Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Novel Writing Workshop - 17th October, 2016

On 17th October, HWG member and successful novelist, Glyn Harper, generously shared everything he has gleaned from  both his writing experience and his own reading in a workshop entitled 'Planning Your Way Through a Novel'. We romped through stories and their elements, protagonists, premise, goals, conflict, tension, stakes, twists, character arcs, themes and viewpoints. We looked into place and setting and how to analyse characters and depict their emotions as they confront all the obstacles and setbacks thrown at them at every turn by the dedicated author, who is intent on putting them through an Act I Crisis, an Act II Revelation, a Mid-Point Reversal, an Act III Disaster and the final Climax until the reader is rewarded with a Satisfying Ending. It was a thorough and entertaining talk, and we all left feeling inspired to have a go ourselves.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Historical Writing Entries - 3rd October, 2016

It was like taking a roller-coaster ride in a time machine on 3rd October, when members read out their entries for the group's last competition of the year: non-fictional historical writing. There were vivid childhood memories: of finding a bayonet at the end of World War I and the sweet sin of licking jam out of tarts during the 1953 coronation celebrations. There was an array of colourful ancestors: a camp conscientious objector who did time in Wormwood Scrubs, a star cricketer with an unusual name and a d├ębutante who made a life-changing secret liaison with an African prince. There were portraits of two fascinating and feisty women: Mary 'Slasher' Richardson, the suffragette who sliced the Rokeby Venus, and Bluebell Klean, who stopped 'chasing musical dreams to chase fish'. Places also came under scrutiny: the history of Church in the Wood, founded in 1090 by a priest who wanted a church hidden from the devil, and the Bexhill celebrations of 1917, when the band played on and elegance was everywhere. On a darker note, we also learned about the 1948 Warlingham Murder, when a shotgun rang out from 76, Harrow Gardens, and the so called madness of Victorian women. It was a very entertaining evening, and judge, Alan Judd, has his work cut out.