I am a member of RWA and a local chapter of writers too. I recently went to our first critique group meeting.
What I learned from that first meeting was- we all can improve. What I had wrote and rewrote and slaved over for the last few months was a start- it is not a destination but its a journey.
I have a long way to go. With the help of these ladies I think my road will have less pot-holes. Do you work alone, or with writing partners? I’d love to hear from others about the writing progress. Now its time to get back to it Write On!
I have been blessed to extend my circle of friends and my learning through different adventures this summer. In NYC at the RWA writer’s conference I met a lady Jessie G who writes M&M romance. Something I was surprised to discover when she told me she is married straight woman with children. It takes a skilled writer to be able to emote in the opposite genders viewpoint. So male/male romance as a genre preference was totally unexpected. And She’s good!
The lesson that stands out the most from RWA conference was a lecture I attended given by Michael Hauge. He showed me how to get into a characters mind and deepen my story with three main ingredients. These are just what I gleaned after going back through my notes.
Know your characters’ IDENTITY, by knowing their WOUND/FEAR/ BELIEF/
What is their biggest fear?
What do they believe/ this must be a lie, but they think it to be true and it’s logical
How are they wounded? (This is the inner conflict founded by something in their past)
Perfect example= Shrek
He’s an ogre for Pete’s sake- he shows everyone he’s frightful, strong and mean, by growling, posting keep away signs and frightening anyone who comes near.(MASK)
Shrek’s biggest (FEAR) is he will never find love/He’s not worthy
He (BELIEVES) if anyone does get close they will run away(Logical because his whole life people have) Scene: When he was only a child his first friend ran away when told he couldn’t like an ogre or have one for a friend.(WOUND)
To keep from facing the fear that no one will find him worthy of love- he portrays the evil ogre so no one can get close enough to find out who he truly is. Which is his ESSENCE= loveable true and loyal friend.
The identity is: the mask used in the real world to protect him from his biggest FEAR, which grows from the BELIEF, created by the WOUND that happened long long ago.
So that short lesson showed me more about character development than any other I’ve read or heard. Now I am going through my characters and making myself define their FEAR/WOUND/ BELIEF to flesh out their identities.
I am now a member of a writers group RWA (Romance Writers of America) This group has opened doors for me and helped me to improved my writing tremendously since joining. I look forward to attending the NYC annual conference this year and meeting successful writers. The likes of Nora Roberts and Carla Cassidy may be there.
Local chapter has monthly meetings and a speaker who gives a presentation on the craft of writing. These meetings have shown me that writing is more than telling a story. It’s hard tedious work.
How do you continue to improve your craft? Are there other organizations that have helped you?