Linda’s blog for March

Welcome back and welcome to the second of the three workshops I’ve planned to get you back into writing in 2021.

  • Thank you to all those who have written to tell me that last month’s workshop on Setting and the prompts helped in getting them going again.
  • I’ve had several writers send in their writing for me to look at. I loved reading their stories – both inspired by prompts from the workshop. You’ll find them on the new page on this website Your Stories.
  • If you are used to attending a class, then the workshops should get you back into a routine.
  • You don’t have to write about any of the topics I’ve set: if you’re inspired with another idea, then that’s great. It’s GETTING WRITING again that counts.

The topic I’ve chosen for this month’s workshop is TIME.

Click here to go to the Workshop 2 page.

Of course, the big news this month for me is that my book A Beginners Guide to Writing Fiction has now been published on Amazon. A huge Thank you to my beta-readers (B, J, M & C) who read and proof-read the book for me and gave me their thoughts on covers.

Click here.

A lesson in Zooming

Probably like many of you during the recent lockdowns, I took the opportunity of signing up for a writing lesson on Zoom. It was free, run by a recognised writing website and, luckily, at a time that suited both English and American audiences.

When the meeting started, there were 500+ participants: within fifteen minutes, that was up to 1200. We, the audience, were not seen and not heard (thank goodness!) but we could add comments in a box that everyone could see.

The speaker was a young, personable lady who clearly knew what she was talking about, her words supplemented by a series of slides containing bullet points of her script.

There were two problems, as far as I was concerned:

  1. She spoke far too quickly. Now, I know (and you probably do too) that I am getting on a bit. But even allowing for that, I felt that she galloped through her script, not allowing nearly enough time for her information to be either absorbed or taken down in notes. And she had a habit of tailing off the ends of her sentences.
  2. She didn’t give enough, if any, examples of what she was trying to convey. For example, once her initial talk was over, she introduced some brainstorming exercises, and the audience was invited respond with comments in the chat column.
    One exercise was to come up with a character’s traits. She didn’t explain what traits were, and the comments from the thousand+ audience varied from red-haired to is cheating on her husband. I have my own ideas about what constitutes a character’s traits (quirks and tics, mainly) and I didn’t feel these fitted the bill. But, of course, there was no right or wrong, just enthusiasm for everyone’s contributions.

So, would I attend another Zoom writing class? Probably. I enjoyed the “lecture”, and I did some of the brainstorming exercises. I’d like to watch a few more to see how the speakers and formats differ and what I get out of each one. And just to let you know, I could access the whole 1½ hours the next day to see what I’d missed, or even to watch the whole thing when I wanted to, without the audience participation.

If you’ve taken part in Zoom classes, I’d love to hear what you thought of them. If you have recommendations, I’ll happily pass them on through this website.

There are more prompts this month, plus the Workshop and Your Stories. Happy Reading but, more importantly, Happy Writing!


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