Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. We meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Nokomis Fire Station. Coming from Sarasota or North, proceed a few blocks south of Albee Road on US 41 (past Matthews-Currie Ford) to Pavonia Road. Turn right (West, toward the bay) at the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are 2 blocks north of Dona Bay. Turn left onto Pavonia Road at the flashing yellow caution light. At the Fire Station, drive to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room at the far end of the complex. We Gather for a meet and greet at 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten-minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 pm

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What Russ Heitz's Interview Taught Me.

Folks, it was my intention last night, at the FWA meeting, to relay a few pointers I picked up from listening to Russ Heitz’s Internet Radio Interview on January 27, 2009. We know that Russ is an extraordinary writer with his works encompassing many different genres. So, when the Interviewer asked Russ what advice he would pass on to new writers, I listened.
Russ advised that all new writers should always work with a detailed outline. I tried to skip this part when I sat down to write a children’s chapter book. I was anxious to start writing. I prepared a brief outline. Not good, fellow beginners. When Russ says “detailed,” he is saying it for a reason. After I wrote three Chapters, I found I was floundering. Why? I jumped from one scene to another, leaving out important details that were needed for transition. So, it was back to the drawing board for me – I spent trillions of hours developing that “detailed” outline, the effect of which sent me flying through chapters.
Prompted by the interviewer, Russ relayed that the hardest part of writing a book is getting through the initial First Draft and that the “fun part” is the rewriting. Yup – that First Draft is a killer. Novices must understand this. If they do, they will not give up, as so many do. I rewrote six times and, guess what novices, it is fun. Never in a million years, after writing that First Draft” did I think I would have fun. I dreaded the thought of having to go back and make changes. I didn’t think I had it in me, was capable of offering anything else. Once I began, though, and saw that changes improved the flow, I took off like a bat out of “that fiery place.” And, I had fun.
Russ then told the Interviewer that the biggest hurdle a new writer must face is rejection. I'd read this over and over again in all those “How To” books. To hear a writer as prominent as Russ say this, substantiated those words – making them credible. Yes, we must be prepared for the obstacles that our established authors warn us about.
Just one more important piece of information that Russ conveyed to the interviewer regarding marketing literature. Russ said (maybe not word for word), “Used to be you would write (and that’s it). The publisher would publish. Publishers today now want you to get out there and market your own book.” I was flabbergasted to hear this. I knew this was true of Independent Publishers, but not Traditional. Unfortunately, I see a future where those with creative talent will have to suppress that talent because it will be impossible for them to put the proverbial “food on the table.” Writing takes an enormous amount of time; selling takes more. Only the chosen few authors will be able to make a living from their talent. The rest of them will be left only with their dreams.
Reality – we must succumb to it and then work with it to our best advantage. We all can do this – “Yes we can” because we have the best resource of all to teach us how – The Florida Writer’s Association. As Russ explained to the Interviewer, this organization is all about “writers helping writers.”
You're amazing, Russ. Thank you! Your Interview helped me and I now hope these few points from your interview will help others.
Linda M. Malloy

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hats Off To Susan Haley!

I attended my second Sarasota Chapter Florida Writers Association meeting last night - Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - at the Gulf Gate Library. I left "inspired." I left "hopeful." The contributions of the participants gave me an opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge regarding the writing world. I am grateful to Susan Haley, our FWA leader, for leading well. In my lifetime, I have attended many meetings that were not well conducted, not organized and carried an agenda that was not well thought out. When that happens members often leave frustrated and angry with no knowledge gained and/or nothing accomplished. That was not the case with this FWA meeting. Why? Exemplary leadership.

Thank you, members, for sharing your thoughts, ideas and work.

Thank you, Susan, for your leadership and for all of the time and effort you devote to this organization.

Linda M. Malloy

Friday, March 13, 2009

How To Structure A Novel

Madeline Mora-Summonte wants to pass on some info about a course coming up at the Sarasota County Technical Institute. It should appeal to a number of writers in our group, especially those interested in learning more about getting published. The course is called HOW TO STRUCTURE A NOVEL SO EDITORS & AGENTS WANT IT. A brief description of the course is as follows:

"No matter what genre they write in, beginning novelists who rely on words alone to tell their stories always find their manuscripts rejected by agents and editors. In this workshop, learn the vital framework that determines whether a novel is published or rejected, how to tell if what they've already done has that framework, and what to do if it doesn't. Strictly a nuts and bolts workshop for writers who are serious about getting published. NO critiquing or discussion of story idea. FEE FOR THIS CLASS IS NONREFUNDABLE."

TIME: Saturday, April 18, 9:00am till 12 noon
LOCATION: SCTI, Portable I-1
COST: $23.00
INSTRUCTOR: Blaize Clement (well-known mystery writer who has several traditionally published books to her credit)

For those unfamiliar with ACEC the letters stand for Adult & Community Education Center. And please be aware that you must register ahead of time for this workshop. Seating is limited. And you must register through ACEC, NOT SCTI. Just go to the ACEC website listed below, click on "One Day Workshops" and scroll down to "How to Structure a Novel So Editors & Agents Want It."

For more info go to:

Thanks for the info, Madeline. Sounds like an interesting workshop!

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Russ Heitz