Dip Your Toes in Prose: A Workshop for Beginners
A fun and supportive workshop for beginning writers of fiction and nonfiction. Intrigued by creative writing, but can’t commit to a whole course? Want to write your memoirs, but fear boring your family? Have a great idea for a short story, but can’t get it off the ground? This workshop is just what you need! It includes prompts to get you started, tips for muffling your inner critique, and easy techniques for writing entertaining stories that create colorful movies in your readers’ minds.
The following “Creating a Movie in Your Reader’s Mind” presentations can expand into workshops (half day, full day, weekend, and week)
The Magic of Emotional Truth
Last presented August 2017 at the Willamette Writers conference.
Actors convey a character’s Emotional Truth through line delivery and body language. We writers convey Emotional Truth by describing those things, plus we have the power to employ many other techniques, including internal thought, verb choice, and metaphor. In fact, everything in a written story – every person, place, thing, animal, sound, smell, weather phenomenon, etc – can have Emotional Truth. Successful stories are infused with it. Yet aspiring writers often omit it without realizing, inadvertently sapping tension, losing reader interest.
In this interactive, info-rich presentation, Lill shares the what/why/when/where of Emotional Truth.
Self-editing for Prose Writers
Ever wonder how reading a good book or short story creates a movie in your mind? Prose may look like a mere string of words, but it’s composed of bits of story information – visual imagery, setups, backfill, emotional shifts, and so much more. Missing or poorly placed story information confuses and distracts a reader. But when you’ve included all the information and put it in the right place, your story will be a movie in your reader’s mind.
As an avid and analyitical reader, Lill figured out exactly how and why successful stories create movies in readers’ minds (not counting the neuroscience). Good books are our best teachers.
How to Win Short Story Contests (Even If You Write Memoir and Novels)
Short story contests are terrific opportunities to further your writing career. Their deadlines can inspire you to improve an oldie or create a new piece. Once it’s ready to enter a contest it’s ready to submit for publication. And when it earns an award and/or publication credit, you have credibility with agents and editors. But how do you know when your story is “contest ready”? Why do some stories make it to the top but others fall short?
This presentation/workshop includes advanced writing techniques, tips for self-editing, how to win fiction contests with memoir, how to make short stories from your novel-in- progress (and why), how to play the contest odds, and much more.
As the contest director for Oregon Writers Colony, debating with the judges’ panel for the past ten years, Lill has the inside track on what judges are looking for.
The Secret Powers of Chronology Revealed!
Last presented August 2019 at Willamette Writers Conference. Description coming.
Stand-Alones, Another Path to Publication
Last presented August 2017 at Willamette Writers Conference.
Your book-in-progress is composed of rich veins of raw material you can mold into “stand-alones.” In other words, excerpts can be edited to stand-alone outside your book as short stories, essays or articles. A published and/or award-winning stand-alone attracts agents and editors to your whole book.
This presentation includes step-by-step instructions for crafting stand-alones, and tips on where to market them. The workshop version adds exercises that will jump start a stand-alone from your book-in-progress (even if the book is just a gleam in your eye.)
While working on her own book-length memoir, Lill was impatient to be published, and invented this form for herself. Then she found out the form is called a “stand-alone.” Thus far, more than a dozen of her award-winning stand-alones have been published in literary journals and anthologies, including Best Women’s Travel Writing. (Travelers Tales)
The Tighty Writey Game
Last presented at Willamette Writers Conference 2019. Description coming.
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