Teaching creative writing, plot and revision in Hawaii.
Teaching creative writing, plot and revision in Hawaii.
BAY AREA AND MARIN WRITERS! I still have spaces available! On Saturday, May 5, I will teach a daylong plot revision intensive. I have space for eight writers with a finished draft of Middle Grade, Young Adult or adult fiction. Intensive: A PLOTTER’S PARADISE — GOING DEEP Day and time: Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Location: North Berkeley Costs: $150 (includes tea, coffee, cookies and lunch) To sign up, please, send me a message through the contact form below and I’ll reserve you a seat. First come, first serve! This daylong intensive is for writers, who have a full draft of their MG or YA ready or almost ready. First draft, second draft, final draft……
Sat. March 3, 2018 2 – 4 pm, Contra Costa County Meeting, Plotting with Mina Witteman! Date/Time Date(s) – 03/03/2018 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Location St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 1924 Trinity Ave – Walnut Creek, CA 94596 The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators San Francisco North and East Bay Region Contra Costa/Alameda County Presents: A PLOTTER’S PARADISE Featuring: Mina Witteman Please join us for a presentation on plotting by the plot master herself, Mina Witteman, at our latest SCBWI meeting in Walnut Creek. Mina’s plotting class is for picture book and middle grade/ YA authors. She will demonstrate the techniques required for all genres. Come prepared with paper and pencil to get the most out of this class. Refreshments will…
Illustrator, would you like to write your own story? Writer, do you want to hone your picture book storytelling craft? Here’s your chance! Take the next step and learn from two experienced colleagues, both children’s book writers, editors and creative writing teachers. Become an IllustWriter! IllustWriter is a 7-week (6 sessions) course in writing picture books for illustrators by Sieneke de Rooij and Mina Witteman. Zie IllustrAuteur voor de Nederlandse versie van deze cursus pentenboek schrijven voor illustratoren. Registration: Click here and fill in the form! Date/Time: October 1, 8, 15, – 1 week break, but the work goes on – october 29 and november 5 and 12, 2015 (backup date november 19, 2015); 10.00 – 13.00 hrs Location: ABC Treehouse; Voetboogstraat 11 – Amsterdam, 1012 XK Course fee: € 325,- excl. BTW (VAT), € 393,25 incl. BTW (VAT) This…
I took this picture outside the Montara Lighthouse in California. Never before had I seen the structure of wings from underneath as clear as in the wings of this red-tailed hawk. It reminds me of the structure of novel, with a plot that is small and muscular and around it the wide upper layer to keep the story afloat. Look at those feathers. They are perfectly in line with each other, like story threads woven into an intricate mesh.
There are more similarities between a hawk and a good story. Like the hawk, a story needs to be strong and powerful, capturing the reader with sharp, curved talons. It needs a strong beak that is kitted out to hook the reader and pull him in. And, particularly in Young Adult but maybe even in all genres, the story needs to be as swift a flier as this bird of prey.
I am nearing the final version of my manuscript, one of the darkest stories I have ever written, and I hope it will soar like a hawk once I let it go.
Some writers are fast, determined, strong-minded. Me? Not so much. I’m line editing my manuscript and scrutinizing 90,000 words can be mighty disheartening. Being in the Bay Area doesn’t make it any easier.
I’m staying with friends and, man, talking books and life with them is so much more fun than weighing every sentence you wrote. The eldest of their kids easily lures me away from my mission with our common interest TV show Bones, the middle one loves talking science even more than I do, and the youngest is a master patisserie chef (you’ve got to taste those cupcakes). On top of that they have the cutest puppy and two kittens to die for.
Despite all that, I am frantically trying to pull this off. I don’t want to disappoint my mentor. I don’t dare to disappoint my mentor. So I’m glued to my laptop and stripping those 90,000 words like the wind stripped the Tiburon Hippie Tree.
You have no idea how much I’d prefer to arc out high above Richardson Bay on that old Eucalyptus tree’s swing.
Atlanta, Georgia. Frozen rain, sleet and snow turned the city into a ghost town. The bustle of a vibrant city died down in a matter of hours. We — a bunch of Internet geeks and me — were forewarned and huddled together in a downtown hotel. Most geeks will be here for a while, as today’s buzz word at the airport is ‘cancelled’. I will be driving out tomorrow, up north and into the mountains. Icy conditions call for an invigorating research trip.
It awed me, though, how nature can force life to its knees. Had me think about the characters for my novel-in-the-making, about how deceitful they can or should be. Delicate and elusive as frozen rain and yet strong enough to send whomever crosses their path spinning.
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