Upcoming Event: On Saturday August 20, I’m heading down to the beautiful Mornington Peninsular just out of Melbourne to talk about Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon. This presentation is suitable for 8-12 year olds and will be followed by a Chinese dragon drawing workshop. To book- https://www.trybooking.com/CASYZ For more information – https://www.farrells.com.au/author-event-gabrielle-wang/Learn More
Yesterday we had our monthly writers’ circle. We always start off with a 20 minute writing exercise, just to get us in the mood. Then we move onto either workshopping each other’s stories or discussing things like contracts or agents or whatever a member happens to bring up. And of course we couldn’t survive without tea and muffins.
I wanted to have a crucial chapter in my YA novel workshopped- a turning point when my character realises she can’t rely on anybody but herself. I used what I had written in the writing exercise and inserted it into the chapter before I read it out aloud. Usually I don’t come up with anything of value, but somehow that particular exercise was just right and made the chapter a whole lot stronger.
I wanted to know how the chapter should end, and after the reading, the problem was solved very simply by the group in one paragraph. What might have taken me a day to figure out, took only a few minutes.
It is hard to stand back from your work. Sometimes you need to turn the binoculars around and look through the other end, to take a step back and see everything from a distance. A writing circle can do this.
Our meeting lasts for about 2 hours and by the end of it, we are all mentally exhausted. We’ve entered the world of imagination, crossed oceans, landed in strange places, met weird and wonderful people. I can’t wait for the circle to come around again.