Its been a while since I published something to my blog and I have to admit, I’ve missed it. I may not have been writing on this blog but trust me, I’ve been doing a lot of writing.
Like I alluded to in my April post, after attending the London Book Fair and having a conversation with Stephanie Bond, I’ve actually now started writing a mystery novel. Its definitely been a different challenge to writing children’s books. I write children’s books for the 3-7 year old age group. A typical picture book is about 32 pages. The novel I’m writing, when its all said and done, will be about 250 pages. I’m plugging away and looking to have it published October/November.
Over the months of May and June, I attended a six-week creative writing course at The Groucho Club in West London. Let me just say that my writing has improved in leaps and bounds since then. I would encourage every writer to attend a writing class or group as the benefits are numerous. Here are just a couple:
- The exercises given in the class challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. One of the exercises in the class was writing the same story in a first-person point of view and then rewriting it in a third person point of view.
- You get valuable feedback from peers who allow you to know what is and is not working in your story.
- You get great book recommendations from the class. My Amazon WishList is bulging from the books that were recommended to me from the class. One of the books which I have already ordered from Amazon is ‘Elements of Style’ by E.B. White.
- Because you are in a class dedicated to writing, you have no other option but to write. Sometimes, as writers the hardest thing to do is to start writing. You’re staring at that blank piece of paper or computer screen and it seems the last thing you want to do is write. It’s also easy at such times to find reasons not to write. Not so in a writing class! You look to your left and right and see your classmates scribbling away and you have no other option but to put pen to paper and surprisingly, words and sentences and scenes begin to flow.
- You get to listen to other people’s work which inspires you to be better.
- Bad habits you may have picked up over the years are brought to your attention and can be discarded.
- Some of the random exercises you do in the class can be the basis for a new book. I have to confess that I have incorporated a few of the exercises I produced while at the class into the novel I’m working on.
- You make writing friends. I think most writers (at least I know I suffer from this) lack a group of writing buddies they can relate to on matters specific to writing. It’s good to be able to get feedback from people you trust will give you a critical and technical feedback on your writing projects.
These are just some of the benefits I’ve gotten from joining this writing class. Since the class ended, we all decided to meet every other Saturday. We have a session slated for later this month and I can’t wait to catch up with my writing buddies. If you leave in the London area, then I’d highly recommend The Complete Creative Writing Course by Maggie Hammond. If you don’t, then find one in your city and watch how your writing skills will soar in leaps and bounds.
What a great experience – I would love to do a creative writing course but unfortunately we don’t seem to get the same opportunities in Hereford as you do in London. I guess my best bet would be to do a weekend residential somewhere 🙂
It was indeed a great experience and one I think I’ll make out time every year to attend. There’s a beginner, intermediate and advanced class as well as specialist classes on writing for children, screenwriting etc. I believe there’ll be some writing groups in or around the Hereford area and if not you can always start one 🙂