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RANGELY | Earlier this month a dozen young budding writers in Rangely gathered to develop their skills and learn about the writing process from local author, director and producer Peter Forbes.
Forbes, who grew up near Dinosaur, spent more than an hour answering questions and giving advice to the middle and high school aged students, all while keeping them giggling with his wit and understanding of youth. He told the students, “The audience I really care about are people that live in places like Rangely. Most stories aren’t written for rural people.”
Students were captivated by Forbes’ description of what makes an audience connect with a story, using examples from popular movies, books and experiences they could relate to.
Attendees were quick to ask the author questions about creating believable characters, editing and overcoming writers block. Forbes informed them that, “Most good writing is a lot of going back and editing.” He also explained the importance of outlining and processing criticism.
At the end of the session Forbes held a drawing, giving away a signed copy of the recently released audio drama “Iliad House,” which he produced.
Working with local youth is something Forbes highly values and says he enjoys doing. “I love sharing what I’ve experienced and what I’m doing. I’m appreciative of the people who’ve helped me and I want to pass that on,” he said. Rangely, in particular, is a place that he relishes spending time in, working with young writers. “I love Rangely and the community,” he said. “It’s great to see younger people writing. In a smaller community it’s sometimes harder to pursue the arts. If I can help with that, it’s awesome.”
Forbes says it’s not just about helping others though, that he gets a lot out of these events as well. “I still have a long way to go in my goals. When I’m sharing I’m refining what I know, I’m learning.”
Forbes spent his youth locally as a homeschooler and participated in Rangely sports, Math Club, and the Missoula Children’s Theatre workshops, which he says partially inspired him to become a filmmaker. As a kid he says he often hid under his blankets after bedtime with a flashlight, pencil and paper working on his latest story. He holds a bachelor’s in literature and is currently pursuing a masters in film from Columbia University in New York. Forbes, who is only 30 years old, is a novelist (his book “Come What May” is available at the Rangely library), a feature film director, an award-winning screenwriter (his short script is in the latest “Waving Hands”), and an audio drama producer.