At a recent Pens meeting , the main event was a workshop, courtesy of Dr Val Inchley with an additional contribution by Nori on his own specialist subject as a psychiatric nurse. Val lead us through the many considerations needed when writing pieces that include any sort of medical matters. There is a comprehensive presentation attached for you to read through and, although it lacks Val’s eloquent commentary, it still give you food for thought. Keep it for future reference if you would like.
As she points out, many genres and subjects of writing can touch on medical things and do need accurate research and reference, as outlined in the presentation. Click on the picture to open it
Nori gave us a broad overview of Psychiatric matters from his extensive working life, again with many aspects that can weave themselves into characterisation in a story. Accuracy by research is imperative as there is always someone just waiting to find fault with such things.
To round off the meeting, Val set a small task to start off a piece of homework to share at the next meeting. You can follow the instructions below and then hopefully be inspired to write a short piece…. Or even a longer one if the creative juices are flowing.
1) Get someone to help you.
2) Take a small piece of paper and covertly write at the top a Gender (Male, Female, Transgender etc.)
3) Fold the paper over to hide the writing and pass it to the other person
4) Without letting you see, they should write the age, (either a number or old, young etc.)
5) They fold the paper down again and pass it back
6) Continue this process each of you with
a. A Medical Problem, (a Condition or a disease or something similar)
b. A Place (a country a city a geographical area etc.)
Once completed, this exercise will give you, the writer, a character and a set of circumstances to weave into a story.
If for some reason the set of things you have is just too random, or worse impossible, you the writer, are allowed to add One More item to the list and loose one if you really have to. Happy Writing!
Here are some of the pieces that were written from the challenge: