I have been writing for a long time. While part of it is a gift (as some folks tell me), another part must be learned. Non-fiction religion is still my favorite genre (hence the blog) and I enjoy writing it a lot. But I must confess that there are a few fiction pieces sitting in my file, none published. I have one unfinished novel started some twenty years ago rotting in the file but brewing more and more in my mind.
In fact, it's coming to a boil after I attended the Writer's Digest Writer's Conference last month in New York City. I attended a workshop offered by Donald Maass titled, "The Fire in Fiction". He titled the workshop after his new book of the same name. It was my first ever conference and first ever workshop for fiction. I was sad that his book sold out while there. He was autographing. But I joined the line anyway just to meet him and thank him for the great first impression and workshop along with the assurance that I would immediately buy the book. Which I did.
I'm about 1/3 of the way through it and loving every page. Imagine me, a highly conservative Christian non-fiction writer (and reader) highlighting pages in this book. The more I read the more ideas I get and the more that old novel is starting to come back to life. I can't wait to write it all over again.
It all came to life this afternoon as I watched the new Disney/Pixar movie "Up". Here I am thoroughly enjoying this movie with laughter, tears, tension, and all the while picking out points from the "...Fire in Fiction" book, analyzing the film to death. Ahh, so that's how they do it! What a revelation! It would probably ruin the movie for anyone else but it gave me profound joy to see what I have been learning. It's also a blessing because my learning style is by far slanted towards visual. Auditory and reading fall far behind.
So here's to you Donald Maass. In a few years, my historical novel "Falkenstein" will be on its way to your door!