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Meeting 28th November- Expertise in characters

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Monday 28th November, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing Expertise in characters, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

Everyone attending is asked for a small contribution to cover costs: 20RMB, or 10RMB if you’re a student, pensioner, not working or on a low wage (you will not be asked to prove it!) Please note that although we are a diverse group of many different nationalities, meetings are conducted in English.

Meeting 14th November- Travel Writing

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Monday 14th November, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing Travel writing with guest Rose Quan, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

Everyone attending is asked for a small contribution to cover costs: 20RMB, or 10RMB if you’re a student, pensioner, not working or on a low wage (you will not be asked to prove it!)

Meeting October 24th- NaNoWriMo

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Monday 24th October, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing NaNoWriMo, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

Everyone attending is asked for a small contribution to cover costs: 20RMB, or 10RMB if you’re a student, pensioner, not working or on a low wage (you will not be asked to prove it!)

Meeting Monday October 10th

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Monday 10th October, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing plot and story, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

Everyone attending is asked for a small contribution to cover costs: 20RMB, or 10RMB if you’re a student, pensioner, not working or on a low wage (you will not be asked to prove it!)

Meetings now twice a month

By popular demand, we will be increasing the frequency of our meetings to twice monthly. Meetings will now take place (unless otherwise advertised) on the second and fourth Monday of every month.

To cover the increased administrative costs, we are introducing a small charge. Everyone attending meetings will be asked to contribute RMB20, or RMB10 for students/ pensioners/ unwaged. (This will be done on a trust basis- no ID will be requested!)

Meetings will continue to be held at Zarah, from 7.30 to 9.30pm.

Dates of meetings for the rest of 2016:

10 October

24 October

14 November

28 November

12 December

(No meeting on December 26!)

September meeting date

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Tuesday 13th September, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing blogging, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

August Meeting Date

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Tuesday 9th August, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be discussing writing about love, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

July Meeting Date

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Tuesday 19th July, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be talking about editing, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

Lessons for authors from an auteur

At the age of 28, Vittorio Dare Ole found himself working as assistant director to the legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Over 30 years later he described the experience in a recent article for the BFI. I read the article because I love Kurosawa’s movies, but it seems to me that there are lessons for authors as well as auteurs in the five maxims Dare Ole used to sum up what he learned from the master.

Uncompromising attention to detail
Great writing is about precision. The author, like the filmmaker, builds his story through an accumulation of specific and carefully selected details, not through grand, vague assertions.

The organisation of chaos
A famous quote, attributed to many famous writers, holds that “the difference between real life and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.” Real life is messy, chaotic. Story has structure and moves toward an ending. However if you allow its underlying mechanisms to become too obvious, your fiction will appear crude and predictable. Mimic the ragged edges of life while maintaining the shape of your story.

Working with the elements
Writers at the beginning of their journey are often waiting for the perfect moment to write, when they will be undistracted by the mundane problems of existence. That moment never comes. Serious writers are not deterred by external factors. If it’s raining in your life, write the rain into your story.

An actors’ director
Kurosawa used to pull the cameras a long way back from his actors, not because he wanted a wide shot, but because he wanted the actors to forget the cameras were there. Give your characters room to breathe, let them become real and act naturally. Don’t always be shouting directions in their ears.

Control that allows for improvisation
While you can’t let your story become too loose and flabby, if you keep too tight a grip on it you’ll stifle the life out of it. When spontaneous creativity appears, be ready to recognise what’s good and use it.

June meeting date

The next meeting of Beijing Writers’ Network will take place on Tuesday 14th June, from 7.30-9.30pm, at Zarah.

We will be talking about how to get published, sharing our work and offering each other constructive but robust feedback. If you are interested in creative writing you are very welcome to drop by, to meet other writers or just to see what it’s like; there is no need to book. However if you would like to have your work critiqued please email andy@beijingwriters.com, or contact AndyKilleen on WeChat. (Depending on numbers, it may not be possible for everyone to get feedback. Anyone who misses out will be given priority at the next meeting.)

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