I am a member of the Coeur du Bois Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. It is a wonderful organization. Once a month, after the chapter meeting a workshop is presented about the fundamentals of writing. On April 7, 2012 the chapter welcomed Johanna Harness, yes, our very own Johanna. The class was entitled: Jump Start Your Novel with Timed Writing.
Now, I’m going to be honest. I planned to leave early. My husband had surgery the day before and I needed to get in my classroom to prepare for Monday.
I talked to Johanna ahead of time. She told me I should act offended and stomp out. We got a chuckle out of that scenario.
When the time came, I couldn’t leave. Johanna had my complete attention, well as much as could be expected from someone taking notes as fast as my poor fingers allowed.
If you’ve read my blogs you know several things about me. I am doing my best to make sense of my writing journey. When Johanna shared her Plot Arc I went into fits of pleasure. Please refer to her article Plot Arc. I’m still looking at it, thinking about how to best incorporate this tool into my arsenal of weapons.
The Plot Arc would have been great, but there was more. Imagine me squealing when I said “more.”
Johanna included a page about what you can do with ten minutes.
- Discover your main character’s weaknesses.
- Plot a chapter of your novel.
- Find out what scares a character, and why.
- Explore what makes characters dislike each other.
The list was more extensive. Then, Johanna asked us to add to the list. There was a ringer in the audience, someone working secretly with our wonderful speaker. She told me I could write 100 words in ten minutes. It is amazing what I came away during that hour and a thirty minutes.
Come close, so I won’t be overheard. Are you leaning in? She was right. 100 words in ten minutes is doable.
You know I try to be honest. I haven’t done the 100 words every night, but I’ve done it.
Having a good teacher makes a difference. Have you had a class that helped you focus on a certain aspect of your writing?