I'm the Queen of online classes. I'm not going to tell you how many classes I've taken in the past two years. It's a little extravagant, so let me just say that I'm a workshop junkie.
Now there are workshops and then, there are workshops. I wouldn't say any of them are bad because it's all in what you're looking for. For example, you won't find me in a workshop that focuses on writing a historical romance. That's not to say it would be a bad workshop, it's just not my interest.
So where will you find me? Well, this last month I took several classes including one called Seven Elements of Story by Sylvie Kurtz. It was offered by www.writersonline.com. This is one I would highly recommend if you're interested in story concept and writing a story blurb.
This workshop was a journey focusing on my main character. We looked at his background, motivations, his goal and that all important flaw. We identified an ally, the event that catalyst him into the story, and the opponent that would best antagonize my main character. Then we developed a short (couple of sentences) blurb that tied all these elements together.
Sound easy? Well let me tell you it's a little more challenging than you might think. It's easy to write a few of paragraphs with all that information, but narrowing it down to 2 or 3 sentences was tough.
So what does a blurb do for me? Well, believe it or not, it's a short narrative of my story - start to finish. I'll refer to it often to help keep my story on track as I write and when I'm ready to submit my work to an editor/agent, I'll use it as a selling tool to pitch my idea. I call that time well spent.
I'm off now to catch up on my current classes. Did I tell you I was a workshop junkie?
Till next time, happy writing.