FLASH FICTION - COLIN 101
Please take a minute to read Colin's piece of flash fiction. The rules of the exercise are: write 101 words in ten minutes. I think you'll really enjoy it. It's a great achievement. Thanks Colin.
"We're running out of time, Jake!"
Jake looked up at the old clock, clunking away the seconds. Meanwhile tumblers clicked softly in his earpiece. Jake's brow was wet.
"Stop jumping around, Debs, you're makin' me nervous!" Then he smiled, turning the iron handle.
"He'll be back any moment..."
The safe creaked open. There it was. Thick and bulging, the manila file was clearly marked "Sebastian Brodski". Jake grabbed it. His eyes caught the glint of a gun. Should I?
"Bloody hell, Jake - wadda we want that for? Don't you think we got enough trouble?"
The office door swung open.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the WWW festival, the organisers held a Word Circus. This was a non-ticketed event that gave a platform for writers and performers, agents and publishers to give talks to festival goers, free of charge. It was an ideal moment to get, at first hand, advice and details about writing and the book industry.
The focus of Friday's sessions was the process of writing.
Having just completed Phase 2, Newton Abbot writers - Blanche, Helen, Norrie, Isobel, Colin, Tracy, and Sue (not pictured) are about to embark on a new frontier: Phase 3 - we will be focussing on their own compositions in the sessions and concentrating on improving individual techniques.
This will be the culmination of two phases of a creative writing course which has focused, to a large part, on the techniques of great writers, and other just plain good writers. What we have discovered is that great prose is really quite a pure thing, it doesn't strive to be clever or literary.
So, this is good news - all we have to do, to be a great writer ourselves is keep our writing as clear and concise as possible.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR SOME SENSATIONAL FLASH FICTION FROM THE NEWTON ABBOT GROUP
I am very pleased to be appearing at the Ways With Words Literary Festival this year. There is a new event The Word Circus where writers and performers will showcase their talents. It is a non-ticket event and promises to be an exciting and informative taster of what's best in English literature and creative writing.
I will be appearing on Saturday July 9th and Sunday July 17th.
SESSION 1: SECURING A READER THROUGH BETTER USE OF EXPOSITION
The first session of this new fiction writing course began at Dartington Hall today - a beautiful location - one of the best I've ever worked in.
To begin studying what mastering fiction writing entails, we consider the uses of exposition.
This is the one area that many writers find a challenge. It is difficult to know what to put into exposition.
The common mistakes writers make when writing exposition are:
[MORE DETAILS BENEATH PICTURE]
The 3 most important aspects of strong exposition are:
It is important the your reader feels that your situation/context is authentic. A writer achieves this by establishing a strong voice, giving your character a point of view, selecting the best perspective for the job.
THE 5 ELEMENTS OF BACKGROUND
These are the basic content that strong exposition requires. They are:
A writer adds value by ensuring that all sentences are strong and all paragraphs are coherent and follow a line of thread.
TODAY'S TOP QUOTE:
'The best viewpoints are always implied.'
BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF IMPLED VIEWPOINT.
The time was prearranged and letters written, her mother's paper so thin compare with Brandt's expensive vellum.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Set in one of the best locations I've ever worked in, the Manor House Writers invited me today to work with them on improving reader engagement.
We looked at two specific editing processes:
1. ending our sentences on strong nouns and verbs;
2. eliminating thought verbs.
We all agreed that thought verbs were the bane of a writer's life and that we all suffered from their over-use. The writers at Dawlish Manor House produced some interesting results from their editing and re-writing, and seemed more than capable of eradicating this nuisance pest: the thought verb.
Many thanks to Hilary and her gang.
Welcome to Russian visitors to this web site. I noticed from my stats that this month there have been 4 visits from Russia. Who'd have thought!
We discovered the perfect plot at Exeter today. We decided that it was a simple expression of cause and effect. Something happened because of something else:
The King died and the Queen died of grief.
A big thank you to Beth and James for their hard work and perseverance during the Phase one part of the course.
Phase 2 starts soon...
What is a plot?
Writers at Teignmouth finished their Phase One course yesterday. The writing focus of the session was defining and exploring plot.
You can develop a greater awareness of your approach to plotting by considering these approaches and asking:
Are you a…
1. Pantser (I don't plan anything)
2. Plotter (I stick to a strict plan)
3. Inbetweener (I have a rough idea (outline) of my direction of travel)
Most of the Teignmouth writers considered themselves as "Inbetweeners" which is probably the safest option.
We considered what the perfect plot might look like…
We came to the conclusion that it would probably be something that had:
Thanks to all the writers at Teignmouth for making the sessions so engaging and for coping with the weird ideas about how creative writing works.
Looking forward to starting Phase 2 of the course with you on Thursday March 10th at 1pm.
The best authors give us soft clues to character. They show their creations dealing with a particular circumstance in their lives and leave the rest to the reader.
Good writers avoid biographical details. So much about a person can be inferred by their behaviour: you don't need to be obvious and tell the reader how they should view a character.
Writer and creative writing course teacher, Benedict Brooks invites you to share in his story and progress to becoming a successful author.