Young Voices Conference - Plotting Workshop with Benjamin Gabbay

October 23, 2013 | Ray

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This Saturday's Young Voices Conference at Toronto Reference Library features workshops by artists and writers, one of whom is 18 year old Benjamin Gabbay.  Author of the intricate Wingheart: Luminous Rock, he'll be leading a workshop on plotting - or how to develop your story idea into an expanded plot line.  Here's his own brief intro to plotting.

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So what could you expect at the workshop?

As Benjamin describes, his workshop "aims to help others with techniques to brainstorm the perfect story and to fend off writer's block by stringing together a watertight plot line. My method involves searching out the morsels of things we each find fascinating or inspiring, then assembling them by quizzing ourselves as if we were private investigators shaping our own crime to unravel. Since this quiz has no wrong answers, it's much like riddle-solving with our creative right brain. We'll be using these techniques to try and craft our own impromptu story right in the workshop."  Cool. 

So you may be wondering how the bleep is a young writer able to write a novel at all, especially while doing school and everything else in life? Does it require hermitting away and forgetting about other details in life, like matching up socks?

In his lucky case, his homeschooling has enabled him the time needed to develop his craft.  While Benjamin is quite aware how lucky he is, he doesn't advocate other teens to drop out of school to write.  In conversation, Benjamin mentioned two other young authors, Jake and Luke Reaume, who were able complete their fast-paced fantasy novel, Draconean, while attending conventional high school. Yes, it is possible to do!

OK, but how does anyone turn a story into a novel? How do you write something so epic? 

Gabbay describes, "Wingheart was a very unique development in the way that the seeds for the entire trilogy have been with me for just about as long as I can remember. Though their names have changed and personalities matured, my characters have been with me for just as long. The earliest incarnation of Wingheart: Luminous Rock is an approximately 30-page 'manuscript' I typed when I was 10, which spawned from a few individual scenes I wrote between the ages of 7 and 9. I completed a longer draft when I was 12, another when I was around 14, and a final one when I was 16, peaking at the 680 pages it is now. About the same time I finished Luminous Rock, I completed my outline drafts for the remaining two books in the trilogy, so I could be sure it formed one comprehensive plot.

Much of the trilogy's development boiled down to spending many years quizzing myself and my characters--and so that's exactly what I hope to share in my workshop."

Fantastic. Clearly lots of tenacity and hard work, perhaps even a broken keyboard or two goes into the production of a novel.  We're thrilled to have Gabbay's plotting workshop offered in this year's Young Voices Conference.  Will you be at this year's Young Voices Conference on Saturday? 

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Interested in Gabbay's work? Wingheart: Luminous Rock is the first book in the planned Wingheart trilogy.  Luminous Rock tells the story of two brothers caught in a pursuit by an immortal madman from Earth's parallel dimension of Arkane, the brothers' homeland, a world where myth, magic, and the supernatural interweave with reality - and is available at the library.  The second installation of the trilogy, Wingheart: Spirit's Gate, is scheduled for publication in Fall 2014.

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