On June 9 MI is hosting a writing class taught by novelist, teacher, and mentor of mine Sandra Scofield. I use the term "mentor" loosely since I've never met her, but I've pored over her two books on craft (both in our collection) so I feel like she sits on my shoulder as I wail away on my manuscript.
Scofield's recent book, The Last Draft: a novelist's guide to revision has a heartfelt and rich introduction full of tough love, admonishing hopeful writers that you have to know how it ends, you have to know what it means and in light of the class she's offering next month, you have to know what it is about.
Both Scofield's books are excellent for writers at any stage, being comfortingly proscriptive with out being restrictive. If you are struggling with a draft of your story and are looking for a map to show you the way, read The last draft : a novelist's guide to revision.
If you are struggling to write your first draft, try The scene book : a primer for the fiction writer.
To be able to articulate your idea coherently – both to yourself and to the reader - is the most important part of one's process according to Scofield's method, whether you are on draft one or the last. Having the ability to capture the essence of a story in a few clear sentences will provide a guiding force for your character and plot development.
The place to learn how to do this is at the Mechanics' Institute on June 9 with Sandra Scofield herself. Register for "Aboutness" today and set your compass – your writing journey starts here.