Faber – Session 2 Creating Ideas/Planning

I arrived in Bloomsbury with plenty of time to go to the London Review Bookshop. I discovered last week that they have a cafe (oooooo), but as I started the diet (again) today, it was just a Latte and a writing session. The cakes looked amazing though, I have to say *pouts*

A quick butchers around the shop (oh dear, how did that Philip Roth find its way into my bag?) and it was off to class 🙂

Really enjoyed last nights session/class 🙂 We talked about planning, our concerns (mine was/is endings lol) and we were sent away with the first piece of work (by a fellow student) that needs critiquing 🙂 Ive got a date for mine now…. 26th November, which means I have to actually submit it the week before *gulp*

We talked about different methods people use to plan their novels. Tim is in favour of index cards, but also gave us some tips on what files he uses on his computer.

We did a couple of writing exercises (a quick synopsis and a descriptive piece) and some free writing. I was shocked that some of my fellow class members had never done free writing before.


So in the way of homework this week i have to read and critique my fellow class mates work, read the 2 handouts, and do a bit of research on some of the books that came up in the discussions (fiction and writing guides).

Ok, but I bet what you really wanna know is what exactly I’ll be submitting?

Well, I spoke to a fellow student in the break who gave me a bit of advice (on whether to use a new novel or one I’ve got further on with) and then I collared Tim as we were packing up. And the news is….. Tim advised me to compromise lol (actually I had to twist his arm up his back because initially, he refused to comment saying that he couldn’t make that decision for me….but i persisted lol). The plan is to submit 5000 words, 1000 of those being a synopsis, of……But Not Forgotten, and let my class mates give me an opinion, on whether they think I should continue with it…scary huh? If they think its a no goer, as my second piece, submit The View Outside. I told him that But Not Forgotten is a mess, not finished and that I’ve lost heart. He said that all that can be sorted, and that after the critique, I’ll have a much better idea of where I’m going.

So I guess I’m feeling relieved 🙂 But, still a little anxious. I’m going to change The View Outside into 3rd person, see how that feels and then quietly work on the synopsis for But Not Forgotten.

The question is…. Do I write the synopsis using the exact same messy plot that it has now? Orrrrrr come up with a new one?

I dunno, I don’t make things easy for myself do I? Lol

22 thoughts on “Faber – Session 2 Creating Ideas/Planning

    • He he he, funny you should say that Lisa.

      Last week our tutor said that when he reads a book, invests his time in it, he likes to think the author struggled, that they put their heart and soul into it. He went on to say that he doesn’t trust writers who say it comes easily to them (but he was only joking with that last bit) lol.

      Writing IS BLOODY HARD WORK! Lets be honest 😉



  1. Lisaman, it flows alright, but a lot of what flows isn’t great, or veers away from the storyline, or contradicts what went before, or isn’t possible because we failed to research properly, or has some other snag we need to fix. Fixing usually involves rewriting the entire novel – often several times.


  2. For me the workshop isn’t really for your best work, all beautifully polished and ready to send off into the wider world. (Although I appreciate you can use it like that sometimes, especially if you are uncertain about whether it is ready to fly and need to test it out first.) I think the workshop experience is most useful when you are uncertain and have genuine doubts. That intense discussion focused on your words, your story, seems scary at the outset but you should come away feeling empowered and with greater clarity about what you’re doing and what you want to do.
    As for writing a whole new plot that depends on whether you’re all fired up with new ideas, can see the flaws in the old one, and have a clear vision and renewed enthusiasm for the new direction you want to go in. If not them you may be just as unhappy with the new version as you are with the old.
    Good plan to change the point of view on The View Outisde – just doing that might answer some of your questions,
    I have one to put to you – which story are you in love with (warts and all)?


    • Thanks Bridget 🙂

      Neither of them are polished 🙂 I don’t seem to be able to get past first draft in anything I do lol.

      Ooooo, that’s a tricky question….. The 65,000 words of But Not Forgotten were written for Nano in 2010. I gave up on it earlier this year because I started editing (a bad move) before it was finished. I’m not sure I’m in love with it, but it haunts me. The characters are still with me, the storyline goes round and round in my head on a daily basis, and I kind of miss it. Does that make sense? As for the new one, because I’m struggling with first person I kind of feel like the main character is me, I don’t seem to be able to GET into character. I’m worried about the sensitivity of the story, and I’m not sure you can write about a woman suffering from agoraphobia in 3rd person lol.

      So which one am I in love with? Not sure, but, But Not Forgotten is definitely NOT being forgotten 😉 lol



  3. Your first piece of work is due on my birthday (I KNOW it will be good!)

    Your tutor is so right – writing is very hard work! I hate it when people say “I could have written that” – but they didn’t write it! The author has put hundreds of hours of work into it!

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying this. It’s such a fabulous learning experience 😀


  4. Writing is blood sweat and tears – a mad concoction but in the end it’s worth it. I envy you with your writing trips and seminars and workshops – gets me thinking I should pull my finger out!! 🙂 xx


  5. Vicki, I sort of agree with another person who said this is a good time to present something not as polished. There is a temptation to make the work you use the best you have … but the work that needs the most help will give you more from the experience. Oh well …. you can always toss a coin 🙂


    • Thanks Florence 🙂

      He he he, the other student I was talking to said the same. She has a MS that is virtually ready to submit to agents/publishers so she won’t be using that in class. Oh, if only I HAD something that was in those final stages!

      I feel a bit calmer now, as I think I know where I’m going 🙂



Lets chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s