Writers’ Mill Minutes 201609

Minutes from Portland writers mill, Sunday September 18th

Nearly 20 members, plus a few guests, were at the Cedar Mill library on Sunday September 18th to listen to Brian Doyle’s presentation on writing. We had an amazing, wonderful time, and I shall do my best to make sense of my notes at the end of these minutes. Continue reading Writers’ Mill Minutes 201609

That Strange Thing Called Writing, from Brian Doyle’s Talk in September

Notes From Brian Doyle’s Talk On Writing

Brian Doyle has pages and pages of books listed on Amazon, including Martin Marten, Mink River, Chicago, The Plover and more, and he needs no introduction from me. He introduces himself, educates, entertains, has us in stitches, has us almost in tears, reveals his feelings, his history and his stories, and then says he’s not a teacher and he doesn’t do seminars and workshops. If you missed this one, you missed a very special treat. Continue reading That Strange Thing Called Writing, from Brian Doyle’s Talk in September

Writers’ Mill Minutes 201608

Writers’ Mill Minutes August 21st

You may remember Jim Stewart, poet, short story writer, novelist, musician and more from our May meeting. He returned for a much-anticipated second visit in August, where he  invited and answered questions on editing poetry and how to make words count. Around 16 members of the Writers’ Mill braved the heat to attend. Notes on the questions and answers will follow these minutes. Continue reading Writers’ Mill Minutes 201608

Notes from Christi Krug’s talk, July 2016

Notes from Christi Krug’s talk, July 2016

(with thanks to Karin)

Christi gave us a handout, ‘Following the Thread’ and read a poem by William Stafford about Following the Thread.

–       We learn from the challenges we have.

–       You can still consider yourself a successful writer if you have challenges.

–       One obstacle is finding your way when you are lost. Continue reading Notes from Christi Krug’s talk, July 2016

Minutes 201607

With thanks to Karin and Judy…

WRITERS’ MILL MINUTES

13 writers attended the Writers’ Mill meeting with Wildfire Writer Christi Krug.  As Sheila was vacationing in England, Norm had the honor of chairing the meeting.  The inspirational talk and writing exercises provided by Christi were followed by Robin’s delicious snacks. After the break Judy handed out the writing awards on behalf of Jean for the July contest. Thereafter Lavonna led the critique of the second part of Matthew’s story as well as Robin’s story. Continue reading Minutes 201607

Notes from Ken Baysinger’s Talk in June 2016

Notes from Ken Baysinger’s talk, June 2016

Ken’s road to writing began early when hi English teacher gave him an F for writing too well (his teacher wouldn’t believe the piece was Ken’s own work and Ken, being stubborn, wouldn’t rewrite it). Writing was replaced by a language of 2-syllable words when Ken joined the Navy, but afterward he took an elective in expository writing at Washington State, just to see if he still had any literary skills. Luckily for his readers, he did. A degree in English led to work in creative advertising, but the white shoes and golf stories didn’t fit, so he moved into other areas. But… Continue reading Notes from Ken Baysinger’s Talk in June 2016

Minutes 201606

Writers’ Mill June 19thminutes

22 writers, including several new members, left their homes on Father’s Day afternoon to attend a Writers’ Mill meeting with local author Ken Baysinger. A fun, inspirational and informative talk was followed by delicious gluten-free snacks from Jean, writerly awards from Karin for the monthly contest, and a fun all-hands-on-deck critique of Matthew’s story. By the end it was clear lots of us could have stayed longer than the usual 2 hours. But the room would be needed for other events, so we finished at 3 and planned to return next month, July 17th, for more inspiration from Wildfire Writer Christie Krug. Continue reading Minutes 201606

Critique Questions

Have you been asked to lead a critique? Are you wondering what questions to ask, or how to keep the conversation going around the room? The following questions are given in sets of threes – the idea is you can ask the original question, then guide discussion toward the others if people aren’t answering. Thank you to all of you who used the questions so well in sharing the critique this month.

  1. What is the story about?
    1. Storyline
    2. Theme
    3. Genre

 

  1. What grabs you first?
    1. Strong beginning?
    2. Interesting question?
    3. Interesting character?

 

  1. What makes the location real?
    1. Description?
    2. Writing style?
    3. Atmosphere?

 

  1. What makes the character(s) real?
    1. Description?
    2. Internal dialog?
    3. Interactions?

 

  1. What makes the dialog real?
    1. Different voices?
    2. Dialog tags?
    3. Choice of words/phrases?

 

  1. What makes the dilemma real?
    1. Internal confusion?
    2. External threat?
    3. Unsolved mystery?

 

  1. What narrative voice?
    1. 1st/2nd/3rd person?
    2. Personal/distant/omniscient?
    3. Does it fit story/genre/theme

 

  1. Favorite scenes?
    1. What makes it a favorite?
    2. Is it important to the story?
    3. What more would you want?

 

  1. How does it end?
    1. Has character changed?
    2. Has situation changed?
    3. Has reader changed?

 

  1. Did the author have questions, or do you have other questions to ask?

 

We usually ask the author not to speak until the end of the critique, when they get to ask other questions arising from what’s been discussed, or to answer questions raised by readers.

We hope you’ll enjoy leading a critique for us sometime, and that the questions might help you in critiquing your own work.

Writers helping writers