Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Book-Writing Intensive with Mary Carroll Moore--Next Weekend in Key West, Florida

Join me in beautiful, sunny Key West, Florida, for a fun and productive weekend building your book, and take it the next step toward successful publication!

"How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book" will be offered at The Studios at Key West for the first time and a small group of book writers will come away with amazing insights on their books.

Here's what other writers have said about this workshop: "Best writing instruction I've ever had." "Gave me a whole new perspective on my book and how to finish it." "Because of this workshop, I finished my novel!" "I just published my nonfiction book--thank you for your workshop and all the great insights I gained."

There's still room for you and your book-in-progress in Key West, February 20-22. I welcome book writers at any level and books in any genre.

Cost is a real bargain--only $225 for the entire weekend, from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Here's a sample of the workshop agenda (a taste of the great community you'll be part of):

FRIDAY EVENING—7:00-9:30 p.m. -----Welcome, introductions -----Overview of the stages of book writing -----Writing: Dialogue exercise

SATURDAY MORNING--9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -----First stage of book writing: What makes a book work? -----Planning vs organic growth in nonfiction and fiction books -----Exercise: Focus statements/tag lines/premise -----Exploring the book’s concept -----Exercise: Getting to know your reader

SATURDAY AFTERNOON--1:30-4:30 p.m. -----Finding a form for your book -----Exercise: Dialogue with your book -----Exercise: Book collages -----Crisis and plot points in nonfiction and fiction books -----Exercise: Starting your storyboard--a book’s quest and question

SATURDAY EVENING—7:00-9:00 p.m. -----Readings

SUNDAY 11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Brunch, 10:30 am) -----Storyboards -----Second stage writing: How to keep going through first draft and revisions -----Exercise: Revisiting our focus statements -----Exercise: Linkage ------Support for the revision process (feedback) -----Agents and publishers—the book proposal package -----Exercise: Reverse goal setting
Price: TSKW Members $185, Non-Members $225

For more information, email Mary at mary@marycarrollmoore.com or visit the www.tskw.org. (Click on this link to read more about this workshop http://tskw.org/workshops_item.php?ws_id=66)

Hope you can join me!

Perspective in Your Writing--How Far Can You See?

On Monday, my weekly book-writing class talked about the desperation that writers get: the need for perspective about their books. Where are all these chapters going? What's the book really about? What's the point?

Toggling between seeing the trees to seeing the forest is an important skill that book writers develop.

A book writer uses the right brain to create scenes and snippets. This keeps most writers happy for a while. The task is to hold off needing to organize these bits and pieces, because during the nonlienar process, the right brain gets to inform the writing about the "inner story," or the underlying meaning. Meaning develops theme in most books.

You've probably done this random writing. Kenneth Atchity calls it "islands" and Natalie Goldberg calls it"freewriting." It's a wonderful part of most books. I wrote my first five books without this method, and I suffered.

But there's a point of critical mass: the sheer volume of writing accumulated in these freewrites becomes overwhelming. We grow desperate to move away from the trees and see the forest.

Enter storyboarding. Storyboards are used in filmmaking to diagram the plot or arc of a movie. Publishers also use them. I was hired by publishing companies in 1990s to design books by storyboarding a topic the publisher decided they wanted to produce. Once the book was storyboarded, a writer-for-hire put it together. It was a common practice.

I learned a lot from storyboarding. Below are the steps I use. See if they might help with your book-writing process--and give you a good glimpse of forest instead of trees. If you get confused, feel free to write me an SOS email at mary@marycarrollmoore.com. And if you want hands-on practice, join me in Key West next weekend!

Storyboarding Steps
1. Print out all the sections you’ve written for your book.
2. Cut the sections apart so each covers only one scene, idea, anecdote, point of view, or location. Write a cue card for each. Put the manuscript pages aside.
3. Go through the cue cards until you find your triggering event*. Place this card in the upper left-hand corner of your poster board.
4. Scan the remaining cue cards until you find your integration moment**.
5. Place this card in the lower right-hand corner of your poster board.
6. Arrange the remaining cue cards on the storyboard, creating a flow that fits your book at this moment.
7. Place blank cue cards for any missing sections.
* Triggering event: the moment without which the story wouldn't exist.
**Integration moment: what you want to leave the reader with.