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Workshop CommitteeI am in the process of scheduling for next year. Several of our popular and versatile presenters are cutting back on presenting or not presenting at all in 2021. I would welcome and appreciate suggestions for workshops, workshop subjects and workshop presenters for 2021.Since we have moved our workshops to our own page and our own system, the Workshop Procedures handbooks needs to be totally revised. It’s a big job. I would appreciate a volunteer or volunteers to help with this.The Workshop Committee welcomes comments, questions, suggestions and volunteers. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgAugust 7, 2020 at 7:05 am in reply to: Welcome to PTSD – research for writers wanting to get it right. #43183
Hi: Ruchama Burrell here. I am also moderating this workshop. My father was a naval aviator. I was born in 1942. My father remained in the Navy, with the exception of a brief period when i was very young. He flew in both WWII and Korea So I grew up surrounded by men who had been marked by their experiences and their families. I head many stories of the effects of even making war from the air has on those engaged in war. I could hear my father yelling at night when he had nightmares about the war. (My mother told he he always said he felt he had had the best nights’ sleep when had those nightmares.) As a result of our experiences both my brother and I became pacifists.
My novel is a Regency Romance. Two of the central characters are suffering from PTSD. One was part of Napoleon’s Army and the other was part of the British Army. Both suffered through the long march from Spain into Portugal and the Battle of Corunna. The effects so of their experiences on them and on their relationships is an important aspect of the story. I want to be able to portray them, their experiences and their relationships honestly.
Even if I weren’t writing this novel, I’d want to know more about the subject.June 9, 2020 at 11:31 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41900
Thanks. I do have a premise for both hero and heroine of my romance. I love your suggestion about added a third for the two women. I feel it will be particularly apt because the novel itself is filled with plays on Biblical stories and patterns. In Biblical stories the women are not the central characters but actually determine the outcomes.June 5, 2020 at 5:38 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41846
The question I asked was:
“Two women …are united in wanting hero not to convert and “marry out.” I’m wondering if maybe I should try writing a premise with their motivations and goals in mind, even though they are only supporting characters.”
This change in the focus of my premise’s focus might make coming up with some scenes I’ve struggled with easier.
My response dealing with Daniel and my readers was in reply to your question about why the readers would object to his goal. I wasn’t asking you to judge my characters
June 5, 2020 at 4:10 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41842
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Ruchama.
My novel is a Jewish Regency novel where the Jewish person does NOT convert. There are very few Jewish characters in Regency romances. (One terrible example is a blatantly anti-Semitic caricature in Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy.) The few who do usually convert and marry a gentile, or simply marry a gentile without converting. My readers will not want Daniel to convert and marry a clergyman’s daughter. However, they will not consider him to be evil for being tempted to do so. Outside of very small insular communities (members of which will be unlikely to read a Regency romance), Jewish women are related to or know to many Jewish people who have “married out” or are children of mixed marriages. So they will root for the Jewish woman to prevail, but they will, I hope, still love Daniel.June 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41837
Well my hero is not an anti-hero. Daniel is just a Jewish man faced with choosing between his Jewish heritage as an exile and outsider and his father’s British heritage. Nothing akin evil and an all too common dilemma still present. In this case he will choose the heroine Rebecca, who is Jewish (and actually a second cousin). Two women, hero’s Scottish aunt and his Jewish Grandmother are united in wanting hero not to convert and “marry out.” Together they are responsible for bringing the Jewish heroine on to the scene. I’m wondering if maybe I should try writing a premise with that in mind, even though they are only supporting characters (one obviously performing the role of rise elder). After bringing her on the scene they work behind the scenes, not directly to promote the relationship between Rebecca and Daniel. I have not had them be actively opposed to Daniel’s plan to marry his brother’s fiancee, but I see now that adding that element might strengthen the story. Especially since they will be in direct conflict with Daniel’s father (the aunt’s brother) who is determined to see the marriage happen.June 5, 2020 at 10:43 am in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41834
Here’s a complication: My readers will not want the hero to attain his goal; and he won’t. It seems to me that rather than a series of obstacles, I probably need to create a series of positive events that make it look increasingly likely that he will. Right now I his pov and the heroine’s. She has her own goal that also will not be achieved. Since it’s a romance the end result of both not achieving their goals with be the “happily ever after.” Any ideas on how to use the premise approach to in putting all this together? Also any thoughts on also including a few chapters in objective third person pov where two supporting characters provide information–sort of Greek chorus?
