Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bettering Your Craft

Bettering Your Craft
Net's Notations -- All About the Reader Series

About 545 writers converged on Denver, CO in mid-September at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference. We had a great time attending workshops, fellowshiping, meeting other writers for the first time and reconnecting with old friends.

Conference planners offered an early bird workshop for folks coming in a day before official festivities kicked in, which I attended. Donald Maass, well-known for his “Writing the Break Novel” book and workbook, taught for seven hours on digging deep into characterization to better your plot (my own summation of his teaching).

While he asked his questions, I had great ideas coming to me, some so stupendous, I gasped as I recognized these ideas for the gems I knew them to be.

There were several workshops offered throughout conference on varied writing levels and a myriad of topics: plotting, characterization, screenwriting, hero’s journey, marketing, etc. Any topic you may want to work on as a writer was likely covered by at least one presenter. I love attending these classes—pen in hand, notebook filling up. I feel like a student.

Whether you’ve written 1 book or 100, here’s a suggestion – when it comes to writing, it’s okay to remain a student.

In previous conferences, I remember witnessing some well-respected, well-established authors taking the same classes as those of us who are not in their same position. My respect for them grew.

One of the best ways to serve your reader is to remain teachable when it comes to writing craft. Never stop learning. This will ensure your novels stay fresh as you write them one after another, and that your readers won’t outgrow your writing. Also, you’ll feel more confident as you move forward. And confidence with humility is good as a Christian writer.

Keep learning craft to best bless those who will hold your books in their hands. It’s all about the reader!