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There’s still time to sign up for the Carlisle Phil & Lit Society’s Creative Writing courses, taught by BHDandMe. Both run for ten weeks, with the first starting on Monday 8th January, 7.00pm-9.00pm. To Book contact Darren Harper darrenharper.esq@gmail.com  or visit: darrenharper.net 

Dates: 8 January until 12 March 2018 Mondays 7pm until 9pm

Venue: The Carlisle Phil & Lit Society, Room 8, Fisher Street Galleries 18 Fisher Street Carlisle CA3 8RH

Fees: £70 full fee £49 over 60 £14 in receipt of benefit Level Beginners to Intermediate

Description:

Using a combination of exercises, tutorials and seminars I’ll lead students through an exploration of the elements of fiction writing outlined below. Because I am running concurrently a short story course, all the texts used in this one will be taken from novels.

Introduction : An exercise in what we know about story

Developing Character: Breadth and depth, limits and inner conflicts

Setting the Scene: Enabling the events, inviting the participants, manipulating the reader

Structure and Plot: Paragraphs and Chapters

Point of View 1: Who tells the story?

Point of View 2: Where are the readers?

The Little Box of Language Tricks: Emotional Weighting. Open & Closed sentences. Poetics.

Reading as a Writer: A stop and search mission

Drafting: Putters in and Takers out. Chronologies. Cruises and crossings.

Revision: CRIT Clarifications, Repetitions, Irrelevancies and Tightening

 

Beginning on Thursday 11th January, 1.00pm-3.00pm 10 weeks on Writing the Short Story

Thursdays, 1.00pm-3.00pm, 11th January to 15th March 2018. Room 8, Fisher Street Galleries, Carlisle.

£70 (£49 over 60/ £14 in receipt of benefits)

This 10 week Facets of Fiction course examines the short story elements: Beginnings, Endings, Middles, Locations in time and place, Ambience, Character, and Narrative voice. Short stories are short, sharp, subtle, and to be taken ‘at a sitting’. Includes sessions that take published short stories and examine how they have used those facets.

  1. Introduction – We find out what we already know about Short Stories and what they are 
  2. Beginnings – What are they for? What must they do?
  3. Endings – The point of a story: the view it takes us to.
  4. Dialogue – how much, and where, and why? And how to do it…
  5. Character & Situation – Characters create situations, and are caught in them.
  6. Location – Stories take place, and time, and are made by them
  7. Ambience – every story has a mood, which might deepen, dissipate, or change.
  8. Narrators – Who is telling the story, and why, and to whom?
  9. Editing & Redrafting – exercises with prepared stories (c1000 words).
  10. Publication: How and Why? Options to consider.

 

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Facets of Fiction: Writing the Short Story

– a short course by Mike Smith, devised for Darren Harper’s Carlisle Phil and Lit Society.

Thursdays, 1.00pm-3.00pm, 11th January to 15th March 2018. Room 8, Fisher Street, Carlisle.

£70 (£49 over 60/ £14 in receipt of benefits)

This 10 week Facets of Fiction course examines the short story elements: Beginnings, Endings, Middles, Locations in time and place, Ambience, Character, and Narrative voice. Short stories are short, sharp, subtle, and to be taken ‘at a sitting’. Includes sessions that take published short stories and examine how they have used those facets.

  1. Cut Up Exercise – Reconstructing stories reveals our grasp of the genre.
  2. Beginnings – What are they for? What must they do?
  3. Endings – The point of a story: the view it takes us to.
  4. Dialogue – how much, and where, and why? And how to do it…
  5. Character & Situation – Characters create situations, and are caught in them.
  6. Location – Stories take place, and time, and are made by them
  7. Ambience – every story has a mood, which might deepen, dissipate, or change.
  8. Narrators – Who is telling the story, and why, and to whom?
  9. Editing & Redrafting – exercises with prepared stories (c1000 words).
  10. Publication: How and Why? Options to consider.

Suggested Reading:

The Poetic Impulse by Mike Smith. Explores the ideas from which the course was constructed. Available on Amazon (or from the author).  Mike Smith, M.Litt (Glasgow) -aka Brindley Hallam Dennis- has won many prizes and awards for his writing.

Story by Robert McKee. Intended for Screenwriters, but useful for any story constructor!

Aristotle’s Poetics – An ancient overview of how tragedy works (even today!). Various translations (over the past centuries) are available. (McKee’s book draws heavily on it!)

The title is taken from Stephen King, writing about writing. I’m running a Facets of Fiction dayworkshop here in north Cumbria, on Saturday December 1st, on the subject of self-editing and there are few places left. Hopefully you’ll come away with some ideas and strategies for deciding which of your darlings are due for the ritual slaughter (and some on what you might replace them with!). Go to Our Writing Workshops page for the details.

While we’re writing about writing we might as well direct you http://blogs.chi.ac.uk/shortstoryforum/?p=11036  here, to an essay of MS’s Naming Names. It’s a subject we’ve touched on at BHDandMe’s Blog before, but this essay looks in particular at the use of names in the tales of A.E.Coppard.

I’ve spent the last twelve months or so trying to pick the pockets of Nnorom Azuonye, Managing Editor of the Sentinel Literary Quarterly! This print and online journal runs quarterly short story competitions. I’ve lifted a couple of third prizes (£50), and had a near miss (Highly Commended). He also runs poetry competitions alongside, and annual competitions in both genres.
    That’s not all though. The journal itself, in addition to carrying winning and commended pieces has a great selection of stories, poems and articles of interest to writers, by writers from around the world. There’s a great back catalogue too, of well produced anthologies, collections, and journals.
    SLQ links the UK & Nigeria, but throws its windows open to the world, tossing in to a melting pot that Nnorom stirs with gusto, writers from many different countries, and cultures. It’s well worth supporting, by subscription, or competition entry. http://sentinelquarterly.com/
(it would be helpful if you didn’t send stories as good as mine, btw)
 
We ran the monthly LitCaff at Merienda in Carlisle last night, and an impromptu straw poll cum vocal show of support found that LitCaff writers are still in favour of that endangered specie, the whom. Whoms, unlike ‘Who’s don’t wreck hotel rooms or destroy guitars, but hang aroundthe fringes of dodgy grammatical constructions in blogs like mine. Just thought you’d like to know that, if you’re one of the people to whom that sort of thing matters!