Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 6th Meeting Report

We enjoyed a nice meeting at the Coffee House yesterday. We heard and critiqued 8 readers and enjoyed good food and company. We pretty well fill up the place, so if you're particular about where you'd like to sit you had better arrive early. Next Monday we'll be meeting at the Lutheran Church on Tropicana.


This Thursday, May 9th, is the Nevada State College Film Festival. Two films created by Audrey Balzart are in the showing, both featuring members of the Henderson Writers' Group as actors or actresses. It starts at 7 PM in the great hall of the Dawson Building, located at 1125 Nevada State Drive, Henderson 89002.

We have some speakers scheduled! Kevin Parsons will be speaking at our Monday meeting on May 27th. Come to hear about his adventure of driving through all 50 states of the U.S.A. in 50 weeks, as well as some information on the intriguing topic of "Passive Agressive Marketing."

Are there any legal scenes in your book? Judge Judy Diane Steel will be speaking June 10th, and happy to take any questions you may have about legal matters.

The group extends a sincere thank you to Martin Greening for a great job on maintaining the HWG facebook page!

Karlo gave a report on our finances at the meeting. The recent conference was a success and we "in the black."


Congratulations to Jo Wilkins, her publishing company Ink and Quill recently signed a book contract!

Congratulations to Sid Goodman, who just sent his last chapter of his current book to his publisher.

Congratulations to Inge-Lise Goss, whose novel The Tegen Cave was just released and is available on Amazon.


"Let's not throw out the bureaucrats with the prison bathwater."
Wolf O'Rourk

"My new goal is to stay strong enough to call 911."
Darlien Breeze

WRITING TIP from Jo Wilkins:

Keep track of your ideas. When that idea for a new story line hits you, don’t let it slip away.
Consider making a form that lists: 

1. Projected plotline. 
2. Possible conflicts and character goals. 
3. Main/supporting character(s). 
4. Possible ending. 

Add whatever fits your style of remembering. A great story idea can be lost just like the perfect line that escapes you because you waited too long to write it down. So make a file to keep track of those ideas for future use. 


Here's a great way to locate a conference or workshop that is good for you:


This website was awarded Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers" award in 2013, and has a great search engine for finding conferences. You can search by location, date, for venues that feature opportunities to pitch to agents, by genre (romance writers, memoir, sci-fi and fantasy etc), or view a calendar listing all events in a given month.

There is a small bookstore in Henderson that frequently has author signings and other local events. If you'd like to organize a book signing for your own book, or attend an upcoming one, there are signings Saturday May 11th and 18th from noon to 2:00, you should swing by the Book Botique. Their facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/nvbookboutique

Book Boutique
19 W. Pacific Ave.
Henderson, NV 89015


I was recently asked if I was a "pantser" or a "plotter." The question threw me for a loop. What in the world is a pantser? It is, apparently, someone who writes "by the seat of their pants," having little idea what will happen next.

I'm pleased to present you an article from HWG member Fred Rayworth, a writer who writes without an outline. Having heard portions of his story in our meetings, I must say I am amazed that all the details about his fantastical world with magic and different creatures came to life in this "discover as you go" approach. No wonder he enjoys writing so much!

My Writing Process 

There are many advantages to outlining a book. First you figure out your plot, write an outline of the rest of the story and voila, instant novel! That way you have it organized and ready to go and can fill in the holes. It makes the writing process more efficient and you can avoid many pitfalls brought on by insufficient planning and lack of research.

My process is completely different. When I set out to write a novel, I only have two steps in planning. Number one is, “Where do I start?” Number two is “Where do I end?” Everything in-between is a total surprise. My creative process is an adventure. To me, writing is like watching a movie as it’s being created. There are bound to be pitfalls with this for some writers. It won’t work for everyone, but it works for me.

When I start out to write a novel, I never outline it, I never plan out each chapter, and I never know exactly what’s going to take place. Part of the fun is just letting it flow. That’s my creative process. Does it create problems? For me it doesn’t create big ones. I’ve had to eliminate chapters here and there, take out an extraneous story line, but never anything major.

When it comes to research, I cross those bridges when I come to them. Something may inspire me to go one way or the other. If I reach a bridge I can’t cross, I diverge to one I can. It still doesn’t affect the ending, only the way I end up there. With an outline, a writer can see these bridges before they get there, so in that case, an outline saves a lot of grief. However, for me, I find these predicaments nothing but minor divergences. There’s still that element of total surprise as the story unfolds.

What works for me may not for anyone else. If I had to plan out each chapter, worry about each word, double check my syntax, I’d never get anything done. I remember hearing about this one writer that would agonize over each sentence as she wrote it. It might take her a day… a week to write a single paragraph. Geez! That would just suck the life out of my inspiration.

On the other hand, writing a fiction novel based on an outline would be more like doing a college paper. That doesn’t strike me as much of an adventure and borders on work rather than fun. That’s just me. I’m presenting my method as an alternative. I know it won’t work for everyone but after attending the latest Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, I was surprised how many other writers I met that use my method.

Happy writing.
-Fred Rayworth


 May 2013
Sun       Mon      Tues      Wed           Thur           Fri                 Sat

May 1

THE COFFEE HOUSE in Henderson 6:30-8:30


Lutheran Community Church

The Coffee House in Henderson
West side meeting Skinny Dugans
6:30 p.m.
 Lutheran Community Church

The Coffee House in Henderson

Have a great week.

Editor- Jenny Ballif

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Upcoming Events & Places for Writers & Readers

At the Henderson Writers Group we support education and events around the Las Vegas Valley

Las Vegas Writers Conference

April 18-20, 2013

Annual Student Writing Contest

The Henderson Writers Group is serious about educating writers. We believe that our youth, specifically students, are the place to start. To further these efforts we have established this writing contest to award scholarships to the best of these budding authors.
See Website for details & submission guidelines.

Vegas Valley Book Festival


Clark County Nevada Libraries