Last weekend I spent immersed in a weekend of words at the Eros Romance & Erotica Workshop.
It was my version of heaven: two days devoted my writing, talking about writing with other writers and spending Saturday night in the big (Tasmanian) city with my boys.
I thought I’d post some of the insights we shared, and a few pieces of writing from the Romance day. The erotic writing is (possibly) for another time (and probably another name).
Our romantic guide, Melanie Milburne, gave us some great writing tips that could apply beyond the romance genre.
1. On story first lines, Melanie explains that the best always include who, what, where, how, why (just the first line of a news article).
Here’s some of my attempts at first lines, using one word as a prompt:
The crying just wouldn’t stop; even with the door to the nursery firmly closed shut the baby’s screams filled every pore of the home and its other occupants.
Two shoes – small enough for an older child or a petite adult – sat together on the doorstep of the abandoned house, seemingly waiting for their owner to return.
She saw the dog digging furiously from across the field and as she got closer it looked up and started trotting towards her, it’s tail high like a flag pole, obviously pleased with the treasure it had unearthed.
2. The keys to writing a story are: imagination, memory and fact. Authors draw on these three tools when writing.
Melanie asked us to write a memory, overlaying the facts with adjectives and senses.
Favourite childhood memory
A day at the Easter Show was one of the year’s highlights, considered by my brother and I to be almost as exciting as Christmas, and I hardly slept the night before our visit in anticipation. Pa had promised to buy me a bride doll this year, and as soon as we walked through the entrance gate we set off together, his hard, worn hand enveloping my small, soft one, to find just the right doll. Pushing through the noisy crowds, walking past the salty, fatty chips and Pluto Pup stands, past the colourful street performers. And then I saw her: wearing a shiny white dress decorated with pretty, delicate lace, her long golden curls and wide blue eyes beckoning me.
3. In the same way having a prepared elevator speech is a must for any a networking event, a book tagline is essential when pitching the idea, or even speaking with others about what you’re writing. I used an idea I’ve started (but am nowhere near finished) writing.
Two sisters discover the truth about their mother’s life, and their own parentage, after her untimely death.
Have you got a fabulous first line, cherished childhood memory or terrific tagline for your next story?