Friday, 24 February 2017

Stalking in Fishguard

February is Fishguard Month and last weekend, as per every year, I headed south down the Welsh coast for another of Kate Walker's fabulous writing courses, organized as always by the incredibly hard working Anne and Gerry Hobbs at Writers' Holiday.  As all the attendees had been several times before, and indeed are now famously known as Walker's Stalkers, Kate tailored the course to our own needs as a group and as individuals, with one-to-one feedback on work we'd submitted beforehand.

The approach to the course this year was a little different and we looked in detail at one of Kate's own books, Indebted to Moreno, published in 2016. We'd all read this prior to arrival and in the sessions looked at key scenes which highlighted the things that every good Harlequin Presents romance novel should have - a sexy Alpha hero, a spirited heroine, a page-turning couple-centred story, and sky high emotional intensity throughout.  Needless to say, the book had all that in spades!

It was really useful for me as an aspiring author to get to dissect, analyse and discuss the book in this way, and to think about technique and story-telling in general, e.g. how the story opens, chapter hooks, POV, characterization, setting and - of course - conflict.  It was very generous of Kate to share her work and let us go 'behind the scenes' as it were, and, certainly for me, it set off some light-bulbs and also highlighted some gaping holes in my current WIP - so thank you Kate !

As always, it was wonderful to meet up with writing friends and to share time with them both inside and outside of the classroom. And as always, the weekend went far too quickly and in the blink of an eye it was Sunday afternoon and time to leave.  I did manage to get in a walk along the coastal path before leaving Fishguard but I resisted - just - the urge to go back to the hotel for afternoon tea!