Posts tagged Creative writing

Halfway …

Well I have just completed week four and am halfway through the OU writing course. It has been really interesting so far with the exercises, knowing who we are, this week being the most useful. I guess I have led a fairly mundane life being a wife – several times – and a mother to eight of my own and minder to many, so trying to stir my imagination up to write something that is completely out of character was going to be difficult. This week made me ask the question ‘what if’. How I love that little phrase. How many other opportunities, adventures would I have been in if life had offered me a different plate. What would I liked to have done, where would I have been.. I just love the idea of ‘what if’.

I have also switched to fiction in the other course I am working on. The non fiction section expected me to research and analyse various magazines. Analysing is no problem, have done all that on my degree, but the last thing I want to do is write letters to a magazine that I have absolutely no interest in. Women’s magazines have their place for those who like reading them but other people’s hard luck stories and ‘dramatic events that changed my life’ really turn me off, as does the sensationalism behind it all. I could write my own story, and I did write my autobiography, for my eyes only and to release my demons. It was he most carthartic thing I have ever done, but it wasn’t to indulge others in their need for … well whatever they get out it. The fiction aspect of the course will go along with what I am working on at the moment but because it has a set storyline, it will be much easier to develop.

There seems to be a great weight lifted off my mind having switched the aspect of my course and I am having no trouble fitting everything I need to do in any more. I have a couple of books I am working on the illustrations for and another waiting to come in, watercolour pictures this time, something I am looking forward to doing. My life is definitely taking another turn and the horizon is looking clear and inviting.

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Dipping my toes … again!

How I wish I could just dive into the waters and come up swimming, instead I paddle at the edges and lose myself in a variety of rock pools and trapped creatures floundering and, like me, seeking a way out. Or worse, I do dive in and find myself drowning in water way above my head so turn around to the nearest easy port and go off to a completely different place. So what am I referring to? Writing of course. I love writing, I love reading, I love being creative but I am lazy. Well, that’s not strictly true. I am constantly ‘busy’ with all my UFO’s – that’s Unfinished Objects. I flow and ebb like the tide and whatever project grabs me by the ankle I dive into and concentrate on that until the tide turns and I change tack.

Well I have started a writing course with the OU. So writing is my creative thing at the moment. It is quite interesting to read other people’s work and get motivated with suggestions and ideas, a bit of structure. I’m not sure what I was hoping for but it seems that the course is set out but it is our responsibility to carry it out. There are so many people on the course all posting their work and comments that there is no way of following anyone easily. There is no feedback from tutors that I can see at the moment and, considering the enormous amount of work to plough through, I doubt there will be that tutor/student relationship. However, I do plan to do the exercises and use the experience to try and develop the areas of my writing that I fail in – making an exciting storyline!

So here I am, picking up my blog again and endeavouring to keep it going for longer than I have done before. I think it will help me to keep focussed and it is only eight weeks, surely I can do that? At the least it will give me a record of what I am writing and doing and maybe even some thoughts along the way. So here goes, I’m back! this could be my only feedback on my work.

I was unsure of the first exercise but I understand why it was given to us. It is to write to paragraphs including three facts and one bit of fiction on one and reversed for the second. three pieces of fiction and one fact. I wasn’t sure how to approach this so wrote as if I was writing a story.

3 fact, 1 fiction
I had a feeling that something was wrong as I peeped through the gap in the curtain. The smug look on his face as he left crossed between insolence and indifference; my skin crawled. I was afraid of him, afraid of his reaction. Cautiously I opened the door and stepped outside. The evidence was lying beneath the overhang on the forsythia. The eyes of the lifeless body stared motionless into space and I turned away. I needed some help here. I went back indoors to call my wife. ‘There’s been another murder, you need to come and help me, now!’

3 fiction, 1 fact
I re-read the letter…. How could he do this to me? How could he end all these years of marriage like this? Why couldn’t he just sit calmly and talk it all through? I had known about the affair for a long time and had hoped it would pass, a fling, middle age crisis, whatever you want to call it. I waited for the smile and invitation to go out for a meal. Just like the time before. I screwed the letter into a tight ball and threw it into a plant pot. I poured another cup of lemon tea.

The whole of the first piece is fact based on my wonderful ‘other half’ Harry. Most people will have read and know how ‘brave’ he is, especially when it comes to the cat hunting birds or catching fish from the pond. I wrote it in the first person – myself- so the fiction element is the fact that I am female and it is clearly not actually me doing the observing. A bit obscure I know but hey! until I see what others are writing and what is expected that will have to do.

The second piece is entirely fictitional apart from the fact that I made myself a cup of lemon tea. I thought that a good play on emotions, you know, just adding a bit of bitterness to the cup.

So , in picking up my writing head and diving head first into the world of creative writing again my course has changed from the more practical sewing and illustrating back to the creative where I have to think. Do give feed back and criticism, I don’t think there will be much on the course – if I could find it in the confusion anyway. I love constructive criticism, it is the only way to improve my work.

Now onto the next bit which is to pick a character from my notes, which I am supposed to keep daily and write a character sketch in 200 words. Not a problem but it will have to be from memory and imagination because I don’t go out much but what a great exercise! Hopefully, this time I will come up swimming instead of drowning.

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