Saturday I welcomed a dozen eager writers who had registered to take my fall workshop. We always meet at Ozark Folkways, a non-profit organization that preserves native crafts and anything about the Ozarks. The shop is an old historical rock building that sits on top of the Boston Mountain. From there, the view is spectacular in two directions. The blue-green mountains can be seen for miles. This year the trees haven’t yet turned color enough to show off, and because of a late drought they may not. Here and there a splash of red, orange and yellow announces the changing seasons.

Together all of us eager writers worked on blending truth with fiction in our writing. We decided on a true event around which to place our characters. The event could either drive the plot or serve on the sidelines through which the characters moved. It always amazes me the ideas writers can come up with in a group such as this. Not only are they innovative, but once brainstorming begins between the writers, the ideas sprout wings and fly.
Because I like to work hands-on with each member, I limit my workshops attendance. In that way everyone’s ideas will get plenty of attention. We listened to a young girl on a wagon train traveling west, the true idea that spurred a novel in progress called Bigfoot Blues, a school teacher in the 50s dealing with a hungry child, and many others. Everyone wrote their initial scene that would kick off a new writing experience or help spur them through a work in progress.
Attending writer’s workshops is an important part of being a writer. We discussed how good it is to be able to talk to others who understand the writers’ life, and what a mistake it is to remain constantly alone with our writing. Without others to spur us on with new ideas, we stagnate and our writing slows to a dull grind. Asking for and sharing ideas with others is an integral part of creative thinking.
Everyone there was happy to add their thoughts and ideas after each scene was read and discussed.
The first workshop I ever attended was with award-winning short story author Pat Carr. Some of the ideas she shared on that long-ago day remain with me today, and every time I start to write something, her words echo in my head. She taught me how to cluster ideas and come up with a story, and I use the method today.
If readers are interested in attending an inexpensive all-day conference where many writers gather quarterly, try Ozarks Writers League to be held on November 20 at the Plaster Building on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Hollister, MO. Check out their website here. Read the newsletter, which contains some valuable information and come on over. I’ll meet you there.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in all day writer's conference, creating scenes and characters, Ozark Folkways, Ozarks Writers League, Pat Carr, quarterly OWL meeting, Velda Brotherton, writer's workshops. Bookmark the permalink.

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