Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Writers Workhop - Sunday 14th October - Hebden Bridge

Hi Guys

Wow - think this has been the longest space in between posts!!  Haven't blogged or written in ages - hope some of you are still around to read my ramblings - lol.

Well as I have said haven't written properly for about a month - maybe more - although the Sunday just gone I attended the above workshop set up by Calderdale Council as part of a Reading and Writing month with my fellow CWG - that Cleckheaton Writers Group team Karen and Dawn.

After being fashionably late for being picked up by Dawn we made our way to Hebden and after finding free parking - hard to do in Hebden we made our way with great enthusiasm to Hebden Bridge Libaray.

After a sign in and cuppa we made our way upstairs with a quite large collection of other would be authors to be greeted by Michael Stewart who opened the event with a humourous look at his
"5 things I hate about Writing"
These were:
5)  Writers Retreats - designed to take money from authors by falsely promising that you will be published once you've sat out in the sun all day, having head massages.
As Michael pointed out you don't need exotic locations to write - JK Rowling did all hers in a scratty cafe eating deep fried mars bars and drinking Iron Bru!
4) The Displacement Activity Industry - this means things there to distract writers and also take more money - e.g. cups with I'm best Writer on side or t-shirts.
3) Celebrity Memoirs - Nuff said
2) The Infantilation of Adult Readers - this is adults reading kids books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games - I personally like reading Meg and Mog on the bus but there you go!
1) The Literary Establishment - for reasons I forget although authors up their own arse springs to mind.

Dawn, Karen and I then went on the first workshop - Talk the Talk with Alsion Taft
This was a course to help writers with our dialogue in prose and screenplay.
This was very informative and we found that in films it's more about the visuals than dialogue.
We did an exercise using the first five minutes of Four Weddings and a Funeral whereby you find out alot about the main characters with only a few word - mainly Fuck!
Alison was very good and we found out quite alot about how dialogue works - for example dialogue should develop plot as well as character.
Be careful writing accents.
Read dialogue out loud to see if it works.
Interruption is good.

After an hour lunch which was superb even though it was vegetarian and had no Fosters Gold - or meat we then made our way to our second workshop.
Myself and Dawn went to Plotting a Novel with Louise Doughty
Louise informed us that the layout of a novel can be pinched from the way a screenplay is set out - usually in 3 to 4 segments with beginning, middle and end.
Louise also informed us alot of time the plots and themes can get mixed up especially when selling your book to the public who usually want to know just the plot and whats going to happen.
Louise informed us that usually a quarter of a way in a novel there is a plot point where something happens and the characters go beyond the point of no return.
Louise also gave the group insight into how she works - she dosen't plot the story but has an intial idea -she then makes notes and does some research then when she is ready puts it all over her floor or kitchen table and puts the notes and research in order to get a lay out of the plot.

The workshop was very informative and Louise was a joy to listen to.

After this we all had another tea - was very British - ha.

We all went back upstairs to find out who had won the Calderdale Short Story competition 2012 and the runners up and winner read their storys out - was a little gutted mine didn't make it into the top four but hey ho!  Although have had great feedback from my CWG members regarding my story and I will post it on blog tomorrow night - hope you enjoy.

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