On 29 October 2012 I attended the Boot Camp of the Writers’ Workshop in the Volkshaus Zürich – a full day’s dose of useful tips for would-be authors. I’m not normally very good at paying attention in long meetings, but there I was captivated and I took copious notes.
The speakers were very competent (Why all ladies?) and gave us plenty of useful exercises to put their advice into practice (e.g. In 5 minutes, write about “underwear” in the style of a “serious newspaper”!)
It was also extremely stimulating to interact with intelligent, like-minded people in the coffee breaks and at the evening meal at Hiltl.
The program looked like this:
Libby O’Loghlin persuaded us to ask 5 questions to help us get our story straight: Whose story? About? Central Dramatic Question (CDQ)? Why do we care? Prize/price?
JJ Marsh of Nuance Words advised us on discovering our style and tone.
Kelly Jarosz looked at the words that hit the page. What makes dynamic prose? What are some of the most common errors? The art of editing.
Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn flew in from the UK to take us on a high-speed dash through some of the basics of publishing.
A very valuable side benefit of this event was the specific feedback I received from two of the teachers on a sample of my own writing (part of chapter 3 of Aquila) which I had submitted in advance. Thanks again, Libby and Kelly!