Yesterday we published the first part of Nadine Little’s trip to Edge Lit-6. Today you can read the second part of her adventure which looks at the first workshop she attended. You can read what happened below the break
Forcing myself from the ridiculously comfortable chair in the cinema, I scuttled to my first workshop on remixing ideas. Basically, this means taking a story already written by someone else and changing details e.g. different characters, setting, genre or problem. Each change will have new implications for the story and lead it in a new direction. For example, what would happen if Lord of the Rings was set in space? We then tried this ourselves on a well-known story. My choice was Harry Potter. I kept the concept of a chosen one but changed the characters to adults and the setting to some post-apocalyptic wasteland (if you know my style of writing, this will not be a shock). In this future setting, the apocalyptic event was caused by people with magic so they are feared and hunted. Voldemort is non-magical but is hunting all magical survivors to steal their power. Harry becomes the only one left who is strong enough to defeat him. I’m thinking it could rival the original J.K Rowling phenomenon. No? Well, you get the idea.
Staying in my happy little workshop bubble, there followed a session on how to write synopses. No discredit to the speaker, but the workshop focussed more on writing a blurb/pitch that would hook readers and give an overall summary, not the full story summary/synopsis intended for literary agents, although the blurb/pitch could be included in a cover letter to an agent to hook their interest. His synopsis aimed to introduce the book rather than explain it, concentrating on character, setting and themes. He suggested writing keywords for each of these (using non-physical descriptions and emotions) and then turning the keywords into sentences to evoke the story. For example, keywords of the themes in my book would be things like survival against the odds, oppressive regime, war and violence. Using these principles, my summary became something like this:
The Faction War: Captivity is a speculative fiction novel set in a dystopian Scotland divided into warring factions. In Calders, the stronghold of The People’s Republic, Anita Carmichael is struggling to survive under the oppressive rule of a sexual predator and his harem of female guards intent on killing her. When she is taken prisoner by an enemy, we follow her through the dark days of her captivity.
Pretty cool, eh? I’d definitely want to read it but then I am somewhat biased. Lunch wasn’t included in the ticket but could be purchased for a reasonable price from the café in the QUAD. Good variety, excellent food and on to the next half!