Writing to kill for

A couple of weeks back, I headed over the river on a sunny Sunday to The Word in South Shields, for three workshops from members of the Killer Women collective: Erin Kelly, Kate Rhodes and Helen Smith.

Now, when it comes to crime, I’ve said before that I’m a watched, not much of a reader, and definitely not a writer. But between Crime Story 2016 and Swanwick’s crime specials last year, and now the Killer Woman workshops, perhaps that might just change…

Thanks to Kate Rhodes’ workshop on building suspense, I was able to redraft a better version of an opening scene which has been buzzing about my head for a couple of years, but the main thing that struck me across all the sessions was how transferable so much of the advice was.

Book and Brew highlighted Erin Kelly’s top tips in this article, and they would certainly help anyone improve any fiction they were working on. Plenty of thought-provoking ideas to keep our work going.

This was built on even further in the final workshop with Helen Smith, entitled “Diagnostics, Tools and Hacks.” Tips and advice were fast in coming for the whole hour, including my two favourites: stay organised with a different notebook per project, and to watch good examples of the type of thing you want to write, and note how they do that.

An excuse to buy new stationery, and keep watching crime dramas? Count me in! Especially with so many options to choose from at the moment…

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have my evenings sorted for a while!

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