On Saturday I gave a lecture and workshop at Pine Plains Library, in upstate New York. This was my second straight year presenting for IAD. Instead of most presenters that I’ve seen, who give lectures on publishing and marketing, I focused on the actual craft. It doesn’t matter how great a writer you are, you can always be better (myself included), something so many writers forget. Being an author is a combination of narcissism and humility, and the second part is what helps you grow.
A general version of the lecture “The Hero’s Journey: It’s No Myth” is available on my website, but I was a teacher, and I’m best when I work out loud. I make jokes and obscure references. I bring props (usually toys). In this case, I brought tissue paper “plot points” and threw them back and forth with the crowd. I used a Snoopy Snow Cone Machine as a brainstorming prompt.
I miss teaching.
Below are pictures from the workshop and the panel at the end. It was a small crowd, and one of the presenters dropped out as the last minute. It didn’t matter. Helping one person is enough. It’s an established writer’s responsibility to help newer writers reach their potential. It’s better for us all. A rising tide raises all boats.
Me with Plot Point in hand, explaining a character’s “heart’s desire and the conflict blocking their path.
I get crazy eyes when I teach.
I use humor when I teach. Here I am acting out Sandy’s and Danny’s Ordinary World in Grease.
My Snoopy Snow Cone Machine. Love it.
I threatened to throw two plot points at once.
Ready to launch plot point.
The final panel with fellow indie author Thomm Quackenbush.
In all, I had a great time. I forgot how much I love doing workshops. Maybe I’ll do one in your area soon.