The time is right to ‘Write Now’

Write Now image“Write Now,” the annual series of classes for writers and would-be novelists sponsored by Sno-Isle Libraries, is about to get underway.

“We’re very excited about the variety of topics and expertise we have lined up for this year’s series,” said Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services at Sno-Isle Libraries. “Writers always want to hear advice from other writers. We have a number of well-known local writers as well as experienced educators presenting on topics that will help veterans as well as those just thinking about a first book.”

The 2018 series starts at 1:30 p.m., June 11, at the Coupeville Library with fantasy-genre author Erik Kort presenting Story Outlining: Managing the Storm, tips on how to outline a book before buckling down to the writing.

For the Skagit Valley-based author, outlining is a key step in his writing process.

“For the ‘Greatest Sin’ books, I worked with co-author Lee French,” Kort said. “I used outlines to create the story idea. I did the world-building and a detailed outline for each book. Lee then takes that and she writes through a rough draft.

“I love outlining and coming up with the idea and watching as the narrative and characters change. It’s cool to see what she does with it.”

Kort said he’s spoken with others who write shorter works because the thought of a novel just seems too big. “The middle of a novel can feel chaotic; writers can get lost in the middle,” he said. “Outlines can help guide you through so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.”

Kort said his two-hour class will go over six different outline styles and how to use them. “After covering, the basics, we’ll pick an outline and make up a story together on the whiteboard,” he said.

However, outlining a book ahead of time isn’t for everyone. Well-known Whidbey Island writer and teacher Wayne Ude will offer writers an alternative to navigating the mid-novel doldrums with “Using Subplots to Enrich Your Novel” from 1:30-4 p.m., July 23, also at the Coupeville Library.

“Sometimes, a plot needs to simmer for a while,” said Ude, who has a number of novels to his credit and helped found the master’s degree program for the former Whidbey Island Writers Association, later the Northwest Institute of Literary Art. “At that point, developing subplots that can keep things going is helpful.”

As for outlines, it isn’t that Ude doesn’t think they’re helpful, he just does them after the fact, a habit he picked up early.

“In my freshman composition class, the professor demanded we do outlines, but I just couldn’t do it,” Ude said. “Finally, I just wrote the paper first, then outlined it.”

Ude said he now uses that approach in writing novels: “I will outline a chapter after writing it. Then, I’ll look back at 10 chapters to see when was the last time a character appeared, where the story is going.”

Ude said there are many different ways to write a novel.

“The big thing is to acknowledge that,” he said. “There are as many ways of writing as there are writers. When someone tells you, ‘Here’s how to do it,’ make sure to hear, ‘This is what worked for me.’”

The “Write Now” series starts June 11 and runs through Dec. 10 at various Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries. Space is limited at some locations and reservations may be required or requested. Here’s the current list of events:

Write Now: Story Outlining – Managing the Storm

  • Coupeville Library
  • Monday, June 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Learn how to tailor your outline to your personal project, fiction genre, and writing style. Discuss story forms and discover the building blocks that make stories complete and engaging with Erik Kort.

Write Now: Make Writing a Business – The Nitty-Gritty of Being an Author Entrepreneur

  • Lynnwood Library
  • Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • Expand your writing passion to embrace entrepreneurship. Participants will discover resources to help manage their writing ventures.

Write Now: Children’s Lit Starter Kit

  • Coupeville Library
  • Monday, July 9, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • As the author of 10 traditionally published children’s picture books, Eric Ode will cover the ins and outs of the children’s literature market.
  • Please preregister.

Write Now: Triggers as Keys to Reader Engagement

  • Clinton Community Hall, 6411 S. Central Avenue
  • Saturday, July 14, 1-3 p.m.
  • Learn how triggers bring the reader’s mind on a shared journey with the writer by tapping into emotions, memories, and imagination from author Bernadette Pajer.
  • Reservations required.

Write Now: Story Outlining – Managing the Storm

  • Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Saturday, July 14, 2-5 p.m.
  • How many of your novel manuscripts have reached 20,000 words before fizzling? Have you been told that you must outline, but just can’t figure out how?

Write Now: Using Subplots to Enrich Your Novel

  • Coupeville Library
  • Monday, July 23, 1:30-4 p.m.
  • Wayne Ude is the author of three books of fiction: “Becoming Coyote,” a novel; “Buffalo and Other Stories,” a collection of short stories; and “Maybe I Will Do Something,” a collection of tales.

Write Now: Book Marketing From Your Couch – Social Media 101

  • Mariner Library
  • Saturday, July 28 10:30 a.m.-Noon
  • Social media can be confusing, but book marketing from the couch is easy once you learn how!

