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Thank you Swanwick Writers' School

Swanwick 2014 onwards

Kick-starting that inspiration!

I'm sure many of you fellow writers have gone through the, 'I'll write that book when I finally get the time!' syndrome that I went through for fifty nine and three quarter years - until I retired (from teaching) in July, went to Swanwick Writers' School in Derbyshire in August and decided I had to really, really do it before I was 60 - which happened to be October 31st. Well, coming home all fired up from a magic week, I very nearly made it. I had the first manuscript in the post to an editor by November. Complete exhaustion followed and then things became exciting - and disappointing - and hard work - and exciting - and disappointing - and then exciting - and the book 'Fusion' is published. Thank you Swanwick for your contribution.

More to come ...

The best bits of advice

Of all the many things gleaned from workshops and speakers at Swanwick, the following stick out:

Make them laugh, make them cry and make them wait.

There's no such thing as writer's block. Just do it.

Write every day: Even if it is only a few words, write every day.

When you wake up, don't switch the radio or TV on until you have visited your story world.

Talk to your characters when you're alone - at home, in the car (perhaps not on the bus or train) - until they become real - which of course they are by the time you create them.

Don't let the pessimists get you down. There's a statistic (in The Week, January 2008) which quotes that of 86000 books published (not sure where) in 2007, more than 58000 sold, on average, 18 copies.

When you've finished your first draft, be prepared to 'murder your darlings' after allowing several people of different ages and viewpoints to read it and feed back. Perhaps draft 3 or 4 might be getting there.

Investigate the Print On Demand or self-publishing industry - but find a good editor and do your research carefully.

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