I’m currently doing an online course led by April Kihlstrom called Book in a Week. April is a multi-published writer of historical romance, and has been running this course for a while – I found out about it via someone in the Romantic Novelists’ Association, but it isn’t just aimed at romance writers. Click here to go to April’s web page to find out more.
I like to do courses every now and then to give me a little shot in the arm and to get some new stimulation. The really good thing about this course is the almost instant feedback we group members get from April – it’s pretty unique, I think; at least to me. Every morning I wake to find that April has posted the day’s lesson, and each time I’ve posted the work I’ve done in response, April has quickly fed back a dose of encouragement and also some extremely insightful questions and comments designed to make me probe further in my thinking.
The first lesson was Why Readers Read, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a critical question. So, over to you readers out there – why do you read? For me, it’s because I want to be swept away into a different world with characters I really care about. I want to feel something strongly and to forget everything else while I’m reading. As a writer, this is something I try to achieve for a reader. Hopefully, I manage it!
Another lesson that really resonated with me was the one on Stories People Tell Themselves – the way we, and our characters, interpret the meaning of events. It’s very similar to something I learned about on another course last year – an EOS self-development programme for women. It’s a bit like whether you’re a ‘glass half empty’ or ‘glass half full’ type of person – for example, someone is made redundant from their job at the age of 55. They can choose whether to think “I’ll never get a job at my age,” or, “Great! Now I can do something I really want to do with the rest of my working life!” The way our characters react to events gives us our story and makes everything seem real.
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the Book In A Week Course. I’ll let you know how it goes!