Tony Robinson's session at The Octagon brought tears to the eyes of Marcus, my old mate and partner in crime. We used to do a lot of events together. The tears? He told me it was because Tony connected so effortlessly with the children and captured their imaginations. I missed it unfortunately as I was still on my way down from High Wycombe. Why is it that good things happen on the same day.
Santa Montefiore was our speaker at the Literary Dinner held at The Manor Hotel. How very dare such a slim elegant package be such a funny, erudite and charming person. It's totally not fair. We all loved her
Tracy Baines and I ran a workshop and a number 1-2-1 editorial sessions on Saturday at The Octagon Theatre, in the Johnson Studio to raise funds for Words for the Wounded. The standard of work was exemplary and the enthusiasm boundless. It's so exciting to meet aspiring authors who are willing to work hard to improve. It leads to a lot of fun and is always stimulating. There was quite a presence from the Yeovil Creative Writers (google Yeovil Writers) who go from strength to strength.
A Brilliant Little Operation. Read it, it's fascinating.
At the Manor whilst sipping a glass of wine with Shelagh Mazey, author of the successfully self-published Dawn to Deadly Nightshade I spied Steve Haigh, late of BBC Somerset Sound who has decided he doesn't do retirement and is working on The Conduit, a local arts magazine. There were so many authors and everyone fascinating but I missed far too many. It's tricky when you're actually working and you can only dip in from time to time. I will do better next year.
Finally Michael Morpurgo and a trio of singers put on a stirring narration of Private Peaceful on stage at The Octagon. Michael's funny, poignant and ultimately heartbreaking reading - well, acting - of his novel, interspersed by songs from the period was an extraordinary theatrical experience. I can honestly say that it was the most impressive theatre I have seen for many years, and a most satisfying finale to the first Yeovil Festival one could imagine. Of course I cried. I do wish I could do it elegantly but as Babs Morton, sitting next to me, would testify I am a noisy mess.
So, this has just been a taste of the Yeovil Literary Festival, which is to be the first of many. So readers and writers, do come next year. It was a total success and Yeovil is still buzzing. One day, if all you aspiring authors out there keep working, keep writing, keep entering competitions, keep developing your craft you will be one of the speakers, making us laugh, cry and nod in agreement.
Don't forget, Words for the Wounded writing competition will be open for entries on 11 November. WE NEED YOU! Try your luck, support our wounded, sharpen those pens, flex those typing fingers and rev up your creative imaginations, remember the universal shape, strong characters, living breathing scenes. (Check some of our earlier tips and those below). See you next year at the Yeovil Literary Festival and allow me the privilege of reading your work at Words for the Wounded.
Our next blog will be by our guest Jackie Gingell who will include some of her own writing tips. Make sure you tune in.
Point of View
In my first novel, now called After the Storm and re-issued in August, there are times in scenes when I view the action from more than one person's point of view. Though this is often done in novel writing it is not a good idea because it weakens reader identification and empathy. Try to stay within one person per scene so the reader totally buys in to that one person's experience. For instance.
Annie wondered who this strange man was, reaching for her hand, his face white and sad. Archie looked at her, dear God, I would have passed my own child in the street.
Here we are seeing the scene from two people's point of view.
It would have been more empathetic to have separated them and stayed with Annie until she had taken the hand, received her father's words. 'Hello Annie. I'm your father.' You would then remain with Annie absorbing her reactions and moving on through the scene to the end. At that point you could have a two line space and go into Archie's scene where we receive his feelings and thoughts on the subject.
This is especially important in a short story in which there is usually only one point of view.
Hope this is helpful.