The workshop was SEEING INTO YOUR STORY.
I have an entire legal pad filled with notes.
Obviously, my story needed a whole lot of seeing into.
But some of the notes reflect exactly the same things my now editor, Andrea Pinkney, told me when I began revising THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY.
Which, by the way, was what I worked on during that long weekend in Honesdale with Carolyn.
Back when I barely had a rough draft.
The title was SIXTEEN RULES FOR LIVING AT THE REST EASY.
And the main character's name was Shelton. (now Theo)
And his uncle's name was Chester. (now Raymond)
I had no clue what the time period was though I thought it was the present.
The baseball player the kids loved was Mickey Mantle. (now Henry Aaron)
Don't even ask.
Some of the advice Carolyn gave me.
1. Make a bigger deal of the piano scenes.
2. Shelton doesn't have to be quite as sad if his parents died a long time ago and he's been living in a happy situation ever since.
Some of the excellent, quick tips I wrote, filling my entire legal pad.
1. If possible, have characters already knowing each other. Introductions are difficult.
2. Re: PACING. Err on the side of brevity. You can always add. But your potential editor or agent may get bogged down.
Some of the exercises we did (the ones I liked. I'm not crazy about all writing exercises...):
Who were the voices that made you laugh in your childhood, or in the present?
What were some of the expressions you grew up with? * (see below for answers)
I wonder how many of my writer friends have attended a Highlights Foundation Workshop?
Did you learn as much as I did?
Here we are in our class photo. All those years ago.
The beginning of a great journey that thankfully turned into a book.
Coming, January 2015.
Answer to *
1. Hotter than a depot stove.
2. That ole' peckerwood. (My childhood word's meaning is totally not what some of the current slang dictionaries say it means...)
3. If you don't behave, I'm getting a switch off that switch tree.
I wasn't blogging back in those days, but you can read about some of my Highlights writer friends HERE.