Thursday, 7 May 2020

SESSION TEN – 08 May 2020 

Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic

Topic – Introduction to Writing Dialogue.

REFERENCED ITEMS:

The punctuation of dialogue is unique. And much easier to understand if you can see it.  So, I have put detailed notes about punctuation in dialogue ready to download

Writers need to write. If you’re not in the middle of a project do some writing everyday by using inspirational prompts. Photographs, paintings, even single words – anything to challenge yourself to put a few more good words on the page. 500 words a day will work wonders for you writing confidence.  And practice editing your pieces – it all helps. Here’s a link to some writingprompts online. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of selecting a prompt. Choose one at random and see where it takes you.

LINKS

To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the writers’ clinic

For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.) go to Wycombe Sound Short Story Week.

CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

SESSION NINE – 07 May 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writers' Clinic
Topic – Freestyle Writing: Developing Your Plot.

REFERENCED ITEMS:

(Extract from session 9)
... these gaps need to be filled with creative writing, not only creative writing but also engaging and sometimes exciting writing which moves the story convincingly to the next plot point – and you are all alone. Just you and that long, empty piece of deserted white paper between the current plot point and the next. All those blank pages to fill with ideas and inspiration. This is Freestyle Writing.
You will have your notes and research to guide you, and all the thinking you have done while doing the washing up, gardening and going for long walks.

(...and later:)
The writer needs the confidence to be able to launch into a scene like this and trust they will come up with the answers to all the story telling conundrums.

LINKS 

Giving you this link is a bit of a cheat because I have not mentioned this subject - editing - in detail in any of the clinics. I’ve not had time to cover the vast subject of editing but Julie Cohen, a writer based in Reading and a good friend to Slough Writers has posted this on what it’s like to edit a novel after the first draft.

To look at Julie’s website click here.

To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the Writers’ Clinic

For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.) go to WycombeSound Short Story Week.

TOMORROW

On Friday the last session will be on writing dialogue including speech tags, giving your characters a voice and writing realistic dialogue. There will also be a download link to details of dialogue punctuation and layout.

CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

SESSION EIGHT – 06 May 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic
Topic – Show and Tell, using descriptive passages and dialogue to achieve it.


REFERENCED ITEMS:


As part of today’s episode I used an extract from Margaret Atwood’s short story Alphinland which appears in her collection of short stories called Stone Mattress. It was read by Lorraine Forrest-Turner, a talented writer and communications trainer and blogger. See her website

The freezing rain sifts down, handfuls of shining rice thrown by some unseen celebrant. Wherever it hits, it crystalizes into a granulated coating of ice. Under the streetlights it looks so beautiful: like fairy silver thinks Constance. But then, she would think that; she’s far too prone to enchantment. The beauty is an illusion, and also a warning: there’s a dark side to beauty, as with poisonous butterflies. She ought to be considering the dangers, the hazards, the grief this ice storm is going to bring to many; is already bringing, according to the television news.

This example was used to demonstrate the use of show in descriptive writing.

LINKS
To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the writers’ clinic


For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.) go to Wycombeshorts.


CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

SESSION SEVEN – 05 May 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic
Topic – Short Stories (Part Two).


REFERENCED ITEMS:
There were no items for reference in this session.

Today, the episode was concerned with what influences your decision about length, the concept and value of making exploratory drafts of your work and taking your idea from outline to plot. I also touched on the classic basic story structure of goals, obstacles and resolutions.

Tomorrow is about the difference between telling and showing in your writing.

LINKS
To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the writers' clinic.


For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.) take this link.


CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

Sunday, 3 May 2020


SESSION SIX – 04 May 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic
Topic – Short Stories (Part One).

 REFERENCED ITEMS:

Lamb To The Slaughter by Roald Dahl, a 4000 word short story with murder at its heart. Read Roald Dahl here.
More Short Stories to Read by various writers but all competition winners. Read short stories here.
Markets for the Short Story – Guide to Length.
A short story can range from 100 words (that’s flash fiction) up to something like 12,000 words or more. I suggested that once you go over 20,000 words you are probably writing a Novella. There are no fixed rules.
Your decision about length is influenced by many factors. If you plan to enter a competition the rules will always specify a length – the most popular range is between 100 and 3000 words.
If you intend submitting to a magazine the length will be set by the editor- in popular magazines it is rarely more than 2000 words.
If you plan to publish a collection of your short stories, length often ranges from 5000 words up to 15,000 words each. The total length for your collection is up to you. I would suggest under 100,000 words, similar to a first novel.
Manuscript layout. Thislayout is a good style to stick to and suits most publishers and editors. In competitions, you will need to make the MS anonymous. The footer must be on every page but don’t repeat the title at the top.


LINKS
To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to Wycombe Writers' Clinic.


For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created and read by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.)


CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound website
Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

Friday, 1 May 2020


SESSION FIVE – 01 May 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic
Topic – Story Structure and Finding a Good Opening plus a weekend writing challenge.


REFERENCED ITEMS:
The Sealwoman's Gift by Sally Magnusson which opens with a combination of flashbacks mixed with real time. It’s quite cleverly done. The Icelandic character names are a bit of a challenge but worth the effort.
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan has one of the most gripping openings which sets the scene for the whole novel.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. This novel doesn’t begin with future events from the story but with images from future events – these are future for the reader in terms of how the story unfolds but it’s the past for the main character. 
Today I set a small challenge for the weekend. Write 250 words using this opening line: He put the telephone down, looked hard at me, and said... Ask yourself, what does he say and where does it lead? How do you feel about it? Is it kind or is it threatening? Does it confirm something you already know that must now be dealt with or make you ask a lot of questions? Reach a conclusion if you can but don’t worry about finding an ending for this story at the moment. This exercise is about using writing to trigger your creativity: write the first thing that occurs to you, then the next and so on, when you get to 250 words just stop. You may edit if you wish. Just write what comes into your head without being concerned where it’s going. Please post your piece on this blog.


LINKS
To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the clinic webpage at Wycombe Sound.


For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop go to Short Story Week.


CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900

Thursday, 30 April 2020

SESSION FOUR - 30 April 2020 - Wycombe Sound Writing Clinic. Topic – Making a story idea into a story.

REFERENCED ITEMS:

In today’s session I talked about developing an idea into a story by building an outline one scene at a time to explore the story in a dramatic fashion. The story concerns a boy who finds that his family is in a position where they need to make use of a foodbank. For reference, the story I wrote as a result is available at: my short story.

LINKS

To hear this session again or to begin listening from day one, go to the Writers' Clinic.


For Wycombe Sound Short Story Week - (Short stories created by students from the Wycombe Sound Writing Workshop.)


CONTACTS:

Wycombe Sound -call the studio - 01494 449900