Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday Story - Shame and workshops

Oh, my poor neglected blog.

The end of year seems to have a craziness all of its own...or maybe it's me! Anyway, I'm here to catch up a bit.

The Wollongong Writers Festival workshop on Shame, presented by Lee Kofman, was amazing. Not exactly what I thought it was going to be, because I didn't think properly. Lee writes memoir and creative non-fiction. So I should have made the leap that the Shame workshop woudl be along those lines...ha ha ha, I completely missed that. So I was the only fiction writer in the group. But it didn't matter. My mind was opened to a new-to-me genre.

Lee gave some recommendations for writing through your shame, which resonated for sex scene writing. She suggested first drafts should have everything in them, written as if no one is ever going to read it. When you go back to edit it, then think about publication, a focus, how you want it to appear, and what you want to say exactly. It's far easier to omit than to add in extras.

Shame was an interesting topic. Everyone feels shame, gets uncomfortable or scared. The trick to dealing with it is to face the fear, expose what you're comfortable with, and be brave. In sharing, you may alleviate someone else's agony.

The other people in the course were amazing writers. Lee had a great knack for encouraging us to share our writing exercises (the 5 or so minutes we had to scribble to her prompt). I noticed in my Erotic Writing Workshop that getting people to read their work wasn't easy, but Lee was so clever at this. She made sharing seem like something you wanted to do and were honoured to speak...even the reluctant speakers :) I have to brush up on that skill she had. I think a lot of her technique came because she shared her work right up front, and invited everyone to share. So the seed was planted early. I need to do this in the future.

The rest of the Festival was brilliant too. I'm often ho-hum about going to writing events but I had such a great time I'll have to change my thinking.

Have you been to any great events lately?

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