Getting your writing buddy fix.
This time last year we were about to go into lockdown for the first time. Little did we know then how long this thing was going to take. One of the things we had to get used to was Zoom (or the infernal Microsoft equivalent.) Way back then, when I thought we were only in this for a few weeks, I wrote an article about how to access critical feedback on your writing during lockdown. Oh how naive it all seems now – explaining how to use zoom! However, the reason I’m telling you all this is that as 2021 drifts on with no real end in sight, I’d like to suggest some other things you could do with Zoom to get your writing buddy fix.
At first I found the whole of idea of being sociable on Zoom really hard and so I resisted it. But even though our writing group continued to meet once a month on Zoom to critique each others’ work, we now have an in-between meeting to chat about how we’re doing, how our writing is going, without actually focusing on specific pieces. This has been immensely helpful. We also have a book group, and we’ve had the odd literary quiz. I’d really suggest you try to get some of these things going for yourself as well.
If you don’t have a group of writerly friends you can meet up with, or if you’re sick of the sight of the ones you already have, there are other activities on line you can join. Writing classes, teach ins; the writing community continues to offer some fantastic sessions. Here are just a few ideas:
- Arvon are hosting readings for just £5 and two hour master classes for £35. Have a look here
- Moniack Mhor also have a few events online check them out here
- Blue Pencil agency run some great events for about £35 check here
- The Writers and Artists Yearbook, part of Bloomsbury publishing, run events throughout the year. Not cheap, but there may be something of interest here
I’m sure there are many, many more options out there – why not drop me a note of any you know about and I’ll include them next time?
If you find it hard writing about place when you can’t go anywhere, then maybe my feature in Words and Pictures could help. And my interview with full time mum, teacher and picture book creator Coo Clayton certainly shows how it is possible to multi task!
How to write
This month’s recommended how to write book is not going to be for everyone, but if you fancy writing sci fi or fantasy, this book has to be on your shelf. it has a whole section on world building, which is brilliant, and the section on ‘writing well’ explains how to lead your reader into the strangeness, step by step.
Of particular interest, I found, was the explanation of story construction, depending on your story’s MICE quotient; is the most important element milieu, idea, character or event? The is a great way of thinking about plot for any writer.