Erinna Mettler’s workshop in Worthing

The author of ‘Starlings’ gives us all we need to know about the value of settings when writing a novel. Well prepared, providing a mine of information and with interesting exercises to do. I am not really sure about tackling another novel (two abandoned in the draw) but went along hoping to be inspired.

Erin, as she likes to be called, lives in Brighton with her husband and two young sons. She worked as a researcher for The British Film Institute for many years and has graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex.

The first exercise was writing about somewhere you have never been to in 75 words and this prompted everyone to write something intriguing and original. Will do this again as a great way to open one’s mind to the creative process.

She read various examples of how authors have used settings to good effect and lively discussions followed.

Erin is a founding member of the Rattle Tales literary group which hosts performance nights for emerging writers, apparently one can submit a story and if selected can read it to an audience, who are then invited to ask questions about it.  Very enterprising!

Erin  was generous in the information she shared about how she went about writing her debut novel describing the joys and the pitfalls and provided a useful handout.

An interesting group of people attended and there was plenty of informal talk in the break about the virtues or not of doing an MA, who and what does and doesn’t help the writing process.

It was a really windy wet day and her workshop was a real ray of sunshine, sorry about the cliche but was inspired and am thinking of giving novel writing another go.

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