Thanks for your interest in our workshops and retreat programs for all genres!

Award winning author Mary Buckham and NYT best seller Dianna Love enjoy sharing insights on craft and the publishing business across the country at conferences of all genres. Any program from Break Into Fiction® works for any genre of commercial fiction. ALL of their workshops are interactive – they bring exercises and worksheets for the attendees so they can work on THEIR OWN stories. And – all the workshops are useful to both a Plotter and a Pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants with no outlining).

Mary and Dianna’s downloadable bios and photos are on the Media page.  The following list of workshops are arranged in order of time and cost.  Depending on their joint schedules, Dianna and Mary are happy to both present at your conference or retreat, but they can teach the programs individually as well:

*PLEASE NOTE – none of the following workshops are the Two-Day Power Plotting Retreats. For all the details on that click here.

One Hour Workshop –
Instructor: Mary Buckham or Dianna Love
Number of attendees: Unlimited as long as there is a moderator who can take questions in a large crowd with a second microphone
Attendee writing level: Suited for new writers, published authors, plotters and pantsers
Attendees receive: Handouts/worksheets created for working on their own story so they apply what they learn immediately (*Note – we’ll supply worksheets for 50 and under, but will need printing reimbursed for more than 50 attendees)
Fee: None (if already attending event)
Expenses comped/reimbursed: Event fee comped
Extras – Door prizes provided
Audio/Visual required – Overhead projector or LCD preferred, but not necessary unless attendee number is over 100; microphone necessary for more than 50 attendees

Workshop Titles & brief description (email for more details on a specific one):
Power Openings – Find out why an editor/agent will boot a story on the first page…and how to take them to that important fifth page.
Power Pacing – Find out what makes a book a ‘page-turner’ without explosions on every page while keeping tension high and emotional depth engaging.
Do you know what a BIG story is? – Many rejections come back “not big enough” even with major subplots and plenty of word count…find out why and how to grow your story.
Male POV – Understand how men think, act and speak differently than women to power up your male characters.
The Power of Romantic Elements for Any Story – Whether you write thrillers, suspense, fantasy, mystery or any other genre, the romantic element in the story adds character development, conflict and the emotional tension readers crave. Find out how to include a romantic element without turning the story into a romance and while also supporting the central plot. *This workshop was first taught at a Writers Digest conference in New York and the response has been so strong we’re adding it to our permanent schedule.
Break Into Fiction®: Troubleshooting Plot Holes
Plotters and Pansters both struggle with common story issues. Even the best writers discover plot holes either during the writing process or the revision process. But not everyone wrestles with the same challenges. Learn how to locate these weak spots and strengthen your story when revising.
Special program developed for Published Author Tracts – please email to discuss these one-hour workshops or panels.

 

Two Hour Workshops –

Instructor: Mary Buckham and/or Dianna Love (Two instructors allows for working with more writers on individual stories, but one instructor can teach these)
Number of attendees: unlimited as long as there is a moderator who can take questions in a large crowd with a second microphone
Attendee writing level: Suited for new writers, published authors, plotters and pantsers
Attendees receive: Handouts/worksheets created for working on their own story so they apply what they learn immediately (*Note – we’ll supply worksheets for 50 and under, but will need printing reimbursed for more than 50 attendees)
Fee: None
Expenses comped/reimbursed: Event fee, hotel and air
Extras – Door prizes provided
Audio/Visual required – Overhead projector or LCD preferred but not necessary unless attendee number is over 100; microphone necessary for more than 50 attendees

*Any two of the above can be used as a two-hour workshop. 

The following workshop requires two hours to present: 

Twist Points: Ratchet up the Tension – There’s a logic and symmetry to twist points in successful commercial fiction that keeps the tension high and pushes your character to do more than just face a new threat. Learn when and how to create power-packed Twist Points in your story!

 

One Day Retreat –

Instructors: Mary Buckham and Dianna Love (prefer to have both instructors when possible to allow opportunity to work one-on-one with more stories)
Number of attendees:  Up to 200
Attendee writing level: Suited for new writers, published authors, plotters and pantsers
Attendees receive: Handouts/worksheets created for working on their own story so they apply what they learn immediately (*Note – Dianna and Mary will supply worksheets for 50 and under, but will need printing reimbursed for more than 50 attendees)
Fee: $600
Expenses comped/reimbursed: Event fee, hotel and air
Extras – Door prizes provided; Mary and Dianna are available for receptions, Q&A sessions, meet and greet, etc.
Audio/Visual required – Overhead projector or LCD plus microphone for more than 50 attendees

*Any of the above one and/or two-hour workshops can be combined to create a ONE DAY workshop (please email first to discuss the combination).  EACH of the workshops below is a full day of instruction: 

Break Into Fiction® Power Writing Day

SUPER POWER OPENINGS
Can you sell your book based on your opening alone? Agents, editors and thousands of readers are going to decide to choose your book based on your opening. Is yours ready? Bring the first 150 words of your story to test its strength.
ANALYZE THIS: SCENE SURVIVAL TEST: Test the Strength of Your Scene
Submissions live or die by the strength of scenes. Are your scenes loaded with key elements or bloated with filler? Bring a scene from your story and come prepared to test its strength.
ACTIVE SETTINGS
Setting can bog down pacing. Give your setting an active role in your story. Use Deep POV to spin boring descriptions into engaging prose. Bring a brief passage/excerpt [approximately 100 words] of setting from your manuscript for deep analysis.
HOW MANY HOOKS ARE ENOUGH?
Whether you’re a plotter or seat-of-the-pants writer, the simplest way to avoid a sagging middle is to understand how to continually build hooks into your story. So how many hooks are enough? Knowing the answer to that question can be the difference between a compelling story and one that drags.

Break Into Fiction® From Thought to Plot

Mary and Dianna will show you how to develop a budding idea BEFORE you begin to plot. This is not the 2 day Power Plotting retreat, but a brainstorming workshop where they will show you where they see stories and characters break down before the point of plotting. The backbone of a strong story begins with developing these critical elements in the early stages of brainstorming so that you aren't trying to "shore" up your story later. Most stories that "don't work" had the same problems at the inception stage, but once a writer has invested a significant amount of work in manuscript pages it becomes daunting to back up and make changes so they press ahead, band-aiding weak spots.

Come to this workshop with a "NEW" idea you have not fully developed. Learn how to spin your story ideas and characters to be fresh and different build a strong infrastructure for the plot.

Break Into Fiction® Character-Driven Plotting Elements

(Note: this is not the 2 Day plotting retreat) – Five KEY Elements - Character, Conflict, Twist Points, Power Openings and Power Pacing – are at the heart of every powerful story. Spend a day learning how to up the stakes at every twist in your story and build a page-turning novel.

*In both of the above workshops, attendees will receive worksheets for applying what they learn immediately to their own stories and time to fill in the worksheets intermittently throughout the day.

 

Keynote Speaking –

NYT best seller Dianna Love enjoys speaking to both writers and readers.  She does not charge a fee to speak at a writer’s conference/retreat or for a reader event, only asking that her travel and accommodation expenses be covered.  To inquire about a future event, please contact her at .  She lives in Peachtree City, GA, traveling from the Atlanta airport.  You can find Dianna’s bio on the Media page.

Award-winning author Mary Buckham has worked with thousands of writers both on-line and in live workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada. She loves meeting writers at all levels of their development and readers who simply love to understand and talk about books. To see if she’ll be presenting at a library, Conference or Chapter event near you visit her website www.MaryBuckham.com or contact her at . You can find Mary’s bio on the Media page.

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