Below are some frequently asked questions to help you find out more about the courses.
What genres do your courses cover? Both the intensive master class and the NaNoWriMo course are designed to cover all genres. The topics are universal ‘truths’ for good writing – character development, plot development and writing craft (from those dangerous adverbs to dialogue must-dos)!
I really like the sound of the writing master class, but I work full time. The master class is designed as a one-week experience to completely immerse yourself in creative writing. Most of my students take the week off work to take part in the master class.
I’ve never written anything before…should I wait until I have part of a novel on paper before doing the course? Both courses have been created to suit writers at different levels and with different writing experience. Some of my students are about to start writing and want to make sure their first draft is the best it can be, first time. Others have been writing for some time (often having completed more than one novel) but have found publication difficult. I think writing is like a critical mass in some ways – your writing needs to show finesse to do your idea justice, and to get the interest of an agent or publisher and to do that you need training and practise. Soak in as much information from as many different sources as possible!
Can you really teach writing? Isn’t it just a talent you either have or don’t? Yes, you can teach writing because it’s a craft rather than a talent. There are many ‘industry best practices’ that writers are often simply not aware of, but they’re considered evidence of a beginner writer to an acquisitions editor or agent. Two examples: While we’re taught in school to use words other than ‘said’ to attribute dialogue, for novels (for young adults and adults) this is NOT done. Rather, we use said and beats to let the reader know who’s talking. Did you know adverbs are considered lazy writing? Get the right verb and you don’t need the adverb! These are just two of the many, many craft elements that I’ve pulled together in my Writing Rules to Live By.
Can I do the course without the catering to save money? I’ve designed the courses to include catering so that we can keep breaks short, actively engage and network during breaks, and maybe even work through a part of morning tea/lunch! I’m a hard task-master However, if you’re in financial duress and you’d prefer to reduce this cost, please email me.
Do you teach anywhere else? Yes, I teach at Writers Victoria and at other state writing centres. However, my courses at the Abbotsford Convent are the only place where you can do my intensive master class and my NaNoWriMo Success Course.
What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The aim is to write a novel (well, 50,000 words of a novel) in the month of November. It’s a great way to push yourself to write. However, it can still be tricky to make that word count. My NaNoWriMo Success course will help remove the barriers so you’ll hit the 50,000 word goal. It’s suitable for NaNoWriMo first-timers or the more experienced. Plus it includes heaps of essential writing craft info and tools so your 50,000 will be of a higher quality.