Write Now – ReVision: Seeing Your Work Anew

  • Clinton Community Hall, 6411 S. Central Avenue
  • Saturday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Connie Weber will challenge you to look objectively at your manuscript and evaluate what’s essential, what can be trimmed, and what needs to be added or changed.
  • Reservations required.

Write Now: Help! I Need to Write a Synopsis!

  • Edmonds Library
  • Saturday, Aug. 4, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Learn to boil down your epic story to five key passages that lay the foundation for a tight, compelling and complete overview. Presented by Roberta Trahan.
  • Please pre-register.

Write Now: World Building in Historical Fiction

  • Coupeville Library
  • Monday, Aug. 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Learn to build compelling historical worlds using a combination of facts and genuine voice to transport your reader to another time period.

Write Now: Writing For Children and Teens: An Overview

  • Edmonds Library
  • Saturday, Aug. 18, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Learn about writing and publishing books of all kinds for children and teens. Presented by Kristin Halbrook.
  • Please pre-register.

Write Now: Retelling Old Tales

  • Edmonds Library
  • Saturday, Aug. 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Examine the enduring power of myths, folk tales and fairy tales, learn why we keep reviving them, and practice reinventing them. Presented by Camille Griep.
  • Please pre-register.

Write Now: Jumpstart Your Writing!

  • Freeland Library
  • Monday, Sept. 10, 2-4 p.m.
  • Creativity coach, author, and teacher Deb Lund will help you understand and navigate the creative process so you can make progress on your writing goals.
  • Please preregister.

Write Now: Focus Your Work, Find Your Voice

  • Langley Library
  • Tuesday, Sept. 11, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • This workshop will help you to explore a variety of ways in which your words can lead to greater satisfaction and self-enlightenment.
  • Please preregister.

Write Now: Everything You Need to Know About Editors

  • Langley Library
  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Everything a beginning author needs to know about how to pitch editors for new projects, handle problematic situations, and establish a long and fruitful relationship with the editors in the industry.

Write Now: Do Your Research — and How!

  • Langley Library
  • Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-noon
  • Whatever your chosen writing genre, knowing your subject is a must. In this panel, you’ll learn how to make your prose authentic and authoritative.

Write Now: Breaking the Rules of Writing 101

  • Oak Harbor Library
  • Sunday, Sept. 23, 2-4 p.m.
  • What are “the rules” and when is it OK to break them? This class will celebrate literary rebellion and incite a bit of it in our own writing with discussion and exercises.
  • Registration opens at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 1

Write Now: When Bad Things Happen to Good Writers

  • Langley Library
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • From rejections to bad reviews, jealousy to public gaffes, learn productive paths to saving face, establishing social media boundaries, PR strategies, and self-care.

Write Now: Journaling for Writers – The “Write” Way to Fiction and Nonfiction

  • Snohomish Library
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 10:30 a.m.-Noon
  • Novelist Erica Miner explores the power of journaling for writers. Hands-on exercises with thought-provoking prompts plus a copy of Erica’s Journaling Resource Sheet.
  • Registration required.

Write Now: Do Your Research-And How!

  • Freeland Library
  • Monday, Oct. 1, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Jeanine Tullos Hennig will share her passion for research and an arsenal of methods and sources to assist in making your prose authentic and authoritative.
  • Please pre-register

Write Now: Spark – Igniting Your Imagination

  • Oak Harbor Library
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 2-4 p.m.
  • A hard part of the writing process is fighting the voice that whispers, “You don’t have anything to write about!” In this class, you will get your ideas out and moving across the page.

Write Now: Write Your Memoir 101 – With author – J.R. (Judith) Nakken

  • Lynnwood Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Want to write a memoir – yours or a relative’s? This class features the do’s and don’ts of writing in this genre. Lecture, interaction and handouts will kick-start your book.
  • Reservations required.

Write Now: How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks

  • Snohomish Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Award-winning novelist Bill Dodds uses a lighthearted approach as he offers practical suggestions, valuable tips, and honest encouragement to help you begin – and complete – your book.
  • Please pre-register

Write Now: Make Writing a Business – The Nitty-Gritty of Being an Author Entrepreneur

  • Monroe Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 13, 2-4:30 p.m.
  • Expand your writing passion to embrace entrepreneurship. Topics include domain names, websites, accepting credit cards, bank accounts, crowdfunding, licenses, and more.

Write Now: Children’s Lit Starter Kit

  • Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • When you walk into the library, do you head straight to the children’s section? Do you pore over children’s picture books even when you have no child in tow?

Write Now: Family History – Writing the story When They Left No Stories

  • Granite Falls Library
  • Sunday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m.
  • Spent years on genealogy? Learn how to use social history resources to “fluff up” your data and write family histories that your friends and relatives will want to read.

Write Now: Wordplay that Works – Wordplay is delightful and stimulating.

