This past weekend the Dallas Area Romance Authors featured author/psychologist Margie Lawson, who presented her workshop, EMPOWERING CHARACTERS' EMOTIONS.
It was an all day event and the hours flew by as we worked on our current Works In Progress, (WIP). We learned about showing visceral responses of our characters to critical events in the story. We learned to use writing techniques such as anaphora, onomatopoeia, and opposite imagery to evoke emotions in our readers. We learned to read our work aloud to find examples of beat and rhythm.
Margie taught us about back-loading a paragraph or sentence to give it more emphasis and clue the reader to its importance.
Then Margie had us get out the many colored highlighters we brought and she gave us a brief overview of her EDITS system. Using different colors to denote different things in our WIPs, such as dialogue and description. Margie showed us how to get a visual assessment of our work. This would help us edit more deeply. Margie runs a month-long workshop on this and her teaching schedule, as well as lecture packets for both ECE and EDITS, is available through Pay Pal on her web site at www.margielawson.com.
The entire day empowered me. I came home after sharing a drink in the bar with friends, totally overwhelmed, but stoked. That evening I took out a proposal I'd planned to send to an editor and found I could use the techniques to really make my opening scene full of energy. It was a rush! These new skills took words I'd looked at a thousand times and made them new and exciting again.
It goes to show we're never too old or too experienced to learn something new. Have you ever taken this workshop? Have you ever come across something in writing or working that totally changed how you approached things? Have you ever stumbled upon a new author and thought, "Wow, I have to go buy everyone of her/his books?"