Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Characters Were Joining Me In The Workshop

Grant Blackwood,
#1 New York Times Best Selling Author
Writing can often be a lonely and crazy-making job, albeit, always interesting. The words come and go when I send the finished piece of work to its next destination, especially when working on projects that are 2,000 words or less; a blog article, an evaluation, proposal, report or short story for someone else.

When I afford myself the luxury of working on my own writing, the words stay with me a little longer as they percolate, get re-written and morph into an article, story or book. I become immersed in what I am writing and perhaps that is what has kept me from setting aside time to work on a suspense novel that has been sitting in my "idea pile" for several years. And now, thanks to #1 New York Times Best Selling Author Grant Blackwood  I can no longer ignore the thriller that is screaming to be written, for some of the characters began coming to life during a writer's workshop I attended taught by Grant.

Funny, inspirational, insightful, honest and thought-provoking, Grant walked the 18 writers assembled at the
Engaging in brain-storming, this
highly interactive workshop brought
some interesting story-lines to life.
Austin Public Library through exercises, lessons, elements of success, strategies for writing a great suspense novel and hands-on practical tips. Sharing his experience of 27 years as an author so that we could learn from him and create great suspense novels, Grant had us writing, re-writing, brain-storming and mind-mapping - it was interactive, engaging and challenging.

This writers workshop was one of the best that I have attended, although I am also aware that I was primed and ready to go. The suspense novel that I have been stewing about is ready to be written and it was such a great experience to see some of the characters come to life right in front of my eyes. At one point I almost gasped as someone sat in a chair in which I had just been visualizing my protagonist sitting. I can't wait to use all of the great tips and ideas that Grant shared with us and get this novel written.

In such a competitive industry, it is really important to recognize Grant for his extremely gracious and generous time that he shared with writers and aspiring writers. He has published some fantastic thrillers, the Briggs Tanner series:  End of Enemies,  Wall of Night, and Echo of War, all page turners (and now thanks to Grant I have learned some great secrets about creating a page turner!). He has also co-published with Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy and has a new book out with James Rollins called The Kill Switch which I can't wait to read.

Grant Blackwood is here in Austin, Minnesota as a presenter at the Austin ArtWorks Festival and I am so thankful that he agreed to conduct this life-giving workshop to my characters and their story. I can't wait to introduce readers to these extra-ordinary characters. It was a pleasure. Thank you Grant Blackwood.

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