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I can tell that Gina has put a lot of time and effort into these workshops. I just finished up with her world building course, and I have to say, I truly enjoyed it! I had trouble deciding which course to take, but I'm glad I chose this one. Even if I hadn't learned anything (which I definitely did) the content and dialogue really highlighted the areas of my work that need more attention. And I wasn't expecting the nice little packet of accompanying documents I received after the course. I can't wait to get started using them!
I have been with Gina and she has been my mentor for my most of my journey through this wacky world of writing. I signed up for the classes to help me snap out of my funk, of writer's block, oh yeah it's real, but besides accomplishing that, I learned a lot. It reinforced things I knew but forgot to think about and I met and mingled with other people who made me feel like I was not alone in this endeavor. We all have our hidden fears when it comes to writing but sharing in this teaching environment gave me the courage to go ahead and believe in myself. And met more people that I am excited to see where they go on their journey. All around it was great. Learned- check, overcame doubt -check, reaffirmed I still have lots to learn but that's ok - triple check. When we stop learning we stop growing, and this is a great set of workshops to find more out about yourself and flourish. I took 5 of them and I wish I had time to have done them all.. hope she does them again soon. But I am glad she does private one on one's in the between. Cause I definitely love those too.
S. Behr, Author
It was difficult selecting a topic for the workshop because all seemed interesting. I went in for the character building workshop because I had a feeling that's where I needed to pay more attention to. I was amazed by the reception given to me by Gina and the kind of information given was simply brilliant. I learnt a lifelong thing within the hours spent.
I've never regretted partaking and would love to do so again and again.
Once upon a time
I wrote a story without a spine.
And every writing day
Would end in dismay.
Until one day
I found my way
To Gina's Story Structure Workshop.
Because of that,
Down I sat
To listen and learn
A lesson that turned
My head and tale around.
Until finally I could see
As if given a key
To the secret of Story Structure.
Ever since then
When I pick up my pen
I feel less dense
And the tale makes more sense.
The moral of this verse:
I should definitely stick to prose.
Bad poetry aside, I really did learn a lot of helpful information in your Story Structure Workshop, Gina, not only about the necessity and the mechanics of painting the broad picture of a story, but also how to apply your advice to my individual work. The story spine that you put together for us really helped me clarify the structure of both my projects. Workshopping my abstract thoughts aloud to others really helps me spell things out to myself, and I learned a lot by listening to others work out or describe their own story structures, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with such an imaginative group. Thanks, Gina, for getting us together.
I really appreciated your efforts, Gina, in advocating the Importance of Visual Effects to not only our stories and characters, but more importantly, our potential readers. Your enthusiasm for this topic and the application of your exercises inspired many improvements to my character and setting descriptions while helping me replace "tells" with "shows" in just a few words. The challenge of your writing exercises brought my brain to a sizzle while the special effects seeped from pen to paper, spurred by your encouragement to paint a picture with our prose. Your workshop gave me a taste of victory in the war on weary writing. Thanks for the entertaining and productive sharpening of the senses...
Just took the passive to active voice workshop. Loved having it clearly explained. Not only did Gina provide good examples but working on my manuscript and participating in going through other's helped so much to understand the voice and options to re-work the passive voice. Thank you Gina.
Your Plot/Conflict workshop resembled the reading of a good book or the viewing of a fun film, Gina. The time went fast, beginning with a clear explanation of not only the mechanics and technical aspects of plot and conflict, but also an emphasis on the importance of carefully considering and tending to these elements when creating our stories. The "rising action" segment of your workshop involved some much-needed contemplation of my own story plots, sub-plots, and attending conflicts. A real-life conflict, at least for me, came with the anticipation of presenting those viewpoints in semi-public, a reluctance that proved groundless given the supportive, enthusiastic and educational setting that you foster. All of that escalating action led to the "high point" of presenting my ideas to you and my fellow students. I found this exercise extremely beneficial on several levels: not only in clarifying my own plot points, but also in listening to and watching others do the same, which served as a fascinating workshop sub-plot. Your insightful analyses and commentary regarding our plotting, along with a lot of helpful group discussion, comprised the "falling action" portion of the workshop, closely followed by the resolution, or "happily-ever-after," for me, of gaining a better focus on my goal of crafting a story as opposed to bleeding onto paper or screen a series of unrelated events. The clear beginning, middle, and end of your carefully plotted workshop gave us new insight into our own and each others' stories, as well a clearer path (beginning with the three key steps) toward the message we want to convey. Like a good book or film, your workshop answered plot-related questions I didn't even know I had. I would recommend your attentive, helpful efforts to any story-teller of any genre. Thank you.
