Monday, March 3, 2008

Richard Peck wisdom

I'm still recovering from this weekend's Richard Peck writer workshop. We had a great turnout, and I heard lots of comments that this was one of the best workshops they'd attended. What a relief!

Richard was terrific. I've long admired his writing (A Long Way From Chicago; A Year Down Yonder; and A River Between Us being some of my favorites) but a good writer is not necessarily a good teacher. In Richard's case, those qualities exist happily within the same body.

I'm not going to write a summary of everything he said, but he suggested one technique that I found especially intriguing. When you are writing a scene, block it out, as if you are directing a play. Stand up, move around the room, speak for your characters. (Don't do this in Starbucks.) I will often speak dialogue to myself while writing, but I tend to do it in my chair, in front of my computer. I'm interested to see how blocking will help me in writing scenes.

Richard was kind enough to pose for a picture with me:

Now playing: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova with Marja Tuhkanen and Bertrand Galen - This Low
via FoxyTunes


Barrie said...

Blocking out a scene? Hmm.....I'm stuck in a scene right now. It's just not going smoothly. Maybe I'll try this!

Glad to hear the workshop went so well!

Jim D said...

I too was intregued by the scene blocking suggestion.....not enough to try it on my train commutes where I do a great percentage of my writing though.

It was good seeing you Sara!