February 24th, 2005, 02:31 AM
I AM too a mod!
Say hi to the orangutans for me!
February 25th, 2005, 07:18 AM
Awaiting your return. . . . .ciao ciao . . . . and have fun.
March 20th, 2005, 10:30 PM
oops, later than I thought
I didn't manage to drop in after Borneo. Too tired and too busy! I was off to Perth, Australia, within 2 days, which is where I am now.
And I have given my first "workshop".
It seemed to be fairly well tolerated by the 16 people there. I had fun, and I hope they did too. And I think I have more ideas of how to do an even better one next time. I concentrated on actual writing problems and avoided the whole thing about how to market your work or prepare MSS etc, etc. Still, 3 hours was not much to deal with everything from Point of View problems to some of the more difficult (but common) grammar mistakes. It would have been wonderful to have a follow up with the same people, I must admit - to have more give and take.
Anyway, thanks everyone for your input. What you have said will be brought up during the panel on workshops at Swancon!
March 21st, 2005, 07:51 AM
Originally Posted by glendalarke
are you liking our little 'city' although it doesn't really look bog enough to be a city? i like perth simply bcoz it's a no where in the world really. *shrugs* Anyway i know what you mean about a follow up workshop. Our Master Class (30 teens) met up for a follow up workshop with Markus Zusaks and all our workshops this year are follow ups from the last two years of our favourite authors. (that we've already met of course) And i agree the follow ups are better than the first. this time there was no 'my life story' stuff but more actual work and writing so i enjoyed it better than the first time.
so no chance of you to head down to our little fishing port of Fremantle any time soon? to see the Literature Centre there? it's the jail part from the old Fremanle Prison that shut down in the 80's or something and they restored it and it looks out over the prison yards and stuff, tis really interesting if you've never been there.
oh well. sounds like you had fun.
April 27th, 2005, 03:19 AM
In the latest Locus Magazine (if you are serious about being a writer and don't get this zine you really are missing something invaluable) there was an interview of Beth Meacham, US book editor. (She was the editor of Ender's Game and The Anubis Gates...)
She makes the point that there are too many people thinking they can make a living writing books. She feels they'd be better off writing for love...and, more telling, she refers to the "whole workshop culture, aspiring writers who are making money off other aspiring writers, where the actual goal of their workshop is to get people to come back and continue to be an aspiring writer, rather than either becoming a writer or realizing that this is a hobby they should do for its own sake..."
A very controversial statement - but she is a person in a position to comment about the writing business knowledgeably. Seems from this that you should be very cautious about what workshop you choose!
May 10th, 2005, 02:50 AM
I think that workshops and self-help books can only help you to a certain extent. They can make you a competent writer, but not more than that. I think they are simply for guidance, and not much more.
That said, Stephen King's On Writing helped me a lot when I was blocked. It consists basically of tips which you can assimilate into your own style. And I believe that The Elements of Style is a book all writers should have. This book is almost necessary because it helps you stay away from frivolity. But still, you shouldn't totally depend on these, and you should try to see what comes from within.
Sometimes it also happens that workshops can prove detrimental. For example, I recently read a book called Betrayals by Charles Palliser, who himself conducts/conducted a creative writing course. I found the book so much of an exercise in mannered creative writing, that I failed to get any enjoyment out of it. So I feel that the use of these courses might be limited.
May 11th, 2005, 01:46 AM
"an exercise in mannered creative writing"....yes, I've heard an editor say they could pick an MS that started in creative writing class a mile off...
But then, maybe it's often just as easy to pick one that didn't!
I think this is one of those questions to which there is no easy answer. Different people have different ways of reaching the same goals.