Gina is my go to editor. That's no secret, but she is more than just someone I have edit my work, she is someone I trust and she mentors me. That was something that happened naturally between us. This year has been hard for everyone, but even though we had or have time to write, it's been a struggle. The world in chaos we are all going through that something. I know I am not the only one who has had a hard time getting the words down and I have officially been in a writer's funk for months! I honestly didn't know what to do. I would stare at the computer and beg the keyboard to write it for me. It didn't listen. And I stared at the blinking cursor on the empty page. Then Gina came up with these workshops. I have already been through the process, so what could I possibly need out of a workshop about something I have already done? Answer... so much! I took the first one today, genres and themes...While it was something I am pretty familiar with, I learned a bunch of things, I didn't know or realize. It also became a mirror that showed me how I see my series that I am writing. What I saw, helped shove that block out of the way. I didn't expect that. More than that I got so much more than just knowledge out of it. Learning about the genres is really cool, because it's surprising to think about exactly what it means, and themes are always important. But to see it in an organized way, truly made me think three times about my own series. Not to mention the ones I plan for the future. Writing is such a lonely profession, most of us write alone. I don't actually know anyone that can concentrate enough to write with people around. Often we even try to go the whole process, from developmental to formatting on our own. Maybe because we can't afford it or maybe we think we think we already know what's best. But I will say it a million times, having a mirror, and a circle of people you trust will make your work the best it can be. The other thing I got out of today that was also surprising was hearing that I am not alone. People actually feel the way I do! Gina's greatest skill in my opinion from having worked with her for a long time, is her mentoring. She has always had a way with working me to the goal line. I have told the story how we met a thousand times, but what is the greatest thing I gain from our relationship, is what I continue to learn from her. These workshops are so informative, she didn't even get through all the plans she had, that is how much she has to offer. Is it a bad thing? No, it means she had sooo much information to share! I don't care how many books you have written, sometimes it's good to refresh your mind with new ideas, and being with these other authors you hear new ideas, or you may be able to share. It is 100 percent worth the time, and not just because I am her client, but it got me out of my funk which I needed. If you didn't know, Gina also gives coaching sessions. So if you can't make this round of workshops, and you get into a place where you just need to talk to someone to help you work through your issues with your WIP. She is my go to girl. She always gives everything she does 200 percent even when she shouldn't, but she can't help it. That is what makes her such a great editor and the perfect person to run these workshops. Don't stop learning. If you do, you are just going backwards and you might not even know it. And for me I believe we need refreshers, that's why I am taking 4 more classes! Don't miss out on these, but if you do, remember you can always do a one on one with her with her coaching service. The bottom line for me, don't miss out! Sign up, learn and be a part of something special.
S. Behr, Author a/k/a Stephanie Behrens
"Thanks, Gina, for the opportunity to participate in your Theme/Genre workshop. I have listened to and read many explanations of genre and theme, none of which measured up to your more interactive coaching and teaching methods, which really helped me get a firm grip on two concepts that have hovered beyond my grasp for a long time. I appreciated the time you spent emphasizing the importance of defining the genre of our stories, as well as your technique of helping us identify our themes and genres through exercises, our own examples, and group participation. I enjoyed learning about several genres and sub-genres that I didn't even know existed, thematic literary devices, tropes, and cliches, but the workshop really lived up to its name by going beyond mere definition to guide me to the unearthing of my very own previously unknown genre, a revelation that cleared many cobwebs from my brain and made room for some imagination. Your enthusiasm for what you do shines through in your attention to detail and the personal attention paid to all of us who participated. I had a great workshop experience, not only as a student, but also as a practitioner of the arts of writing and reading. I would recommend your workshops to anyone who wants to take the mystery out of the writing process and put it into their stories, where it belongs. Thanks, again."
This evening I attended the first of Gina's 3x3 writer's workshops which was all about genres. Now, I had previously interviewed Gina and I was floored at the amount of valuable information Gina shared there already. When I learned about her new courses, it was a no-brainer for me to enrol in all of them. I have to admit that I wasn't sure how you could possibly fill a whole workshop talking about genres. I thought, romance, cowboys, or self-help, law of attraction or whatever was about the extend of it. But having spoken to Gina I knew she had something up her sleeve, so I was willing to try and have faith in her skills as an editor, teacher and mentor. And boy, am I glad, I did! We even went over the time and could have gone way deeper still into the subject matter. Gina is a fountain of knowledge, drawing from years of experience. Her work is well-researched and she presented us not only with facts and definitions but we also had explanations, could ask questions and did exercises designed to gain a deeper understanding for ourselves in the subject matter, which helped me a lot to understand everything properly. I cannot put into words how grateful, appreciative and happy I am that I took the step to enrol. This has only been the first course of nine but I am confident I will learn so much more in each of the remaining eight courses that it will change my writing life forever. I can't wait for the next one and anyone reading this who is still undecided whether they want to book a course or Gina's individual services, please do. She is unbelievably good not only at her job but just as brilliant in teaching you new skills to greatly improve your writing and anything that is connected with it.
Thank you, Gina! You're the BOMB!!!
Tirza Schaefer, Author & Coach
(If you require personal authentication, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am more than happy to talk to you in person about my studies and work with Gina.)