Saturday, October 22, 2016

Honing Our Writing Skills with Workshops

Scott D. Parker

If you’re a carpenter, the tools you use to craft wooden products dulls over time. When the tools don’t perform as well as they need to, carpenters hone the tools, sharpen the edges, and make the tools as good as new.

The same is true for writing.

Now, I’m not saying my tools have dulled. I’m too new in the career of a fiction writer to have that happen. But I am cognizant to realize I can learn new skills or a new way of approaching the profession of fiction writing. Some of the best places are from the folks who have been doing it a long time.

One of those gentlemen is Dean Wesley Smith. His bibliography is multiple decades long. He has written traditionally starting in the 1980s, and he is a long-time writer who has seen the potential of independent publishing and has made the transition. Successfully, as it turns out. I can’t remember exactly when his blog showed up on my radar, but it’s been a few years now. I’m a regular reader, and an admirer of his stories and work ethic.

He’s also a teacher. So is his wife, writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch. They have a series of online workshops. The Classic ones are videos only and you can sign up and take anytime. The main workshops are six weeks, and contain both a series of video lectures as well as writing assignments. The topics are wide and varied and all focused on the business of fiction writing.

I enrolled in the Speed workshop. I’m a writer with a day job, and I wanted to maximize the available time I have to write. I’m only halfway through the workshop, but I’ve already learned valuable lessons. Heck, I even learned something about my writing that doesn’t even pertain to speed.

But that’s what you get when you have a teacher who has walked the walk in the professional writing sphere. Dean has wisdom that only comes from decades in the business. I can already tell a difference in my daily writing.

If you want to hone your writing skills, I recommend taking a look at all the workshops Dean and Kristine offer. There’s bound to be one being offered that help the exact deficit you might have. And, like me, you might even find another one you never knew about, and can fix. I know I did.

Dean’s website
Kristine’s website
WMG Publishing (the list of workshops) website

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