Archive for the ‘California Writers Club Luncheon’ Category

The Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing Workshop/SF Bay Area

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

penonwords

C.S.Lakin will present a workshop on “The fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, California.

Ms. Lakin will discuss the following common flaws: overwriting, weak construction, POV violations, telling instead of showing, too much backstory, and description deficiencies and excesses.
C.S.Lakin is the author of twenty-two fiction and non-fiction books and is an award-winning blogger at LiveWriteThrive. She works full-time as a writing coach and book copyeditor, and is passionate about helping writers see success.
Check-in is from 8:30 to 9:00 am. The workshop is from 9:00am to 12:00pm, followed by a luncheon. The cost is $40 for CWC members, $50 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, March 9th. Contact Robin Gigoux at ragig@aol.com, or phone 925-933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

 

Middle Grade Students – Win $$ for your Writing AND Poetry Tips & Techniques

Monday, February 8th, 2016

YWC Flyer V1

 

Poetry Tips by Poets David Alpaugh and Aline Soules

Getting Started

Start by brainstorming—just as you would for any other project.  What’s on your mind?  What’s in your heart?  What moves you?  What do you care about?  Do your best to come up with your own idea.  This isn’t supposed to be a class assignment, but a chance to share a piece of yourself and practice your love of writing.

Start writing, even if you haven’t come up with your final idea yet.  This is called “free writing.”  It’s been said that if you write for seven to ten minutes, your brain will come up with an idea.

Once you’ve created your “raw material,” it’s time to begin writing your poem.  Now, we’ve moved from inspiration to perspiration, from free writing to craft.

Crafting Your Poem

 Poems are crafted—every word is chosen and placed in its position in the poem for a purpose.  You should never submit a rough or first draft because judges look for your ability to craft your poem and that can take many drafts.

 General craft ideas

  • Show, don’t tell
  • Be concrete and specific
  • Create original images—no clichés
  • Choose the right title (which may come any time in your process)

 Grammar, Usage, Word Play

  • Choose active verbs, e.g., “sit”, not “is seated” or “is sitting”; see if you can think up “punchier” verbs that make your point stronger.
  • Verbs and nouns are strong, while adjectives and adverbs are weak. Concentrate on verbs and nouns and use adjectives and adverbs sparingly.
  • Play around with your poem to make sure every word and its place in the poem are exactly right.  You can play “switcheroo”—move around words, phrases, clauses, whole stanzas to see what works best.

•    Must poems rhyme? No. Many of today’s best poets don’t use rhyme. If you want to write in rhyme, remember that it’s difficult to write well in rhyme. Make sure that your rhyming words make sense and move the poem forward. Rhyme for its own sake doesn’t work. (In most cases, rhyme is more effective for humorous rather than serious subjects.).

  • Highlight the best phrase or couple of phrases in your poem and see if you can bring the rest of your poem up to the same level.
  • Use repetition with care.  Make sure there’s a reason for using repetition.
  • When you think you’re done, see if you can cut out some words from your poem.  It’s easy to let too many “little” words slip in, like “the” and “a” and prepositions and conjunctions, when you don’t need them.  Poems should be “dense,” saying much in as few words as possible.
  • The best way to learn to write poetry well is to read poems by successful poets and pay attention to the way they use language. Poetry employs the same words as prose but is usually richer in imagery and figures of speech, particularly metaphor and simile.
  • After you’ve read a poem you love go back and re-read the first and last lines and ask yourself how the poet gets in and out of the poem? It’s usually most effective to rocket your reader into the heart of the poem instantly, without any introduction or wind-up. Last lines are most effective when they leave readers with something dramatic or memorable to think about.

 Layout

  • Experiment with line breaks.  Do you want short lines or long lines?  Choose the end of your lines with purpose every time.
  • Experiment with your stanzas, too.  Long, short?  What’s best to convey the meaning and feeling of your poem?
  • Another thing to avoid is centering your poem.  If there’s no reason inside the content of the poem to center it, don’t.  It may look “pretty” to you, but if it’s not appropriate to the poem, it shouldn’t be centered, but lined up along the left-hand side of the page.

