Monday 23 April 2018

Having Fun Making Stuff Up • Lynne Garner

At the end of last year I was lucky enough to attend a writers retreat at Folly Farm Centre. It's an annual event run for and by members of the Scattered Authors Society. It's located between Bath and Bristol and is a restored 18th century farmhouse, which is nestled in 250 acres of nature reserve with wildflower meadows and ancient woodlands.

View from my room
There is time allocated for writing, walking, socialising, eating and drinking. However, those who are attending also have the opportunity to share their knowledge. As the sessions are run by those attending they change every year. One of the sessions I attended this time was run by the fab Alex English. It was meant as a bit of fun but also to demonstrate that ideas don't have to be difficult to find.

Once we'd got over the shock that we'd be drawing I think it was fair to say all those who attended really enjoyed the session. So, what was this session?

Firstly, we were asked to fold a piece of A4 into 16 equal rectangles. We were then given a very limited time to write a name or character type in the top of the first box. The piece of paper was passed onto the next person who wrote a name or character type in the next box. This continued until each box had a name or character type. 

Then the drawing bit! 

We were given slightly longer to quickly sketch in the first box based on the name/character type at the top of that box, pass on to the next person who repeated the process. Until all 16 boxes were filled.

Steps one and two
The next step was to take a second piece of A4 paper and fold into four sections and choose one the the characters on the piece of paper we had in front of us. I chose Yak - he just 'spoke' to me. We were told to place our chosen character in the top left hand corner rectangle and create a scenario. The piece of paper was passed to someone else in the room (we could not be sitting next to one another) and that person had to create the second scene. This was repeated another two times, with the last person having to create the ending to our very short story.

I still 'love' Yak, so may use him in a future story  

As you can see it's an easy idea and generated a lot of fun and different characters. So, why not give it a go and see what you come up with.




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