In this post, I talked about going to the ANWA Writers' Conference last year. It was absolutely fantastic. So, I jumped at the chance of attending their local one-day writing workshop. There were two tracks to choose from. I picked the one about perfecting the writing craft rather than self-publishing track.
The first half of the day was a presentation and discussion with Janette Rallison about the basics of writing, including plot and characterization. I did find most of the discussion quite basic, which is great for those starting out, but I’ll admit that I was hoping for a little more in-depth discussion. Even so, it’s always good to get back to the basics and make sure your foundation of knowledge is strong and stable.
I’ll be honest; if it wasn’t for the second portion of the day - workshopping our own work - I probably would’ve spent my Saturday at home. I would have left politely. After all, I teach all this to my students.
However, I was pleased that Rallison gave each of us a copy of one of her books - My Fair Godmother - asking that we read it and review it on Amazon. I can't say no to a free book, and I look forward to reading her writing to see what I can learn from it.
Want to read her book yourself? You can find it here:
I enjoyed the second half of the workshop more than the first. To sum it up in one word - humbling.
Everyone on track two brought the first six pages of their book, and then it was workshopped. I received a lot of great feedback, feedback that I should've already known. I find that it's so much easier to see faults in the works of others, and it is harder to see it in your own. But after the flaws are pointed out, they're glaringly obvious.
Janette Rallison was in the critique, too, and I was honored to get feedback from a published - and successful! - author.
Now I know what to work on, and that will carry through the rest of the book.
So, the big question is: would I go again next year?
The three hours of workshopping was well worth the $50 I paid. The free book was icing on the cake. And, after all, who doesn't love cake and icing?
I'm an adjunct creative writing professor and freelance writer, but I dream of being a published novelist. This is my journey.