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MWA-NW MAY 2022 MINI CONFERENCE ON CRAFT

May 14 @ 9:30 am - 3:30 pm PDT

MWA Northwest Present a Virtual Workshop Focused on the Craft of Writing

Invest in yourself and your writing. Join us for this one-day event with three notable authors!

Learn about POV, Setting, and get an overview the five fundamental Save The Cat Beats.

AGENDA for the Day

9:30am Welcome & Announcements

9:45 – 11:15am Managing Point of View – Simon Wood

11:15-11:45am LUNCH

11:45am – 1:15pm “I Felt Like I Was There” Setting The Scene – Leslie Budewitz

1:15-1:30pm BREAK

1:30 – 3:30pm Save the Cat Fundamental Beats – Jessica Brody

3:30-3:40pm Wrap up, door prize drawings

“I Felt Like I Was There:” Setting The Scene

The most compelling stories take us somewhere, introducing us to places we’ve never been or giving us a new view of familiar ground. In this workshop, we’ll look at what makes a place come alive on the page, whether it’s the main location for your story or a side trip. We’ll dive into the emotional connections between people and places, and look at how your choices as a writer can create characters and plot so deeply integrated with setting that the story could take place nowhere else.

What you will learn:

– Ways to portray a scene through the POV character’s lens, identify the telling details, and deepen your description with sensory touches.

– How the emotional relationships between people and place influence what your characters do, how they speak, how they respond to conflict, and more.

– Practical tips and tricks for taking the reader on a trip without giving them a travelogue, and research tools for thinking outside the map.

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (April 2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022). Leslie is the winner of three Agatha Awards—2013 Best First Novel for Death Al Dente, the first Food Lovers’ Village mystery; 2011 Best Nonfiction, and 2018 Best Short Story, for “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction. Her work has also won or been nominated for Derringer, Anthony, and Macavity awards. A current board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in NW Montana.

She can be found at her website www.LeslieBudewitz.com and her Facebook Author’s page at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor

Managing POV

Can’t decide who’s the best character to tell your story? You don’t have to settle for just a single character’s point of view. I’ll discuss the techniques and the decisions that have to be made when writing in multiple points of view.

Weaving multiple viewpoint characters in and out of a story is like standing trial and knowing what the judge, the prosecuting attorney and all 12 members of the jury are thinking. Each person is witnessing the same information, but each individual interpretation is different. But it’s not like you can crack into everyone’s mind simultaneously. Even if you could, it’d be impossible to comprehend what 14 people are saying if they’re all talking at the same time.

Allowing multiple characters to tell your story can add depth and insight that a single point of view may not be able to convey. Most stories have plenty of characters with their own tales to tell. Multiple POV characters add depth to a novel. Suddenly the story is being told from the perspective of multiple witnesses, all putting their distinctive interpretations on events. But the inclusion of multiple voices can bring with it its own problems. Those multiple points of view can get out of control and turn the story into a mess. In a novel, just like in a conversation, not everyone can speak at once. There are plenty of ways to give each character a voice without having them talk over one another. Even if you’re only writing from a single point-of-view or utilizing an omniscient POV approach, going through these exercises will help ensure there’s a smooth transition between characters.

USA Today bestselling author Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He’s a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer, and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and six cats. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of The One That Got Away, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Deceptive Practices and the Aidy Westlake series. He’s a regular contributor to Writer’s Digest and other writing magazines. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. People can learn more at www.simonwood.net.

Save the Cat Fundamental Beats

In this unique and engaging presentation, bestselling author, teacher and story coach Jessica Brody introduces novelists to the renowned SAVE THE CAT! story structure method, which writers around the world are using to create engaging stories, compelling character arcs, and unputdownable novels.

Jessica, author of SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL (the #1 bestselling plotting guide) will walk writers through the 5 “foundation beats” of the Save the Cat! method (with examples from popular books and movies), and will demonstrate how these “tent poles” of structure can be used to plot, write, outline, or revise your novel, or simply jumpstart you out of writing slumps. This fun and informative presentation is sure to inspire you and leave you itching to start writing!

Jessica Brody is the author of the #1 bestselling novel-writing guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and the founder of the online writing school, Writing Mastery Academy. She has also written over 20 novels for teen, tweens, and adults including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Better You Than Me, the Unremembered trilogy, and the System Divine series which is a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, co-written with Joanne Rendell. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television. She lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.

Visit her online at JessicaBrody.com. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @JessicaBrody

JESSICA BRODY: The Beats of Your Story

Jessica Brody is the author of the #1 bestselling novel-writing guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and the founder of the online writing school, Writing Mastery Academy. She has also written over 20 novels for teen, tweens, and adults including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Better You Than Me, the Unremembered trilogy, and the System Divine series which is a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, co-written with Joanne Rendell. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television. She lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.

Visit her online at JessicaBrody.com

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @JessicaBrody

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: “I Felt Like I Was There:”

Setting The SceneThe most compelling stories take us somewhere, introducing us to places we’ve never been or giving us a new view of familiar ground. In this workshop, we’ll look at what makes a place come alive on the page, whether it’s the main location for your story or a side trip. We’ll dive into the emotional connections between people and places, and look at how your choices as a writer can create characters and plot so deeply integrated with setting that the story could take place nowhere else.

What you will learn:– ways to portray a scene through the POV character’s lens, identify the telling details, and deepen your description with sensory touches. – how the emotional relationships between people and place influence what your characters do, how they speak, how they respond to conflict, and more.- practical tips and tricks for taking the reader on a trip without giving them a travelogue, and research tools for thinking outside the map.

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (April 2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022). Leslie is the winner of three Agatha Awards—2013 Best First Novel for Death Al Dente, the first Food Lovers’ Village mystery; 2011 Best Nonfiction, and 2018 Best Short Story, for “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction. Her work has also won or been nominated for Derringer, Anthony, and Macavity awards. A current board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in NW Montana.

SIMON WOOD: Managing POV

Can’t decide who’s the best character to tell your story? You don’t have to settle for just a single character’s point of view. I’ll discuss the techniques and the decisions that have to be made when writing in multiple points of view.

Weaving multiple viewpoint characters in and out of a story is like standing trial and knowing what the judge, the prosecuting attorney and all 12 members of the jury are thinking. Each person is witnessing the same information, but each individual interpretation is different. But it’s not like you can crack into everyone’s mind simultaneously. Even if you could, it’d be impossible to comprehend what 14 people are saying if they’re all talking at the same time.

Allowing multiple characters to tell your story can add depth and insight that a single point of view may not be able to convey. Most stories have plenty of characters with their own tales to tell. Multiple POV characters add depth to a novel. Suddenly the story is being told from the perspective of multiple witnesses, all putting their distinctive interpretations on events. But the inclusion of multiple voices can bring with it its own problems. Those multiple points of view can get out of control and turn the story into a mess. In a novel, just like in a conversation, not everyone can speak at once. There are plenty of ways to give each character a voice without having them talk over one another. Even if you’re only writing from a single point-of-view or utilizing an omniscient POV approach, going through these exercises will help ensure there’s a smooth transition between characters.

USA Today bestselling author Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He’s a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer, and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and six cats. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of The One That Got Away, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Deceptive Practices and the Aidy Westlake series. He’s a regular contributor to Writer’s Digest and other writing magazines. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. People can learn more at www.simonwood.net.

Organizer

Mystery Writers of America NorthWest Chapter