#writerscrawl: the power of words with Karmarama | DMA

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#writerscrawl: the power of words with Karmarama


Gathered under one roof at Karmarama, our #writerscrawlers got up close and personal with the word play of a poet, a speech writer, a screen writer and a playwright

As part of the #writerscrawl, Karmarama set up an event that drew in writers from a range of disciplines. We are, after all, looking at the world of words, not just copywriting, with lessons and inspirations to be drawn from across the writing universe.

The playwright and the journalist

First up we had Paul Hewitt, head of marketing at Karmarama. And a playwright.

He spoke about the need to get out and understand and how important it is for writers to truly connect with their environment: “I’m one of those awful people that write down the conversations that people have on trains,” he said.

Another tip for writers was to write by hand.

Yep, step away from the keyboard. But why?

Because the time taken to write might see you add more care to what you create. As a playwright Paul builds characters, and often works on several at a time: getting those worlds written down allows for a clearer view of what shapes his characters.

Paul finished by telling us that with written work that needs to be typed up and digitised to send on, you in effect get another chance to edit and add more sparkle to what you’ve done.

Paul was followed by Zoe Goto, a fashion journalist and author, with a session looking at the lyrics of Elvis Presley – and three very handy tips for grabbing your audience’s attention.

  • First up make your first paragraph a zinger, this is where the battle for attention is most acute
  • Second always keep a pen and paper next to your bed so you can note down and process everything you’ve absorbed in the day or night just gone.
  • Thirdly go back and chew over every word and every sentence. It might be tedious, says Zoe, but it’s a thorough approach that delivers concise writing.

The comedian

The session closed with Paul Powell, a young screenwriter, comedy writer and producer with some great tips for aspiring comedy writers.

  • Write and write and write and keep writing, because it’s all about practice. And read out loud – it’s good to find the rhythm.
  • Take criticism – it’s important that you have thick skin and take criticism on the chin. Don’t be precious, ask for feedback and listen.
  • Let it go. About 20% of what I write makes it to the screen. Expect your material to get cut in the edit.
  • Try and do something different – something you wouldn’t normally write.
  • Set deadlines. One of the biggest problems with writing is to keep producing eternal drafts. Stop, set deadlines and stick to them.
  • There’s no such thing as writers block. Fill the page. Keep pushing it out and don’t make excuses.

And with a message that resonates for writers of all shapes and sizes, Paul told the Karmarama crowd to: “Enjoy it. If you’re not, something’s wrong. You’re not going to produce good writing if you’re not enjoying it.”

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