I know some people would wonder why someone who’s already written a novel or two would want to attend a workshop on writing. But I love hearing other authors talk about the writing process. It’s always so different than my own.
Saturday, Bob Mayer spoke at the Virginia Romance Writers April meeting. He gave an all-day workshop on novel writing. He covered everything from originating an idea to marketing the finished product. Of course, some of the material I’ve heard before, but I loved his CONFLICT BOX. It’s so simple but complete genius. All it is is a square divided into four sections. The top two section represent the GOAL and CONFLICT of the PROTAGONIST. The bottom two sections are the GOAL and CONFLICT of the ANTAGONIST. Now here’s the beauty of it–there can only be two things that work here. One is that both character want the same thing driving them into a direct struggle. The second is that they have separate goals but for each to reach his own goal a direct conflict is created in the other achieving his. In other words, if one character’s goal doesn’t somehow cause the other character direct problems in reaching his own goal, then the story isn’t going to work. It’s a great visual for checking your storyline.
There were other solid points made about novel writing and he suggested a myriad of questions to ask yourself as you write. He also said that RWA is the most professional writers organization and I couldn’t agree more. All in all a nice presentation. And I loved that our RWA chapter allowed its member to attend for free. Gotta love that!