A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of holding two workshops, as part of the Festival of Women's Writing - which doesn't at all exclude men - organised by the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and held at the entirely wonderful Ponden Hall. We covered a lot of ground, and in the nature of things, many topics cropped up which are expanded on in posts here on Itch. So these are links to the ones I particularly remember mentioning. If anyone remembers any others, do drop me a line, and I’ll try to dig it up. These, and a lot more posts, are all in the THE TOOL-KIT (click that, or the link in the top right-hand corner).
PSYCHIC DISTANCE: what it is and how to use it : also called narrative distance; an extraordinarily useful way of thinking.
SHOWING AND TELLING: the basics : how to use both to make your story do everything you want it to do.
"RE-IMAGINING IS PARTLY A PROCESS OF FORGETTING": Why factual accuracy in fiction is not enough, and may even be a bad thing. The post otherwise known as Yours to Remember, and Mine to Forget.
WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION:
WRITING ETHICALLY WITHOUT CLIPPING YOUR CREATIVE WINGS : how to build stories on other ethnicities, genders, cultures, sexualities, classes, religions, (dis)ablements, ages, histories, countries, nationalities, than your own, without censoring yourself or treading on toes
"CAN I CHANGE ...?" : deciding what real life facts - geography, history, dates, news, whatever - you can ignore or adapt, and what you must stick to
SO WHAT COUNTS AS HISTORICAL FICTION? : for writers, for readers, for the industry. See also a more recent exploration here: http://www.historiamag.com/what-counts-historical-fiction/
HISTORICAL NOVEL? BIOGRAPHY? When is your life writing actually historical fiction, or vice versa?
CREATIVE NON-FICTION : including memoir, life writing, travel writing. What is it, and are you writing it?
NON-LINEAR NARRATIVES : what they are, whether to use one, and how to make it work
YOUR BOOK, YOUR RULES, BUT MAKE SOME : more on how to make sure your book works in a consistent way - and save yourself some effort too
My book, Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, is available via all good bookshops, so that link to the Online Retailer Who Must Not Be Named is only in case you can't track it down any other way!
MAKE YOUR STORY SHINE: Self-editing:
NARRATIVE DRIVE : how to get your story moving, and your reader turning the pages
PAST AND PRESENT TENSE : the pros and cons of both : the different issues that arise with first and third person for each tense, and why the new creative writing orthodoxy is wrong
WRITING A SCENE : when to Show/Evoke/Dramatise, when to Tell/Inform/Summarise, and how to work with both to control how your reader experiences the scene.
CHARACTERISATION-IN-ACTION : how to develop your characters-in-action and make sure their journey is really compelling.
POINT OF VIEW & NARRATORS 1: the basics : what point of view is, what a narrator is, and why it matters (and links to the rest of this 4-part series)
FLASHBACKS AND BACKSTORY : how to handle the stuff from Before The Story Starts
WRITING DIALOGUE : how do it well, how to make it better
FREE INDIRECT STYLE : what it is and how to use it : the huge advantage we have over the playwrights and scriptwriters, so why wouldn't you exploit all the things it can do?
WRITING SEX: ten top tips : writing sex is notoriously difficult, but this should help.
TACKLING REVISIONS AND EDITS : feeling as if you've got to eat an elephant, and your spoon is too small? Here's help.
DON'T FIDDLE : how to stop yourself endlessly tweaking, poking and mini-editing and getting in a muddle, and keep moving steadily forward whether you're drafting or revising.
"FILTERING": HD for your writing : an unhelpful name for the single, simplest way to revise your writing into greater vividness.
GETTING FROM ONE SCENE TO THE NEXT : jump-cut or narrated slide? Doof-d00f-doof ending then crash landing, or taking the reader there in stages?
THINKING AND INTROSPECTION : how to keep the reader reading when there's no physical action
CREATE THE READER YOU NEED : you can make the novel work however you want, as long as you get the reader to read it the way you need them too
The online course Self-Editing Your Novel at Jericho Writers. The November course is actually full, but the next one begins on January 22nd 2019, and later dates will soon be up. Generally speaking, it runs four times a year - January, March, June and September. I notice that at the moment the course is priced in Euros, which makes it look more expensive than it is!