Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breakout Novel Intensive Workshop - Day 1

Believe me, three hours in the morning listening to Donald Maass take you through exercise after exercise of how to write "personally" is a life changing experience. I'm now sitting in my hotel room cogitating how I'm going to apply it all.

He began today's session by asking us to write down our own dark secrets. What is one thing about yourself that you don't want anyone to know? What does it feel like? What are you most afraid to put on the page? Now write about it. How can you apply that emotion to your protagonist?

WRITING PERSONALLY is something we can do every day  and is a great way to start every writing session. Before you start writing take a moment to look deep inside yourself. Discover what you can bring to the story. Remove the barriers between yourself and your story. Get out of the box.

For example, what do you feel when you look at a river? Take ten minutes and explore it. Is it peaceful, is there a prospect of danger? What is beneath the rolling surface?

Each day ask yourself, "what can I give to my characters today?"

      Don said that when he reads manuscripts, he often feels the characters aren't real. "When I’m deeply involved, the interior life of the characters is rich and full upon the page. Their feelings, their state of being gives the reader a feeling of being intimately alive."

·       Writers must all do more of that. It’s got to come from you as the author. Pulling from the depths of your emotional experiences will create a riveting story that is unique only to you.


  1. Very Interesting, Amy. I'm listening and learning through you!

  2. Thanks Lynn and Pat - This is amazing stuff. I hope to take it home and present some of it to my writing group!

  3. So excited you are sharing this!

    Lissa from Alaska