Writer Workshop: Day 2, Story Ideas and Outlines
While Sunday was arrival day for the illustrators, it was the first full workshop day for our twelve writer winners. The day began at 9 am with a tour of Author Services, Inc. including the magnificent Writers of the Future library which features books, magazines, and graphic novels written or illustrated by contest winners past and present.
On their return to the workshop space, Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) kicked off the day of writing tips with a history and overview of tense and point of view in fiction. The writers learned the nuances and limitations of everything from first person present to third person omniscient. Card even discussed second person future (which you will appreciate soon).
Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) gave each writer the random items they’ll be using as story prompts when they begin their 24-hour stories on Day 2. The writers pondered their items, brainstorming what they might do with things like a blank 3×5 card, a tea bag or a tiny book of whale pictures.
David Farland (The Runelords) discussed story structure, teaching writers about the importance of try/fail cycles when writing short stories. Card supplemented the lesson with highlights from his popular MICE quotient theory (detailed in his book Characters & Viewpoint for those following along at home).
After their lunch break, the writers returned for talks on how to get the most out of writing workshops, different approaches to sensory details, and how to transport the reader into your story physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Our trio of famous authors wrapped up the day by talking about where story ideas come from and how to get more than a thousand story ideas in an hour by asking yourself just four questions.
Day 1 of the writer workshop ended with homework assignments designed to keep readers in suspense. Will the writers take the lessons to heart? Will they ever write in second person future POV? Will they ever be able to get the words “beaver water” out of their heads?
Tune in tomorrow to find out!
Reporting by Kary English, Writers of the Future Contest First Reader and winner from Volume 31.
Illustrators of the Future Art Workshop: Day 1, Arrival
Illustrators of the Future Contest winners arrived today from across the US including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Vermont, 3 from the Seattle area, 2 from California, as well as 2 from England. It turns out that Josh Pemberton, Allen Morris, and Christine Rhee were all introduced to the Contest by Volume 34 Illustrators of the Future winner, Bruce Brenneise. Looks like Bruce knows how to pick ’em! Thank you, Bruce!
Their art styles and aspirations range from sci-fi art to fantasy art, character design, concept art, and story illustration.
Upon arrival, the illustrator winners were whisked off to do video interviews and podcasts for social media promotion for themselves, the Contest, and the book. Sharing their sources of inspiration and their hopeful plans for the future. These talented artists are definitely people to watch for.