Occasionally I’m lucky enough to have the time to dive into a quick little writing refresher course. Not only are these a great opportunity to find out how different writers approach writing, but you inevitably pick up a few tricks or techniques from each individual giving the course, and often from your fellow attendees.

Since I completed my MA, I’ve had the privilege of attending courses by Wyl Menmuir and Francesco Dimitri for Novel Writing  – because I love the way they both write. Jane Pugh for playwriting, and John Yorke (twice) for scriptwriting – because he is the king of structure especially if you are writing for TV.

My latest course is with independent publisher Indie Novella, overseen by author Damien Mosley (The Bookseller Rising Star 2023) and Literary Agent Laetitia Rutherford from Watson Little. And I’m using the course as I’ve done in the past to flush out an idea that may or may not turn out to be a novel or film. In this case, I’m working on a crime drama called The Lost Van Gogh, which is a bit like a heist movie, but so much more. Anyway, taking part in the course has freed me up to go to town with my protagonist – for which I was rewarded with some fab feedback from Indie Novella Editor Gina Adams

Your character has a unique way of expressing herself, with a very distinct style to the way you have written her, Sam. We get an immediate sense of what she is like, and also how she is likely to appear to other people. I really like the idea that your character identifies the waitress as odd, whilst she has a reaction verging on sexual to the food she has been given! We can really imagine the dynamic between the character and the waitress here as if we are sitting at a table nearby watching it unfold…

I’m not sure I meant to divulge my love of food so blatantly, but reading it back I can see how – delicately teased with whipped ricotta, burnt butter, and smoked almonds – which was gorgeous enough to successfully soothe my broken ego – could be read as slightly erotic, whoops!

Please follow and like us: