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I went along to a writing workshop over the weekend. The Gold Coast Writers Association (GCWC) has been around for a few years, but I’d never actually taken myself along to it, even though I’d known of its existence for a while now.

Why, you ask?

Isn’t that a place to mix with other like-minded people, to connect and share ideas?

You would think so.

But an inner voice rises up every month and my inner reticence comes to the foreground. Then, I find numerous excuses not to attend any writing workshops. The excuses are numerous, ranging from visitors arriving, or urgent shopping to do. Anything really, that stopped me from having to discuss my favorite subject – that is, writing!

So, last weekend, I had no excuse. I’d already told my husband I was going along to it – and he’s very supportive of my projects – so I went as a visitor. Note here, I didn’t join up!

For a start, I was late. That meant that I hurried up the stairs (it’s above a library), to find the lecture had already started.

The room was packed and hot.

I found a stack of chairs and sat down on the corner of a table at the back of a small community hall. The lecturer, a well regarded local author, gave a very encouraging lecture on dealing with – The Idea (behind your novel), The Character (and how fully to write them), and The Plot (where to get inspiration). Also, tips on narration – with 1st or 2nd narration and how each helps with the flow of your novel.

All well and good. That is until we had a writing exercise to do (I will post my story in a sec), and various people stood up to read out their stories! 

Phew, how brave are they!

Anyhow, I will likely go back next month and pluck up the courage to mingle – just a tad more…..!

Here’s the story – the writing prompt is in italics, the rest is mine.

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The Task

William Smith knew that what he was about to do was wrong. But the more he thought of the task ahead, the more sickening urge to see it through overwhelmed him.

The gun was loaded. Pressed to his shoulder. Cocked. William’s finger’s hovered over the trigger, his eyes scrunched up and focused, peering into the darkening landscape.

He paused. Thoughts running through his mind like quicksilver. So many thoughts.

His wife. His kids. They were his immediate concern. His family. But then, his father’s voice, loud and clear in his head. Strong and fast, making his knees tremble, his mind unfocused.

William’s fingers shook over the gun barrel.

I can do this, he said, to himself. He will be proud.

Aim! Target! Get it in sight, you fool! The voice of his father, like a gunshot, whirling around him.

The tail end of the animal came into focus. Beyond the trees. Nose up, sniffing the air.

A clean shot. Ready.

The deer crumpled then fell.

Inside his head, his father clapped.

Suzanne Bowditch, 2019

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