Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Light Bulbs and Strait-Jackets by Johanna Grassick

Posted by Johanna Grassick
I’ll let you know a secret…I’ve been on Kate Walker writing courses before, so I know they’re always fun and really informative, and that’s why I signed up for the Advanced Romance Writing Course which runs every February in Fishguard, Wales.
© Fishguard Bay Hotel
Because she’d met us all on previous courses (to attend the Advanced course writers must have already been on Kate’s basic Writing Romance course), Kate tailored the course to our needs and requests, covering topics from character to conflict to sex (yes, we had sex on Sunday morning J). We were given exercises to get us writing and spark ideas for new characters, and our discussions really got things flowing so insights were flashing up around the room like light bulbs. 
As an unpublished writer what’s most valuable to me is feedback on my work, and we were offered a one-to-one meeting with Kate to discuss the work we sent in for the course. I came away from mine with a page of notes, ticks and scribbles all over my manuscript, and precious advice on how to improve my opening chapter.
Kate has been writing 25 years and had 60 novels published, so she’s a mine of information. “There are no rules”, she told us, when writing romance – even Mills & Boon books. It’s important to remember this because aspiring writers of the genre can regard the guidelines as a strait-jacket, when in fact publishers are looking for unique voices and new twists.
So “be brave” is the mantra I brought home with me.

Details of Kate Walker’s courses are on her website:
And Writers Holidays run other courses too:

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