Sunday, April 10, 2016

Righting my writing wrongs

           One of those refreshing things about retirement is that now you can just enjoy learning for learning’s sake.
It could be that your time is finally your own, or maybe it’s just that you have a choice. You could stay on the couch happily glazing over as you watch old movie after old movie, or you could step out into the world for a new experience. 

          There was a goal for yesterday’s learning experience in Natick, MA. I
had signed up for the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America seminar with the hope of renovating my last book, Well Murdered. I had thought it was a finished product, but with my usual brilliant intuition, it occurred to me that those rejections rolling into my inbox with such regularity might be trying to tell me something. Hopefully, by the end of the day, James Scott Bell – author, teacher, speaker – would impart to me how to “Take plot, structure, characters, scenes, dialogue, and voice to the next level.”  Easy peasy.

          He was an excellent speaker, and how could a fledgling writer not be inspired by someone who won the International Thriller Writers Award with a self-published book? It turned out to be a really productive day, and I came away with ten pages of notes, three of Bell’s books, ideas for a new opening for my own, and an ongoing sub-plot to work in. 

      I also learned that boots would have been a better footwear choice when sitting for seven hours in a drafty meeting room. 
      Also, apparently cobalt blue is the new color for the season, judging by the 5 out of 6 women waiting for a stall in the ladies room. 
     And the afternoon snacks were nummy – who would have expected brie and quince, or knew that there was such a thing as raisins on the vine (extra nummy).

          Learning wasn’t without its downside, though. I exited with a brain filled to overflowing with ideas about character flaws, inner versus outer wills, transformational moments, crucibles, outcomes, and I don’t know what-all. 

     Now all I need to do is completely dismantle something that took over a year to put together.

          Easy peasy.



  1. Sounds like a very rich day. Both in food and thought.

  2. Learning is a gift. Sometimes a scary one, as it opens up new paths, new endeavours and MUCH more work.
    Good luck.

  3. An overflowing mind is good for a senior. Good luck with your story.

  4. I hope this all helps and your novel comes together in a new and exciting way, then sells really well.

  5. I admire your perseverance. I don't think I have it in me to write a novel! But it must have been interesting to hear from someone who's managed to make it work.

    1. It's just one word in front of the other, Steve.
      Now getting them to go in the right direction - that's a whole 'nother thing.

  6. It sounds like a worthy endeavor, writing a book. I sure love to read them but don't have much enthusiasm for writing one. I'll read yours, though. :-)

  7. And then, again, those who dare to break expectations tend to outlast the rest.


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