek and Jagged Edge of the Sky.


Visit their website

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/clearwater-writers-weekend-retreat/

Free-Write Fling: Get Rid of Writer’s block

What: Month-long writing course, mostly about how to get rid of writer’s block
When: February, May and October, all month
Where: Online

Why:

Take part in a course designed to get rid of writer’s block forever. Learn how to avoid procrastination and use the free-writing method. Organizers claim to turn wannabe writers into real writers in a month-long online course.

Facilitated by:

Writer’s coach and author Cynthia Morris

Certified coach & author Cynthia Morris (Create Your Writer’s Life: A Guide to Writing with Joy and Ease and the Paris historical novel Chasing Sylvia Beach), has been coaching creatives since 1999.

Tagline: Liberate your creative genius

 

www.originalimpulse.com/free-write-fling/

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/free-write-fling-get-rid-of-writers-block/

Tennessee Mountain Writers 27th January Jumpstart

Why: Start your year by jumpstarting your fiction or poetry. Workshops with 20 participants will be led by Darnell Arnoult and Bill Brow.

Darnell Arnoult, leading the fiction workshop, is Writer-in-Residence at Lincoln Memorial University and author of the novel Sufficient Grace and What Travels With Us: Poems, winner of the Weatherford Award and SIBA Poetry Book of the Year.

Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Southern Cultures, Southwest Review, Asheville Poetry Review, and Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia. Her second collection, Galaxie Wagon: Poems, is forthcoming from LSU Press in spring 2016. She is co-editor of Drafthorse: A literary Journal of Work and No Work.


Bill Brown will lead the poetry workshop. He has authored nine poetry collections and a writing textbook.

His most recent titles are Elemental, The News Inside, and Late Winter. In 1999 Brown wrote and co-produced the Instructional television series Student Centered Learning for Nashville Public Television. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him The Distinguished Teacher in the Arts. He has been a Scholar in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a two-time recipient of Fellowships in poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Brown has published hundreds of poems and articles in college journals, magazines and anthologies. The Tennessee Writers Alliance named Brown the 2011 Writer of the Year.

http://www.tmwi.org/

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/tennessee-mountain-writers-27th-january-jumpstart/

Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway

What: Writer’s retreat
When: January 13-16, 2017
Where: Stockton Seaview Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ area

Why: Write and attend lots of prose and poetry workshops. Special guests, and Pulitzer Prize winners, Stephen Dunn and Sharon Olds lead feedback sessions of Advanced Poetry Writing.

Poetry Workshops:

  • Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Feedback session with Stephen Dunn
  • Feedback session with Sharon Olds
  • Creative Writing Sampler (Fiction, Poetry, Memoir)

Additional Writing Workshops:

  • Fiction workshops
  • Nonfiction and memoir workshops
  • Song writing and other writing workshops

Tagline: Supportive. Energizing. Inspiring.

http://wintergetaway.com/

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/winter-poetry-prose-getaway/

Advanced Horror Fiction Writing

What: Advanced Horror Fiction Writing Seminar
When: January 3-27, 2017
Where: Historic Stanley Hotel, 333 Wonderview Avenue, Estes Park CO 

Why: Learn about writing horror fiction part online, part on site in groups of 20. Colorado University faculty member Stephen Graham Jones, author of twenty-three published books, will lead students through writing workshops and discussions on building suspense, scaring readers, and incorporating gore, disgust and revulsion into their plots.

The Historic Stanley Hotel



www.colorado.edu/winter/

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/advanced-horror-fiction-writing/

A Retreat for Writers in Oaxaca, Mexico

What: Writer’s retreat with feedback
When: Dec 6 – 14, 2016
Where: Casa Panchita, Xochimilco barrio, Oaxaca, Mexico

Why: Escape from the world with your writing under the tutelage of teacher and writer Donna Hanelin, who will offer feedback and editing on your work.

You will be able to work independently, but enjoy private consultation every day.  Take part in tours of the beautiful Oaxaca area.

Workshop-retreats in Mexico

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/retreat-writers-oaxaca-mexico/

Give your character that unique voice by letting her speak from the heart

VOICEsmall2“Should every character have such a distinctive voice that if one line is taken out of context, the reader will immediately know who said it?”

Indeed. But how to achieve this? How should I make each character’s voice stand apart?

The fellow scribe who sent me this question online struggled to create a different lingo for each of her characters: different slang, different regionalisms. This can actually work. Here’s Huck Finn:

“‘Quick, Jim, it ain’t no time for fooling around and moaning; there’s a gang of murderers in yonder, and if we don’t hunt up their boat and set her drifting down the river so these fellows can’t get away from the wreck, there’s one of ’em going to be in a bad fix. But if we find their boat we can put all of ’em in a bad fix – for the Sheriff’ll get ’em.'”

We identify Huck with his dialect, it makes a place for him in our memories.

 

“Should every character have such a distinctive voice that if one line is taken out of context, the reader will immediately know who said it?”

 

In addition, a character may speak in an elevated way:

From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth… Until at last I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountain side… Darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time… The stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as a life age of the earth… But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I’ve been sent back until my task is done.

~Gandalf the Grey

Or low:

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

~Samwise

Note that low speech does not always mean lacking in eloquence. Just have a look at the example above.

However, you will find the true secret to voice, one which goes beyond surface detail, is motivation and character. If your characters each have different distinguishing motivations and reactions, this will emerge in what they say, and almost any line will bear the stamp of this persona.

Just to get an example most folks are familiar with, let’s consider the movie Star Wars (1977). Which character says each of the following lines?

  • “We’re doomed!”
  • “No reward is worth this!”
  • “You have taken your first step into a larger world.”
  • “I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you’ll do as I tell you.”
  • “She’s beautiful!”
  • “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
  • (I will leave Chewbacca and R2-D2 off the list.)

If you know the characters, you have no trouble picking out who said what.

 

If your characters each have different motivations, this will emerge in what they say, and any line will bear the stamp of this persona.

 

But you can pick anything, like Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be,” or Tybalt: “Peace! I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!” Who else could have uttered these?

The same goes for characters that do have a distinctive way of speaking. Their personalities must also shine through in virtually every line. Here’s Huck again:

“What’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”

Rather than thinking of personalized dialogue as a different code of speech for each character, better to think of it as a reflection of the soul.

Permanent link to this article: http://goldenkeyscribes.com/blog/give-your-character-that-unique-voice-by-letting-her-speak-from-the-heart/