Novel Writing with Fiona Atchison – 24th Sept. 2014

Fiona Atchison 24.09.14

I have been so complacent about my writing that I expect to put pen to paper and it will happen just like that. When that is not the case I get frustrated and start to question my ability to write at all. That being said, Fiona has always perfect timing because I am thinking about taking on my next challenge on my writing journey, writing a novel and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about the genre.

She began the night by talking about the Bloody Scotland event that she had attended and how inspiring Peter Robinson and David Hewson were to her… I find this to be helpful as she goes on to say that the two authors have different styles when working on a novel.

Peter writes his books with a “go with the muse” approach whereas David is more about structure and planning out everything before writing the story. The overall tips I got from hearing this is that there is no right or wrong way to write a novel because everyone is their own author. Don’t write yourself into a corner and have a catchy title for your book. I came up with the titles Forbidden Secrets, Family Ties, The Luckiest.

With this in mind, Fiona got us to flex our writing muscles by giving us a title challenge where we had to come up with our three best book titles. She followed that up with an opening line task. We wrote an opening line of a novel. For example, “I’ve always wanted to know where I came from. Nothing prepared me for what dad told me” or how about “A nurse brings me a cup of tea. I’m lying on a stretcher. I’ve been shot in the foot. I get up and she jumps sky high.”

To finish off we were given a group challenge of creating a main character with a problem and an interesting plot. It’s been a very creative and informative night at Ayr Writers. I am now more inspired to begin the long and tiring journey of writing my debut novel.

K.A. Wyllie



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