February All-Day Workshop


Join GSRWA on Saturday, February 3, 2018 as we welcome Mary Buckham, USA Today bestselling author of A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting, Writing Active Hooks and co-author of Break into Fiction, for a full day intensive class.

  • Where: Bellevue Sheraton Hotel
  • Time: 9:30am to 3:30 pm (or later if there are a lot of questions) – Lunch will be provided
  • Cost: $50 for non-GSRWA members; GSRWA members must have paid their 2018 dues to attend without paying the non-member rate.

This all-day class will be broken into 3 sections, each lasting approx. 90 min. covering:

Scene Survival

Submissions live or die by the strength of scenes. Are your scenes loaded with key elements or bloated with filler? Bring a scene from your story and come prepared to test its strength.

You’ll discover:

  • Why scenes are considered the building blocks of a novel.
  • What is the difference between a scene and a sequel?
  • Seven most common errors for poor scenes.
  • The three elements that MUST be clear to a reader in a scene.

What to bring: One scene (not your opening but deeper in your story) to see if you have the three key elements needed for a true scene. Hard copy or on your computer should work.

Active Hooks and How many hooks are enough:

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantster (seat-of-pants writer), the simplest way to avoid a sagging middle is to understand how to continually build hooks into your story. So how many hooks are enough and where should you use them? Knowing the answer to that question can be the difference between a compelling story and one that drags.

You’ll grasp:

  • Which are the 10 most universal hooks and why.
  • What exactly is a hook and how do they work?
  • Where should you place your hooks in a manuscript?
  • How too many hooks can trip you up as much as too few hooks.

What to bring: Bring a copy of your opening page, to see how many, if any hooks, you currently have. Also an ending and opening of a chapter (last and first paragraph should be enough).

Body Language & Emotion:

Body language is driven by emotion. Knowing how emotion can be conveyed to your readers via showing or showing plus telling of body language can make your story shine! Learn to understand what emotional body language really is and why it is essential to your story. To help dig into the fascinating topic of emotional body language, and how to use it as a writer, we will look at:

  • How Emotional Body Language can enhance the impact of your story.
  • Using Emotional Body Language to ramp up conflict and subtext.
  • Linking correct body language to the emotional message it’s conveying.
  • How to move beyond body language clichés regardless of what you’re writing!

What to bring: Bring an example from your current WIP of body language. A few lines should suffice.