Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Chichester Writing Festival - Part Five

The final session at the Chichester Writing Festival was Kate Mosse chatting with the amazing Francesca Simon of Horrid Henry fame...without any further intro my notes...

Be aware that arbitrary decisions will come back to haunt you – 50 books
Writes one Horrid Henry per year; easy to become formulaic if in a rush
Based on 2 sides of everybody, comic extremes, tension
Good memory for emotion in childhood
What would Henry do in an ordinary situation?
He’s locked in a battle and will never grow up
Moody Margaret is her favourite
18 million copies
She writes by asking herself questions – for the Chessman it was why are they so miserable
Actual naming of a character sparked the story
4 random people embarking on a quest – who knows why
Not a planner – needs to know what they are doing and why
What do they want – until that’s answered the books has no energy- doesn’t need to know anything else
It’s the momentum
Question then answer
A story is as long as it needs to be - always can cut
Setting & time
She had not run out of ideas but fears not writing well
She hopes that she’s learned she can make a bad first draft (they are always bad) better – trusting that now
Of course you get stuck – you’re a writer
Sets a low word count, 500, which she knows she can achieve
A terrible 12k is better than a perfect 0
Professionals finish books

I took heart from that last comment as that was one of my biggest fears when I began writing fiction again - could I finish a book? Yes, I can and have now done it several times....

All in all I can't recommend the festival enough...I met and chatted with so many lovely people-just brilliant!


Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

Thanks for this informative post, I'll now go and catch up with the other four.

Happy Easter and happy birthday for Monday too.x

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Debs and happy birthday to you too!

Alexandra Brown said...

Liz, how did I miss you? I was there with Elizabeth Haynes. Next time :) x

liz fenwick said...

Alex - no you weren't there??? How did we miss each other? Are you coming to the Summer party and/or conference?