 Sound

  • Listen to the sounds in your poem.  Are they hard? soft? What do you need in your poem?  Change words or move them around to get the sounds you want.
  • Listen to the rhythm of your poem.  Is it too sing-songy?  If so, make more changes.
  • Read your poem out loud or ask a friend to read it to you.  Does it sound the way it should?
  • Read your poem with a pause at the end of every line.  That will help you to see if your line breaks are in the right place.

Time

You can’t write a poem in a hurry.  Don’t try to write a new poem when the deadline’s due.  Give yourself a few weeks.  After you’ve written several drafts, set your poem aside and come back to it again in a couple of weeks.  Read it aloud and try some of the tips again.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can improve.

Submitting

Only submit a poem when you’re confident it’s the best you can do and it’s ready to go.  Judges can tell when a poem’s not ready, but they love to read the poems that are your very best effort.

For more information visit https://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/young-writers-contest/

 

Path to Publication

Monday, November 30th, 2015

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Three local authors will share “The Path to Publication” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Lynne Goodwin will discuss setting goals and completing a first draft.

Al Garrotto will talk about editing, cutting and polishing your manuscript.

Anne Steiner will present strategies for marketing and creating your platform.

Sign-in begins at 11:15 am, with a seated luncheon from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm, and speakers at 1:00 pm.  The cost is $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, December 9. Contact Robin at ragig@aol.com or leave a message at: 925-933-9670 or sign up via PayPal: click “buy now” on the Mt.Diablo website.: http://cwcmtdiablowriters,wordpress.com/next-program/.  Add $2 transaction fee. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters,wordpress.com

 

 

California Writers Club: Intersection of Plot and Character

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Novelist Joshua Mohr will present “Plarachterization: Intersection of Plot and Character” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Mr. Mohr will discuss how plot springs from the characters themselves; how our protagonists are sovereign beings, and how plot points can keep a reader turning the pages.

He is the author of four novels, including Damascus, Flight Songs, and Some Things that Meant the World to Me. His next novel, All This Life, is due to be published in summer 2015.

Sign-in/Writers tables from 11:15 am to noon, buffet luncheon from noon to 1:00 pm, including a short business meeting, and the speaker from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. The cost is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, June 10th. Contact Robin Gigoux at ragig@aol.com, or phone 925-933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

 

 

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

 

Author Eric Elfman presents “How to Hook Them From the First Page”

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Eric Elfman will present “How to Hook Them From the First Page” at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

He will explain how to introduce your main character, begin with conflict and tension, write a dramatic opening line, use active voice, create a sense of mystery, and make the reader turn the page!

Eric Elfman is the author of twelve books for kids and young adults, co-author of Tesla’s Attic and Edison’s Alley, three novels based on TV’s The X-Files, and four screen plays which have been sold to Hollywood studios. He’s a faculty member of the Big Sur Writing Workshop, and a writing coach to award-winning authors.

Sign-in is from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, luncheon 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, including a short business meeting, and speaker from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Registration is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, April 8.. Contact Barbara Bentley at barbara@barbarabentley.net, or by phone at (925) 212-4727.  Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation. To sign up via PayPal, click “buy now” on the Mt. Diablo website: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/next-program/. Add $2 transaction fee.

 

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

How to Create Sizzling Scenes

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

C.S. Lakin will present “Sizzling Scenes: Creating Unforgettable Scenes That Really Cook” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Ms. Lakin will explore various ways to construct a scene, elements that make a scene “sizzle”, compare three main components of scenes that work and don’t work, and explain how strong scenes are vital to a successful novel.

She is a novelist and writing coach, and the author of fourteen novels in several genres: contemporary, fantasy/sci-fi, and historical Western romance. Ms. Lakin also guests on top writing blogs, teaches workshops, and participates in critique groups around the country. Her blog, Live Write Thrive offers encouragement and advice for all aspects of writing.

Sign-in is from 11:15 am to 12:00 noon, luncheon from 12:00 noon to 12:45 pm, and speaker from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. To register, contact Robin Gigoux at ragig@aol.com , or phone 925-933-9670. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for guests who pay by cash or check on site, or if using PayPal, $22 for members, $27 for guests.

Note: Due to internet access problems, credit card transactions at the sign-in table are no longer possible. Deadline to register is noon on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation. The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/