Day of Rest? – Swanwick Day Two

Ha ha ha, yeah right πŸ˜‰

Up and ready to go at 7am yesterday morning, but it did give me the opportunity to do some writing on a bench outside in the morning sunshine πŸ™‚

After breakfast it was off to my first course, which was Characterisation with Steve Hartley (the children’s author who was the speaker last night). A great session where Steve told us all about the Behaviour Model which is based on Carl Jung. If you follow the system it helps you focus on keeping your characters behaviour consistent throughout your novel. Very useful!!!!
I know this photo is gunna look really confusing but you need to know the whole system for it to make any sense.

After tea on the lawn it was off to the Short Story writing class with Linda Lewis who was as amusing and interesting as ever πŸ™‚

I had my one to one with Linda where she critiqued a short story for me. She pointed out where I was going wrong and we discussed my thoughts about giving up short story writing. She’s given me a lot to think about, so I’ll wait til I get home before I make a decision and look into some of the advice Linda gave me.

After a roast beef lunch it was off to Show and Tell with Roz Southey which was an excellent workshop, but, I think I came out even more confused than when I went in! Lol. For me, it’s one of the hardest parts of writing 😦

In the evening, our speaker was Stephen Leo Davis the author and screenwriter. A very interesting man who told us about his experiences of writing for the TV and the film industry over the last 38 years. Two things he said that I took away from the talk….

1. There are no professional tips (ie shortcuts)
2. Learn how to control the fear of failure


My evening was rounded off by watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics in the bar


Do you struggle with show and tell or is it just me? πŸ˜‰

And now…..I need sleep lol

Arriving at Swanwick -Day One

After leaving home at an ungodly hour this morning we made good time up the M1 and arrived bright eyed and bushey tailed (kind of) at The Hayes just before 12….where we were given our badges *snigger*

Yep, I’ll be acting as a Steward all week, helping the newbies πŸ™‚ So far today I’ve had to sort out 2 people being locked out of their rooms and find a lady a TV….no mean feet I might add in a conference centre where there doesn’t appear to be any TV’s lol

Jayne and I were in charge of allocating rooms to people staying in the main house. It was good fun, but hard work as neither of us had ever stayed in that part of the centre!

Jayne being very efficient πŸ™‚

Lunch was good, as was dinner, so I’d already had 2 desserts by the end of the day *gulp* πŸ˜‰

After the Chairmans Welcome and dinner, it was on to the main speaker. Children’s author Steve Hartley who me and Jayne had already met when he arrived just after lunch. We couldn’t find his room number so at one stage we thought he would have to sleep in his car πŸ˜‰ Nooooo, it wouldn’t have come to that πŸ˜‰

His talk, entitled “Things I know now that I wish I knew then” was all about how it took him 15 years to get published. He gave us a list of rules:

1. Be professional
2. Polish your MS until it shines so much you need sunglasses to read it
3. Find your voice
4. Get lucky…do everything you can to increase your chances

An interesting exercise he suggested was to try to sum up your “voice” in a sentence. WOAH! I don’t even know where to start with that one, but I will try πŸ™‚

His talk finished with fitting 11 of our audience into a huge pair of knickers….don’t ask! πŸ˜‰


After that we found ourselves in the bar with Peter Jones and Della Galton discussing diets lol. Very appropriate after the food we’d put away today πŸ˜‰

So then, it was room, fluffy slippers and a cup of tea πŸ™‚ Which is exactly how I shall be starting this day πŸ™‚

Could you describe your “voice” in a sentence?