Thursday, September 24, 2009

Processing ACFW -- Part 2

What did I learn?

Donald Maass's early bird was so thorough and thought-provoking that he was a huge challenge to follow. I think for me, that drew the Denver haze into every other session I attended, blocking me from absorbing as much as I'd like to have from all of them. I'm really looking forward to receiving the CD's of all the classes so that I can listen and draw from all the teaching that was presented at the conference. Because right now, it's all just balled up into what resembles a ball of colourful elastics. I can't seem to unravel the mass of knowledge thrown at me last week, it's all stretched and twined together, making my brain hurt to try and unscramble it all.

I can't seem to get micro-tension on every line out of my mind. Or empathy and how to derive it in words that draw the reader in not just to the story unfolding but to really feel for the characters within it. Or visualize the plotting charts that I could really use from Susan Warren's presentation. Or all the different ways that we can read our characters through their movements. Or how fresh we can write a smile--honestly, I had no idea that smiles could be so complicated!

Anyone who says they know it all with respect to writing, has got to be deceiving themselves monstrously. There is no end to learning fiction writing, and after this conference, I'm totally convinced that it's practice, writing, writing, and some more never-ending writing that is key to success in this business. And, yes, a sprinkling of writing lectures throughout that never-ending writing journey is sure to help you narrow in and fix yet another weak area of your writing. The process never ends, and so it never should.

Happy writing everyone!

Surrendering to Him,



Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I know how you feel Eileen! It seems that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. But that's what this journey is all about--learning piece by piece! Happy writing!

Carrie Harris said...

Yes! Anyone who thinks they know it all needs a wakeup call. I think it's one of the things that draws me to writing, knowing that I always have room to improve!

Lazy Writer said...

I couldn't agree more! We will never know everything. I'm like Kristen. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I do know.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

so true, eileen. so true. monstrously deceiving themselves. i'm glad i don't fall into that category. :)

thanks for your encouraging comments! if i had the comment award, i'd give it to you. :)

Candee Fick said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one suffering information overload. So much good stuff to process and absorb until it becomes a natural part of my writing. Can't wait until my CDs arrive, either. Then I can take it one tiny piece at a time instead of trying to catch a sip from a firehose.

Diane said...

Gulp! Hope you are having a great week.... :O)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Sounds amazing, Eileen.

One question about Part 1 - could we have names of the people in the pictures please? I'm just curious who everyone is.

Hoping your haze is lifting,


Susan Anne Mason said...

PS. Keep meaning to mention how lovely your blog is. My daughter had to create one for her English class (Gr. 11 - my English classes were never like this!) and I noticed the little icon at the top of your blog. So she used some of their templates to create a really amazing blog!

So thanks for that!

Terri Tiffany said...

You were the one who motivated me to buy his book and I love it. Wish I could have seen him in person:)

Jessica said...

Ouch. Brain freeze, huh? :-(
One thing I liked in my class was that the teacher kept emphasizing no rules and that we need to write. She was teaching some stuff from Donald Maas too, I think.
I definitely don't think I know everything, but at the same time I have a really hard time learning all this stuff.
I guess that's why I like blogs and articles. They're more compressed and easier (for me) to get.
Sorry about the haze. Whew. Well, I hope you get tons of great info from those cds!
Let us know if you hear from LI.

Warren Baldwin said...

I've read several people's report of this convention. Sounds like it was a good one! And I grew up near
Canada, so I like Canadian accents!

sherrinda said...

The conference sounds wonderful! I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned CD's, but can you purchase them from the ACFW website? I'll have to look and see.

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Eileen,

Don't know how I missed your post today! Sounds like you're really trying to process everything that you learned! Hope you've caught up on sleep! I'm still dragging!

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Hi Eileen,

Isn't it the truth! Fiction is so tenuous and so difficult to get right. I'm convinced that we have to ball up that knowledge, try to carry it with us, then write on intuition and see what happens. Because how could anyone be free to create when thinking of all the minute details jammed in our heads?

Thank God for revision, when we can finally decide how and when to apply specific craft to our stories, yes?

Great post! I'm still tired from ACFW. I think I'll need the weekend to fully recover...

Angela Breidenbach said...

I'm with you. I learn so much at conference that it takes a while for it to absorb.