Wednesday on my mind

It is the middle of the week, and I am aware that I have been neglecting my fiction writing. The workshop with Patrick Gale last weekend was fantastic, but it left me a little scarred - ever so slightly - as the final exercise was to get into the head of someone we had wronged, or been wronged by. I chose to write this exercise in the first person, and it concerned someone I love who I had disappointed. It knocked the wind out of my sails, so to speak.

So I haven’t had much energy in the ensuing days for revisions to Strip Poker, which currently sits in a draft state over at Unfction, my short fiction clearing house. I want to recut the story, and I will get around to it - I want to introduce an element of tension and suspense into a story that is currently more like the slow-motion unfolding of a nightmare. The other day I had the chance to speak to someone who had actually read the story (a rare enough individual!), and they described it as ‘very dark’. This surprised me, as I thought it was blackly humorous more than dark. However, I am more than willing to let it be interpreted any way that people wish.

If you feel so inclined, have a read of the story in its current state; it will soon be updated to read quite differently. I will keep both versions up on Unfiction so they can be compared, just for fun.

Apart from that the week holds the promise of more writing, some of which I plan to do in a cafe the identity of which is to be determined. This week I am doing another freelance article reviewing a fancy house renovation for Houses Magazine, one of the Architecture Media stable of journals. The house is located on the delightful Saint Vincents Place in Albert Park here in Melbourne, an address I might aspire to if I thought I was, at any point in the future, going to be in the market for a $5 million house. (No chance!) Once the story is published I will thrown the link up here.


A day spent with the author Patrick Gale

Today I attended a workshop entitled 'Venturing into Fiction' with author Patrick Gale, a Melbourne Writer's Festival event. Patrick is an affable, charming teacher and the day passed in a flurry of writing, reading, speaking and listening. There is something quite engaging about the workshop format, and I found the exercises stimulating and challenging.

I have attended only two writing workshops so far in my modest career, and I have to say that the forum agrees with me, even if I wasn't on form today. It is good to externalise what is often a solitary pursuit - writing is a lonely affair, usually - and I enjoyed meeting some fellow travellers.

Patrick is an interesting fellow and like many writers I have met, he was generous today when sharing his knowledge. He revealed many of his personal writing processes and elements of his method, and shared insights he has gained from years of productive work. Having seen behind the curtain, as it were, I look forward to reading his fiction. I have obtained a Kindle copy of A Perfectly Good Man and will be delving into it forthwith. Expect a report in due course!