We are currently hosting Peter Andrews with “The Promise of the Premise”
Our next workshop will be Linnea Sinclair with “Hook-em Dano”
We are beginning to schedule for 2021. Any and all suggestions for subject matter or presenter. It’s fine if you’ve taken a workshop elsewhere that you want to recommend we host. It’s also fine if you want to present one yourself.
Because we have moved from Yahoo Groups to hosting on our own site and due to the passage of time the Workshop Procedures handbook is very much out of date. We need a volunteer or two to work on an updated version. I assume the updates will need official approval, but I believe the most efficient procedure would be to create a draft and then present it for approval, rather than solicit suggestions before beginning.June 4, 2020 at 10:16 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41826
I’m including both a film and my Premise for my WIP
I have tried to move on and rewrite my premise as another writer might, but I’m finding that impossible. Maybe because I’ve lived with it so long. Peter and others, you may recognize this WIP from previous classes. 🙂
To achieve justice for his daughter’s death Wilson must find and confront the man responsible for her death. To do so he must out fox and out fight the professional killers hired to protect him. If he does not, he’ll be dead and his daughter’s murderer will get off “scot free.”
My Premise for The Inheritance
To replace his missing twin brother as heir to his father’s estate and found the dynasty that his ailing father insists must begin with him, Daniel must reject his Jewish heritage, be christened and marry his brother’s fiancee. If he refuses, his father will reject him and he will be left penniless and without a home when his father dies.June 3, 2020 at 6:19 pm in reply to: The Promise of the Premise Lesson 1 What’s a Premise and Why Is It Valuable? #41778
Here’s my entry for Rebecca
The (un-named) first person protagonist must live up to the image she has of her husband’s deceased wife, Rebecca. If she cannot dispel the ghost of Rebecca she encounters everywhere, she will never be accepted by him, his family, or herself as worthy to be his wife. Her marriage will be an empty shell.
Here I am trying to reply again. First, today’s New York Times Style section has a lovely romantic piece in the Modern Romance slot about a woman learning to rock climb. An interesting co-incidence!
Second, I had discovered a few lessons back that my primary task had to be going over all the many many scenes I’ve written and stored away over the years I’ve worked on my novel. That discovery was a result of the exercise where we were to write down everything that had happened. I realized I knew very well what had happened in the major points in the novel and how the story would come out. i had even written most of those major points. But there were and are a whole lot of scene that provide information and development necessary to make the major scenes make sense. Today’s lesson makes that even clearer.
My initial frustration was not being able to write the one or two scenes where my two people realize they love one another. I am hoping that once I go back examine the scenes stored on my laptop it will be easier for me to write the come-to-realize love scenes for each. I know I will have a lot of work to do to put so many scenes in chronological order, but this class has given me a way forward. I am grateful. Now lets see if I can post.May 14, 2020 at 11:20 pm in reply to: WHAT THE HECK HAPPENS NEXT? Lect #2 Thursday, May 7th #41505
Sorry about the test. I had been trying to post for several days. Every time I typed in my post and hit submit, my post simply disappeared. I waited a couple of days and then tried with just “test.” (I was tired of having to retype my posts.) Test did not disappear. I thought I had un-posted it by hitting edit and then deleting. Apparently not. So it appears that the same gremlins who were causing problems at the beginning of the class are still lurking. First, making posts disappear and then refusing the let them disappear. I’m hitting submit on this one, but copying it first, just to be safe.May 14, 2020 at 7:32 am in reply to: WHAT THE HECK HAPPENS NEXT? Lect #2 Thursday, May 7th #41496
this is a testMay 14, 2020 at 7:31 am in reply to: WHAT THE HECK HAPPENS NEXT? Lect #2 Thursday, May 7th #41495
This is a test.
This is a test.
What came first for me was the determination to write a Jewish Regency Romance, specifically a romance where the Jewish hero or heroine did not convert and “marry out.” This was a reaction to discovering that there were few Regency Romances with central characters who were Jewish. (There are more now than there were then, but none of them deal with the issues and most are not very accurate about Jewish religious and social life during the Georgian/Regency/Victorian periods).
I knew the Napoleonic wars and PTSD should play an important part. All that has come to pass.
