Workshop Preparation

I’ve been using some spring break time to look at the stories of my compatriots at the upcoming Paradise Lost 3. I’ve read seven stories and it’s interesting, the things that looking at other people’s work will teach you. You see the reasons why your own stories don’t work, because someone does something you should have thought of. You see ways in which your experience might be able to give an insight to someone else, because they aren’t seeing something you can see.

One of the ways that Taos Toolbox has improved me is that I am always looking for the way in which a scene contributes to the story that we’re reading. I used to write a lot for texture, diversions that I wanted to take, and ideas I wanted to flesh out. I think that’s really important to explore in those first drafts, but ultimately, there has to be a thrust forward, a movement toward the end. So, yeah, I guess that little road trip was worth something.


What’ll be interesting for this workshop is that the work I have submitted is pre-Taos. I have edited out a piece of the old Troll story, and I can see what a hot mess that sucker is, how it really wants to be more than one project, but how enamored I was with the coolness of the research, and how I wanted to put as much of it in as possible. Oy. This does not behoove well for the future. Will I be always doing this as I look back on my work? I believe that I will.


The rest of the break should be some writing on my novel, now that I’ve got the workshop prep done. This afternoon I have a little bill paying to do, followed up by writing a letter in Japanese for a thank you. Haven’t done that for a while. Should be a little adventure.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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