The last time I attended the festival was when Anna Pavord talked about her book Bulb at The Everyman Theatre a couple of years ago. And very good it was too. This time I decided to sample something from the workshop programme and Writing for the Web tutored by the RSC's digital producer, Suzanne Worthington caught my eye.
My experience of writing courses is slight* and I don't quite know what I'd been expecting, but a workbook to go through was quite a surprise. However, it turned out to be just what was needed to structure the afternoon well. Suzanne took us through a number of short exercises designed to make us think a lot and to sharpen up our prose ready for publication on the web.
You can see if I succeeded because I was invited to guest post about Writing Great Web Content on the We Love Books Website. I've tried to encapsulate my key learning points from the course in 300 words. I found it quite a challenge, but an enjoyable one.
Lucy remarked via Twitter a couple of days ago she thought the piece could have been written by anyone and wasn't the 'me' she's used to on my blog. She's right, but I believe what's good for a website isn't necessarily the way we'd write for our blogs anyway. The needs of the publication we're writing for and its audience are just as important as using our natural style or 'voice'.
The workshop made me realise just how wordy I've become lately on Veg Plotting, so I welcome the opportunity to learn from the workshop and sharpen things up a little on here. Though let me know straight away if you think I'm not being me won't you?
BTW the references to being tipsy in the guest post are from the key learning point I said I was going to take home with me at the end of this enjoyable course. Write drunk, edit sober. It's a quote by Ernest Hemingway apparently. It means write like you're blurting things out to someone so your words are to the point. Then you come back and edit them later when your mind's clear and you can be objective about what you've written.
NB The picture is of Imperial Gardens, one of the main 'hubs' of the festival. As you can see, I couldn't resist taking a picture of the public planting as I sped past on my way to class. Looks like I'm still me after all ;)
* = the only other writing course I've attended was pretty awful, though it did make me decide via my Undecided post I'd like to be a writer. Progress has been slow so far...