Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nancy Knight Workshop

Nancy Knight

Today I had the privilege of gleaning wisdom from the multi-talented Nancy Knight. Her workshop, entitled Well Begun Is Half Done, has completely changed the way I will approach the revision of my manuscript.

Nancy has done everything - novel writing, screen writing, artwork, teaching - and she knows everyone. She shared writing tips, personal stories, and recommended authors and books; I took pages and pages of notes. Here are a few points that really resonated with me.
  • Write the book; then edit it. But do not edit the freshness out of it.
  • Before you start writing your book, be sure you are clear on all the critical elements: characters, setting, plot. When you reach the point where you can't wait to start writing, you are ready to begin. Then write the first draft as fast as you can. The faster you write, the less likely your inner critic is to interfere.
  • The opening sentence/paragraph/book jacket blurb may be the only opportunity you have to get a reader's (editor's) attention. Take care to GET THEM RIGHT.
She also itemized ten reasons a book might not sell and how to deal with them, shared insights on writing contests, and assigned writing exercises throughout the day to get our creative juices flowing. I never thought I would compose a paragraph in the horror genre including blush pink roses in the narrative, but this afternoon I did. That's just the kind of thing Nancy brings out of a person.

Thank you, Nancy Knight and Georgia Romance Writers for another day of inspiration. I don't know where I would be without you.

17 comments:

Suzy Turner said...

Great post, Pam! That must have been an incredibly experience. Sadly, with me living in the Algarve, I never get the opportunity to take part in workshops like that so thanks so much for sharing a few key points. I especially like the bit about not losing the freshness of the book when you edit it. To me, that's so important!
Best wishes
Suzy Turner (currently suffering with a horrible cold, boohoo!)

Pam Asberry said...

I am sorry you aren't feeling well, Suzy! I don't know how I would stay motivated without GRW and all the speakers and workshops they offer - not the mention the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference in October. Maybe you should plan a trip to Atlanta for that! I guess there are books and recorded books available, but that isn't the same as face to face interaction. Do you have a critique partner or are you part of a writing group? Thanks for stopping by and for your comments!

Anonymous said...

Pam,
Great post. I really enjoyed the workshop, too. Nancy's advice about not editing the freshness out of a manuscript and writing as fast as you can resonated with me as well. I learned a lot. She also said, finish the book.

Marilyn Baron

Pam Asberry said...

Good point, Marilyn. I am trying to do that right now!

Anonymous said...

Ha. Ha. Me too.

Marilyn

Barbara Monajem said...

It was a great workshop! I'm sorry I missed the roses, but I had to leave halfway through. (But I intend to do the lunchtime exercise at home -- it really got my imagination going.)

Pam Asberry said...

Hi Barbara,
Nancy gave us a handout with a bunch of writing exercises after lunch; I am thinking of doing them, one at a time, as "warm-ups" before I start working on my manuscript every morning. I think they will help get me out of the little "box" I tend to think in. Thanks for your comment!
Pam

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Pam!

It was great seeing you yesterday. Nancy's workshop was awesome. She has so much knowledge to share and is extremely generous with her time. She's wonderful...

Thanks for that rundown of the workshop. I missed one of those in my notes (darn bathroom breaks...).

Tami

Pam Asberry said...

Tami, I didn't really know Nancy before yesterday, but I can definitely see that what you say about her is true. I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again in the not-too-distant future.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Wow, sounds like a great workshop. Thanks so much for posting some of the highlights.

~Debbie

Pam Asberry said...

It was a great workshop, Debbie. I am looking forward to applying some of what I learned!

S.M. Carrière said...

That sounds like a wonderful workshop! I wish I was nearby. There seem to be few up my way!

Pam Asberry said...

I am so lucky to have easy access to such a great chapter of RWA, S.M. I wish you could have been there. S.M. You would have loved it!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Ah, it sounds like a blast. I've done that class with Nancy before and loved it.

Pam Asberry said...

Oh, Carol, it was a blast. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if you had been there, too. :-)

Nancy said...

Thanks, Pam, and to all of you who said such nice things about my workshop.
Nancy Knight

Pam Asberry said...

Thank YOU, Nancy! :-)