what can I offer you?
Ask me to create a new talk or workshop if what you’re looking for isn’t here! Some of these were created for the organizations listed below, but most for my own Fictionfire programme of workshops, day courses and retreats during the past decade.
Sample formats: 60-90 minute talks, workshops lasting 2 or 3 hours, half-day or full-day courses, linked series over a weekend, courses lasting several weeks. I can design and structure workshops and courses according to your specific needs.
Here are some ideas for you!
Finding inspiration, motivation, commitment, creating your writing practice
Why write; making the transition from short fiction to the novel; how stories evolve; how to create a writing life for yourself
Get inspired and stay inspired; staying committed to your writing for the long haul; transforming your life into art
Writing techniques and skills
Writing openings; creating/using a sense of place in fiction; using sensory details, making your scenes memorable
Complete novel writing course (10 sessions typical, but customizable)
Creating character; creating heroes and villains; making use of character ‘ghosts’; creating minor characters; creating inner lives for your characters
Creating narrative perspective; the uses of different kinds of point of view
Story construction/plotting; how to control and shape plot; how to pace your story; how to create memorable scenes; pacing individual scenes; how to create back story; raising the stakes of your story; playing with time; how to write happy scenes; creating layers of meaning; writing short stories; how to write spooky stories
Using settings and creating a sense of place/atmosphere; using sensory details
Improving your writing style
Workshops exploring how you can use certain subjects in your fiction – techniques and purposes:
Friendship; war; the aftermath of war; love; parents and children; siblings; spiritual journeys
Editing, submitting and publishing your work
Essential editing, historical fiction; how to get published/your publishing choices, cover design
Essential editing techniques; how to write a synopsis; how to create your pitch package; how to write your covering letter; how to edit your submission
In the past few years I’ve run several writing retreats: Fictionfire by the Sea in St Ives, Cornwall, and Fictionfire by the Spires in Oxford. Each retreat had a taught component structured round a theme: past themes were Spirit of Place, Plot Structure, Get into Character, and Reboot and Troubleshoot.
If you would like me to structure and guide a retreat for you, whether themed or not, please contact me.