Category Archive: Group Sessions

Oct 16

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Law of Unintended Consequences We all know that ‘for every action there is a reaction’. Also, we know from experience that sometimes it is possible to do something from good intentions and cause mayhem! ‘The law of unintended consequences!’ Using the idea of ‘What if…? and the mind map format that we used recently …

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Oct 04

Travel Writing

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Travel Writing   NB. This group session is designed for my writing group in Lanzarote but can easily be adapted for other regions. Give out the first instructions the week before the session, preferably e mail for the links.After the example of the NYT piece on the undersea statues off the coast I would like …

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Sep 12

Starting with vocabulary

Starting with vocabulary Group Session Before the session ask the members to read ‘Gathering vocabulary‘ before you start writing’. Ideally they need a thesaurus with them in class or a tablet or phone from which they can access on line versions. Large sheets of paper or examples of a mind-map will also be needed (See …

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Sep 01

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day National Poetry day 2017 is 28 September. The theme is ‘Freedom and this session was designed to encourage members of the Writing Group to take part. (It might be useful to ask members to read about National Poetry day on line before the session http://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/about-npd/ ) Word association Write down the first …

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Aug 22

Setting the story using people, places and events.

Setting the story using people, places and events. I have read of more than one publisher who says he would bin any submission that began ‘It was the 4th of December 1982, a cold wet day in New York….’ The assumption being, I suppose that if the writer could not think of an opening with …

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Aug 08

Photographs as a starting point for a story

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.’ Photographs as a starting point for a story ‘A picture is worth a thousand words?’   Look at a selection of photographs belonging to members. Ask each member to start with two that are not their own and jot down what they can tell, from the photograph: when, where who what why…? Discuss the …

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Jun 20

Six characters in search of a story

Six characters in search of a story (With apologies to Luigi Pirandello) Give the members a list of six characters briefly described. They must use ‘Character Questionnaires’ to add at least 6 -10 characteristics to the profiles each character (no more than 15-20 minutes). As they build up their knowledge of the characters hopefully a …

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Jun 17

Characters in search of a story

Characters in search of a story Some writers begin with a plot that they outline and then fill out with characters and details. Some claim that they ‘just start writing’ with no idea where it is going to go. Others start with a character, or a setting, or a concept or issue that they want …

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Jun 06

Session on Facts and Truth in Writing

Session on Facts and Truth in Writing Ask members to read Facts and Truth in Stories on blog prior to the session and to come along armed with one or more facts that are generally believed but not actually true (QI’s General Ignorance!) eg. Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics will stop them working. False alcohol …

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Jun 03

From little acorns, literary oaks!

From little acorns, literary oaks!   What fertile ground I have in my writing group! I just lob in a few carefully thought out suggestions and back come amazing ideas and stories. Today we started with single sentences and phrases to see how much we could tell from one line about a story, genre, character…. …

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