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Writing What If…

Today we wrote about magic – through objects like some of the ones you see here: ordinary trinkets filled with mystical powers, talismans to guide protagonists through improbable, imaginary worlds. There were magic cats and rebel angels, split geodes that turned into cradles. We talked about how senses root a character in time and place, but also give them histories and memories, rich backstories that can be “held” in a magical object that they can draw on when things get tough. And they do, when you’re “what if-ing.” We made a list of unlikely scenarios of what would happen next. What if the ground becomes toxic and your characters have to take to the trees – with a silver walnut? What if a magic circle opens in a ruined world and offers you a way out? Today’s writers left with portals, ways in to new characters and stories.

We didn’t have enough time – there never is! – to cover every concern of every writer. And when we’re writing – or wanting to – we always have concerns: is this right, am I good, why can’t I finish, what am I doing? However, we did talk about where ideas come from – they are all around us, if we can stay open to them. We talked about how to build stamina (or, as some called it, discipline): for this, I always recommend “morning pages” – follow this follow the link to read more about their magic.

Next week, we’ll be working on the “short-short story” in my last workshop for Write Mind & Whitstable Lit. Why not join in?

What If: Write Mind

I have two workshops left with the wonderful new Whitstable initiative Write Mind, developed with WhitLit, the Whitstable Literary Festival, and Canterbury Council. Follow the link to learn more about the programme, including other writing workshops with author Andrew McGuinness and plenty of book chats, and to book your space. Guess what? The workshops are only £5, giving new writers a real chance to have a go!

Saturday 22 June: 11 – 12:30 WHAT IF?
Writers thrive on the game of “what if” to make stories and characters move in unexpected directions. Using a series of prompts & magical objects, workshops writers will work to create improbable worlds where anything can happen!

Saturday 29 June: 11 – 12:30 DRIBBLES & DRABBLES
The final Write Mind workshop will focus on the short-short story: 50 – 100 words, to be exact. Through prompts and guided writing, writers will have the chance to write, edit & polish and short-short story.

Daily Prompts

Could you use some daily prompts for your morning pages? Following on from our recent morning pages workshops, let me introduce you to Dr. Julie: her site, Dr. Julie Journaling (for wellbeing and success) features daily prompts that you might use as inspiration for your own writing. You can subscribe to receive them in your inbox – or visit her whenever you need a new idea.

You can also work with her at Margate Bookie’s Write Up: Why not give her a try?

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