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


Philip Roth said that reading was a way to keep the circuits open and to think about the piece he’s working on while getting a little rest from the actual work in hand.

Sooooo, the question is….should I join a book club? I’ve been thinking about this for over a year now, but never actually done anything about it. “Mount Toobie” (sorry, slipping into BookCrosser mode there), my to be read pile is huge, verging on thousands, which is what has always put me off….but.

My writing style is very similar to my reading preferences. I tend to read what I call “real life stuff”. No fantasy or sci-fi. I’m not even keen on crime either. I like emotional character driven stories, about people, their lives, and how they overcome obstacles. Which, is kinda what I write about.

But does that allow me to grow as a writer? Am I missing out on the opportunity to “broaden my horizons” so to speak? Also, would joining a book club/reading group give me an insight to what readers want from their books?

Jack Heffron says “Don’t try to write a short story until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. Don’t try to write a novel until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. The same is true for scripts, essays, poems and so on.”

I do copy writing I like into my note book. I collect pieces that I think are powerful. I did at one stage start doing book reviews, but now I just use Goodreads.

Are you a member of a reading group/book club? Do you feel your writing benefits from it?

Whilst compiling this post an update email hit my inbox from Kitty Hietala’s blog which I found very interesting.

Here’s a pic of just one of my book shelves lol.


I wasn’t really inspired by today’s prompt, the emergency exit. I ended up writing a story about 2 young girls running out of the ice rink because the boy one of them fancies comes in. Today’s prompt is eating at a diner so I’m hoping I’ll be a bit more inspired today 😉