Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back to the Basics

Members of the Kissimmee writers group, One Word At A Time, always have a lot to say about independant publishing vs. traditional publishing, ebooks vs. treebooks, the best way to query agents, etc. New members appear at our meetings every month, and not all of them have reached the publishing stage. I also realized that for a writers group, we didn't spend a lot of time discussing the actual process of writing.

In an effort to meet the needs of all our members (67 on our e-mail list and counting), I have started a series of presentations titled Back to the Basics. The first was presented at our September meeting, and covered basic information such as proper writing format, use of dialogue and the proper use of punctuation in dialogue, establishing POV, setting, and pace.

The presentation sparked a lively discussion, with members who had more writing experience interacting with members who were there to learn. I believe that everyone, the old, the new, the experienced, and the newbies, gained something from the experience, so it was well worth the effort. Now I've got to finish my presentation for the October meeting.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Author Victor DiGenti speaks to FWA Group

After thirty-five years in public broadcasting working as a producer, director, fundraiser, and producer of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, DiGenti turned to his first love—writing. He shared that love and what he's learned along the journey with One Word At A Time group members at their April 14 meeting.

He’s won multiple state and national awards for his first two Windrusher books and attracted readers of all ages from across the country. He and his wife live in Pont Vedra Beach with their seven rescued cats, but he is well known throughout Florida due to his involvement with FWA and ability to educate writers.

Di Genti discussed why a strong beginning is so important and how an essential six elements create that strength. He also used Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Silence of the Lambs to illustrate where to begin a story.

We were given three writing prompts to choose one and apply the advice he'd given. Members read their openings and we discussed their effectiveness applying the elements learned from Di Genti. Much good writing was enjoyed by all! 

After Di Genti's presentation, Vicki Riley-Fischer led the group through discussions of one page pieces written for the meeting and an unusual Osceola Gazette piece. As the meeting closed, Riley-Fischer formally passed leadership of the FWA group to Randy Austin.

From left to right: Vic Di Genti, Vicki Riley-Fischer and Randy Austin - new FWA leader

Riley-Fischer also expressed recognition of the FWA group founder, Jerri Fenton.

From left to right: FWA group founder, Jerri Fenton, first successor, Vicki Riley-Fischer and second successor, Randy Austin