How do you capture emotion in your writing without being sentimental?
How do you hook your reader in the first paragraph AND keep them reading the subsequent pages?
Why is ’50 Shades of Grey’ so damn popular? (ha ha!)
The above dilemmas, along with sex, death, and relationships were just some of the great topics I explored over the weekend.
I am surfacing after two glorious days with Maggic McKellar and a group of Australian writers. Maggie’s workshop was titled ‘Writing Emotion’ and has inspired me to write and write and write! The workshop was organised by The NSW Writers Centre and was an opportunity to look at various emotive pieces and explore the ways they had captured the emotion of the moment. We also shared our own writing and completed several pressurised writing assignments. Great fun!
Maggie really touched my soul during the past 2 days which is why I am sharing her with you.
“Australian Story” did a short doco on Maggie last year. The episode is in their archives and worth watching. The short documentary covers Maggies life and how she came to write her Memoir “When it rains.”
The episode is around 30mins long and you will need flash. Keep the tissues on hand. I cried most of the second half. Below is the link.
Maggie’s Memoir is also available from Amazon.
Along with buying her book, Maggie has given me a very large ‘further reading list’ from the workshop which I am sharing with you. Most of the suggested books explore the big life experiences – birth, death, illness, heart break – and look at how to capture those emotions accurately. Below is the list.
“Burmese Days” by George (his first book!)
“Swimming in a Sea of Death – a Son’s Memoir” by David Reiff (Susan Sontag’s son – Susan’s Memoir is below)
“Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton (fiction but with some beautiful phrasing)
I was also introduced to the Australian author “Glenda Adams” who I have since discovered was born in the suburb I now live – bonus! Glenda wrote a fantastic short called “Reconstructing an Event” which was given to us during the workshop however I have not been able to locate this in print for you. Please Google it – it has been shared across many websites freely.
If you would like to know more about Maggie’s workshop please leave your questions in the comments below.