Thursday, 22 February 2018

Competitions and Romance Writing...

I'm catching up and getting back into a routine- slowly.

Last week was very busy, as I was 50% of a talk given at Nottingham Writers' Club (on Valentines Day) about Competitions:Do's and Don'ts, along with the club's magazine co-editor Jill Walmsley.
Ready to talk about

While Jill covered the technical side of getting a competition entry ready, I did the "business" side as Jill described it.

The where to find competitions handout with bullet points filled an A4 page ; also rights ( I substituted the term, 'earning potential') in terms and conditions/rules, so they could see how specific terms were worded and what it could mean (in some cases) for reusing their entry elsewhere; free entry versus pay to enter was definitely a thorny issue.

All the topics created lively discussion...

*   *   *
Three days later, it was Saturday afternoon writing Romance with local author Clare Harvey. Her books are WW2 Drama.

Clare Harvey & her

There was a mix of discussion, writing prompts and reading extracts from Clare's books for each topic.

I found the 'first scene' writing exercise really useful, and it's given me a few possible new openings for my WIP. I've not been totally happy with it as it stands, but it wasn't totally hopeless, I just needed a slightly different starting point, bringing my hero into the scene much sooner.

Getting characters together was a bit of a struggle. It's definitely easier in a contemporary novel, but writing with an historical setting you need to work harder to manipulate the possibilities against the the social behaviour of the time and situation.

Writing sex scenes are about more than part A slots into part B... We all agreed using the 5 senses was important, but between us all we came up with enough to fill the flip-pad.

What everyone came
up with...
Clare had read out a couple of extracts from books by other writers to show how different sex scenes could be and the impression each gives...

There was a phrase used in the sex scene in Clare's book, The Night Raid, that only a couple of the writers attending had ever heard of before.

It was "don't go all the way to Blackpool!"  (One of those bits of research that the writer discovered along the way...)

All the writing prompts for the afternoon were simple, but effective, just keep the pen moving for 5 minutes, write and don't stop to think.

I will try that again, perhaps with a short story.

It was a fun afternoon, and I know I wasn't the only one who went away inspired and with a buzzing brain.

If you ever get the opportunity to go along to an event with Clare, you will enjoy it...


Patsy said...

Sounds like a coyple of really interesting and useful events.

Julia Thorley said...

'Don't go all the way to Blackpool' made me smile. It's a bit like, 'Keep your hand on your ha'penny'.

Carolb said...

Patsy- it was a good week, and even though I was part of one of the events I still got the benefit of Jill's advice.x

Julia- that's another one I've not heard- what a sheltered upbringing I had! :D

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That sounds like two very interesting events, Carol!