Aspiring area writers gathered on Saturday morning to learn from a La Crosse native with a unique career path.
John DeDakis is the former CNN Senior Copy Editor for "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." He became a novelist after retiring from CNN four years ago. He travels around the country as a writing coach, public speaker, and manuscript editor.
In the workshop, "Novice to Novelist," he works with authors on writing techniques, plot development, finding an agent, and publishing work.
"Most writers don't realize that the first draft is terrible, and it's the re-write where you spend most of your time and where you sort of buff and polish to make it better," DeDakis said.
DeDakis started as a radio broadcaster in La Crosse for WLCX Radio. He moved to television reporting for eight years in Madison before beginning his 25-year career with CNN.
He said anyone is capable of achieving success if you find what you are good at and what you love.