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I always forget that March is colder than November. Every year this takes me by surprise and makes me feel, well, indignant. Because cold is all very well in November when there’s fireworks and bonfires and we’re heading towards Christmas, but March? That’s meant to be Spring. Not this year! It’s been horrible. I realise this makes me sound like the Oldest Inhabitant but this winter is honestly the longest I can remember. It’s been a Game of Thrones extended-style extra-long one, and I’ve spent almost all of it sick (since January anyway).

However. There are signs of spring now and I’m so excited to be teaching some courses at City Lit in the very near future. The first one will be on May 19th, and it’s called ‘Edit like an Expert’

https://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/edit-like-an-expert

I was an editor before I was a writer, and I’m still an editor – repetition and meandering sentences drive me mad and sometimes I even find myself mentally editing books as I read them. In this course we’ll talk about how to make sure your manuscript is ‘clean’ in the industry phrase, whether you’re self-editing or working with a professional editor, and how to improve your work and your writing in general, by getting rid of dead wood. I hope we’ll also have time to discuss how to deal with criticism and whether or not you really should ‘kill your darlings’.

Then on 24 June, I’ll be teaching a class on how to write a synopsis: https://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis

I know that lots of people struggle with synopses – unfortunately, they are just one of those tools that are indispensable as most agents won’t look at your work without them. The good news is that they can also be a really good way of giving you a birds’-eye view of your work and can even illuminate plot problems that you might still have lurking (hopefully not, after you’ve edited like an expert!) We will also talk about the one crucial thing that people usually leave out of a synopsis …

Finally, I am teaching a 6-week course on romantic fiction starting 23 May. I COULD NOT be more excited about this. I have so many ideas about this and really can’t wait to share them with fellow authors and hear their ideas too:

https://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/beyond-elizabeth-bennet-writing-the-modern-day-romance

See you there!

 

 

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