I’ve been in Wonderland, Narnia, at Hogwarts, and in Spare Oom this January; I took my second course in Creative Writing. The course and writing retreat was situated at Madingley Hall in Cambridge.

A peek trough the window at our workspace. Where someone discovered a hidden door the last day of the course.

We had lectures and writing tasks in the morning, and optional tutotials during the day.

I’ve been playing around with a story for a year, sketcing, mapping, and writing snippets – and finally nailed 30 000 words for it last autumn. That ephiphany came after taking their online course in Creative Writing for the Fantasy Genre, where I wrote a summary of my snippets and discovered I wasn’t far from a coherent outline for a story.

Wiew from our workspace.

During this course I worked with structure, building the story, and the prose itself. But I also got to know my characters better; I wrote them more playful when they had hours and hours to roam free in my novel.

One of Madingley Hall’s many spots to conjure up stories outside our main writing room.

I wrote new scenes, but was at the same time editing others, so my word count didn’t rise much. I mentioned my static word count to one of our teachers, Sarah Burton. She replied: “But they are better words.” A most comforting thought.

A look at the hall from a walk through the gardens.

During my stay I figured the age group I’m writing for, 10-12 yr olds, I discovered that my prose isn’t shit, and that I understand stories. I still have a long way to go, but learning this craft is wonderful.

Mad Authours’ Hideout.

Now it’s time for more editing, and more writing. My word count needs to be up by 3000 words over the next few days, since the goal for January is to get to 40 000 words. Quoting my teacher from this autumn, Natasha Pulley, at Creative Writing for the Fantasy Genre:

“That process of boiling the writing right down from weak sugar water to lovely gooey word caramel is half the joy of the thing.”


More Cambridge here and here.
Post about the first course in fantasy writing here.