When I arrived at the Hallmark Inn & Resort last Friday the receptionist looked at me in that particular way that tells an experienced traveler that they’ve screwed up your reservations.
Bill JohnsonAccording to Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise, the theme should appear on the first page.
Emily Whitman, author of Radiant Darkness, a YA fantasy about what really happened Emily Whitmanbetween Persephone and Hades, reminded us that secrets, lies, and denial create tension, mystery, and energy in a story. My other favorite was the workshop on narrative voice, taught by the conference organizer Jessica Morrell.
I read the first seven pages of my second manuscript, Molly Adair, Beware, out loud to some of the conference attendees and workshop presenters.
I also learned that there is a woman who lives just two blocks from me who has a son that just graduated from Grant High School.
Lots of great workshops and I get to read the first five pages of my second manuscript to a bunch of writers.

The theme was “Truth, Lies, & Risk” and my take-home lesson from the conference was that the theme or truth of a story should never be verbalized, but it must be evident.
He also used guided meditation to help us meet with our character and ask her what she wants and what she would lie about to get it. She suggested we give our main characters a dark secret that motivates their actions and adds to the theme. Jessica interviews Randall Platt, Deborah Reed, and Adam O’Conner Rodriguez, editor of Hawthorne Books, in the Summer in Words, 2011 blog.
If Molly felt as desperate as I did at that moment, she just might have clobbered the receptionist with her practice stick. Molly said she would be glad to lie about most anything, but she’s such a lousy liar that no one believes her. But that secret should never be told, or at most revealed at an appropriately dramatic moment.

When I had friends read the first draft of Forging the Blade they said they could hear my voice in the sentences. They liked the concept of a school of magic hidden inside a public school, but they wanted the action to start more immediately and suggested a chapter break to add emphasis to a revelation. Several minutes and many key tappings later she informed me that I was supposed to have arrived on Thursday and was scheduled to leave on Saturday. Emily also taught an excruciatingly useful workshop on cutting away your extraneous words to let the meaning of a piece shine through more clearly.

Summary of the movie the secret window
The secret society game awards

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