Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fishguard Novel Writing Weekend

I had a letter yesterday from Fiona who was interested in the Novel Writing Weekend in Fishguard. She started off brilliantly - telling me she'd bought the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance - and even better, she'd followed the advice!

But then she had a question. As this is a question that I've been asked several time about the course I run, either at Fishguard or anywhere else, I thought it wold be helpful to answer it on my blog so that anyone who needs to can read the answer.

Fiona gave me permission to quote from her letter here: (Thanks again Fiona)

Having read your 12-point guide to writing romance and taken your advice to read before you start writing. I read and read and in the end decided that my heart wanted to write paranomal romance.
So, having seen the next course is on contemporary romance would it still be suitable for me? I have started character building and writing the first chaper for a paranomal romance set in a contempory setting.

Thanks for your advice, Fiona.
And here's my answer:
Well - you're off to a great start! Thank you for reading the 12 Point Guide - and for taking my advice! I meet so many people who want to write romance but have never looked at the publishers' contemporary output and I have seem some truly old-fashioned - not to say prehistoric - attempts at writing romance

OK, so - I'm assuming that you mean my next course in Fishguard in November? Well,I think my answer to you wold be a resounding yes - it should definitely be suitable and hopefully helpful to you

You see, the title Contemporary Romance is in the details for the course largely to differentiate it from the Historical Novel which is a completely different topic and taught very differently. I'll go back to my first paragraph - I teach what contemporary publishers are looking for.

I teach the Romantic Fiction course really - romance in all its forms (some of which would cross over into the Historical Novel topic) You see, if you are writing romance then the growth of the emotional relationship is what is central to the book - and that's wht my course is about - creating characters, adding emotion, working on emotional intensity. After that the idividual author adds the elements they most want to concentrate on - intrigue, paranormal, medical . . .whatever.

On my courses I have had would-be historical writers. medical romance writers, thriller writers who want to add that emotional content, MA students who simply want to learn popular storytelling techniques, inspirational romance writers, chicklit writers . . .

So yes, I would think that the course would be suitable and hopefully very helpful for you - and if it's as much fun as it was last year then very enjoyable too

If you do decide to come along please let me know and I'll look forward to meeting you
The point I'm making is that my courses - and the 12 Point Guide - are not just narrowly aimed at wrould-be category romance writers. The book and the courses are designed to help anyone who wants to write a novel in which the emotional relationship is central to the development - which is Romantic Fiction in its broadest definition. The books I write have the concentrated focus and intensity on the contemporary romance in a style and approach that fits the Modern Romance/Presents lines - but what I teach can be applied to every line, indeed every type of romance/romantic fiction published.

In fact, the lovely Karen Maitland who as well as being a Creative Writing tutor
has two great historical novels - Company of Liars and The Owl Killers coming out in 2008 and 2009 - said of the 12 Point Guide:
I genuinely think the book deserves as wide a publicity as possible. There are a lot of writing books out there and some, it has to be said, are less than helpful, but I think writers from beginners to experienced writers get solid practical advice from your book which is both clear, logical and jargon-free and as one of my more down-to-earth male students said, 'makes you actually get on and write rather than sit there meditating on your inner child for three months before you can get started.'
Title - in this capacity, Dr. Karen Maitland, Creative Writing Tutor, Adult Education.
Though I must add that in my other role as a writer myself I have also found it really useful.
So if it's considerations like Fiona's that has you wondering if the course can help you, then please don't worry. The weekend should have something for everyone - just ask the students on the Write Away Beyond The Hearts and Flowers course in Leicester last month.

We had all ages, all interests all styles and levels of writing on that course and from everyone's comments and the feedback sheets everyone got a lot out of it.

So if you're wondering about the Fishguard Course - or any others that I might run in the future - I hope you'll decide to come along and I can meet you and hopefully help you take your writing a stage further.

Maybe I'll see you there?
PS Don't forget that it you are a member of the RNA, then you will get a discount on your booking - check out the back page of this month's Romance Matters for details.


Ayla said...

Hey kate!
Where would i go to sign up for next years caerleon writers holiday (if indeed a non writer can go?)

Anonymous said...

carolc said...

Just to say I was lucky enough to go on this course last year and it definitely covers all aspects of writing romance, not just category. It was a great course and I'd higly recommend it.


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