Going Deep with Research

This Friday, prepare to take a leap off the deep end of storytelling. Kristen Millares Young will give a talk about how research can improve your story if used correctly.  Kristen is a  celebrated novelist and journalist with an impressive writing resume. She currently lives in Seattle, WA and teaches at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. Check out her website and come Friday to hear a great writing program.

A Field Researcher’s Guide to Authoritative Storytelling

We will learn to infuse narrative with lyric accuracy through careful study of the world around us. We will seek guidance from fiction and nonfiction authors who take deep dives into their subjects, including the masters Joan Didion, Karen Tei Yamashita, Annie Dillard, and Eula Biss. Remember: research carries a story like water beneath a boat. Keep it moving to stay afloat.

What: Lewis County Writer Guild’s monthly meeting

Where: The Station Coffee Bar and Bistro, 120 S Tower Ave, Centralia, WA

When: Friday, February 17, 5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. program

Speaker: Kristen Millares Young is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared most recently in the Guardian and the New York Times. Recognized by the Society f or Features Journalism in 2016,  Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall ”, which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody.  Kristen is president of the board of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit journalism studio.

Hope to see you there!

 


 

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How to Find the Freebies

Below is a list with links to the freebies that Jennifer talked about last Friday. From motivation to editing there is something for everyone.

Nanowrimo Goal Tracker www.nanowrimo.org

Nanowrimo has year-round resources for all writers, not just ones who participated in Nanowrimo in November. Sign up for free and then measure your progress with their fun goal tracker.

Coffitivity https://coffitivity.com/

If you miss the ambiance of a coffee shop click on Coffitivity and bring the coffee shop to your office. Perfect for when you need to concentrate and can’t focus in a too quiet or too noisy room.

Weird but True app

This is one of the hundreds of apps for both iPhone and Androids that end your writer’s block. Learn something fascinating and add it to your next story.

Daily Writing Tips http://www.dailywritingtips.com/

In just three minutes a day, you can improve your grammar skills. This website has great articles, quizzes, and writing examples that will improve your understanding grammar in no time.

Grammarly www.grammarly.com

Download this program and it will find any grammar mistakes you make in any document both online and in MS Word. Includes explanations so you can learn from your mistakes

Natural Reader www.naturalreaders.com/

Reading your story out loud helps you find mistakes. Having someone else read it while you listen helps even more. Natural Reader allows you to listen to your computer read your story and edit as it does.

Unsplash http://unsplash.com

Get free photos in your inbox and you’ll never have to go hunting for the perfect photo or wonder if you are violating someone’s copyright law. Simply save them to your photo folder for future use.

Canva www.canva.com

You can create marvelous covers, Facebook banners, business cards, and other marketing tools using Canva’s templates. Combine them with the free photos from Unsplash. It is a great one-two punch.

Created by Jennifer Vandenberg 2017  – Authorized for free use

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Friday’s Meeting is full of Freebies

If you are a beginning or unpublished writer you may not have the funds to pay people to edit your work or create cool covers. While it is true that if you want to be successful in the long run you need to hire the best editors and cover creators that you can afford, there are avenues available that can help you get started and won’t break the bank.

This Friday, Jennifer will provide you with free online resources to help your writing career. From programs that help you edit your story, to fun easy ways to create a cover at no cost, she will walk you through a variety of websites and apps that can improve your book from beginning to end.

Free Online Resources for Authors

What: Lewis County Writer Guild’s monthly meeting

Where: The Station Coffee Bar and Bistro, 120 S Tower Ave, Centralia, WA

When: Friday, January 20, 5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. program

Hope to see you there!

 

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The First Step and the Next Step

Every writer dreams of publishing their book and making money from it. But that dream can feel overwhelming. Where should we start?

Kyle Pratt, a local best-selling author, knows how to find success in the world of indie-publishing and on December 12 and 16 he will be giving a two-part program on how anyone can find similar success.

