Monday, December 9, 2013

Writer Turned Architect - Designing Your Perfect Workshop

Let's take off our writers' caps and put pencil behind your ear and grab a tape measurer. We are going to build us the "perfect" writers' workshop.

For better understanding, we are talking about fiction writing. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, resume.

Is there such a thing as a "Perfect Workshop?" Let's start with that, shall we?

I think so. I think if we held a consortium and asked writers of various stages in their writing career what the entities they felt needed to be in a workshop of their choice, we could build not one, or two, but many "perfect" workshops.

So, let's begin at the beginning. If you were a beginner writer (or those who aren't and can look back and say "hey, I wish someone asked me that question!") what topic or topics would you like to be taught?

What is most important to you when developing your book or writing?

  •   Characters
  •   Plot
  •   Point of View
  •   Description
  •   Dialogue
  •   Setting and Pacing
  •   Voice
  •   Theme
  •   Revision/Editing
  •   Business of Writing (remember, this can be a WHOLE other group of workshops)


Look at the list I just created above. We could create separate workshops on each topic. Don't you think?

Okay, Let's take it a bit deeper.

Of these topics, what is most important to learn? Tell me. I really want to know.

Would you like hand-outs that the instructor would actually go over with you?

Would you like hands-on writing exercises where you could be brave enough to read yours to the group and possibly receive feedback? Would you like feedback from the other members of the group? Would you like feedback from the instructor?

How many people would you feel comfortable in a workshop style setting? 5? 10? 20?

I know, some of you are raising your hands in the background. I see you. Yes, I know what you're going to ask. What about critique groups? That's a great point.

Would you be interested in a critique group? Would you want to meet with writers of various calibers and work on pieces and have them read and critiqued by others?

I know, it's a bit off the topic of workshops, but that person in the back was waving their hand so wildly I had to pick on him, or else he might have fallen off his seat.

Let's get back to workshops.

Could you describe your perfect workshop to me in the comments below?

We're not talking price, location, or anything like that. If all those outside influences were met, and we just talked about you designing the subject, what would it entail?

So, tell me, at what level do you see yourself as a writer?


  • Just beginning, no publications
  • Just finishing with first book
  • Looking to publish first book
  • first book published, how to top it with a second?
  • Advanced writer, several books under my belt, but something is missing
  • Uber Writer. I know it all. Well I thought I did, until my books stopped selling and I can't find anything else to write about

So, with your level of writing in mind, describe the perfect workshop for you in the comments below. Can you do that for me?

Thanks.





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