Over the last three days I went to some of The Wolds Words Festival writing workshops. All three were exciting and inspiring and I am full of new ideas that I can’t wait to put into practice. Each day was completely different . The first presentation was a lecture in front of a large audience, while the other two were intimate workshops.

“Is There a Book in You” with Dr Alison Baverstock

“Dr Alison Baverstock is an expert on the publishing industry who will guide you through a full day’s course to help you find and deliver that book idea you have been thinking about for ages.  The day will include guidance on writing stages, supporting processes – as well as details of how to share your work.  Whether you are trying to write, or seeking to support someone else’s ambition, the first hand expertise available here is an unmissable opportunity.”

This was a presentation in front of about forty people and covered the whys of writing, the characteristics of published writers, what to write about, how to stick at it, how to find inspiration, how to spot good ideas, and how to share work. This was a lecture from the point of view of  publishers and was chock full of information.

Plots, Twists & Emotions with Nick Louth

“How is that book coming on? You’ve got the ideas, but how do you weave them into an exciting plot that will have readers turning page after page? How to build characters that inspire trust or terror, and do the research that makes the book convincing. In this workshop, local author and journalist Nick Louth explains the tools and tricks that turn a good story into a great one.”

This was an intimate workshop, with 9 participants. It was aimed at creating plots and characters and building tension to convince and enthuse the reader.  As a workshop exercise,  we had to take a scenario and insert two extra characters which threw us into creating new, interesting and complementary people. We learned about the importance of back stories and foreshadowing, how to create a voice and a setting, and how to keep up the momentum and motifs that could give a theme to a  piece, including quests, warring families and Romeo and Juliet type conflicts, rags to riches and many more.

Capturing the Qualities of Crime Writing with Christina James

“Christina James is known as a crime novelist, author of ‘In The family’ (Nov 2012) and ‘Almost Love’ (Jun 2013).  But she is also Linda Bennett, a director and editor of Salt Publishing.

This half day workshop will consist of short presentations, discussion and some fun tasks to share information on how to use local history in fiction and tips on how to get published.  Although it will take examples from crime writing, it will hold relevance and appeal for writers of all types of fiction.”

This was another intimate workshop. We looked at mood, setting, character and dialogue, and had to analyse examples to find out how the writers had dealt with these issues, and then had to create a piece which dealt with one or more of these challenges. This gave a great opportunity to learn from our fellow course members. Handouts at the end gave lots of information on how to get published and tips for crime writing.

It was an interesting experience, taking part in three events over three consecutive days. Each was distinctive and together they offered a treasure-house of ideas.



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