Last Saturday we ran a new workshop, The Craft of Revising, led by Andrew Wille at the London Bridge Hive. Andrew put together an inspired program exploring various aspects of the revision process. A vibrant and enthusiastic group of writers took part and the day was further livened up by the arrival of the author Michelle Lovric and later, Virago Press Chair, Lennie Goodings.
The morning session unpicked ideas around revision, looking at how we might approach our writing with new eyes. We talked about narrators and point of view, referencing Zoe Heller’s skilful novel, Notes on a Scandal.
Morning tea time buzzed with lots of animated chat and I'm pleased to report my latest baking experiments, apple and date cake and vegan brownies, seemed to go down a treat.
After the break we moved on to ways to craft your story with a bonus talk from novelist, Michelle Lovric, on using multiple narrators. Michelle’s novel, The Book of Human Skin, employs five distinct narrators and she had us spellbound with her insight and tips.
At lunchtime people set off to explore the foodie delights of Borough Market and New Bermondsey Street and having recharged we covered the nitty gritty of editing as well ways to figure out where your book might sit in the spectrum, from formula to literary fiction.
At afternoon tea time we were joined by our featured guest of the day, Virago Press editor and Chair, Lennie Goodings for a Q & A session on editing and publishing. Everyone joined in the discussion with gusto. Lennie has edited some of my favourite authors including Marilynne Robinson, Linda Grant and Sarah Waters to name just a few. We talked about how an editor is really a ‘super reader’ and reasons why an author needs an editor. It was good to be reassured by Lennie just how hard it is to write a novel and how much work! Everyone it seems, including some of the biggest literary names in the world, finds the process difficult no matter home many books they’ve published! So keep writing and revising: nothing is wasted!
The day whipped by too quickly! Andrew had collated notes laden with practical tips and resources for everyone to take away. After a long but satisfying day many of us retired to the nearby pub for a hard earned tipple and a bit more chat. It was super day with special thanks to Andrew for all his hard work and inspiration and to our guests too.
Andrew and and I have enjoyed putting on workshops and we are planning two new masterclasses in the Autumn, details to follow on the website soon.
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Perhaps I might see some of you next Monday at the Tea House Theatre Cafe for our last Words Away salon of the season before the summer break. We’ll be talking Writing Ghosts alongside Emma Darwin with guest, Jenn Ashworth. New Autumn salon dates and authors to be posted soon!