Writing Wisdom

New information:

Donna Gillespie’s Adventures in E-Publishing Part 2…The ride continues!

Catherine Hedge’s post: You can get advice even from novices! The Expert

Donna Gillespie’s post detailing pearls of wisdom and how they influenced her writing: Notes from Leonard Bishop’s class,1977-1978

Catherine Hedge’s post including short, powerful statements from Mr. Bishop to keep you writing:  Bumper Stickers by Bishop

Reminiscences of Donna Gillespie including the influence Leonard Bishop had on her early career.  Adventures in E-Publishing, Round One

About this page:

For decades, members of Pen In Hand had the great fortune to listen to Leonard Bishop talk about the power of writing.  We were avid note-takers.  With each new post, we will share quotes from our seminars on this page.

There are two ways to use this information.

  • As a writer, these are descriptions of effective techniques you can use to write more dramatically.
  • If you are an avid reader, here is a challenge. When you read a scene that is particularly wonderful, go back to see if you recognize the author’s use of these techniques.  It’s like seeing a great Lego sculpture and then focusing in on one swiveling section that makes the whole piece come alive.

The next time you read a great chase scene, a battle, a fire-fighting scene, see if you  recognize these great strategies to make narration riveting.

Leonard Bishop on Narration: September 10, 1986

” When you are writing a large block of narration like a battle scene, you need to think like a movie director with a series of lenses.  In your first shot, take a panorama.  This gives you the general state of what is happening and where.  Next, focus in on a group of people.  Then zero in on an individual or two who are intimately involved in the condition.  Finally, you can detach from the scene to go inside a major character.  Internalize so you know what this is all about.  After you have established all the lenses, then you can shift to others as you need them to complete the scene.”

2 Responses to Writing Wisdom

  1. Rochelle says:

    Donna,
    I am a huge fan of your work, and I cannot believe you and my wonderful teacher Cathy are good friends. I would give so much to sit with you two some time and pick your brains. You are both wonderful. I will be on this page every chance I get. Thank you both.
    –Rochelle Hampton

  2. Rochelle, thank you so much! Cathy says you loved my book in high school — what a thrill to know that! Maybe some time the three of us could get together!

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