So how did I spend my last several days? Well, on Saturday I was privileged to attend a workshop with writing teacher Margie Lawson hosted by the Houston Writers Guild. Margie walked us through how to add power and emotional depth to our manuscripts.
Here’s a sample of a passage in my middle grade contemporary novel before and after. In this scene, 7th grader Beth Whittaker admits that her father is an alcoholic. But Beth doesn’t want to discuss it any further with her mom.
Before (1st Draft): As I spoke, Mom made her way over to me. She shut the refrigerator door and pulled me toward her. I pushed away, as tears gathered in my eyes again. “I’m not hungry anyway,” I said shakily. My mother’s arms enveloped me, as I tried to gently push back.
After (Revised): She wouldn’t leave me alone. She wouldn’t let me shrug off the terrible truth. She wouldn’t give me the yardstick of personal space I clung to like a force field. My mother crossed the floor, pierced my perimeter, and trapped me in her arms.
I had worked my way through some of Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS lessons, but this was a good experience through which we critically analyzed passages by other authors as well as our own work to strengthen our editing skills. If you get a chance to attend an event with her, I’d recommend it.
Plus–what a bonus!–I got to each lunch and dinner with Margie and several writers, including the fabulous Lori Ann Freeland. What a pleasure to meet in person writers you’ve admired online!
Now on to my ROW80 goals:
Editing: SHARING HUNTER, young adult contemporary novel.
- Complete full rewrite. Rewrote four chapters last week, so I’m very happy with how this is going.
- Revise using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system. Once I finish the rewrite, I’ll edit through with this approach.
- Deliver to beta readers. Waiting for the first two.
- Post Sunday ROW80 updates, Amaze-ing Words Wednesdays, and Deep-Fried Fridays. Done, although I flew by the seat of my pants on Friday’s post. Having flooring installed in my house two days of the week interfered a bit with my schedule, but I love the result!
Send interview questions to two guests I have lined up for my blog.
- Write two short stories. I aimed for 1k on this goal and only hit 597 words.
- Read one writing craft book. Downloaded Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.
- Attend workshop with Margie Lawson in Houston on October 13. Done!
- Work through lessons of Scrivener online course a second time. On the schedule for this week! Gwen has left the class open for a few more days, so I want to go through the material again quickly in case I have any lingering questions for her. Once again, awesome class.
- Nothing special here. Just read. A lot. Finishing No Apology by Mitt Romney. (Read Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama in 2008. I like reading the presidential candidates’ books to see where they’re coming from.) Also started 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.
- Exercise twice a week. Nope. And in fact, I went to the doctor on Friday and saw a number on the scale I hadn’t seen since my last trimester of pregnancy. My lovely doc’s response was that, hello!, I need to exercise!
- Sort through photos and complete at least one album. (I stopped scrapbooking five years ago, and it’s piled up into a big mess. Moving into digital albums.) No progress this week. It was really hard to work on it with the floor installers here.
So how are you doing with your goals? Have you attended any conferences or workshops lately you’d recommend?
Be sure to cheer on my fellow ROWers! You can find them HERE.