Twice a year I lead a writer’s workshop. The locale is so beautiful this time of the year that sightseeing is on the agenda of those who attend, so some of them plan on spending either Friday or Saturday night or both in the area. We gather at Ozark Folkways which is on top of the Boston Mountains of our Arkansas Ozarks. We always hope October will bring the peak of the change of colors, but a lot depends on the weather. It’s been so rainy all summer that our trees are still a deep green, never having gone to that faded shade brought on by a hot, dry summer.
By this Saturday, Oct. 25, when the workshop is scheduled, there will be splashes of red and gold amid all the green. Standing on the ridge, one can gaze across the peaks and valleys that reach as far as the eye can see to the horizon. Inside, however, seated in the long, well-lit room across the back of the old stone building, work will begin at 10 a.m. when students, seated with a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of cranberry cake from my mother’s recipe collection, get down to work.
You’ll be asked to bring a work in progress (WIP) or just a head filled with ideas and we will go to work by learning such things as our character’s defining moment, who our story belongs to, what POV is and how to use it, etc., then we will write a paragraph based on the defining moment of our character. Reading and discussion will follow.
One thing I’ve learned after giving these workshops for more than ten years is to listen to the ideas voiced by everyone in the class. It’s amazing what can come of these discussions. Someone will say, “well, what if …?” Or, “how would it work if …? and so on. Or a member of the group will have tried something that worked so well they want to share it.
After lunch together at Grandmas, a mile down the road, where homemade food is delightful and the pies that come out of the oven there are so scrumptious everyone wants to take an extra slice home for later, we’ll return to discuss the subjects brought up on the handout, answer questions, talk about writers today, the market today, publishing books, short stories, the opportunities that abound for new and experienced writers. How and where to find answers to questions no one can answer.
I always welcome novice, published and unpublished, brand new and very experienced writers to my workshops and we share all our knowledge with each other. There’s still time if you’d like to attend, we have a few slots open. Call Ozark Folkways and register, then you can pay at the door when you arrive. You can find their phone number online at Ozarkfolkways.com. and further information on my workshop is available at my website or here on my blog. Join us if you’d like.