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.