In other news

On Saturday I was invited to facilitate a “Writing for Pleasure” session at the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre, in Joondalup – a northern suburb of Perth.

I got to set an exercise, listen to the previous week’s homework and set the current lot of homework.

I was drunk with power.

And I really enjoyed it. The workshop, not the power.

It is fun to be surrounded by people who want to write, and so much quality work was written and read on the day that I would happily recommend the PCWC to you all. They’re a great group of people, and the Saturday workshops – if last Saturday was anything to go by – could prove incredibly useful to your writing!

Disclaimer: probably not so useful if you don’t live in Perth.


9 Responses to In other news

  1. Nicole says:

    Thank Daniel for an interesting Saturday. We appricate people with experance coming in and ginving us hints and tips and stuff. I also loved the glueing section it took me all the way back to year 1 where that’s all we had to do!

  2. dansimpson says:

    No problem Nicole. I got a lot out of it too. One of my uni lecturers said to me once that if someone is a better writer than you they probably just know a few more tricks. So I thought I’d share a few of mine.

    … and it is one of my goals in life to regress to a pre-school state as often as possible, hence the cutting and gluing. Next time I’ll bring some cut fruit for play lunch 🙂

  3. Amber Hunter says:

    Since I’m hopelessly far away from Perth (insert sad face here), fill me in? What’s with the glue?

  4. dansimpson says:

    In a nutshell:
    Photocopy a page of a book – preferably with some good, meaty language.
    Cut it up into lines, then cut the lines up into random (must be random) segments of words. Then glue them to a page in random order, line by line, so that you in effect rebuild the page.
    Then you read what you have! Most of it will be jibberish but you should hopefully get out of it a few “gems” where the combination of words gives you an interesting way of saying something, or describing something. Also, you will often you’ll also get a weird eclectic voice from the passaage.

    Then, use either these little gems or the weird voice to write!

    The idea is that you point your brain in a direction it wouldn’t go if left to its own devices.

  5. Amber Hunter says:

    Wow, that sounds like fun! I just had to ask because I found this earlier today:

    Jewelry made from cut-out pages of books glued together.

    Anyways, I’m totally going to have to try your paste trick. Did you come up with that yourself???

  6. dansimpson says:

    No – it came from a book I have (somewhere) that lists a bunch of writing exercises. We normally try and do an exercise in my writing group but it can be as simple as grabbing the nearest book then randomly picking a page and line and using that as iinspiration for 10 – 15 minutes of free, uncensored writing.

  7. Amber Hunter says:

    I saw a book when I was browsing around Half Price the other day looking for the Writers of the Future Anthology (didn’t have it). I was thinking it would be great to use as prompts, similar to what you’ve been posting in the challenges, but decided against getting it that day since they had several copies on the shelf and I had come to purchase something specific. I’ll probably head back and pick it up once my check hits the bank. Will let you know if it’s any good.

    I’ve been straining my head looking for more challenges like yours online – there just don’t seem to be enough of them and your prompts are by far superior to some of the others I’ve seen. Just my opinion. But I signed up for Liberty Hall Writers today – they supposedly have flash fiction prompts weekly (amongst other things) and set a 90 minute timer on writing. Very interesting idea.

    Anyway, sorry I’ve lapsed into babble again. 🙂

  8. dansimpson says:

    Check out Mark Welker’s coffeebreak challenges at Mark is a good mate of mine and he has about a dozen photo prompts on his website were various people (including me) have written in response to them.

    I think I did about 10 of them, and they were always a lot of fun, and very worthwhile

  9. Mark Welker says:

    Hey Dan, glad to hear your exercise in power went well. Get some good results from the class? I’ve been storing up my coffee break challenges until I get broadband connected, so stay tuned.

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