I was asked to do an online workshop on "Turning Ideas Into Stories" through the Writers Retreat area of the Institute of Children's Literature website. Here's what was advertised: "The journey from really good idea to really good story can be challenging. How do you make your story live up to the great idea? How do you turn ideas that come from the news, your experience, or your imagination into a really great story? Let Sue help." The workshop lasted three days and those signed in to the forum could ask me questions. And they asked good ones! I answered off and on through all three days. (At least once I figured out where the questions were being posted.)
It was challenging at times, because so often we don't think about our process. But to answer questions, I had to think about how to explain what I do. I also shared what has worked for me and what hasn't. We discussed short stories and novels both.
I got to share some favorite quotes, mention some writers I've learned from along the way, and talk about my experience with ideas, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It was fun also meeting new people working their way along the writing path.
After the workshop was over, Jan Fields, Web Editor, took the transcripts from the question threads and condensed questions and organized questions and answers in a logical order in one place. You can check it out here.
These workshops are put on once a month. Last month was about "Short Stories Teens Want to Read" with Editor Deborah Vetter and next month will be "Motivating Your Villains" with Ellen Jackson. I'm honored to be in such great company.