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Workshop suggestions - schedule up 8/15/07

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by dianethx, Jul 12, 2007.

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  1. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    In the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/fan_fiction_resource/b10304/26926242/p1/?54] Fanfic survey[/link] recently, one of the suggestions for improvement was more workshops.

    While [link=http://boards.theforce.net/fan_fiction_resource/b10304/24534691/p1/?254] The Parthenon[/link] holds workshops on broad topics and does a wonderful job at it, I would like to suggest that we also hold shorter, more intensely-focused workshops that deal with small parts of the story's whole. Since some people might not be interested in one topic but might be in another, I would like to suggest that we have single threads for each topic.

    But the key is that the workshops would really include work, not just discussion but explorations of how to write better and more effectively through exercises.

    With the permission of the mods, I am conducting a small survey to get an idea if this is really what the users want, the areas of writing that people think they need to work on and hopefully get some people to volunteer for this.

    Once I get some feedback, the workshops would start in Sept. after the awards are over.

    Here are some of the topics that might be of interest. Please let me know about others.

    1. Titles
    2. Endings
    3. Beginnings
    4. When to break the grammar rules
    5. Dialect
    6. Paragraphs
    7. Non-humans
    8. Drabbles used as a series to tell a story


    Other topics that may be too broad for this but I'm listing them anyway.
    9. Hero's journey (that might be better off in Parthenon)
    10. Hand-to-hand combat
    11. lightsaber fights

    So what do you think? Update: Here's the list of potential workshops so far 7/15/07

    12. thinking out of the box - coming up with creative and original twists and rescues and escapes, etc.
    13. summaries
    14. pacing
    15. outer-space battles
    16. When to use a loooooong sentences
    17. Story/plot exposition
    18. Flashbacks
    19. Skipping scenes in the story telling (but it still happens in the story)
    20. Cliffhangers
    21. Defining the characters' abilities
    22. Noun, verb and adjective phrases
    23. Metaphor in description
    24. Physical descriptions of characters
    25. Cliche and overused phrases/descriptions/dialogue
    26. Monologues - both first person and third person with narrow POV
    27. POV in general - how can you shift within a chapter?
    28. Dialogue Formatting
    29. both how to find and convert medical info into your stories as well as creating plausible medical scenarios with consequences.
    30. choosing excerpts for the awards
    31. serially presented storytelling. How can we find interesting ways of breaking the story up into post-sized bites?
    32. What you look for in Concrit or How to give Concrit or Rules for Concrit for writer and reviewer
    33. Series - when to take a story beyond the initial plot line, to expand it into a multi-pronged idea, where to stop part 1, when in the time line to start the additional parts etc.
    34. Getting stuck: what to do when the plot won't go where you want it to.
    35. Cutting to the bone - when to remove something that you really wanted in a story.
    36. write in a collaboration or a round robin (including how the dynamics change if there are two people vs three vs a whole bunch).
    37. Humor
    38. Writing villains
    [hr]

    The schedule through the end of the year 2007- this may be subject to change depending on RL issues:

    Workshops, host and dates
    [b]Sept. 2007[/b]
    1. Titles ? dianethx
    28. Dialogue formatting ? Valairy_Scot

    [b]Oct. 2007[/b]
    21 Defining the characters abilities ? ardavenport
    20. Cliffhangers ? Luton_Plunder

    [b]Nov. 2007[/b]
    13. Summaries ? dianethx ?
    7. Non-human workshop ? Space_Wolf ?

    [b]Dec. 2007[/b]
    11. Lightsaber duels ? DarthIshtar
    12. thinking out of the box - coming up with creative and original twists and rescues and escapes, etc. - RX_Sith

    I also have one scheduled for Jan and one for May 2008 with different hosts. If anyone else wants to volunteer, I'd be more than happy to hear about it!


    See you all in Sept!


    >
     
  2. CodyMonKenobi

    CodyMonKenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Heck yeah, I need help in several of thse areas. fights are so hard to do. I know a lot of people will admit to not being satisfied with their battle scenes. I will be keeping an eye on this. ;)
     
  3. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Titles
    Endings
    Beginnings
    When to break the grammar rules
    Dialect
    Paragraphs
    Non-humans
    Drabbles used as a series to tell a story


    Other topics that may be too broad for this but I'm listing them anyway.
    Hero's journey (that might be better off in Parthenon)
    Hand-to-hand combat
    lightsaber fights

    So what do you think?


    I think I'm more than capable of breaking the rules ;) and a fair amount of the first list, but boy could I could use help on fights - any kind of action.

    Heck, if it was possible, I'd love to see a workshop on thinking out of the box - coming up with creative and original twists and rescues and escapes, etc.
     
  4. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    I like those suggestions, especially the "when to break grammar rules" one. I also agree that if you're going for smaller ones, things like lightsaber fights don't belong.