I have my set up and my inciting incident and a whole lot of development. What I need now are the concluding scenes of the romantic plot. I can’t figure out how to dramatize their realizations that they are meant for each other, or in the traditional Jewish expression, “they are beschert.” So I am stuck.
I’m taking a breath and responding to the Introduction. I’m Ruchama. I’ve been working on my novel, a Jewish Regency romance for more years than I can recall accurately. I can state that it’s been my project for three NANO’s an a lot of online classes. My approach is hybrid. I have done a whole lot of outlining, and beat counting. But when I write, I usually write scenes in sprints, then paste the sprints together and plan to edit later.
Using James Scott Bell’s approach, I planned the most important scenes first. And I’ve studied Romance beats and used the beat system. I pretty much know what remains to be written in the abstract. However, I am now stuck because I need several significant moments, including the moments when my characters discover they are meant for each other and manage to overcome their respective internal obstacles to love. (Externals were so much easier.) What I can’t seem to do is effectively plan or plot individual scenes even when I know their ultimate purpose. I literally don’t know what happens next in the remaining collection of scenes. I hope this makes sense and I hope this workshop will help me get back on track.
Hi: I’m the moderator. We seemed to have run into some technical difficulties. I’m working on this and the first lesson will be posted soon. Thanks for your patience.
Hi: I am coming in late for a number of reasons. I’ve only been able to skim the posts. Friday is a busy day for our house because we host a Shabbat dinner with guests every Friday night, so I’ll be catching up tomorrow night and Sunday. I did want to mention that the Becca Syme book, Dear Reader You Need to Quit is discounted on Amazon Kindle for $2.99. Based on what I picked up here, I grabbed one.
Great news!! I can’t wait to read the book.
I judged last year. It was an interesting experience. So I’ll do the same this year.
Hello all you lovely people: Our workshop email address: email@example.com is now working. So you may email me directly to volunteer to moderate. Please feel free to state preferences and ask questions. Since we have moved to our own website moderating is pretty much an example of “those also serve who also stand and wait.” The few issues that have come up have been tech issues which Merien Grey, our tech administrator handles cheerfully and quickly.
I look forward to hearing from potential volunteers.
I can and do write on Sunday; it’s a 5 day schedule based around my religious observance; Shabbat lasts from sunset on Friday until and hour after sunset on Shabbat. Part of my religious observance is to refrain from creative activity. Friday is generally consumed with cooking for the Shabbat meals including a festive dinner every Friday night. There are a few other holidays as well during the year. Squeezing time in before or after would be a option, but as I said, refraining before and after is woven into my life. (I liked the line too ;). I’m looking forward to seeing if the warm up also helps me overcome my resistance to working on my novel.RB
I did not meet my goal to write on Friday before starting Shabbat preparation or on Saturday night after Shabbat was over. I have never written on those days and times. I see now that it was a mistake to try to change a pattern that is woven into the warp and woof of my life. I’m back to not committing to writing on Friday or Saturdays, even when Shabbat hasn’t begun or is over.
I learned something else. Sunday night I felt myself resisting writing. So rather than open up my work in progress, I assigned myself a couple of exercises from Ursula Quin’s book on writing, Steering the Craft. The exercises focused on writing for the pure pleasure of creating and enjoying beautiful prose. The time just flew by. I spent almost and hour writing and re-writing and enjoyed every second of it. I didn’t have to please anyone but myself, or fit what I had created into my work in progress. Doing these exercises reminded how much I love writing for its own sake. So from now on I am going to start every writing session with a warming up exercise solely to experience pure joy of writing.
I’m going to start small only 15 minutes per day. Today I’ll use my 15 minutes to begin exercises posted in the new online class Career Planning for Authors. Peter has already posted and i want to get a head start. I highly recommend you check his class out. Looks like a good fit for productivity forum members.
Hi: Ruchama Burrell here; My Nano handle (in honor of my father, a gifted, but unpublished writer) is Walter. My nano email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Writing to all
Well it took a lot of perseverance, but I was finally able to get here. Several times error messages of various kinds. Then my sign in (which is saved) wouldn’t be recognized. There were two places on the page to sign in. I used both. Finally, I ran a cleaning program on my mac, including cleaning cache. When that wasn’t enough, I restarted my computer and here I am. The members on page loads very slowly. I’m going to log out and come back again in a few hours and see what happens then. Typical “shakedown cruise, I guess.”