Creative Writing Course in the Algarve

Holiday Inn, Armação de Pêra
Holiday Inn, Armação de Pêra

The NaNoWriMo participants are now under “starters orders” as they eagerly await, or not, the first of November to arrive when the challenges begins. I am not feeling quite as apprehensive as I was thanks to the inspirational two-day residential Creative Writing course I’ve just attended at the Holiday Inn,  in the Algarve. The course, presented by Anne Aylor, gave me some much-needed self-belief and rekindled my flame of creativity. The other course members also proved a great source of inspiration as they shared their experiences and writing exercises with the class. Anne, as well as being an excellent teacher is also a great motivator and I will certainly be going again next year!

Both days were packed with a variety of timed creative writing exercises along with constructive feedback. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this and discovered a whole new approach to writing. My favourite exercise was  Stream of Conciousness. For this exercise we were given the opening sentence from which we created our own story in ten minutes. During this time we were expected to write without stopping, not make any alterations or even pause to read what we had written. Yes, it was tough, but once I cleared my mind and let the thoughts flow my pen raced across the page without effort.

This is the approach I will adopt for the NaNoWriMo. I’ve relived the novel’s plot and characters through my dreams and written copious notes so I will just write…

My only concern now is the time aspect because I’ve since been enlisted to look after my little granddaughter in France for a week in November. Perhaps she can learn to type and give me a hand!


33 thoughts on “Creative Writing Course in the Algarve

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  1. Hi PiP
    I hope your novel writing is going well. I never thought of doings days of stream of consciousness (soc) writing. I imagine that sometimes you come up with surprises. Are you as funny in your soc writing as you are on your blog?
    I have planned to write something on my blog everyday. So far, so good. I am amazed at how much time that takes some days.


    1. I Susan, it really depends what I´m writing about. On the course I surprised myself and wrote in different styles. The novel is actually is quite sad, but often with a hint of humour as to the way the main character actually deals with various situations. I hope it is a good mix and is certainly a great leaning curve. The SOC takes you into unplanned territories and it is amazing how the characters and story have evolved.


    1. Thanks Tilly, Day one and I’ve already exceeded my target and I’m still going…
      Perhaps you should come on this CC next year. It’s in a great location 😉 Would love to meet up and Anne’s certainly a great inspiration


  2. Good spirits and good writing! May you go to bed each night and be able to smile to yourself in the darkness! I would say, let your granddaughter’s wonderful innocence give you an impetus to having her on your lap as ‘grandmother is making magic’!!!!


  3. On your mark… get set… GO! I saw you on Nano and have buddied you back!!! I’m already in November 1st here in Thailand so have officially begun my ‘validation’ count. It’s only at 209 so you can easily catch up. See you there!
    Happy Writing,


  4. not long now…. all the best for your artistic challenge! and not a bad place to go for a residential creative course… wow! I would have found it difficult to concentrate, and not just walk off to the beach 🙂


  5. Sounds like a great preface for your NaNoWriMo endeavors, PiP!

    If you want to warm up your typing fingers for NaNoWriMo, you might enjoy this Halloween contest. If you win . . . 5 shiny new autographed children’s books for your grandkids!

    You can find the details, and my entry, here:

    Your story must be 100 words or less and Susannah gave us the first 3 ~ witch, bat, and “trick or treat.”

    Be judicious.
    Slash and dash.

    It is Halloween after all!
    B~O~O!!! 😯


  6. Perhaps the change in routine will help and having a child to look after may just motivate you to let the thoughts flow, children don’t spend time worrying about things they just do. Good luck and let us know how you get onl


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