Friday, June 22, 2012

New Passport New Possibilities

I have a new passport.

After   spending a morning getting photographs taken – the right sort of photographs – no spectacles, no smile!  - and filling in forms – the right sort of forms – the right sort of answers!   (Thank heaven for the check and send service) the Babe Magnet and  I sent of  our old passports  to get them renewed. And yesterday the brand new ones arrived.

They are fresh and smart, their burgundy and gold covers shiny and new, and they speak of  potential and new places  and sunshine  - I hope! Considering that it’s raining again and is supposed to rain for the majority of the weekend – whatever happened to that ‘drought? – I hope there will be some sunshine! There are such possibilities  in the places these new passports can take us.

But I also feel so sad as I ‘retire’ the old passports. There are some stamps on these that hold such wonderful memories and tell of places  we visited. Places we had such wonderful times.  Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.  Visits to America that took us to  visit Anne McAllister and her husband (and dogs) to  RWA conferences where I  met up with so many friends and made so many new ones. And on another continent , Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, New Zealand. .  .   Another round  of conferences  - Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of New Zealand where we’ll never forget the wonderfully warm welcomes we received – and  where the Magnet once  had to stand in for a missing speaker at the last moment  and got ‘paid’ in chocolate!  They’ve taken us to Ireland – several times  too.  And now they are retired with the new ones  all fresh and new, waiting for new places, new adventures, new stamps . . .

We have ten years of travel on these new passports. I wonder where they’ll take us.

Well, the first place  we’ll end up – all being well – should be in Italy.  That of course is where the fantastic  Watermill  is to be found -  in Tuscany to be precise.  And   I’ll be teaching the Beyond The Hearts and Flowers course on writing Romantic Fiction at  The Watermill in  October.

Beyond the Hearts and Flowers

Romantic fiction writing is big business, making up almost half the paperback fiction sold and generating billions in sales worldwide. This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write a popular genre novel. It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from initial research to the final submission of the typescript. With advice and exercises, I'll guide you through creating realistic characters, sustaining pace and conflict, packing emotional punch, writing sex scenes and crafting a satisfying ending. If you're just starting out writing romantic fiction, or you've written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and are interested in honing your skills, this course is for you.

The course is intended to cover the main aspects of writing romantic fiction that from my experience of teaching over the years seem to create the most problems for unpublished writers. While the focus may be on romance novels, the techniques – dialogue, characters, tension, pacing, settings, hooks etc will also be relevant to all forms of popular fiction. I also hope to have plenty of time to discuss your own work with you either in one to one sessions or in an open critique forum with the rest of the group.
If you have particular problems or concerns that you would like me to deal with during the week, please let me know. The basic format will allow for adjustment and additions where needed.

The format of the course will follow this pattern over each of the days:
•Morning: Workshop/Discussion
 After which everyone will be set a writing task

 •Afternoon - Students have free writing time to work on the task applying it to their own writing, either creating a new piece of work or reconsidering a novel you're already working on using what you've learned

 We'll all meet up again later in the afternoon to discuss when you've learned from your writing, what you found hard - or easier – and to provide feedback and help as to where to go from here.

The basic timetable of the course will be:

 Transportation from Pisa airport and settle in at mill. Get to know your fellow students.

 Working on characters – how to create successful heroes and heroines, and add more depth to the building of characters. Creating believable motivations for your characters

 Understanding the nature and function of Conflict in a novel. The difference between internal and external conflict and the use of conflict to further the plot and develop the story.

 Adding in the vital emotional impact of a story. What is 'emotional punch' and how do you create it? Developing this by answering the question 'Why' and working towards and away from the pivotal moment in the story.

Wednesday - excursion day (everyone goes to Lucca or the Cinque Terre)
 A chance for us all to enjoy the stimulus of new, beautiful surroundings.

 Understanding the role that sensuality and physical passion plays in the development of an emotional story showing how the sexual side of any relationship affects, develops and alters the essential emotional journey.

 Open critique session – discussing everyone's work and offering help and advice – to learn how to assess your own work objectively, accept criticism and editing and apply this to working through revisions
The practicalities – submissions, synopsis, covering letters, working with editors, revisions etc
Question and Answer session to deal with any lingering concerns or information needed.

Saturday am
 Farewell breakfast and transport to Pisa airport.

 And hopefully there will be sunshine - lots of it!
If you'd like to join me then please check out The Watermill's web site for details.


Abby Green said...

Sounds gorgeous :) x Abby

PrincessFiona01 said...

INcredibly jealous I can't come to your workshop but just had a nice deja vu moment seeing Diablo on your blog. He's so adorable.


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