Debra Dixon, author of GOAL, MOTIVATION & CONFLICT is coming to Calgary, Alberta, Canada on May 2, 2015 and I’m already signed up for the workshop.
This is my underlined, stick-it-noted, well-read copy of her book.
It was back in 2002 when I first heard Debra Dixon speak. I still remember that workshop, presented by the Alberta Romance Writers Association, otherwise known as ARWA.
That Friday night when she arrived, we immediately learned something about setting.
Alberta writers would never think of meeting someone outside the airport. You wait inside, right? That’s normal, isn’t it? It could be minus 30 out there. Who would ever wait outside at the airport?
Someone from Memphis, Tennessee.
Finding Deb Dixon at the airport on that Friday night was an example of romance writers creating a comedy of errors. But Jenn, diligently walking around with her sign, eventually found our speaker, and the Board took her out to dinner.
The next morning, I remember arriving about 8:30 to a room bubbling with conversation. The day was packed with information, much of the format was lecture and a good portion was “interactive”. We created the GMC chart for Sarah, the rebellious debutante in a Western. The trick with the exercise was to try it outside of our usual genre.
The GMC chart can be used to create a new story, to tweak an existing one, or to find out why you’re stalled. And it’s also useful for that query letter or editor interview. I believe GOAL, MOTIVATION & CONFLICT is one of the most important books you will ever put in your writing library.
We had such a good time that day and I can still remember going out for dinner after the workshop.
Trish and I walked into Madison’s at 5:15. It was a Saturday night. The maitre d’ looked a little worried when we said we had about 10 to 15 people coming over. And no, we didn’t have a reservation.
But she quickly sorted things out and found us a long table where we could all sit together. I told her we were the ARWA group.
“ARWA?” The maitre d’ clearly had not heard of us.
I spelled it out for her.
The waiter also looked a little confused. Trish told him, “We’re writers.” And then she quickly added, “But we have money!”
The service was excellent, the food was high cal and the talk was flowing. I was still trying to come up with my Dominant Impression for my heroine. So was Donna Wickens. We were making notes on the napkins. The waiter brought more napkins.
I love these post workshop debriefings. The chairs around Deb Dixon kept getting new people in them as writers came to her with their specific questions. This lady is like the energizer bunny. She just doesn’t stop. Finally at 9 pm, twelve hours after our official workshop start, we called it a day.
And now the Calgary Association of the RWA is presenting a Deb Dixon workshop. I have a chance to hear her speak again, to reinforce what I know and to fill in the blanks for what I don’t know. And, besides that, I get to spend some quality time with writers.
Here are the details.
Date: Saturday, May 2, 2015
9 am: Registration and light continental breakfast
10 am: Workshop starts
Noon: Buffet lunch
5 pm: Workshop ends
Buy your ticket here. Tickets will be on sale until April 24th.
If you’re a writer and you live in or near Calgary, I hope you will join me at the workshop.
One more thing:
Register by March 31st and your name will go in a draw for a 25-page critique by Deb Dixon.