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Sunday, July 10, 2005

AN AFTERNOON WITH THE SCRIBES

"Think of your reader as a person standing in the middle of a black, dark, windowless room. The reader has willingly suspended his own or her own normal sense of disbelief, and has responded to your invitation; and your invitation as a writer is, you say to that person: 'I'm going to take you into another universe, it is a universe that I have created and I want you to come with me'." Jack Whyte, author

Today (Sunday) was an excellent day of inspiration with some of my Scribbler's writing group friends and a very receptive audience at a special screening of "Scribes" a movie filmed last year at the Surrey Writer's Festival here on the West Coast. Afterwards there was a panel discussion with authors Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, and Terry Brooks.

Jack Whyte is a B.C. writer, born in Scotland, who writes historical fiction based on the 460 year Roman military occupation of Britain and the Arthurian legend.
Diana Gabaldon, from U.S., is the best selling author of the Outlander Saga. And Terry Brooks
who is from the Pacific Northwest, once a practicing attorney, is the author of The Sword of Shannara and 16 other best sellers.

From the snippets of workshops held at the conference, and the panel discussion after the film had aired, there was enough inspiration and reinforcement to get me well on my way again. Just what I needed. We all found it a completely stimulating and inspirational day.

The discussions and workshop cuts included all topics pertinent to a writer: from outlines, plot development, characters, setting, editing right down to publishing with a special interview with New York agent/author Donald Maass.

The Surrey Writer's Conference is one of the finest gathering for scribes and wanna-bes that there is. Whyte and Gabaldon are regulars there as well as an array of other published writers, editors and agents. This year's conference is Oct 21 - 23. I've missed the last two because of financial problems (it's a little expensive, but worth it!) but I am determined this year to attend.
I see that this year Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear) is on the roster. Should be another good one! (see www.siwc.ca for further info).

"A story sells itself. All you really have to do is tell a story in a pitch, or at least the beginnings of a story -- you know, the setting, the protagonist, the problem and a little detail that makes it a bit different from any other story like it." Donald Maass, agent and author.

3 comments:

Alex Bordessa said...

Hi Wynn,

Thank you for visiting my blog; thought I'd trot over and visit yours :-)

Lucky you, seeing the 'Scribes' film! I'd heard about the Surrey Conference via the Historical Novel Soc, and reckon it would be something I'd try hard to afford if I lived in Canada. Don't suppose we'll see the film over here, either :-(

Gabriele C. said...

Same here. Can't afford to fly to Canada. *sniff*

But I'm glad you had fun and found some inspiration.

Jessie Gerth said...

it was pretty awesome.