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Monday, 19 November 2012

Getting into the writing zone: Peaslake Part II




This weekend I returned to The Hurtwood Inn Hotel in Peaslake for 'Write Away!', a course with Ruth Brandt. Ruth has had short stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 4, in several magazines and her short stories have been long and short-listed in writing competitions.

Peaslake is a picturesque village in the Surrey hills which looks like a film set. The trees were at their best in shades of yellow, red and brown. Peaslake is quiet apart from the occasional car engine and the chattering of cyclists who huddle in the bus shelter whilst taking a break.

Ten of us attended the course, four for the second time. We had chance to get to know each other over meals and during tea breaks. After dinner we gathered in the cosy bar next to the log fire, some of us into the early hours. Being in a hotel meant no cooking or clearing up so I could focus solely on writing (and eating, drinking, sleeping...)

Ruth talked about story ingredients, characters, driving a story forward, beginnings and endings; and editing. There was free time to write and we had two workshops. Ruth gave me valuable advice during our one-to-one and we discussed the plot of my Book 2, 'The Painting'.

I came away from the weekend pleased to have moved forwards with the eighteenth century part of The Painting. I'd been mulling over a scene and I produced a draft of it whilst scribbling in a quiet room.

Sometimes escaping everyday life, especially with other writers is a good way to get into the writing zone. It was lovely to meet everyone on the course. Thank you to Ruth and the staff at The Hurtwood Inn Hotel for making our stay so enjoyable. The next 'Write Away!' will be in April 2013.

Here is a photo of us all having lunch (one of many meals together!). I'm in the grey jumper third from the back on the right.



Do you go away to write?
My first 'Write Away!' weekend in Peaslake in the snow

12 comments:

  1. Great summary of a great weekend, Anita. I totally agree about the value of escaping every day life in the company of other writrers to revitalise your writing. I'm pleased that 'The Painting' got back on track and for everyone else who produced such great work. The only challenge now is to keep at it!

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    1. Thank you Ruth! Hope your writing goes well.

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  2. Sounds great, Anita! I'd love to go away and write for a bit - I think it would be really beneficial to take a step back from the day-to-day, especially if there's someone there to do the cooking! I'm glad you have made progress with The Painting, I'm sure even just having the chance to talk it over with someone was useful. Keep up the good work! :-)

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    1. Hi Elle, thanks for reading and for your lovely comment. Hope to see you tomorrow at the RNA Winter Party!

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  3. I loved reading this post as Peaslake is a familiar Surrey location for this Surrey girl!

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    1. Thanks so much Linda! Peaslake is such a lovely village.

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  4. Peaslake's beautiful this time of year. Glad to hear you had fun and were productive!

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    1. Thank you Cara. Wouldn't mind going back this weekend!

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  5. Sounds great. Thanks for letting us know what it was like! :0)

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    1. Thanks for reading Clare. Hope your writing is going well.x

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  6. Sounds lovely! How I need a fruitful writing escape! I'd be very interested in hearing about your novel as I also wrote a commercial women's novel - rather raunchy as they come - set mostly in Milan and published last April. I hope you find your agent quickly and good luck with book 2. Ciao catinitaly

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    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for visiting my blog and for your good luck wishes. Hope your writing is going well.

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