Let’s Get Started
We did a great thing! We supported each other! It all began with a question about editing and how some of us struggle with getting past this stage in our writing. We gave each other lots of advice, including:
- get the gist down and go from there
- just get it all down in one go
- get a feel for it – Is it working?
- go back and edit/polish at the end
- simplify things
- read and self-edit as you go
We all had our own ideas but the one which resonated the most was:
“Don’t eat the elephant all at one time!” In other words, one step at a time but do what suits you best.
Dialogue was also on the agenda. One of our members is writing non-fiction, based on a self-help/advice theme and wanted to know if using dialogue to illustrate some points would be effective. We talked about posing some questions at the beginning of a chapter and then using dialogue and scenarios to try to answer them.
Continuing the theme of dialogue, we had each prepared a piece of writing to bring to the meeting. These included:
- a self-help piece, as mentioned above
- a conversation which brought peace and harmony to the writer
- one which had a mystical theme
- a comical version based on nosiness and gossip
- a memory which include some assertive tones, used when faced with health and safety gone mad!
We tried reading the first piece as a play and found that the use of dialogue gave it a real authenticity. With another we found that, as it was all dialogue between only two people, there was no need to attribute the words to each speaker, as it was perfectly clear who was speaking. Some of us had previously not used dialogue much at all but focusing on this evening’s task, discovered it can really bring a piece of writing to life, whilst effectively moving the story along. It’s effective use showed how to tell the story through he use of dialogue, using less description. More strings to our collective bows!
How do You Write?
Another topic that came up was how we write and when we write. Do we need to have a set time or place? Do we need silence? Can we cope with interruptions? Again, our answers proved that everybody’s different and we should write when we can and how we can. As always, each member took away fresh ideas and perhaps confidence, from the discussion. Something which, as a group, we always try to achieve through our meetings.
The conversation carried on for a wee while after our meeting. We started to think about how we might use a monthly Saturday morning space that is available, 10-12 noon, on the first Saturday of each month. Poetry, screen writing, play writing, proposals, developing skills…
All this and we’re nearly one year old.