Fall in Love with the Past

Norwich PresentationI have undertaken numerous workshops at book festivals and conferences including, the Winchester and York writers’ festivals, The Historical Novel Society and Romantic Novelist Associations conferences, as well as undertaking a New Writers’ Weekend.

I have the following topics to offer:

 

Characterisation

Characters are the dynamos that keep people turning the page of any story but so often poorly developed, unrealistic or weak characters are also why readers put books down half-finished. I have designed this workshop to help you to develop unforgettable characters and start to develop critical skills for identify characters that just aren’t working.

Show/Tell

‘Show Don’t Tell’ is one of the fundamental skills any writer needs to develop; but what does it actually mean? Through exercises and examples I will help you build a deeper understanding of the Show/Tell concept.

Narrative Voice

You know your story but who is going to tell it? Voice is the most difficult part of writing and possibly the hardest to define or quantify but it is what defines you story telling. It is developed not learnt and in this workshop, I hope to start you on the road to discover your unique writer’s voice.

Pace, Action and Excitement

What is a story without it? In this final workshop, Jean will give some tips and hints on how to tighten your narrative to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and sitting up to the wee small hours just to see what happens next.

Plotting

Giving your story shape to avoid the saggy middle and keep it page-turning. I’ll look different techniques of keeping your story on track and avoiding blind alleys.

Dialogue

Let you protagonist show their character, attitudes and motivation in their own words. I will guide you through making dialogue clean, crisp and authentic and include writing regional accents.

Description and Story Setting

You characters have to inhabit a real world for your reader can suspend their disbelief. I will help you get the right balance between description and action to draw your reader into your characters’ story.

The Devil is in the Detail

I help you discover ways of including historical fact into historical fiction to avoid research dumps and nightmare inaccuracies.

I can also develop and deliver bespoke workshops on other writing subjects if required, and the testimonials below speak for themselves.

“The lovely Jean gave generously of her time, helping our group to discover ways to develop and improve. The friendly and practical advice we explored together, covered topics such as characterisation, pacing, marketing… She couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful and made the entire group feel comfortably encouraged” Susan

“Just a quick note to say thank you so much for your help, advice and good company this weekend. I’ve learned so much –“ Chris

“A great pleasure to meet you too, Jean. I found your workshops very helpful and your style of presentation was relaxed and encouraging.” Sue

“I just wanted to write and say what a wonderful week-end I had with you.” Lin

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