  • Camano Island Library
  • Thursday, Oct. 25, 6-8 p.m.
  • Wordplay is delightful and stimulating. To energize the flow of writing, you will study basic examples and engage in fun exercises that bulldoze past writer’s block.
  • Reservations required.

Write Now: Book Marketing from Your Couch, Social Media 101

  • Lakewood/Smokey Point Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 27, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Social media can be confusing but book marketing from the couch is easy. This class is for writers seeking to grow their platforms in the hopes of landing an agent or deal

Write Now: Marketing Tools for Writers Who Hate Marketing

  • Mariner Library
  • Saturday, Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • This class takes a practical, personal approach to marketing, exploring a wide array of specific projects and tools to promote a new release or to put life back in a book that’s been out for a while.

Write Now: Poems From Postcards (and Other Found Texts)

  • Arlington Library
  • Saturday, Nov. 3, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Discover poetry in the everyday language of postcards. This class encourages writers to look everywhere for poetry. You don’t have to consider yourself a poet!

Write Now: New Paradigms, Unruly Worlds: A Primer for World-Builders

  • Oak Harbor Library
  • Sunday, Nov. 4, 2-4 p.m.
  • Whether science fiction, fantasy, historical or contemporary, world-building is both an art and a skill that can be learned. In this workshop, you will get basic tools and methods to hone your skill-set.

Write Now: Feeling the Flow, Opening the Fountain

  • Lake Stevens Library
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: 2-4 p.m.
  • Ignite the writing process and build the writing habit.

Write Now: How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks

  • Freeland Library
  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Award-winning novelist Bill Dodds uses a lighthearted approach as he offers practical suggestions, valuable tips, and honest encouragement to help you begin and complete your book.
  • Please pre-register

Write Now: Get Representation – What Literary Agents Wish You Knew

  • Camano Island Library
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Traditional publishing requires a literary agent. Explore agent tasks and types, and basic approach etiquette. Leave with a customized worksheet to jump-start your search.

Write Now: Introduction to Memoir and Creative Non-Fiction

  • Darington Library
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 1-4 p.m.
  • Tell your story! Nitty-gritty how-to’s for compelling memoir and booming Creative Non-Fiction. Style, compression, and narrative braiding basics plus inspiring examples.

Write Now: Techniques to Leap over Writing Ruts

  • Langley Library
  • Saturday, Nov.17, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • Feeling stuck or in a rut with a writing project? Have fun working through sticky writing challenges using three specific creativity techniques. Presented by Jennifer Phillips.

Write Now: Tools for Writers Who Hate Marketing

  • Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Saturday, Nov. 17, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Don’t let marketing make you miserable. Learn to use your unique strengths and passions to create a personal and practical approach to marketing’s best practices and tools.
  • Registration required.

Write Now: Retelling Old Tales

  • Sultan Library
  • Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-noon
  • From myths to fairy tales, writers have been retelling stories throughout time. How do we refresh old narratives? In this class, we’ll practice refreshing some of our favorites. Presented by Camille Griep.
  • Please preregister.

Write Now: World Building in Historical Fiction

  • Freeland Library
  • Monday, Nov. 19, 2-4 p.m.
  • Join Valerie Stein and learn to build compelling historical worlds using a combination of facts and genuine voice to transport your reader to another time period.
  • Please pre-register

Write Now: Five Keys to Creating Compelling Characters

  • Freeland Library
  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2-4:30 p.m.
  • Creating characters that readers love or love to hate is the goal of every writer, but how do you do it? Join Roberta Trahan and find out!
  • Please pre-register

Write Now: Wordplay that Works

  • Sultan Library
  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-noon
  • Wordplay is delightful and stimulating. To energize the flow of writing, you will study basic examples and engage in fun exercises that bulldoze past writer’s block. Presented by Sandra L. Walker.

Write Now: How to Live the Writer’s Life

  • Camano Island Library
  • Thursday, December 6, 5-8 p.m.
  • Hone observational skills and orient your schedule, habits and energy to craft your dream art without wreaking havoc upon the rest of your life in this interactive workshop.

Write Now: When Bad Things Happen to Good Writers

  • Freeland Library
  • Monday, Dec.10, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • With examples from the real world and the audience, we’ll discuss productive paths to saving face, establishing social media boundaries, public-relations strategies and self-care.
  • Please pre-register.

Write Now: Creative Writing and Self-Publishing for Teens

  • Granite Falls Library
  • Thursday, Dec. 13, 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Do you want to write a book? From writing to editing, cover design, formatting and publication, we’ll give you the tools you need to become a published novelist. Learn the steps to getting published.

Write Now: Work for Hire – An Alternative Traditional Publishing Path

  • Sultan Library
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, 10-11 a.m.
  • The “slush pile” isn’t the only path to traditional publishing. Learn about publishers who hire writers for book assignments, along with the joys and stresses of these projects.