Writing Workshop

If you've always wanted to write fiction _ or if you've always thought that real life is stranger than any fiction you could invent _ this workshop is for you. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced writer, this workshop series will give you a jump-start of fresh ideas and inspiration.

Award-winning writer Diane Gallo will guide you through the writing process from first idea and rough draft through polished manuscript.

You'll gain an understanding of key writing concepts to help you frame your stories with compelling images. You'll learn a guaranteed story conferencing strategy to help you deepen and expand your writing. Finally, you'll come away with a clear understanding of key revision concepts to help you clarify and organize your ideas.

This four-part series will be held on the four Saturdays of April from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Gallo is a fiction writer, screenwriter, poet and master teaching artist who works with schools and cultural organizations and with individuals in one-on-one coaching, editing and mentoring sessions.

The workshop fee $50. This series is supported in part by a grant from Poets & Writers, online at www.pw.org. Registration is limited to 12.

Workshop fees must be paid at the time of registration, which can be done at the library's front desk during regular hours. We encourage you to sign up early since these slots will fill quickly.

Writing Books

The library has many books on how to be a writer. These are just a few examples:

"The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman is a writer's guide of tips to avoid the rejection pile. Your job is to write a story that will jump out to an editor immediately. The necessary elements of good writing are explained as well as what not to do. For example, do have an opening hook, but don't over use adjectives and metaphors. Exercises at each chapter end reinforce points made in the text.

Famous authors offer writing advice in "The New Writer's Handbook." To get started, you'll receive tips on ideas and choosing words, and basic rules for writing. Authors then offer tips on the writing itself with how to start, grammar help and types of writing fiction versus nonfiction.

Others tell you how to pitch your book to an editor or agent, offer marketing strategies, and more. More than 60 authors lend their advice to writers at all levels.

"The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)" will help you spot problems with your writing and correct them. Learn how to build strong characters, create conflicts for them, keep your story moving, fill your work with emotions, and generally strengthen your writing. Author Jack Bickham succinct style gets right to the point for you.

James Bell gives you techniques and exercises for creating a plot that will grip readers from beginning to end in "Plot & Structure." Learn how plot influences the structure of your story, how to construct beginnings, middles, and ends, and even more importantly, how to make revisions. There are exercises in each chapter and story models.

"On Writing Romance" by Leigh Michaels has everything you ever wanted to know about writing a romance novel. She lists more than 30 sub-genres in the romance field. She'll also show you how to avoid cliches and stereotypes, create realistic characters, develop relationships, use tension and timing and other hints.

If you want to write for children, take a look at "Creating Characters Kids Will Love" by Elaine Marie Alphin. Characters are the most important thing to a child and the author has pointers for how to use plot and conflict for character growth, give them emotions, make them believable, insert challenges, have role models and more.

Library Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday.

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