Terri is willing and interested in presenting workshops on various aspects of writing to readers and/or writers' organizations and meetings -- contact her if you or your group would like more information.
Workshops: Writing Craft or Business Topics
A writer must grab the reader's attention and keep it moving from the first sentence to the last one, through paragraphs, pages and chapters. If that reader is an editor, hooking them from beginning to end is critical. Terri will review various hooks and plot points and methods of plotting, their importance and how to use them to strengthen the pacing and structure throughout your book to the last word. (For beginning and experienced writers)
Most writers think that when they type the wondrous words – THE END – their work is done. In reality, it is just beginning! One decision is about whether to include an epilogue in your fiction. But, two of the most important parts of your work – the Query Letter and the Synopsis—still need to be created if you expect to market and/or publish your work. Both are critical tools that will grab the attention of a prospective editor or agent and help them sell your work to publishers. Terri, who has sold her work based on synopses, will discuss the final steps of fiction writing – crafting an epilogue, writing a query letter and composing a thorough synopsis – and give tips and share suggestions from leading editors and agents about those crucial final steps of novel writing. (For experienced writers nearing THE END)
So are you a romance writer who sets their stories in historical periods or a researcher/historian who writes romance novels? Do your contemporary or paranormal stories have enough detail about their own ‘world’? How much research do you need to be accurate or do you need to be accurate at all? And, while we’re talking about it, how do you find and integrate research information and tidbits into your story without obviously teaching? Terri, the author of more than 30 historical, time-travel and paranormal romances, will discuss the basics of research – why, how much, how to, when and when not—and the process of using it or ignoring it when you write. (For writers at all levels).
Publishing is changing at the speed of light and writers have many choices that didn’t exist even a few years ago – should a writer go the traditional route, self-publish or do a mix of both? Agents – do you need one? Editors – do you need one? Are you seeking personal validation or commercial success – or both? Terri will review the publishing options and discuss the choices that today’s writers must make in their path towards publication. (For writers at all levels.)
Motivation is what gets us going. It increases our momentum from a static position towards something we want. It is personal. Discovering it is wonderful -- not recognizing it can be devastating. Terri conducts an interactive workshop to help writers discover their writing style, their writing priorities and goals, and to organize their strategies to achieve their writing or life goals. (For writers at all levels).
Nothing is certain in life but change so moving from one place on the writing/publishing continuum to the next can be exciting, stressful and challenging. Join Terri in an interactive discussion about those changes, expectations and challenges so that you’ll be forewarned and forearmed when your moving walkway begins shifting under your feet. Whether about-to-be-published, an author with a bunch of releases under their belt or a bestselling author, attendees will learn what to expect and how to deal with life as a glamorous (or not!) romance author. (For writers at all levels, but also of interest to published authors).
This workshop is a discussion about the process that begins when a writer receives ‘The Call’ fr4om a publisher and continues through the book reaching the shelf or retailer. The transition period, which can last from several months to years, is filled with unanticipated demands and can be very traumatic for the unprepared. Designed for those writers have manuscripts under consideration or authors who have just sold their first book, this discussion should make the process less mystifying and provide resources and contacts to help the author make some important decisions. (For experienced writers – PRO – and those close to being published).
As any writer knows, size (as in word count!) does matter and each length of romantic fiction has its own challenges and appeals to writers and readers. Plotting, characterization and the romantic relationship all need to be downsized when writing shorter-length fiction – or do they? Terri will discuss those challenges and offer tips on how to write compelling, emotional short stories, novellas and novels. (For writers at all levels.)
Workshops: General Interest Topics
The cover design and artwork on a romance novel is crucial in today’s market for the success of that book and the author, but the author usually has the least to say about its look! Who does? How are those covers planned and created? When did the covers change from ‘heaving bosoms’ to ‘naked male chests and abs’? Terri will walk you through the history of romance covers, force you to look at sexy cover models and even show you the mistakes along the way in this fun PowerPoint presentation of the history of romance novel cover art. (a projector and screen are needed for this presentation)
A Guide to Effective Meetings for the Eager, the Innocent and the Doomed
Do your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of Roberts’ Rules of Order? Do you wonder who was Roberts and why did he make up these rules? (Didn’t he have a real life?) Are they important to us now? Does even the thought of planning or running a meeting make your stomach quake and your hands twitch? Then this workshop is for you! The workshop will introduce (or remind!) attendees about the basics of effective meeting planning and execution. Additionally, this workshop should prove helpful to anyone who has to guide a group of people to a decision of any kind. Terri Brisbin, a multi-published author who has served as a RWA chapter officer as well as on many boards in different organizations and agencies, will lend her expertise and experience in parliamentary procedures and meeting facilitation to those interested in planning or conducting business meetings.
While researching for the next books in my A HIGHLAND FEUDING series, I knew I wanted to shift the focus from the Mackintoshes to the Camerons. So, before my recent trip to Scotland, I contacted the Clan Cameron Museum in Achnacarry for more information about the clan and its history. A new edition of their clan history had just been published so I ordered that. And while speaking with the curator, she told me about a brochure of places important to the Camerons and sent me a copy.
Filled with maps and photos and details, the brochure also gave a bit of folklore about the locations and buildings and ruins. One place immediately grabbed my attention – Caig Falls.
Located a few miles away from Achnacarry Castle, on the banks of Loch Arkaig, the falls send water over two levels and into a pool at the bottom before flowing into the loch. There is a path alongside the falls and you can climb to the top—I made it about ¾ of the way up! The water rushes down, loud and powerful, and the pool below is the center of one story in particular—the witch of Caig Falls.
According to legend, a witch lived above the falls and was blamed when the clan’s cattle got sick. Warriors sought her out and found only a cat in her cottage when they located it there in the woods. Suspecting that the cat was the witch’s familiar, they tossed it over the falls and it turned into the witch! She landed in the pool at the bottom and was never seen again. Oh, and the cattle got well, proving her guilt in the matter.
When I read that story, I knew I needed to see the fall during my trip. Driving on a one-lane road through heavily-wooded lands, my travel mate and I finally found the falls. They are spectacular—well worth the drive and the search and then the climb for the best view.
What an inspiration for my upcoming stories! You’ll meet the Witch of Caig Falls in my A HIGHLAND FEUDING series and discover the secret she hides and whether or not it’s related to her magical abilities or. . . something else indeed.