Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The itchies!

I'm not sure if this is seasonal but I've had the itchies to take a writing course, go back to school, or learn something. Anything. Perhaps it's because I'm between stories, putting the polish on a couple of projects but haven't started anything new in a while. Hmmm?

Anyway I've been trolling college and writing websites looking at classes available. I missed the fall sign up for most but I found two that start in November. One is right here in the Coachella Valley, the other is online. One is with someone I've never heard of, the other is taught by a romance writer of fifty novels. One is super expensive, one not too bad. So, I've continued to procrastinate. Do I really NEED another course? Do I really NEED to spend the money? By the time I make up my mind registration will be closed. Ha ha.

In years past I've treated myself to a fall conference, or writer's retreat, and it has always jump-started my next book, or improved on the one I was currently writing. With the economy unstable I'm hesitant to commit to anything too expensive. Last week I had a brainwave, figured I could just take out all of the self help writing books that line my bookshelves and give myself a refresher course. There are many books I haven't re-read in four or five years.

I started writing in 2000 and gradually added books to my library, starting out with simple material and moving up to tougher subjects like those in Robert McKee's, Story. It's amazing what this refresher has done for me. I started out with Deb Dixon's, Goals, Motivation and Conflict, then, Writing the Fiction Synopsis, by Pam McCutcheon, then What Would Your Character Do? by Eric and Ann Maisel. Finally I read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. Today I tinkered with my current story and it is enlightening how much my little at-home schooling has helped. Soon, very soon, I'll start a new project and think I'll be far better equipped for having taken this time out to refresh and refill the well.

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