Last month I attended Brian Henry's workshop "How to Write a Bestseller". Throughout the morning, Mr Henry gave us many good tips, such as these:
1) Write original stories.
2) The hero should be someone we can identify with, but also is grievously flawed.
3) The hero should give the illusion of being real.
4) The hero is a conduit/filter for what's going on in the story.
And many, many more. If you're in the Greater Toronto area, please take Brian Henry's workshops. They are well worth the price.
In the afternoon, Mr Henry brought in a guest speaker, none other than, New York Times Bestselling Author, Kelley Armstrong. *cheers*
Ms Armstrong also gave us some good tips:
1) start scenes late, get out early
2) write only what's most important to the scene
3) No chit chat; dialogue should not imitate real conversation
4) Don't: discuss it, do it, talk about it. It's the same scene three times. Jump straight to the action.
5) Resist the Urge to Explain.
If you get the chance to attend a workshop by Ms Armstrong, I highly recommend it. She knows her craft.
The workshop was wonderful. No more than 55 attended, so it was an intimate setting for a girl like me to meet one of her idols. I used my cell phone to make voice notes of the workshop, so I could use them to add to my written notes later. I tend to get overwhelmed in a workshop, trying to absorb all that information. The voice notes worked like a charm.
But I do have one regret.
I brought my camera with me, but didn't use it. I brought books for Ms Armstrong to sign, but I didn't ask. It just seemed wrong to take up her time, Mr Henry's time, the entire workshop's time, for an impromptu signing. Even if half the workshop lined up for autographs and handshakes. I know I should have joined the line, anyway. And for this reason, I have regret.
Maybe next time.