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Martha Engber Writers’ Workshop at the Fair: Today 2:00

June 10, 2012

I first met Martha some years ago at a California Writers Club meeting of the San Jose Branch, and there first purchased her book “Growing Great Characters from the Ground Up.”  She gave this talk again at a meeting of our own San Francisco Peninsula branch, where I learned much, taking copious notes.  But it was at the talk she gave at Inkspell Books in Half Moon Bay that I discovered, and used, the real secret.

Don’t just read or book or take notes, but put her ideas to work.  I had been working with a short story.  I liked the story, what it said, what the idea and the plot were.  I just didn’t like what I had written.  It had names and descriptions in it, but no characters.  The people in it were flat and lifeless, and as a result so was the story.

I went home that night and put Martha’s ideas to work in my story.  And was so overwhelmed with the result, I sent her an email right away.  In it I said:

“I knew there was a story here, I wrote the first page of it (as I told you) and had an idea where to go with it, but didn’t know how to give that idea life.

“The notion of Defining Detail, and greatest strength-greatest weakness-greatest fear, was what was needed to turn Corrie from an idea (based on a real person, who no one in my family ever met) into a person.  I didn’t know until I sat down at the keys tonight, what the defining detail was.”

Martha is so encouraging, so generous with her time In her blog:

she invites questions and comments, and offers help to all comers, s well as reviews of others books on writing craft and the business of getting published.  But she’s at the Fair today to talk to you and share her insights.

TODAY at the San Mateo County Fair, 2:00 p.m.  Check this link:

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