Sponsored by the Mechanics' Institute Library
Rick Homan moderated "Writers Lunch," an hour-long conversation on topics of interest to writers, held on the 3rd Friday of each month at 12:00 pm, PT.
The Art of Critiquing Fellow Writers
April 15, 2022
What's in It For You?
March 18, 2022
All About Outlining
Outlining can be a preparation for writing, a way of keeping track while writing, or a diagnostic tool after writing. Outlines can be numbered lists or flow charts. Some writers spend half their time on outlines; others don’t use them at all.
February 18, 2022
Who Wrote This?
Do you read about the authors you admire? Do you check the "About" page on an author's website or the bio on the book flap? Have you read a favorite author's memoir? Have you read a biography of an author? Have any of these sources helped you understand the author's work? Has this shown you how to use your own experience in your writing?
January 21, 2022
The Places We Write About
Some novelists say the setting is a character. Others create fantasy worlds. Some readers choose books set in a favorite place. Some journalists make a career of chronicling a single place. Some bookstores have a section called “Armchair Travel.” How does place inform your writing?
The Same, Only Different
What belongs on page one? Have you written a first sentence that makes the reader keep reading? Have you read an opening paragraph or an opening scene that made you commit to spending several hours reading the rest of the pages? Is this as important in nonfiction as it is in fiction?
Who reads your work before you submit or self-publish? Who makes the best beta readers: Avid readers? Fellow writers? Accomplished writers? Editors? Coaches? Consultants? What do they do well? What are their limitations?
Read Like a Writer
Stephen King says the Great Commandment for writers is "Read a lot and write a lot." How much is a lot? What do you look for when you read a book like the one you want to write? How do you keep track of what you've learned from what you've read?
Write About What?
Where do you get your ideas? Some writers keep notebooks of everyday experiences. Others write down their dreams. Still others eavesdrop in cafes. Whether you wrote a novel, a handbook, or a haiku, you first had to think of something that would make a good subject. How did you do it?