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The Craft:  Research by Reading – What Good Books Have You Read Lately?

January 26 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Research by Reading – What Books Have You Read Lately?

Bring a cup of joe, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then…

I just heard on the radio the average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month.  I don’t know if there’s an equivalent amount of fiction being read by successful novelists, but we’ve often heard from various writers how often they read other works of fiction.  Known as “outside reading,” it’s a great way for novelists to not only avoid getting into ruts themselves, but also provide ideas for their own writing.

This morning, for example, while reading a passage from Clive Cussler’s The Assassin, I thought we should take a break from Gerke’s book on characterization and do something different!  I found the way the author portrays one of the leading characters to be very appealing to the reader, and wanted to share his technique with you.

Homework:  Pick one of your recently read favorite books you find inspirational to your own writing, find a particularly compelling passage of 3 pages or less, and bring it to read to/with the others.  Be prepared to talk about why the passage is compelling.  Is it a great example of one of the many writing craft techniques we learn here at CSWriters?  Does it clarify one of C.S. Lakin’s 12 Pillars?  Does it shine as an outstanding example of one of Vogler’s character archetypes?  Is it just an outstanding example of good writing?  Share the name of the book, it’s author, then spend half a minute or so catching us up on the story before reading your passage.

Side Trails:  We may also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are:

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by Andrew McAleer

Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique

Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at a rapid pace and reach high quality in the shortest possible time.  Variations resulting from uneven groups include two and four members in a critique group.

Please review this link for details.

Please refrain from non-critique discussions during reading and critique periods.  If you’re not participating in the critique, feel free to hang out and write, but keep things “library” quiet until after all critiques are complete.  Thank you.  🙂

See you there!

Random Writers’ Quote of the Day:  I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you will never please the public. But in writing the storyforget the public. - O. HENRY


January 26
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Colorado Springs Fire Station #14
1875 Dublin Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 United States