On December 12, the Centralia Library is having a Thank Goodness it’s Over (TGIO) party to celebrate the end of Nanowrimo and help authors do something with the manuscript they worked on during November. Kyle will be speaking about the business of writing and the four means of publishing available to authors in the digital age.

The party is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is invited, not just Nanowrimo participants. This is part one of Kyle’s two-part program. The second part will be at the Lewis County Writer’s Guild meeting on Friday so plan to bookend your week with great publishing information.

The Guild’s regular meeting will be from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kyle will be our speaker and he will explain how to market your book once you have it published. Because what’s the point of publishing a book if no one reads it? Kyle has tried many different types of marketing and he will share what works best without leaving you feeling icky.

Kyle’s Program Schedule

The First Step (publishing your book)

What: Nanowrimo TGIO Party

Where: Centralia Library

When: Monday, December 12, 4-6 p.m.

The Second Step (marketing your book)

What: Lewis County Writer Guild’s monthly meeting

Where: The Station Coffee Bar and Bistro, 120 S Tower Ave, Centralia, WA

When: Friday, December 16, 5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. program

Hope to see you there!

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Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

Amy shared this list at the last meeting. It has lots of great tips and food for thought.

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
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Plot Prompts and Amy’s Advice

Amy gave a wonderful talk last Friday. She started by sharing a variety of writing books with everyone and encouraged us to find helpful tips inside these books. We then shared two or three meaningful suggestions that we found in our books. If anyone wants to learn more from these books they can all be found at a Timberland library near you.

Are you interesting in participating in Nanowrimo this year? Amy explained how the program works and there were several writers interested in joining this November. She would gladly assist anyone who wants to participate. There will be write-ins every Monday in November starting at 5 p.m. at the Centralia Library for those who want to hang out with other ambitious writers.

At the end of the evening, we had a great time writing for 5 minutes using creative prompts. Our guild is filled with very witty wordsmiths. If you would like to stir your creative juices like we did, you can find all of Amy’s prompts below. I found them all quite inventive.

  1. You are having a conversation with your friend when all of a sudden they turn into a frog.
  2. You literally bump into your Soulmate
  3. Your character wakes up to find a nondescript black box with two buttons on it next to their bed. One is labeled “press here to continue as normal” and the other one is labeled “?”.
  4. At birth, everyone has a date they will die tattooed on their arm. Yours was yesterday.
  5. Your character was given a treasure map. Your choice: How they got the map, the journey to the treasure, or what they found.
  6. Make a normal task the Most. Dramatic. Thing. EVER!
  7. Your character is claustrophobic and gets stuck in an elevator
  8. Your character is suddenly famous. Only he or she has no idea why.
  9. As you’ve slept, the teddy bear you adore has fought off demons to keep you safe. The night before you decide you’re going to get rid of him, seeing as how you’ve outgrown him, you awake to witness his last stand against the forces that intend to forever corrupt your childhood innocence.
  10. Write a story inspired by your favorite song
  11. Bored bored bored! Your character is left with nothing to do and, for some reason, has to remain in the same location.
  12. Your character videotapes a confession. Don’t just include the words of the confession.

 

 

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Oct 21st Meeting -Plots, Prompts, and Nanowrimo

Long time member Amy Flugel will be presenting a three-part program at this month’s meeting. What a deal!

During her program ” Plotting Your Way Out of a Paper Bag” she will share some plotting prompts designed to drive your characters, and their creators, crazy!  If you love writing prompts this will be a lot of fun. If you hate writing prompts, this will still be a lot of fun because you don’t have to do them but you can listen to other people’s plot creations. All writers need an audience.

Also, if you have a story that you are working on and are stuck, bring it along and we can do some group brainstorming to move the plot along. Sometimes your plot problem can be solved by talking about it.

And, since NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, there will be a small introduction to the large event that keeps writers busy and more antisocial than normal for a whole month! Whether you are a Nano expert or wondering what this weird word means, Amy will have all the details.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m and we have a social hour beforehand. You’ll find us at the Station Coffee Bar and Bistro, 120 S Tower Ave in Centralia, Washington. They have great food and drinks so come and socialize.

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