Monday, August 17, 2009

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2009 Writing Workshop

So I finally got to spend a few days a real book festival and it was amazing! It has been running for 26 years and goes on for about 2 weeks. There are many different events for all book lovers - poetry readings, meet the authors, literary readings, workshops, children's events and a lot more. I only attended two events because I was only in Edinburgh for 3 days and had some other things that I really wanted to see (like a LONG day trip to Loch Ness). As I talked about in my previous posting I went to see Carlos Ruiz Zafon discuss his new book The Angel's Game. The event was sold out and I loved how diverse the audience was. It was awesome to be sitting with a bunch of people who have enjoyed his books as much as I have.

But the first event i went to was first thing opening day - and that was a workshop called Writing Fiction. There were only 20 spots available so I booked this weeks ago. I have always wanted to write a novel, when I was a young girl I used to write all the time. I gave it up as I got older (besides this blog) and now spend most of my free time reading books. Over the years I have decided that I really want to get into writing again but just have no idea where to start. I thought this would be a great starter. The workshop was an hour and a half and we started off by telling our names and if we had written anything previously. It was a diverse group - some had published stories while others had never really written anything before and were interested in starting.

The first exercise we did was to write 3 sentences describing the story we either had already started writing or that we want to write. I sat there for about 10 minutes with a blank piece of paper. Suddenly an idea came to me. I wrote it down and then rewrote it, then changed it. It was really interesting and got my brain thinking about ideas that I never knew were there. We then all went around and talked about our ideas. It was great to see how different everyones story ideas were and the positive feedback I got on mine.

For the last bit we talked about character development and how to keep a plot moving in a novel. We got some work sheets and some information on a week long writing workshop in Northern Scotland that I would die to go to at some point in my life. We also talked about how to get motivation to write and how important it is to write everyday - even if it is only for 10 minutes. It was a great workshop and I think it has motivated me to really sit down and start to write something. I think I have it in me - I just need to really do it!!

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