We had a fun and creative day last weekend with a lovely bunch of writers at our masterclass, Crafting Character and Setting, led by Andrew Wille. Andrew devised an imaginative program with many a laugh included and we came away with lots of new ideas to inject some vim, depth and texture into our writing
One of my favourites exercises of the day involved drawing a map of our own literary landscape. It was a new way to think about a work in progress. What surprised me most was how the exercise woke up a long forgotten part of the brain (the bit you used all the time in junior school). By entering into the spirit of the exercise and ‘just drawing’ (uncensored, like you did as kid) - it was fun to come up with some different layers to add to own setting. I also loved the quick fire character sketches we did of ‘types’. It really concentrated the mind and subdued the impulse to overthink things.
We wrapped up the afternoon with a Q & A with our industry speaker, Christina Macphail of Agatha Christie Ltd. Christina kindly bought along some beautiful Agatha Christie books and translations to show us. It was interesting to hear what’s involved in running such a unique literary legacy and to hear the scoop on an unusual facet of the publishing industry.
With thanks to Andrew, Christina and to all our lovely writers who took part in the day with gusto and verve. We retired to the nearby pub for more chat over a drink or two. Andrew’s written about the day (see link below) and has posted some fab writing experiments to follow up.
Our next masterclass, Crafting Your Prose: The Craft of Literary Style on March 30th is now sold out. Please email me if you’d like to go on the waiting list. We hope to run the craft series of masterclasses again later in the year. We also have two news dates lined up for masterclasses (topics TBC) later this summer on May 11th and June 15th - so save the dates! Details to follow soon.
In the meantime, do come along to one of the salons at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall. Coming up on Monday 11th Feb is Recovering Voices and Stories Lost From History with guest writer, Alice Jolly. Hope to see you soon!
Links & References
Andrew Wille: Character Questionnaire: Writing Experiment No.70 & Characters Sparking Joy: Writing Experiment No. 71, Christina Macphail, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding, Tales of The City by Armistead Maupin, The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson