Posts tagged ‘Catherine Ryan Hyde’

Great Workshop with Catherine Ryan Hyde

I went to another workshop yesterday with Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of Pay it Forward and about 15 other books.)  What an intellect and great teacher. Catherine and Patricia Fripp of the National Speakers Association are the best I have seen to take a mishmash of information and condense it into something cogent and interesting – on the spot – using superior auditory skills as well as visual.

This workshop was especially privileged. We were 4 – y es – 4 authors who had her to ourselves the whole day, from 9 to 5. Working on our pitch, our synopsis and query letter, each of us got the advantage of her long career in one dose. (Even Catherine still has to write a synopsis from time to time.)  It was totally worth the $175. Stop apologizing Catherine – you are worth it! (I’d say “and more” except I don’t want her raising her fees…)

The other workshop on self-editing was two day on a weekend with 7 authors who each brought the first couple chapters of our novels.  Excellent as well. As Catherine edited each manuscript, I learned a lot about the technical alone – especially commas, semi-colons, dialogue and shortening sentences. Of course, the group gave valuable input too. It was especially fortuitous for me as I had just “finished” Isis. I went home and immediately started the first round of editing.

I would highly recommend one of her workshops in Cambria CA if you have the opportunity. She truly is a wonderful group leader and teacher (not to mention a skilled author with a beautiful command of  language.)

July 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Final draft (sic) of Isis of the Red Mirror Series

It seems like it has taken me almost as long to do the 2nd and 3rd drafts of Isis as it did to write the original draft. But it’s a better book now, thanks to a workshop I attended with Catherine Ryan Hyde on self-editing.  We were seven aspiring novelists who bared our souls to the group by bringing the first 25 pages of our books and listening to Catherine read them out loud. I learned a lot about my propensity to use the verbs “was” and “were.”

Some of the chapters have had only one re-write while others took two.  I spent almost two days condensing the first 5 chapters to 2. I have gone from 100,000 words to 95,000, so believe you might call that progress.

I also have designed a book cover which acted as an inspiration for me as I wrote.  I highly recommend creating a cover and keeping the image in front of you.

Catherine encouraged me to go the traditional route and send out to agents.  She told me I needed to get a lot of rejections before I gave up.  That part comes next!

The next problem is genre. Catherine intimated that I may have created my own. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing. Not really romance because Isis has three gorgeous men in her life that any woman could fall in love with. There is lots of action and adventure, plenty of sex but always with passion or purpose, and lots of information about the wonderful period of history called the Late Period of Ancient Egypt. My goal was to take the reader back and so far, everyone who has read passages from the book, agrees that I succeeded.  But it’s not totally historical, because much of it takes place in glamorous Las Vegas.  Then there is the paranormal aspect of reincarnation, visiting past lives and the mystery of the Emerald Tablet.  I packed a lot into these pages!

I am going to use Sandra Gore for this book. I had thought Sabrina Gee, but it turned out not to be that racy, after all. I’ll put my name on it!

note: If you want to see a photo of the actual Red Mirror, go to The Red Mirror in my pages section: Excerpts from Sex and Zen.

May 16, 2010 at 1:24 am 8 comments

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