2014 Workshop Description

Afternoon Session—Instructor: Charlotte Robin Cook

Where Does Polish Come From?

As we work through a manuscript we first satisfy our needs as a writer, then our ambitions as a published writer. Polish comes from knowing when your material is fully on the page and that someone who has no idea who you are reads and absorbs your work without any hindrance of language, pace, or care about who you are. Beyond that you want readers to feel compelled to keep reading and find in your work something that makes them hold the story/characters in their hearts and minds. And we all love it when readers talk about our work to others.

So what gets in the way of that? Sometimes intensity, sometimes lack of craft, sometimes over or under focus. Charlotte will talk through many of the tips she’s learned in making story telling "sing." She will cover how to stay on story, follow an arc to epiphany or climax, and certainly pace, story, and writing to keep a reader fully engaged. She’ll use examples and make suggestions, provide handouts and answer questions. She might even look at the very first paragraphs of something you’re working on … but that’s a maybe. Primarily this should be a dynamic interaction about writing using ideas of storytelling to produce a polished piece.