    I'll be keeping an eye on the workshops -- I think they're going to be both interesting and helpful :)

    Just out of curiosity, how are you thinking of doing them?
     
  5. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I would like to round up some people to organize ones and they would likely have specific steps to the workshops. I would like to run the titles one - I have a few ideas on exercises and maybe a game or two.

    For a really good example, see LadyPadme's workshop in the Parthenon on romance writing. She had an initial discussion of what romance writing was, a series of questions to make the participants think about what they perceive as romance, a hunt for romantic stories and then finally exercises showing off the different types of romance with a short vignette and then discussion about what worked or didn't work.

    That sort of thing. But the users would also dictate, to some extent, what they wanted to get out of the workshop.

    Does that make sense?

     
  6. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Yeah, it does. I really like this :)
     
  7. Layren

    Layren Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Can we throw in one about summaries too Diane?


    All of these topics sound truly excellent and I would love a more intensely focused workshop rather than simply discussion after awards are over.
     
  8. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    Sounds good Diane. :D
     
  9. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Layren, I'm taking any and all suggestions at this point. Summaries are a good one. I know I have problems with them.

    Keep in mind that the Parthenon does do workshops but on a broader scale. I'll probably give TKL a list of suggestions for workshops that are larger in scope so keep the suggestions coming!
     
  10. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Diane, I'm so happy to see you doing this!
    How about pacing--has that been suggested yet?
     
  11. Jedi-Ant

    Jedi-Ant Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Titles - heck yeah!

    And also space battles, I think. I know I struggle with them.
     
  12. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    This is going to be great! :D I can't wait to see what sort of topics you'll be covering. :) I look forward to learning a LOT!
     
  13. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    I think it's a very good idea, especially if the focus is narrow and there are, um, exercises. A few other topics maybe......

    When to use a loooooong sentences
    Story/plot exposition
    Flashbacks
    Skipping scenes in the story telling (but it still happens in the story)
    Cliffhangers
    Defining the characters' abilities
    Noun, verb and adjective phrases
    Metaphor in description

     
  14. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    I love all the suggestions so far. Please use all of them. :p


    # Physical descriptions of characters
    # Cliche and overused phrases/descriptions/dialogue
    # Story titles
    # Monologues - both first person and third person with narrow POV
    # POV in general - how can you shift within a chapter?


    Skipping scenes in the story telling (but it still happens in the story)

    Along these lines and on a smaller scale, skipping "assumed" actions within a chapter. Like if two characters are getting into a speeder, do you have to describe every single move they make to get into the car, or can they just vroom away?
     
  15. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade VIP star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    I always have problems with figuring out which way to go with that. *rueful*
     
  16. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I'd like to see one done on fic-related research. I've seen a lot of fics where the medical stuff is obviously a combination of bacta and making up five names for chicken pox and, on the other hand, fics that have really put a lot of thought into consequences of stuff.
     
  17. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Thanks for all your suggestions so far. They've been great. I'll probably put the list in the first post later today. But more would be wonderful, too. :D

    Ishtar- could you clarify that medical one a bit? Do you mean where to find medical info to use or using the medical info properly or consequences of injuries? Or all of them? Or something else?
     
  18. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    I think she means how to use research to make fics more interesting, accurate, and not just making stuff up.


    This is really more suited for next May or June, but then maybe a workshop on how to choose a good excerpt? It could come in handy for next year's awards.
     
  19. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    I'd be happy to help out with the non-human workshop if it goes ahead. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd like to see something ...er someone other than R2-D2 be nominated for best non-human in the next awards...
     
  20. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 1999
    Dialogue Formatting = *head-desk*

    *repeatedly*



     
  21. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    What I would recommend is a workshop on both how to find and convert medical info into your stories as well as creating plausible medical scenarios with consequences. I got the idea when I read Truce at Bakura and for the first time, a SW author mentioned that LUke might be down and out with skeletal calcification after Endor. I've spent 6 hours at a time working out the scenarios for specific fics and have some good methods for keeping things authentic.
     
  22. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Thanks, Ishtar. That really clears it up.
     
  23. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    The only reason i'd describe the moves are if the action either 1) helps describes the personality of the character doing it (this is particularly helpful when the particular scene is the introduction of said character); or 2) describes the mood the character is in.

    (but this isn't actually the workshop... so sorry :p)
     
  24. Bale

    Bale Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2005
    The suggested workshop topics look great. I'd like to see the workshop on character discussions include character movements and expressions. In general, though, I'm up for anything that can help me as a writer, so I think these workshops are a wonderful idea. :)
     
  25. raisedbywolves

    raisedbywolves Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 1, 2005
    I'd like to see one on fanfic as a form of serially presented storytelling, personally. How can we find interesting ways of breaking the story up into post-sized bites? I think there's a lot of untapped potential in that direction. :)
     
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