The James Scott Bell Seminar

I went to the seminar in Nashville this past weekend. I went expecting to learn, meet new people, and to hopefully come away with some techniques to improve my writing life. Let me just say it now:

If you are a writer, you MUST make time to go to a presentation by James Scott Bell.

It’s simple–I cannot give a higher recommendation. If I could afford to pay for all my writing friends to go, I would. The seminar was that good.

Jim is a modest and truly inspiring speaker. But he isn’t just that–he is a true teacher. His passion comes across and you really feel that he wants you to be successful. He follows up the drive with very specific tools to help in all aspects of writing: from hammering out the kinks in plot, to Frankensteining characters, to generating ideas. He tells you how to do it in an organized and efficient fashion. No magic–just pen to paper tips to really help a writer be more organized, efficient, and successful.

I am still processing all the information. I took over sixty pages of notes! I have already implemented some of his suggestions–why wait? There’s always an excuse lingering around the corner. “Hey, buddy,” he said, taking a long wet drag on his hand-rolled cigarette. “You don’t have to work now.”

Yeah, I know. I am a process geek. I love road maps to goals. I love lists. I love spreadsheets. Getting the wigglies under control helps me be much more prolific–and in turn, that allows my creative brain parts to have more room to work. When my brain space doesn’t look like Hoarders, but more like a file system, then my creativity can come out and play in all the vast emptiness. Yeah. It is true.

JSB is holding his workshop in Cincinnati in September. If you can go–DO. You will not regret it. You can check his website for information, and also dates/places he will be:

And if you cannot get to one of his seminars soon, please do yourself a favor and buy his books. The two I particularly recommend are Plot & Structure, and Revision & Self-Editing.

And no, he isn’t giving me a kickback! LOL. My rave comes deeply from the heart–



Yay, tomorrow (well, in about ten hours), I’ll leave for the James Scott Bell novel writing seminar in Nashville. I am really excited. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while–the chance to go to a seminar/workshop rather than a conference. Looking forward to learning a lot, and hopefully talking to some other writers. Here is the link–I think it will be a lot of fun and a very worthwhile trip:


I finished another manuscript last night. Just the draft. Still, it feels great. To celebrate, I made chocolate fondue for the family. Strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pretzels, and graham crackers. YUM. 

Today, I have to dig into the edits. I like this part of the process–revising and editing. The detail work is fun. Now that the story is laid out, I can polish and add details, and cut crap. Hopefully, this manuscript won’t be full of crap when I read it. LOL

Have a great Sunday!