For our meeting on January 19th, we thought we would take a leaf from Stephen King. He famously does not plot in advance. He takes a situation, develops some characters and then lets the characters decide what happens. You can read more about this in his book ‘On Writing’, which is well worth £10.99 of […]
This Sunday we are going to try writing a story in the second person. That means that instead of your central character being referred to as “I” or “he/she” you use “you”. The prompt is “You can’t be serious”. This does not have to be the first line or indeed used at all in the […]
This week we are going to do pitching or a letter to an agent (it’s much the same). You can either base it on a big project you are working on, or one you would like to work on, or even one someone else has done (a famous book) . I want you to bring: […]
This week we are going to do an exercise I call “reverses polarity”. The idea is to take a characteristic of yourself and write a story in first person in which that characteristic is reversed. For instance, if you are a man, write as a woman; if you are white, write as if you are […]
This week we are writing stories in the present tense. Here are some useful links: https://theeditorsblog.net/2012/01/31/narrative-tense-right-now-or-way-back-then/ https://marksarvas.blogs.com/elegvar/2007/11/present-tense-s.html https://www.writers-online.co.uk/how-to-write/creative-writing/writing-in-the-present-tense-the-good-and-the-bad/ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/21/rise-of-the-present-tense-in-fiction-hilary-mantel https://www.novel-writing-help.com/past-tense.html Some famous books were written in present tense: Bleak House (mostly), Clarissa, All Quiet on the Western Front, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Room, Bright Lights Big City, Wolf Hall, Rabbit Run, The Girl […]
We all enjoyed writing stories from a picture prompt last week, so let’s have a go working from a written prompt. I have three for you: 1. “I have to go!” he/she said, suddenly jumping up from the table. 2. Something unusual is found in a winter coat pocket. 3. You get on a bus and end […]
I’m going away for the weekend so there will be no group this week.
For next time, we’re going to try writing from a picture prompt. Find a picture and write a story prompted by it. It can be a little longer than usual because I don’t think there will be many of us. So up to about 1,500 words or so. Try and make it something with a beginning, […]
Thanks to those who came last Sunday. I enjoyed the session and found it really useful. I think I am beginning to get a handle on “showing and telling” at last. For this coming Sunday, I thought we could have a look at description. Here are a few links. On describing characters: https://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/11-secrets-to-writing-effective-character-descriptionOn describing settings: https://jerryjenkins.com/setting-of-a-story/On description generally:https://www.novel-writing-help.com/descriptive-writing-2.html On not […]
There will be no group on October 6 because the Sober Parrot is having a training day. We will be meeting as usual on October 13, when we will do the “showing and telling” exercise we were supposed to be doing on September 29. I hope that makes sense.