How positive people aid success!

It’s been an exciting week on the writing front, requests for full MS, one of my short stories appearing in The News, and lots of support for The Writers at Lovedean writing competition. However, as delighted as I am with the input of good news, I am aware that I couldn’t have done it alone.

Since Tessa Ditner took over running Portsmouth Writing Hub, there has been a flurry of opportunities for creatives. If you suggest something to Tessa, she does her best to make your idea a reality; I believe a member made a comment about collaborating with The News, and now hub member’s stories are in print. All writers understand the thrill of seeing your words in front of an audience, but there is always behind the scenes hard graft to any printed piece of work. Portsmouth Writing Hub is a fantastic resource for artists, but you get what you put into the group. Although there is support for book launches and writers angst, it is mainly a home for positivity, a spot where creatives can discuss plans for creating art and liaising with others to make something new and awesome. You only have to look at the projects that are supported by the hub to see that, Darkfest, Day of the Dead, Dark Cities, and the Edward King Cityscape Project. These aren’t the activities of naval gazing writers lamenting how hard it is to get published; it is an energetic and vibrant mix of creatives wanting to push the boundaries of their work. My advice, don’t sit on the sidelines jump in and see where the opportunities take you!

I was delighted that Solent TV invited two members of The Writers at Lovedean into their studio to discuss our first charity short story competition. Long-time member Lynne Stone and relatively new member Jackie Green bravely stepped in front of the cameras. These two ladies are examples of what real creatives can do; they are delightful members of the group with such an inspiring ‘what can we do to help’ attitude. I know they were both terrified at the prospect of appearing live on TV, but they did a fantastic job.

You can read my story in the news here:
Short Story Punkat By Charlotte Comley in the Portsmouth News

Check out Portsmouth Writing Hub:
Portsmouth Writing Hub Facebook Page

The Short Story Competition:
The Writers @ Lovedean Short Story Competition


Tessa Ditner Literature’s Marmite

Guest speaker Tessa Ditner, Contributing Editor for Skin Two Magazine, gave a workshop on writing erotic fiction at The Writers at Lovedean on Friday. I’ve never written erotic fiction, in fact, I haven’t even written much in the romance genre, so I was a tad apprehensive.

Tessa handed out some examples of badly written sex scenes.  The range of euphemisms from mangos to red hot lava left the group giggling or cringing. It was a fabulous ice breaker. Once I bravely overcame the giggles, we got down to the real work of the morning. I’m not sure why I was surprised to find that badly written sex scenes are the same as badly written fiction. Common problems include losing the characters voice. If the characters start to use words during a sex scene that they – well, wouldn’t, it jars. Bad dialogue, too many clichés are other common problems.

Next we had an interesting discussion about bad sex compared to badly written sex scenes. I have to say I was unaware of the difference. We looked at some erotic fiction already on the market, a few examples of Skin Two and the latex scene.

This all led up to the moment I was nervous about…writing a sex scene. But, with the help and encouragement from Tessa, I went for it. Alas, I wasn’t brave enough to read mine at the session, but it was extremely empowering to have a go. And I have to say, reading my rushed attempted before blogging, I was not displeased with the result.

Will I rush off and start writing erotic fiction? No.

But I don’t think I will be as apprehensive about having a go in future.

I hope Tessa come to the group again.