Story-A-Week #10: Narrative Arc

Last Tuesday was the last in my Café Stories series of workshops* so we looked back on everything we’d covered, pulled it all together with a look at the narrative arc, did a bit of editing, and wrote one last story. I gave students a list of all the things we’d worked through: Session 1: […]

Literature Ambassador: 2019 Writer Opps #8

Writer Opps Wednesday is back, and pleased to share two development opportunities in Dumfries and Galloway, and three magazines looking for your writing to publish: Writers’ Gathering Which is run by Wigtown Festival Company. This is what they say: The Writers’ Gathering takes place on Saturday 11th May 2019, 9:30-16:30, in The Print Room, Wigtown. […]

Story-a-Week #9: Memoir and Monsters

For last Tuesday’s Café Stories I put together a lesson that combined memoir writing and plot types. There are umpteen theories on the range of narrative structures, but to keep it simple I stuck to the one that holds there are only 7 Basic Plots, and that all creative texts – films; novels; short stories; […]

Story-a-Week #8: The Art of Losing

Another hard won story which started in the Café Stories workshop on Tuesday. We did the art of writing about place. The setting for a story is more than merely a backdrop for the action, when done right it can tell your reader a great deal about your character, and help move the action on. […]

Story-A-Week #7: On a Dig

I’m a day late with this post for a stew of reasons, the culmination of which being I couldn’t get any purchase on this week’s story until I woke on Monday morning and realised what it was about. Then had to rewrite it. Stephen King is right, I think, writing is akin to excavation. The […]

On Becoming Unstoppable #2

Last Friday I wrote about my goals, and priorities* which, Benjamin Hardy argues, are paramount to becoming unstoppable. I followed his advice and listed the things I do every day in order to ascertain, by my behaviour, what my priorities are, and came to a tentative conclusion that my goals and priorities are, if not […]

Story-A-Week #6: Twenty-Eight Years Gone

In last Tuesday’s Café Stories workshop instead of starting with character I got participants to start with an object. I asked them to choose an object in the cafe and describe it. But first, I told them, or reminded them really, about the value of simile. I gave them a few, and asked them to […]

On Becoming Unstoppable

Wandering the interweb looking for a new guru I came across an article by Benjamin Hardy on Medium: 30 Behaviours That Will Make You Unstoppable in 2019. I’m not sure what it is to be unstoppable, or if it’s at all desirable, but I couldn’t resist having a look. Might it help me achieve my […]

Story-A-Week #5: Myrtle Davis is Lost

I said in Friday’s post that I had written a complete story in the course of my first Café Stories workshop. I realise now that I only felt it to be complete. I knew it needed work, nothing comes out perfect first time, but not quite as much as it actually does. Distracted by other […]

On Not Being Frank

I’ve heard tell from multiple people – some who knew him, some who teach him – that Frank O’Hara took his typewriter everywhere, and would prop it up on any available surface, in whichever situation, to write a perfect poem. He was famous for doing this at parties: cigarette attached to his bottom lip, he’d […]