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Insider Workshop: “What’s the Big Idea?" with David Rocklin

  • Saturday, April 01, 2023
  • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
  • The Mizell Center, 480 S Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262


  • Premium Membership includes free entry to all General Speaker Meetings, Insider Workshops and Writing Labs for the year. You must be logged in to select this option.
  • Standard or Student members who register on or before the date of the preceding month’s Insider Workshop will receive an early registration discount of $25 (33% off the regular $75 fee). You must be logged in to select this option.
  • Standard and Student members are provided a la carte access to Insider Workshops at the Member rate of $75. You must be logged in to select this option.
  • Non-Members pay $150 for each Insider Workshop. Please note that if you choose to join the Guild before registering for this event you will pay a $75 Membership fee, and then the Member rate of $75 for the event—the same $150 total, but you’ll then gain all the benefits of membership in the Guild (including the Membership rate of $75 at any future Workshop).

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What’s the Big Idea?
Generating and Expanding New Ideas

About David Rocklin

David Rocklin is a novelist living in L.A. He’s the author of The Luminist (published in the U.S and Italy) and Foreward LGBTQIA award-winning The Night Language. He also hosts and curates Roar Shack, a long-running L.A. reading series that has given him high visibility in the lit community and a wonderful platform to promote his work. He’s also set to launch a writers retreat based in Idyllwild, CA, which will host writers interested in everything from idea generation to revision, navigating the outline phase and handling criticism and rejection, and will be based upon The Write Formula, his writing craft book which will be released in 2023.


“THE NIGHT LANGUAGE is a rare achievement: lush language and classic storytelling with a contemporary feel that renders its history palpable. It is also a love letter to the artist, the outcast, the othered.”―Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

“A LITERARY FEAST of words and exquisite turns of phrase. Set against a tropical backdrop of simmering unrest, this elegantly constructed historical novel cast a quiet spell that gathered momentum right through to shocking final scenes of astonishing emotional power. ANJALI BANERJEE, author of Haunting Jasmin

Not since Michael Ondaatje’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT has a novel haunted language, history, and heart so intensely. Lidia Yukvanitch, author of The Small Backs of Children and Chronology Waters.

Description of talk:

Hour One: Generating Ideas:

You’d like to write a novel, or perhaps a short story, or maybe a memoir, or some flash fiction, but you don’t really have an idea of what you’d like to write. You just know you want to. You HAVE to.

Perhaps you do have a germ of an idea. An inkling about where your story will be set, or when, or who it will (maybe) be about. Nothing specific, nothing detailed enough that you can foresee all the events, but you have a fuzzy sense of it. You just can’t quite think of the right opening, or the next thing, and the one after that. So now what?

Here’s a frequent headscratcher:  You’re burning up the keyboard writing your latest tome, then suddenly, you HIT A WALL. 

How do you overcome these pesky problems?

David Rocklin will provide innovative idea generating exercises to help you smash through any wall.

Hour Two: Expanding your ideas

At this point, we’ve warmed up. We’ve done some exercises that hope- fully generated one or two ideas, or at least illuminated the idea(s) you already have. If you did have an idea, we’ve started to explore some new perspectives about it. Perhaps it’s already started to morph a bit, into a timeframe you didn’t consider, or a character that hadn’t previously occurred to you.

Most importantly, we’ve started you on the path to realizing your dream of writing. Together, we’re going to finish what you start.

Now you have something of an idea. The setting, the characters, the plot, the end it’s all headed toward wait to be found. Somewhere in that idea, the story lives. What now?

Let’s talk about research tips and hacks to really flesh that idea out for you!


Unable to attend, no problem, all registrants will receive a video replay of this presentation. Please allow up to 48 hours after the event to receive your video replay.

To receive a full refund minus a $25 cancellation processing fee, attendees must cancel their registration 5 days before the event. No refunds will be given after that time. To cancel your registration, go to and click on the blue icon at the top right of any page. Enter user name and password and click "LOG IN". On the next screen click "My event registrations". Select event and cancel registration. 

We may take photos and/or videos at any of our events for promotional purposes.Meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. 

Ready to become a member of the Palm Springs Writers Guild? Please click here.

Event Contact: Eduardo Santiago