Thoughts on Writers Academy

I spent the past week at the Writers Academy at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. It was an amazing experience. At the beginning of the week, I knew no one, and by the time it was over, I had made new friends from all over. We were all sad when it came to an end. Thankfully, we live in the electronic age and we will keep in touch.

I learned so much at the Academy, but most of all, I learned the transition from a technical writer to a fiction writer will be a tough leap. Technical writing is very structured and exact and defined. Fiction writing is creative and allows freedom to express myself in any manner I please. It’s like being liberated, but it comes at a cost. The left side of my brain has been used so much during the past decade that it’s much stronger than the right side of my brain. It will take some practice.

The thing about writing is that you can do anything you want in the world you create on paper. One of the pieces of advice received was “When you have writer’s block, kill off a character!” Pretty scary stuff, but it came from the crime writers of the group. As one person struggled with the characters in her imaged world, the advice to her was it’s her universe and she was the god of it. She could do anything she wanted. Make the good guys go bad. Make the bad guys go good. Make the world spin faster. Make the plot spin faster. After all of our suggestions, I’m sure her mind was spinning faster.

I’m creating my own world on paper, but I don’t feel like a god in any way. Sounds sacrilegious anyway. I feel like a storyteller and I love that feeling.

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