Simon Wood

Simon Wood's Blog

More conference news!

On May 14th, I’m going to be a presenter at the Killer Workshop presented by Capital Crimes & Palmetto Sisters in Crime chapters. This is a 1-day virtual & in-person conference. Yes, I will be there in person. After two years of being shut in from the world, I am emerging where I get to see real life people. I think I’ve forgotten what that feels like.

My workshop will be on short stories. If you’d like more details, go here.

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My online workshop on Point-of-View writing starts on April 4th. Oddly, 2022 has proved very popular for this topic. I’m slated to give a shortened version of this workshop to four different writing organization this year already. If you want to learn how to keep your POV straight in your books, here’s what to expect from the workshop and you can sign up here:

Can’t decide who’s the best character to tell your story? You don’t have to settle for just a single character’s point of view. I’ll discuss the techniques and the decisions that have to be made when writing in multiple points of view.

Weaving multiple viewpoint characters in and out of a story is like standing trial and knowing what the judge, the prosecuting attorney and all 12 members of the jury are thinking. Each person is witnessing the same information, but each individual interpretation is different. But it’s not like you can crack into everyone’s mind simultaneously. Even if you could, it’d be impossible to comprehend what 14 people are saying if they’re all talking at the same time.

Allowing multiple characters to tell your story can add depth and insight that a single point of view may not be able to convey. Most stories have plenty of characters with their own tales to tell. Multiple POV characters add depth to a novel. Suddenly the story is being told from the perspective of multiple witnesses, all putting their distinctive interpretations on events. But the inclusion of multiple voices can bring with it its own problems. Those multiple points of view can get out of control and turn the story into a mess. In a novel, just like in a conversation, not everyone can speak at once. There are plenty of ways to give each character a voice without having them talk over one another. Even if you’re only writing from a single point-of-view or utilizing an omniscient POV approach, going through these exercises will help ensure there’s a smooth transition between characters.

Lesson Plan:

  • Lesson #1: Creating a hierarchy of POV characters
  • Lesson #2: Limit the number of POV characters
  • Lesson #3: Pick the right character for the right job
  • Lesson #4: POV Toolbox Tricks #1— Use chapter and/or scene breaks & Changing Spaces
  • Lesson #5: POV Toolbox Tricks #2—Passing the baton, Mixing perspectives & Using distinctive voices
  • Lesson #6: POV Plan Review

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2022 is turning into the year of the conference speaker for me. I, along with Leslie Budewitz and Jessica Brody, will the presenters at a virtual conference on fiction writing on May 14, 2022! It’s put on by the Northwest chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. I will be discussing point-of-view writing. Check out “MWA-NW MAY 2022 MINI CONFERENCE ON CRAFT” and signup here!

I hope to see you there.

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With much regret, I feel Charles Dickens’ words need a little editing/updating for the times we live in…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

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I’ve scheduled my writing workshops for the first half of 2022 and they are as follows:

  • PLOT THICKENERS (Starts March 7th)
  • SHIFTING POVs (Starts April 4th)
  • KILLER SUSPENSE (Starts May 2nd)
  • SHORT STORIES (Starts July 11th)
  • AUTHOR PROFESSIONALISM (Starts August 8th)

As you can see, my new workshop on query letters and synopsis writing is set.  Thanks to everyone who contacted me after my last newsletter.

Course and signup details can be found here.


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My writing life is very much like a duck on a pond.  It looks as if all is smooth and calm as the duck guides along the water.  However, what the observer can’t see is all the thrashing going on below the surface.  That’s how I approach my career as a writer. To my audience, everything is calm and collected because I work hard to keep control of all the chaos that goes on behind the scenes.  Today, I’m going to clue you in on some of weirdness that I’ve hidden from you all.

Recently, I was asked about odd incidents that have occurred during my writing career. Let me say there’ve been a lot. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been recounting some of my weirder experiences on social media for discussion and I thought I would share some with you.

  • Said to me at a book signing: “You have amazing skin for your age. How old are you again?”
  • I was held at knife point by an attendee at a private book signing.
  • A reader gave me cheese-flavored cat food as a gift at a book signing.
  • Said to me by an attendee just before I was going to make a speech: “My son wrote very well in high school and he would have been on the New York Times bestsellers list if he pursued it so I just want to let you know you’re nothing special.”
  • I have made several interviewers cry during an interview.
  • I was put on a bookstore blacklist.
  • The most commonly asked question at my book signings: “Where are the restrooms?”
  • A translator threatened to rewrite the book’s ending if I didn’t because they found it offensive. I didn’t.
  • Once, event security blocked me from entering my own event not believing I could be an author.
  • Said to me at a book signing: “I’m going to return it after I’ve read it. I haven’t paid for a book in years.”
  • Early on in my career, I had a stalker. It went on for about a year.
  • The first time I saw my book in a store, I stalked the person who picked up a copy to see if they bought it.
  • My nonfiction has been plagiarized…a lot!
  • I was booked to speak to a large group of writers when I got there, it was three writers in a storage room.

I hope you’ve liked these glimpses into my crazy writing world.  If you’d like to hear more, let me know.

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Life has taken me offline for the foreseeable future. Last weekend, a truck and horse trailer crashed into me while riding my bike. My bike was totaled (and is in pieces) and I have a separated shoulder. Luckily, I landed in a dirt drainage ditch which minimized the injuries. I’m all braced up to keep my arm immobile. I have set up for voice to text so I won’t be entirely unable to work.

Anyway, here’s to a speedy recovery.

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