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Saturday, 4 June 2011

I survived!

Today my writers group held its very own all day workshop, and boy what a fun filled day it was for all concerned. Instead of employing a tutor to run the day, we decided to have a go ourselves. It was a good decision.

Three of us took up the gauntlet and ran a session each for the benefit of the group.  The morning began with our usual 'word of the week'  100 word challenge, set the previous week. This weeks word was 'stupid' and the writers did it justice, each having created a unique and different piece of flash fiction.

Afterwards, we went straight into Dan's hour, entitled 'A Shaggy Dog Story' which he explained involved creating a long-winded story, with extensive detail and narration, involving irrelevant incidents. Which results in a pointless, or off the wall punchline. Boy, was it challenging! I will put my hand up and say, I struggled.

Dan explained how to create the set up from a quotation, a saying, or a first line of a song, and showed us how to structure it into a story, and although a fail for me, my writing buddies embraced the exercise with vigour, and had us laughing with the hilarious stories and puns they created with ease.

Next up was Keith, who gave us an informative and full on hour, of creating a character. Supplying us with pictures, we selected our character, then he asked us a series of  questions, and we had to answer without really giving it too much thought. Afterwards, we wrote a few paragraphs which including some of our answers in a show, not tell way. Again, fun and intense. The read out gave us an incite into our characters lives.

We broke for a lively lunch, and then it was my turn. They say you should write about what you know - I say research what you want to know, and then write about it!

I did something different. I took my writing buddies on a tour of the area where we hold our regular meetings. With the help of an excellent downloadable audio tour, we set out with maps to be educated. Surprising facts emerged about the area and its past history. The people who had lived in the surrounding area. The buildings, and the industries all had their own stories.

Afterwards, we sat and wrote a variety of pieces. Articles, fiction and poetry emerged easily. Imaginations had been primed and set into motion. And then all too quickly it was over, and it was time to disband and go our separate ways.

We all agreed, it was a wonderful day. I urge you, if you run a writers group, take the plunge, organise your own day. You won't regret it. We will do it again, and sooner rather than later. It was fun. Watch this space.