Writing workshops to explore sense of place

As a writer, I am always inspired by a sense of place. Whether it be a gloomy city or a stunning hillside, a glass-strewn council estate or a majestic waterfall, something about my surroundings repeatedly triggers ideas.

Indeed, I view the theme as so important that is the basis for the two weekend writing workshops that I am running at my home in Dumfries and Galloway in July and August for individuals and writing group members (details at the end of this piece).

I do a lot of creative writing teaching and I always contend that, despite the many elements of fiction, it comes down to a triangle, three things that come together to make the story work right from the off – plot, people and place. Get them right and pace, economy of words, themes, emotions, the lot, fall into line.

Different writers would put a different thing at the top of the triangle, identifying it as most important. I know writers who would say it all starts with a strong idea which drives the narrative and everything else follows. They get the idea then search round for somewhere to set it.

Others would put characters at the top. I have worked with many writers who contend that their stories begin with a person, a character from whom everything flows.

I tend to start with the place, always the place, and the workshops we are running during the summer will look at how a stunning landscape can be harnessed to shape powerful stories.

The courses will run courses on July 6/7 and August 24/25, 2019. The cost is £95 per person, including catering, and you can find out more by emailing deangriss@btinternet.com

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Following on from my previous blogs on creating characters, a word about minor characters and the care you need to take when creating them.But why, you may ask, spend unnecessary time on insignificant characters? Some may have roles so negligible that they won’t even get names: the servant who brought the drinks; the hotel maid who cleaned the room, the policeman who jumped out of the way of the speeding car and so on.They deserve care because, although the reader isn’t supposed to care much…See More
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