Quotations From a Writing Workshop

DeskTop Screen Shot by Kibzz

Source: Kibzz

This fall I took an eight week workshop with Anosh Irani given by the Quebec Writers Federation. It was an inspiring course with lots of creative participants.

Maybe it was a case of when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Whatever it was, here are some insights from the workshop:


Keep digging for the truth.

Truth is disturbing. The writer’s job is only to look at the truth.

Dialogue must reveal some truth about the character.

Autobiography has to do with fact; fiction has to do with truth.


Art is meant to inspire and energize. It’s like a blood transfusion.

Create memorable characters with very few strokes.


You are writing because you have a story to tell.

Write to define the chaos.

You don’t  know what you want to say until you write it.

If you have nothing to say but something to discover, write.


 You have to put your soul on the pages.

The writer learns to disappear.

Learn to approach your writing with playfulness.

A great idea gets lost if you think about it too much.

Don’t doubt the process because that’s when the magic is gone.


The main character’s desire keeps increasing and it keeps out of reach.

As long as your writing reveals character,  showing or telling doesn’t matter.

Character is action. We are defined by what we do. Is first person harder than third person? It’s all excruciating.

The opening must give us something of the character. It sets the tone.


A good ending has a sense of continuity. The story continues to live and breathe.


Source:  NASA Goddard Photo and Video

3 thoughts on “Quotations From a Writing Workshop

  1. I like the quote, “The main character’s desire keeps increasing and it keeps it of reach” best. It reminds me of what I tell my kids in language arts when we get to fiction writing: “Torture your main character. Think of what they have to lose if they don’t achieve their goal, and make it increasingly unlikely that they will succeed.” The kids like the “torture” part best. 🙂


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