In the business world, the old saw goes something like this: the secret of success is not what you know but who you know. In the world of writers, we might adopt the phrase that educators have used for centuries: it’s not what you know but whether you can apply that knowledge. As prima facie evidence I’d like to nominate Kathryn Craft, whose brilliant summary of Jim Frey’s workshop at the Write Stuff writers’ conference stands as Exhibit One:
“Every good story starts with a character at the extreme end of the bell curve, we learned from our ‘How to Plot Like the Pros’ workshop leader Jim Frey, and in his own persona Jim provided a great character for the story of this year’s Write Stuff conference. As for plot, the dialectic would go something like this: ‘the wannabe author insists on writing by the seat of her pants,’ meets opposition by Jim Frey—‘that’s not going to work’—creating a new situation in which the wannabe author embraces outlining and actually feels that writing a salable novel within a reasonable time period might be possible.”
OK, big sentence but you get the point. While most of us were blogging about the wonderful job Kathryn Craft did as chair of the annual conference by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers’ Group, Kathryn busied herself applying what she’d heard in class.
Now that’s craft.