The Short Story Masterclass with Trent Jamieson was fantastic. The day was spent doing writing exercises which we had to read aloud. Nerve racking for sure, but if you want to be a professional writer you will be asked to read your work at some stage. GULP!
One exercise we did used different points of view from each character in the same scene. This helped me learn about the characters in my story. Gabbi, one of the minor characters in my story, decided she wanted more of the stage. I’m not sure she will get more page space, but her personality will be three dimensional in the next rewrite.
What I love about masterclasses is that you need to submit ten pages of your work for critique. This is a great system for two reasons; you have to submit for the deadline (so you need to produce something), secondly, you get a critique on the work submitted.
A critique tells the writer what you think they can do to improve their work. You can point out what you liked and what you didn’t like. However if you don’t like something you need to say why and what you think they can do to improve it. It is then up to the writer whether they want to make any changes to their story.