Ada Herald intern

ADA - "Writing is a habit," Haley Elizabeth Garwood, professor and author, said to the five Ada residents who attended her workshop at the Ada Public Library last Friday.

Like any other habit or skill, Garwood strongly suggested writing every day. It doesn't matter how much you write, Garwood said, but you need to be writing something each day.

Garwood, author of the Warrior Queen Series and a creative writing professor at Western Kentucky University, did not stop at Ada to give a workshop by chance. An author of historical fiction novels, Garwood has her own historical ties to Ada.

Ada was the birthplace of her grandmother, Emma Garwood, and though she never knew her grandmother, an old picture of Emma Garwood sparked her interest.

In the 1960's, Garwood began visiting Ada with her sister-in-law Mary Shadley Wales. Through her search, she created her own ties to Ada, which she now visits a couple times a year.

Garwood's workshop entitled "The Fourteen Commandments of Good Writing" was an interactive experience with local writers bringing their ideas, problems and questions to Garwood for advice and suggestions.

"Because it was such a small group, we were able to ask individual questions and get answers. That was so helpful," local resident and aspiring novelist Michelle Hall said.

Her mother, Sandy Hall, agreed. "It was wonderful," she said, "I enjoyed it and it was very informative."

Some of Garwood's commandments regarded developing character conflict both internal and external, using the five senses in description, and being sure to both self-edit and peer-edit your writings.

For the rest of this story, check the 10-11 print edition of The Ada Herald.