It was not until I was over 40 that I decided to try my hand at fiction again. I wrote endless synopses, character outlines and first three chapters, hired the services of the wonderful Hilary Johnson, and she would tear them apart. If June had said I was not a fiction writer then I wasn’t going to write a whole novel only for it to have no chance of publication. Ultimately I wrote two full-length novels and I loved every second of the process. One still lingers on a memory stick. The other, Sunshine Soup, was a joy to write and has been well-reviewed, but it was a long old process getting it right.
I love poetry and have always written it. I love blogging and writing features articles and particularly enjoy writing short personal pieces, a bit like this one, that share something of my life and offer something useful (I hope) to the reader.
But this blog is about finding your writer’s voice. Well, I believe there is only one way to find your voice and that is try have a go at all the genres: feature articles, reviews, travel, short fiction, junior fiction, full-length novels, plays, poetry, news, food, fantasy, historical fiction, tweets, blogs, columns, essays and so on. Try them all and be mindful of the following:
On my Writing Me-Treats I purposely encourage students to explore other genres and in doing so, they quickly discover what they like and what they don’t and, perhaps more importantly, what most impresses their fellow students.
So start exploring today. You may find that, unlike me, you are a novelist at heart.
Over the years I have tried a variety of learning methods in order to improve my writing skills and knowledge. They range in price from, well, nothing, to more than £1000 and I admit that can seem rather steep. But how effective are they and which provide the best value for money? In this blog I will give you my lowdown on seven different ways to learn. The costs I have used are based on my own experience living in Europe but can vary widely.
SEVEN OF THE BEST WAYS TO LEARN TO BE A BETTER WRITER
1) FREE – Join an online writers’ circle.
3) £10-20 – Go to hear a writer speak at a literary conference
6) £250-£500 – Attend a weekend workshop.
author, journalist, teacher and poet
'Sharing what I know to help others to grow.'
Jo Parfitt has published 31 books, helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 to begin writing. She's an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher.
Jo has run Summertime Publishing since 1997. She has lived abroad for almost 30 years – in France, Dubai, Oman, Norway, the Netherlands, Brunei and Malaysia. She specialises in inspiring others who write about expatriate issues.
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