I was so blessed to be able to go to LDStorymakers this year for the 3rd time. I went, knowing a little bit more about what to expect and what I wanted to learn this year. I’ve been working on a project for a long time, about my grandparents. It means a lot, it is special to me and it’s my baby. The last little bit I’ve been frustrated, not wanting it to end, unsure if I was ready to be finished. Is it ready?
After a few classes the first day I realized that no, I wasn’t ready. I don’t want my first novel to be this one. Not only is it a family story, but it’s an amazing story. I want to know more about writing. I want it to be really good. So I decided by Friday afternoon knowing that I wasn’t going to write my Historical Fiction based on my grandparents. So as I continued going to classes, trying to think of what I wanted to learn. What project I was going to start working on and all of the sudden it just hit me! I knew what I want to write and work on. I am so excited and the ideas just keep coming.
The classes were all so amazing and I wanted to share a few quotes and other wonderful words that I learned while attending LDStorymakers.
Sarah Eden’s class, Dissecting Jane- I’m not much of a Romance reader, but I just finished the book Edenbrooke and was enthralled in the story. I’ve only read a couple of Jane Austen books… I know, she’s amazing, don’t hurt me. I do think she is amazing, but I really started reading a lot about five years ago and there are a lot of books out there to read. I am slowly getting to them. We talked about Jane’s style and a little bit about her experience in getting her work published. She couldn’t have her name on the books. Her first three books were successful, but her fourth was not. She had to pay back the money from her failed fourth book, by using money she made from her other three books. She never made any money while alive from those books. It took her ten years to get the rights to that book back. She never saw the wonderful success that she became. Sarah said, “…but Jane still wrote. Because she liked it.” I loved that. Do we write because we want to be rich and famous? I write because I have stories clogging my brain, I want to inspire just one person and I love it.
Julie Berry taught Secondary Characters- She talked about the importance of creating believable and deep secondary characters. How boring would a book be we only explored the main character? She said, “Treat the secondary characters as though they were main characters. Good writers use minor characters well.” I love that. Those characters help the story and help us get to know the main character. Ernest Hemingway said, “Now watch one thing. Don’t let yourself slip and get any perfect characters in… Keep them people, people, people and don’t let them get to be symbols.”
Lisa Mangum’s class, Making your Manuscript Sing- We talked about the difference between voice and style. She compared it to a song, the voice is the lyrics and the style is the melody. She played the song by Twisted Sister and then she played the same song in a softer version of the song. She asked who we believed more. Of course the answer was Twisted Sister. They were using emotion that matched the words. I loved this quote by Donald Mass, “To set your voice free, set your words free, set your characters free. Most important, set your heart free. It is from the unknowable shadows of your subconscious that your stories will find their drive and from which they will draw their meaning. No one can loan that or teach you that. Your voice is yourself in the story.” I really truly loved that quote. You become your characters and you use your own emotions in your story.
There were so many more amazing classes, but I would go on forever if I shared them all. I had a great experience. I feel inspired and also as though my mind might explode, in a wonderful way. The conference ended on such a high note, with a few cracks about the Keynote address. (if you want to know check out the talk on Twitter by using the hashtag #storymakers14. But my eyes welled up when they showed this video at closing. I had never seen it before, but it was wonderful. CLICK HERE to see it.
Change your words, change your world.