Posts Tagged ‘Bob Mayer


Regurgitating my favorite speakers

We all have been there, workshop, conference or online class. We pick which presenter for various reasons, recommendations, their fiction books or their reputation. Here’s how I pick author’s: I read their fiction books! Various “how to books” on my bookshelves are from author’s I’ve read and loved. Then when they were presenting around me, I jumped at the chance to see them, not for the fame aspect, but for the knowledge aspect. They went through the publishing marathon and have amazing product in the end.

Most of what I regurgitate, I’ve learned from various people, some just from my own mistakes. But mostly from those whom I respect. We each need to find a way to write… A Writing Toolkit so to speak that is our individual plan of attacking the creativity that flows. We must understand the craft in order to write the craft.

Picasso didn’t start his artistic career with Cubism, he first started with realism, what was in front of him until he learned his style of shattering the image to create an image. That is what author’s do every day. We create the world as we see, but first we have to understand what we are doing to make our work individual and unique for readers.

So I’ll tell you, my all star list of favorite presenters, I’ll probably add more as time goes by as I learn new aspects to my writing.

  • Bob Mayer I love his fiction books, and had the chance to do an in-depth workshop with him a year ago, learning more about plotting than any pantser could image.
  • Anna Destefano Great fiction author. Ijust took a workshop by her. She plans/plots through her character’s emotional development. Something I can relate to. She runs a weekly blog on How We Write and Publishing isn’t for Sissies… worth every minute of the read.
  • Deb Dixon The name dropped by millions of authors cross genres for her Goal, Motivation and Conflict. I’m excited because she’s coming near me in a few months and I’ve already reserved my spot in the room.
  • Jenni Talty-Holbrook Loved the plotting of her books, dark and romantic. Wonderful twist. From her classes I’ve taken, I found fundamentals on plotting and introductions to great new authors.
  • Gayle Callen Absolutely lovely person, with amazing fiction novels. She’s in my RWA chapter and her experience is tremendous. She plots with index cards and various other techniques from Deb Dixon and others. One of her techniques is to write a bio of each character in first person to solidify the character in your head. This blew my mind and brought life to my characters.
  • Jessica Andersen Love her books, and her world building workshop was inspiring.

My list maybe short, but I know it will grow with knowledge. What does your list look like? I’m always interested in new information. Something regurgitated along the way may inspire someone to push through that last word, that last block to find their story. Fingers to the keyboard, brain on full blast…Happy typing.


Dig a little deeper

This month I decided to take a on-line class The Essentials of Character, by Bob Mayer, and I’m loving it.  The course is making me “dig a little deeper” into my characters, and let me tell you, it’s not for the weak at heart. I’ve heard similar ideas over the years, but at this stage in my writing journey, what Bob stated is sinking in at a whole new level.

Goals and Motivations. What does it mean to your characters and do they follow their motivations to the goals of the plot the right way?  Do you as the author really know what your character wants and needs? Well, three little sentences have danced through my consciousness and sub-conscious  for the last few days.  I’ve racked my brain over them, trying to dig a little deeper and I’m conflicted on the last  question.

  1. What does your character want?
  2. What does your character really want?
  3. No, what does your character REALLY need?

My darling daughter watched this movie this weekend, and at her age typically, I try to block out the movies. Last week was Miss Congeniality and this week it was Princess and the Frog. As a side note, a few weeks ago, I was at CNYRW listening to Jenni Holbrook speak about a similar topic, internal and external conflict and making it work.  She used  Miss Congeniality as examples of how it works.  It was brilliant.  On some cosmic level, my daughter’s movie choices had me focusing on writing more than entertainment.

So I was in front of my laptop, struggling to get my head around what does my protagonist really really need. Then this song came on, I ran to watch the movie, grabbed the remote (much to my daughter’s complaints) and played the part again.

It doesn’t show you how to write your character’s motivation or goals, but it helped me shine a light on how to find what my characters really really need. So I’m asking myself, Miss Froggy, do ya understand what you need now? I believe I do and now I need to put my fingers to the keyboard and get it typed before I forget it. 🙂

Happy typing.

July 2018
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