Writing workshops help

Several of us meet on a monthly basis for a two hour writing workshop. We chat a lot and laugh a lot and eat some cake and drink tea and coffee. All of that is really good. Relaxing and fun. What is really good too is the writing – maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise, but when you’re doing a lot of editing (which I am at the moment – my fantasy trilogy is getting a ‘spring clean’ before being re-uploaded with my new website details; I’m putting both my historical WIPs through their ‘final’ (ho ho) paces); and even Sammy’s Walks is having a freshen up before a re-printing) it’s easy to get out of the actual writing habit. Here’s one of the exercises we did – with my (almost) unedited, five minute, dash it off response.

Exercise: Who just snuck out the back window? What were they carrying? Where were they going?

Christopher knew he should go back to bed. It was chilly on the stair, dressed in his pj’s. It was dark too, except for the lights in the dining room shedding their rainbow glow across the hall carpet through the ajar door.

The soft thump came again. Christopher jumped. It was the same thump he’d heard while lying in his snug bed, sleepless on this special night.

He took another cautious step down; clutched the stair rail, held a beating breath.

A different sound whispered around the door. A scrape of wood on wood, the shivering jangle of glass shaking in a frame.

Christopher moved quickly now, down the last steps, across the rainbow carpet to the dining room door. He hesitated there, let out the breath and slowly, slowly, twisted his small body to peek through the opening.

‘Oh!’ he gasped, so softly that the red clad wide bottom sneaking out the window didn’t hear him.

Outside, the figure turned to pull down the sash and Christopher was thrilled to see, gripped in Santa’s teeth, part hidden by his silvery beard, a mince pie! Mummy had been right. The lack of a fireplace in their new home hadn’t put Santa off at all! And Christopher watched the old man hurry off to his sleigh to deliver the rest of the good children’s presents.