My year of writing deliberately turned in a year of learning more than writing. My left brain was busy learning while my creative right brain took a vacation for a good part of the year. I did three 4 week workshops plus a critique class through Savvy Authors: Deep Story, Business of Creative Writing and Editing the Heck Out of Things. Also completed the F2K Creative Writing Course through Writer's Village University. I'm more impressed with WVU accomplishing more in 6 weeks than I did through SA. Plus their offering of courses towards a DYI MFA is awesome, which I plan on taking advantage of.
The more I learned, the more it led to Joseph Campbell's mythic structure and the Heroes Journey. Through the course of the year I came across several authors, whether reading their books or online, talking about Campbell's mythic structure. Some went really deep and complex such as Carol Hughes (I found her quite mythical) with her 18 act deep story structure and some more loosely 3 act structures such as Alexandra Sokoloff and James Scott Bell. I read Bell's Revision and Editing and made so many notes could have written a whole book. I'm in lurve now and how acquired the majority of his writing books.
I attempted a new story during november's NaNoWriMo but it hadn't finished percolating enough for me to get a handle on the story or the characters. We are still in the let's get to know you stage. My son's excited about it though and has been brainstorming, giving me all kinds of ideas for different scenes. Which brings me back to one of my goals for 2012 to develop a story using K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel. I started seriously working on Green Cross in October but ran out of time come November and with a half formed complex idea, started writing, but couldn't get my left brain to turn off. There were too many unsettled questions. So back to the drawing board with more research and outlining.
For my DYI MFA craft reading, I finished:
Revision and Self Editing by James Scott Bell - Excellent 5 star and a must read.
Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose - interesting.
Story Engineering by Larry Books - Couldn't finish it because the meat was buried under way too much gravy.
Writing Begins with the Breath by Laraine Herring - Excellent with many great ideas.
Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Screenwriters by Alexandra Sokoloff - very good ebook which I wish came in actual book form so could take lots of notes.
I haven't finished editing Eyes in the Ashes yet. Too much family stress and drama in the 2nd half of the year to concentrate on it so set ended up setting it aside.
It turned into a good year educationally for my writing. I'm going to work on making my writing and learning for 2013 more cohesive. Plus do a better job of setting daily, weekly and monthly goals, as well as checking in with my fellow ROWer's and readers. I'll share my goals for the new year soon.
What are your writing or reading goals for the new year?