A few weeks ago, I gave in to temptation and booked myself onto a writing workshop with Della Galton. I had contacted Della before asking about her workshops but came up with excuses why I couldn’t go … no excuses this time, it was at the end of our Easter holidays from school so I would be relaxed and ready for the challenge! You may have seen me tweet and post a FB status the day before and although I was excited, I was also quite anxious too.
The day was held at Pelham’s Community Centre (aka Kinson Community Centre) which is only about 5 minutes in the car for me.
As soon as I entered the building, the caretaker was really friendly directing me to the right room and as soon as I walked into the room, Della’s greeting was warm and welcoming. To be honest, we did feel as if we knew each other … Twitter and Facebook are great!
I wasn’t sure if the others attending would know each other and if they did, how they would feel with a new person there! There was no need to worry though because although they did, I was really welcomed into the fold and felt comfortable enough to join in with everything. There was a mixture of backgrounds and genres. The group were supportive and there was plenty of banter 🙂
The workshop ‘Writing your first novel’ information sheet said:
Do you have a big enough storyline?
Does your plot keep the reader guessing?
How do you create irresistible characters and settings?
How do you write that all important first page?
Through the day we looked at ideas, planning, plotting, pace, timescale, dialogue, characterisation, the first page of your novel and guidelines for submitting to a publisher or agent. We completed tasks, shared and questioned. PHEW! A packed day!
I went with an idea that came to me on the day (I did try to cheat and asked Della if I could use something I had written from a short story but received a resounding no 🙂 ) Did I write that all important first page? YES! Did I enjoy doing it? YES! Did I read it out to the group? YES! even with the wobble in my voice… I had the most amazing feedback from the group and Della.
From the very first night, my dreams have been filled with a movie of my story and I’ve been frantically scribbling down ideas and getting to know my characters and their lives. One day, I hope to make it into a coherent whole …
I wanted to say a public thank you to Della for such a fabulous day but I also wanted to blog about my experience in case there are others out there who may have had negative experiences in the past with attending writing events or are feeling nervous about attending one. Don’t give up … there’s a right group out there for you somewhere! I felt so good at the workshop that if I had more time in the evenings I would attend Della’s weekly writing group.
Della Galton is a freelance writer and tutor. She is best known for her short stories, and sells in the region of 80 short stories a year to magazines both in the UK and abroad.
She is a popular speaker at writing conventions around the UK and is also the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum.
When she is not writing she enjoys walking her dogs in the beautiful Dorsetcountryside where she lives. Her hobby is repairing old cottages, which is lucky as hers is falling down.
In her spare time she fund raises and also does temporary fostering (and occasionally permanent fostering) for DAWG (Dorset Animal Workers Group).
You can find out more about Della Galton, her books, speaking engagements & workshops, on her website, dellagalton.co.uk
For all Della’s non-fiction/fiction novels visit her Amazon author page