Mood is a Literary Element. Let’s Get Moody.

By David Nevin

In literature, mood is a literary element that evokes feelings or emotional reactions in readers through words and descriptions.   “Tone” is the writer’s attitude that is expressed in the writing whereas “mood” is the feeling the reader gets from…

The post Mood is a Literary Element. Let’s Get Moody. appeared first on Madrid Writers’ Club.

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November 25th: Madrid Writers’ Club Open Mic #MwcOpenMic

By David Nevin The 7th Madrid Writers’ Club Open Mic will take place on November 25th. The evening is open to reading of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, spoken word and non-fiction. Anyone can read and/or just come to listen. English and Spanish…

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Don’t Sweat the WordPress theme

It’s late and I’ve spent the last few hours changing, tweaking, searching and previewing a plethora of WordPress themes. I won’t go into the list but I was looking for something that looked clean, and easy to read on mobile and desktop displays.

I wanted a theme that allowed me to use a featured-post image alongside excerpts on my home page and that didn’t repeat the featured image when a visitor clicked and went to read the post.

This was not something I found. I then spent the better half of an hour looking for a way to edit the code on the theme inside WordPress. Didn’t like the result, so I went looking again. So now it’s very late, my eyes hurt, (I’d turned off f.lux to check the colour scheme, app worth trying if you spend a lot of time in front of your screen) and I’m wrecked.

So quick fix? Choose one that looks okay, activate and save and get busy at what I am interested in doing. Writing. The themes will come and go, the look, the trend, but your posts will stay. Write them to outlast your themes.

Good night!

Thinking of starting a writing club, read me first.

Begin it!

Begin it, or forget it.

The Madrid Writers’ Club has held over 130 weekly workshops since it was founded in 2012. Every week 15 to 20 people turn up  and we’ve all benefited from the community that we’ve grown around us. The first years workshops I researched, ran and promoted myself. Since then other members have taken up the mantle and now entering our third year, I run one meeting a month.

These are the 4 reasons I set it up

1. I decided I wanted to pursue writing seriously.
I’d been writing for years. I wrote school-boy poetry, children’s stories for my siblings, later in Madrid I wrote two novels and a series of short stories, but I needed a group to bounce off. I needed a writing club to learn from and to keep the fires burning when the inevitable honeymoon period of novelty wore off.

2. Writing was becoming a lonely pursuit.
I needed company and I needed company that could understand what I was going through. I was seeking a supportive and respectful space where I could go once a week, where “how’s your writing going?” wasn’t just a polite question by a well-intentioned friend. I needed a place where being a writer wasn’t something that made people feel uncomfortable. I needed a writing club.

3. I didn’t find an alternative.
I did some searching and looked at what was on offer. There was a critique group but they seemed too far out of my league. I was eager to learn as quickly as I could and I didn’t have the resources to pay to study the craft. I knew self-study would bring results, but they would be slow coming and would require constant and complete self-motivation. I was smart enough to know I could learn faster and better by being in a writing club of like minded people.

4. I didn’t know enough not to.
I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. Ignorance was a great ally. I don’t regret it for a moment, but if you’re thinking of starting your own club, well, think carefully. It takes a lot. It requires effort, effort, effort and time. You’ll learn as I did that it’s worth every set-back and you’ll grow both as a writer and a person.

Are you in a similar situation?
Do your research beforehand. Think it through as much as you can and then jump in. There is nothing better in my experience as a growing writer as having other writers in your life.

Madrid Writers’ Club links:


Facebook Group:

Twitter: @MadridWriters

If you have any questions add them to the comment box below.

Madrid Writers’ Club Short Story Anthology #MadWCSS

By David Nevin Dear Members of the Madrid Writers’ Club, Please find below the rules for submissions for our first members only short story anthology. Members are defined as those that have attended a minimum of four club meetings between January 1st 2014…

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Madrid Writers’ Club Open Mic October 14th

By David Nevin We’re doing it again! The evening is open to reading of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, spoken word and non-fiction. Anyone can read and/or just come to listen. English and Spanish speakers welcome. For all reading please keep in…

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Madrid Writers’ Club Short Story Competition #MadWCSS

By David Nevin Updated: September 2014. Dear Members of the Madrid Writers’ Club, Please find below the rules for submissions for our first members only short story competition. Members are defined as those that have attended a minimum of four club meetings between…

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Simple Guidelines for Writing Meeting Posts for the Madrid Writers’ Club Blog

By David Nevin Aim: At our meeting on May 27th 2014 in Madrid we worked together to outline a guideline document for club meeting posts. The guideline, shown below, is to help meeting hosts when writing posts for the Madrid Writers Club blog.…

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Character Development: A Character Readers can Empathise with.

By David Nevin Aim: Introduce and Practice a character development process: result a character readers can empathize with. Here we look at eight elements to develop a rounded character for our use in fiction. We begin with actions, move through motivations, the past,…

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An Understanding of Free Writing

“Every story choice you make arises out of who you are, at the deepest levels of your soul; every story you tell reveals who you are and the way you conceive the world around you-reveals more about you, in fact, than you know about yourself.”    Orson Card Scott

Free writing can be something deeply personal and honest. It can also be a matter of word association, a blend of images and unfiltered ideas from the ocean of our consciousness.

Free writing can be understood as a practice to quieten the inner line editor. In particular it can be a useful activity to explore raw ideas. It is a get-out-of-jail-free card for thoughts seeking expression.

Giving voice to our free writing, by reading aloud to others, allows the writer an opportunity to hear their own thoughts. Being able to share these unpolished seeds builds trust, a sense of safety in being unprotected.

Eggs in a the Carton

Eggs in the Carton* by Ivy Dawned CC 2.0 Flickr

A spiderweb can be better observed in situ than handed around. Reading a free writing piece aloud is the decision of the writer. Some pieces are too honest to be shared immediately. Some ideas too fragile.

The option not to read should be reserved for these delicate occasions. Sharing, breaking down barriers to trust and braving our own written words are important steps for most writers.

Receiving well-intentioned critique or feedback is not a requirement, and in my opinion is detrimental to the process of sharing a free write piece. A simple nod or a “thank you for sharing” suffices.

Why do so many artists insist on only the finished work being made public and not earlier renderings? Is it to hide the process, obscure the development of the ideas? I submit it is because the piece, until deemed fit for public consumption by the artist, is embryonic and requires careful handling, a shell of privacy, a womb of trust.

Free writing is an egg yoke, full of potential, your close peers the albumen, offering sustenance and cushioning. Break the shell when you are ready for the world.


*Photo Credit: Ivy Dawned licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0)