Friday, October 24, 2014

Kapolei Library Panel Discussion: Short Story Writing

Panel members Laurie Hanan, Greg Field, Doris Chu,
Gail Baugniet, Kent Reinker, and Dawn Casey welcome the audience

As moderator, I opened
the panel discussion with a comparison:
Short Story or Novel: What’s the Difference?
Counting off the differences. 
 On Saturday, October 25, 2014, at Kapolei Public Library, Sisters in Crime/Hawaii presented a panel discussion on short story writing to an audience interested in reading and writing mystery stories as well as other genres. As the group’s president, I had the pleasure of moderating the discussion. 

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii (SinC/HI) is the local chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc., an international organization consisting of "authors, booksellers, editors, agents, librarians, critics, teachers and readers, whose primary purpose is support through communication.” 

As “Sisters-and-Misters” members of Sisters in Crime/Hawaii, we encourage new writers with various projects throughout the year. One such project consisted of compiling and publishing an anthology of mystery short stories set in Hawaii, MYSTERY IN PARADISE 13 Tales of Suspense, available in eBook and print at 

Our discussion for Saturday afternoon addressed the different aspects of writing a short story. Panel members were SinC/Hawaii members Kent Reinker, Laurie Hanan, Greg Field, Doris Chu, Dawn Casey, and Gail Baugniet. 

Kent Reinker
Plot Construction
Captivating the audience!
Kent Reinker, the author of the cross genre mystery/medical/sci-fi novel entitled If Pigs Could Cry tackled the topic of Plot Construction, detailing the steps on how to convert an interesting anecdote into a memorable short story.
One of his suggestions: Tantalize your readers - Get them thinking!

Dawn Casey
Creating Setting
Author of the children's Christmas book set in Hawaii: A Christmas Gift, and librarian for the Hawaii State Library, Dawn Casey covered Creating Setting within a short story. Her advice included an important that all writers, not only beginners, need to be reminded of: Weave details about setting into the description of action. 


Doris Chu
Point of View
Journalist and screenwriter Doris Chu focused on View Point used in telling a story. She described the different points of view used by authors to tell their story and stressed that choosing the view in how the story is told is very important.
Introduction of our next speakers: Laurie and Greg


Laurie Hanan
Character Development
Laurie Hanan, a cover artist (as demonstrated with MYSTERY IN PARADISE) and the author of the Louise Golden mysteries, explored Character Development and Creating Memorable Characters. Laurie stated that the reader experiences the setting through the character and the plot develops through the charter, making the character the most important element in any story. 

Greg Field
Functions of Dialog
Greg Field, editor and crime novelist author of Red Dirt White Bones, discussed the myriad Functions of Dialog. He explained that dialog is the verbal and non-verbal interchange between two or more characters.
Throughout the panel discussion, each participant offers their views on the topics presented, giving an overview of the basic requirements in writing a novel. 
In 2015, Sisters in Crime/Hawaii will continue to hold panel discussions at libraries around O’ahu. Anyone interested in hosting one of our panel discussions is welcome to contact me at:

A special Mahalo to David Jones for taking and sharing all the photographs displayed here.


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