December 2023 Guild Meeting
Study and reference Notes
Suggested Routine: Download and print the Discussion Questions - Read text - Watch the video - Do the Exercise
Special Christmas Meeting
This is our special
Christmas meeting where we read an
anomalously written Story, Poem or Essay,
and everyone tries to guess who wrote it.
Craft Study Review 2023
We began the year with a four-part study of short stories. It turns out that this covered much more than just short stories because it was a review of many elements of fiction writing from getting an idea to drafting and publishing a story.
In part one we learned the strengths and limitations of short stories. Who remembers some of these specific strengths and limitations?
We learned there were seven kinds of short stories. Can you define a drabble? How about a Feghoot?
Part two was about the building blocks of storytelling. We learned the special definition of an event and its relationship to value. We studied storyline or plot line and the hierarchy of the elements of structure: beat, scene, sequence, act, and story.
Part three covered plotting, outlining, and drafting. We studied Freytag’s pyramid and the seven stages of story that included: the ordinary day, the inciting incident, rising action, crisis, climax falling action, and resolution.
We examined some common story arcs or shapes like: rags to riches, the man in a hole, Cinderella, and Icarus.
We concluded our study of short stories by examining drafting techniques and exploring publishing possibilities. A major takeaway from this study is recognizing that writing short stories touches all areas of fiction writing and the techniques practiced are applicable to all writing.
April-The Power of Emotion
Realizing that readers care less about what is happening, than to whom it’s happening. We did a study of how different character types influence the emotional impact of the story. We studied the four most common types of characters: the Hero, the Average Joe, the Underdog, and the Lost Soul. Do you recognize these guys and their relationship to the reader?
Figurative Language–writer’s tools for achieving the precision and clarity we need to describe characters, scenes, or events with originality to keep their readers engaged.
Not just, “I love you very much.” But “My love for you is a raging fire.”
We studied the definitions and use of Metaphors–Similes–Personification–Onomatopoeia. Do you remember these?
We studied blogging and how to set up a free blog. Did anyone put a blog online?
The summer experiment that didn’t work… No writing exercises. Homework was limited to a 17-minute video masterclass (How to Write a Great Story - Decades of Wisdom Distilled Down to 17 Minutes). It was good. Here’s the link if you want to see it (again): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-g1xYsgJ9s
Writing like Method Actors Act. Method Writing emphasizes bringing realistic and emotional authenticity to the scenes portrayed in the prose, and requires writers to delve deep into the psyche of their characters, while drawing upon their personal experiences and emotions.
This session was primarily a freewheeling discussion, involving a Sensory Immersion Method Writing exercise following a prescribed process. It was a mixed bag session–difficult for some–particularly rewarding for others.
September-Tropes in Writing
Skillful, competent, literate, yet forgettable. Tropes are commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs, or clichés in creative works that can be used to create a sense of familiarity and predictability for the reader. Are Tropes good or bad? …YES! Like most literary devices. A skillfully subverted trope can surprise and intrigue the reader–over used and inappropriately applied a trope may bore the reader to sleep.
October- Psychology for Writers
Our culture sometimes restricts us from exploring new experiences creating the perception that our life is missing something important. The pursuit of that missing something is a significant driver in our stories and the source of delicious conflicts. Studying basic psychology helps us capitalize on these circumstances.
November-Writers Read for Family and Friends
The program was well attended, and, everyone seemed to have a good time. What do you think. How can it be improved?
December-Special Christmas meeting
We’re going to do it, hope it goes well?
Now-It’s time for you to speak up.
How was 2023 in terms of your goals and/or satisfaction with your writing achievements?
What could be done to the Guild programs to improve its contribution to your success.
What is the most valuable contribution your guild experience to your success or satisfaction?
What’s the least?
What’s on your Writing Wish List for 2024? (goals / aspirations)
For those of you who do not regularly participate. What needs to be done to get you on board?
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