Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boot Camp Kicks Butt!

Hi all,

If you haven't checked out link (in my previous post) about Todd Stone, please do so. There is a ton of information I got out of the workshop, that if I tried to post it all in this post, it would be insanely long. So, I'll give you all some short cuts:

First of all, the workshop was called Novelists Boot Camp; the slides we saw are available in the margins of his website if you click here. Worksheets include this one (with the map) and several things from his book.

Second of all, if you can get to a Todd Stone workshop, I highly recommend it. He's informative, he's fun, he's helpful and he's dynamic. He had us cracking up more times than I can count. But he offered great advice.

I made more progress on figuring out what to do with the 3 scenes I brought with me (he has to bring 3 printed out scenes from a finished or work in progress) than I have in a long time. Granted, most of my pages now look like a war zone with lines and arrows and notes everywhere, but I have a clear direction on how to improve the scene as opposed to, "Oh cut this, and put this in...maybe."

Friday was pretty much an overview. We did a lot of drills, but it was "lightweight". There were authors writing all kinds of stuff there. I sat between two ladies working on suspense romance.

There was a lot of people from the Northwest Houston chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Awesome women (and men) Shout out to Will, Jen, Tessy, Melissa, Stacy, Jody, Judythe, Janet, Christie, Elizabeth, Marisa, Cheri, Melinda, Colleen, et al from the NWHRWA that were at the workshop. Y'all rock big time and are too cool and sweet! (Please note: Ciara Gold, a follower of this blog, and published author of Celestial Dragon as well as several e-books is also a member of NWHRWA).

In any case, it was fabulous. Todd Stone also recommended Donald Maas's The Fire In Fiction, which, I haven't gotten, yet, but have wanted it for awhile.

Saturday was the big stuff. We went through the 7 Revision Passes which I'll talk about more in later post (*If I get to Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 and I still haven't posted them, somebody remind me!)

By afternoon (just a little before the workshop was over) I was tired...but I was very, very, very glad to have gone. Like I said above, I highly recommend it. Don't worry about the tough stuff, it gets broken down and Todd walks you through it. It's probably some of the best writing instruction I've gotten in a long time (I took a class on Novel Writing some years ago). The editing process makes more sense now.

Make no mistake. It is a lot of work. You will work hard. But it's good work and it's extremely helpful.

Todd Stone says that when writing stops being fun, then you have to change your tactic. You have to find a way to make it work, but also should be fun work. He says what he has to offer are "tools not rules."

My wish and hope for all of you keep your writing as not just work, but fun work!

Have A Swell Sunday!


Ciara Gold said...

I so hated that I had to miss this. But I will definitely check out the info in the links. Thanks Bethany for posting such an informative blog on his workshop. Dang, dang, dang. I really, really hated that I missed it after having read this. But I'm glad you got to go.

bethanyintexas said...


Don't worry, there was enough of us there to provide tons of info! Everyone was taking notes (as far as I could see). Maybe you'll make the next workshop :-) Oh! Remind me to send you the information about the upcoming write-a-thon. Diane was handing out fliers about it...she talked about it at the September meeting.