Masterclasses on Plotting and Voice: 29 September and 24 November 2018

A quick break from my summer break to say that we’re now taking bookings for the craft masterclasses that I’m running this autumn with Kellie Jackson of Words Away. These are one-day courses held on Saturdays at London Bridge Hive:

* The Craft of Plotting, including guest speaker Nick Ross, production director of Little, Brown, on Saturday 29 September 2018

* The Craft of Voice, including guest speaker Jenny Savill, director and agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates, on Saturday 24 November 2018

More info on my Events page or via the links above, where you can also book, and Kellie and I will do a Q&A giving a few more details shortly, but in brief: these masterclasses are designed as overviews of important aspects of craft that will make your writing stronger. I’d like to think that they could be made into part of your own personally assembled and self-paced DIY MA in creative writing, or maybe used as a refresher or extension for some course you’ve already done.

Places are already being booked – over half the spaces for the plotting workshop have already been taken. We are thinking of others for 2019 – maybe prose style, character and setting, and once again revising. I’m also planning some other workshops of a different type at another location – more on that soon, I hope.

Hope your summer is going well. Have been loving the heatwave, even if the garden is a bit singed. Hot tip, if you’re in London: go and see Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at the V&A. It’s one of the most well-curated exhibitions I’ve seen in some time, and Frida herself is so inspiring. We are our own muses, et cetera. Related to that, my big fat summer read is The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, which is turning out to be everything I want in a big fat summer read: engrossing, taking me into other worlds and other lives. A big thank you to Barbara Kingsolver.

Back to my break – and to my reading!

6 comments

  1. Jacqueline Stearn

    Thanks for your blog.
    Burrowing into your words has helped me fathom what needs to be written in a plot gap in the novel I’m editing. Finding that I’m already following some of your suggestions is gratifying, but as for typing it all again…..
    And I nearly forgot, the images you’re using are just perfect. From your garden perhaps?

  2. Jacqueline Stearn

    Many thanks for your blog.
    Burrowing into your words has helped me fathom what needs to be written in a plot gap in the novel I’m editing. Finding that I’m already following some of your suggestions is gratifying, but as for typing it all again…..
    And I nearly forgot, the images you’re using are just perfect. From your garden perhaps?

    • Andrew

      Thank you, Jacqueline! Yes – a lot of these photos are from my (very small) garden. Note they are closeups – plenty of untidy corners to avoid. I do find myself using a lot of gardening analogies in my teaching.

      And you’d be surprised at how helpful – and surprisingly efficient – it can be to type out a fresh draft. It depends on the nature of the drafting (e.g., whether early drafts are zero drafts just getting the story matter out into the open), but many people will testify to this: it’s easier to start in a new doc than tweak what amounts to old writing (or: trying to redesign a garden by recycling everything you have already – now, I am eco-friendly, but sometimes some things no longer have life in them!). It can also help to copy type later drafts when you are doing a final polish and, e.g., no longer catching clunkiness, or remaining attached to things that could (should?) go. Try it maybe at least for a chapter or scene you’ve got stuck on? It’s what all writers did in the days of the typewriter, after all – and it actually doesn’t take long once you get into it.

      Cheers, and thanks for your comments.

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