March 2017 Meeting Details

When - Saturday, March 25 at 1 PM
Where - Cardinal Cafe, Stillman Valley, IL

Our Topic:
Theme and Character - Better Together
You feel your story or novel is going great, yet there's something missing. Something deeper. A higher purpose or at least a purpose! Writing is meant to entertain, inform, and very often, with subtlety and finesse, it teaches. Ideally, it teaches through the characters with such shrewdness, readers are only barely conscious of being shown anything of import at all. Almost without exception (yes, there are some...there are always exceptions), theme is presented through the behaviors, thought processes, and choices of characters. This month we'll revisit that old chestnut, theme, and explore its association with character.

Reading:
K.M. Weiland to the rescue! Click here: The All-Important Link Between Theme and Character Progression.

Short Story Seminar, Part 4
Thought we forgot about you, right? Oh no! We did sadly neglect to provide you with a reminder about progressing to your rough draft. But honestly, if you're taking this process seriously, you were eager to leap into that, weren't you? Therefore, we're going to think positive, and feel confidant that you've been hammering on the first draft of your short story, poem, or non-fic composition. Now, officially, your rough draft (or first draft) submission deadline is: April 1, and we're NOT fooling!
Before then, however, we want you to consider how theme plays in your project. Is it even playing at all? Did it stay home, confined to a dog crate, not allowed to come out and play? Well, put it on a leash (theme needs regulating and control, after all, so it doesn't run fat, muddy paws all over everything) and bring it on out. Without that hairy companion to shed its downy fluff, your tale is quite possibly an empty lark and your characters likely shallow and samey, start to finish. So, what's next, BEFORE you send us that draft? This WORKSHEET (<--- just click and print), that in your mind should be titled: How MY Character(s) Help Develop MY Theme. read your draft, fill out the worksheet. Where do things stand so far? Did you come up full and delicately themed? Or did you come up empty, and realize that your draft is falling short on this character-depth and substance issue? Between now and April 1, annotate that draft, make margin notes (you can use the Comments feature in MSWord to do this "in the margins"), identify what's missing in your character development and progression, and brainstorm ideas about how you can fix it in the next draft.
(Poets: An outstanding poem is more than just pretty words and word-painted images, there's an underlying message communicated too--for example, think about how one may love winter's visual beauty, which comes from harshness, causing hardship for those who cannot escape it--flora, fauna, homeless humans...)

Excited? We are too! See you Saturday!

March Meeting Change

Due to several daunting conditions, I have concluded that tomorrow's meeting will need to be postponed until March 25. The first issue is that our Stillman Valley location, Cardinal Cafe, is holding an event tomorrow where they are hosting local vendors until 2 PM and have invited customers to come dine and browse. Regrettably, this would make our meeting there nearly impossible. (Although I'm fairly certain we'd all have a good time looking over the vendors' wares!) I'd thought a great alternative meeting place would be the new coffee house in Byron but they are currently closed for vacation.

And a few other, smaller issues threw a few more wrenches into the machinery.

So, to overcome all these negative tidbits, it seemed that rescheduling the meeting to March 25, 1 PM at Cardinal Cafe, would be the most promising.

I hope it won't inconvenience anyone overmuch and that you'll be able to join us next week. Between now and then, look for another message regarding topic and an update on the Short Story Seminar.

We're also pleased to welcome two new OWLS members, Kennece Coombe and Karen Fackler. Glad you could join us!

Please share this date change with anyone else you know who may have been planning to attend and members of In Print or other writers groups where folks may have an interest in attending.