As promised I’m chatting about the courses I attended last week. I found them all very useful, and there was a lovely group on each workshop, which really makes a difference ((I bet they were fed up of you going on like you know everything? Look at me I wrote a novel in a month, blah, blah, blah. Just call me Miss know it all, all the ideas with no idea!! OMG I’m totally on point this morning))
Whatever brackets. I’m just very enthusiastic about it that’s all!
Creative Writing Workshop – 2 hours – Alex Davis
This was very good as it’s interesting to hear about different styles of writing, how other people work, etc. We did a couple of writing exercises to develop a character and include their favourite things – colour, food, interests etc. We then made up a possible story – thinking about the beginning, middle and end of a story and how we can develop that story by planning the chapters and potential plots. There are so many different ways you can start a novel before you even start writing a chapter. I’m generally not a planner – I have an idea and get on and write the story, but everyone is different, and it has to be what works for you. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and think you’re doing it wrong, especially when new to writing. But, I think it’s important to do what suits you in the time you have available to write.
How to Write a Novel – 2 hours – Alex Davis
As many of you know that read this blog, I have written a Novel. But I don’t think it does any harm to keep learning. There is always something new that can help you develop your talents. I’m a novice in the writing world, so I maybe should have done this research beforehand – but never mind. ((That’s the enthusiastic side of you – or childish as I like to call it. Possibly reckless and a little weird)) Well, we did sort of agree I was a little weird for writing a novel with no plan and no idea, but hey it worked out in the end – I wrote it didn’t I? ((Calm down duckie, don’t scrunch up your notebook. Haha – I laughed out loud at that one – actually can I do that? Do I have a voice – I’m having an identity crisis)) Okay you have a crisis I will carry on thanks.
Anyway, to the course. The part I found most useful was the idea of planning a novel – something I need to do on book 2 in the series as it’s way more complicated to write a stand-a-alone book in a series. Like I said I’m generally not a planner, so this doesn’t come naturally to me. Ideally, you want readers to pick up any book and be able to read it, but equally, if it’s a series you need to give it back story without giving too much of the game away if they haven’t read the first one. ((That sounds more complicated than my crisis)) So, for this novel I know I have to plan a little bit. This course would be useful to anyone, it helps you to identify times you can write, your writing areas, barriers and a whole host of others hints and tips to set you on your writing journey. It’s a source of great encouragement to talk with like-minded people.
Writing Fantastic Tales – 3 hours- Ruth de Haas
This was about writing sci-fi, horror, and Fantasy as well as the journey as a writer from starting out to hopefully being published. We discussed useful books to read in these genres. A workshop on writing your elevator pitch and various other pointers on publishing and thinking about the market for your book. It’s so interesting to hear everyone else’s writing journeys; and how different they all are. Again, a beneficial course. This is a 3-part course, but you can dip in and out of them. Unfortunately, I cannot make the others. I was blown away by some of the planning for the epic sci-fi stories – but then again how could you keep all that in your brain! If you’re interested in writing or have already started writing in these genres, I would expect you would get a lot out of the three-part course.
So, to summarise ((I wish you would))
Whatever stage you’re at in your writing career, I don’t think it does any harm to do these taster courses, you’re getting to know like-minded people, learning a few hints and tips to make your journey easier. I’m not sure that a full-time course – such as a University Creative Writing would be useful to me. Firstly, the brain power I would need to complete assignments etc. would be difficult – dusting down the brain cells would take a bit of doing! ((You have a brain? Who knew – it’s news to us!)) Also, I hope I’m not alone in this; I think being too technical and over-developing my style would actually stall my creatively – My writing skills ((Excuse me while I fall over laughing)) lay in enthusiasm, writing fast, and knocking out a good story. My skills do not extend to writing a piece of literary genius ((Yeah no s**t Sherlock)) ((Hey you messed with my words)) No swearing on the blog! That’s reserved for when I get a publishing deal ((Did you try and be funny then?? FYI It didn’t work)) Anyway, I could go on ((Please don’t)) For what my opinion is worth; if you can afford it and have the time for these courses then go for it. They are not expensive, and you will hopefully get a lot from them. Also, it’s easy to feel nervous, but everyone has been really lovely and supportive, and everyone is there for the same goal. Don’t feel you have to talk if you don’t want to, there is no pressure to share anything unless you feel comfortable doing so.
That’s it from me ((A goodbye from me)) have a good weekend folks, catch you in a couple of weeks.
If you’ve attended any useful courses, feel free to leave a comment.