Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Screenwriters Association
of Santa Barbara


Novelist and Santa Barbara Writers Conference Owner

Monte Schulz

Thursday, February 10, 7 pm*

*Come early to join in interactive discussion, get to know each other,
and network with local talent. The speaker presentation will start around 7:30pm
Goleta Borders
7000 Marketplace Drive

EE and open to everyone!
Monte Schulz received his M.A. in American Studies from UCSB and published his first novel, Down By The River, in 1990. He spent the next twelve years writing a three-part epic, which he wrote for his father, the late cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz. The series of novels set in the Jazz Age began with This Side Of Jordan and the second book, The Last Rose of Summer, is due out this March. Monte has been a workshop leader at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference since 2001 and bought the conference last year. The 2011 SBWC will take place June 18-23 at the Hotel Mar Monte.

Literary Gumbo: Monte Schulz from Literary Gumbo on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meeting minutes for Thursday, January 13, 2011

Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara convened our first meeting of 2011 at our new venue at the Goleta Borders in the Costco shopping center. Queen of Espionage, and longtime SASB supporter, Gayle Lynds spoke to a captivated group of writers.

It took Gayle 20 years to write her latest novel, The Book of Spies, the beginning of her first series. She did a lot of research before and during the writing process, and enjoyed it. “Research,” she said, “is better than sharpening pencils to avoid writing.” If she hadn’t written about a subject that fascinates her, the book would never have been finished.Gayle knows a fraction of the ending before she starts to write. She doesn’t worry about ending chapters with a cliffhanger, rather she relies on the rhythm of the story to tell her where to break. At the end of a workday she writes one sentence at the top of a new page telling what will happen in the next scene or chapter so she has something to start with the next day.

As a writer she makes a contract with the reader to give them something of value. She warns new writers against creating cardboard characters, and told us to make sure they come across as real people. The hero must be capable of action, plus have one flaw to make him appear human. The villain has to be a worthy opponent who believes in what he wants, not somebody we can ridicule, and he should have a redeeming quality to add to his realism.

Consistency is also important. If there’s violence throughout the story, she gives the reader violence in the end.

Gayle offered excellent advice to beginning writers. “The way you learn to write is to just sit down and do it and make a lot of mistakes,” she said. For example she told us starting a story off with ‘If she’d only known…’ is amateurish. But she told new writers to make their mistakes now because when they get famous, people will know who they are.

A true professional, Gayle is the award-winning author of nine spy novels and she ended the evening by signing her latest, The Book of Spies.