Creative writing: what I’ve learnt so far.

This week was the last of term, which means no more Elements of Fiction. I stopped placing my short stories on the blog as I wasn’t sure which two I’d be submitting for coursework- and if your work is found on the Internet after you have submitted it, you can be ‘done’ for self-plagiarising!

So what did this module teach me?
No one is frowned upon for typos and this is important; creative writing isn’t about being meticulous with spelling and grammar. It’s great if you have an eagle eye for errors but these things aren’t as important as a well-told story.

If you are just starting out in the world of creative writing it is far more important to focus on character building and plot development than it is to make sure your apostrophes are in the right place. So don’t let being a perfectionist slow you down. There’s time for that later!

I have learnt the importance of:

  • Crafting characters
  • Good structure and pacing
  • Knowing your theme and how to portray it
  • Using symbolism
  • Being descriptive but unbiased – show, don’t tell
  • Provoking thoughts and emotions in your reader
  • Writing good dialogue

The Elements of Fiction module has allowed me to experiment with these things along with genre and finding my ‘style’. Each week we provide feedback on each other’s work and then use it to improve our next pieces.

If you are a keen writer and lacking good resources for feedback I encourage you to join a writers group – constructive criticism is vital for a writers development.

I’m going to miss writing a weekly short story for this module but next term I’ll be writing a feature article every week for the Feature Writing module. Our Paths to Publication module has also come to an end and will be replaced by Planning a Novel – the big one!

Advertisements

The Little Room (assignment 3)

This week we read two novels with a heavy focus on location which has prompted the following assignment:

  • You are standing on a train platform. There is a board displaying trains. They are all going to different places. Each of those places is somewhere you have been, or lived, somewhere you remember.
  • List these places. And the people associated with them, that you remember. And the incidents.
  • Describe it from overhead, and from on the ground, in summary, across seasons until you reach the moment of time in which the story is set.
  • Asterix half a dozen. Write a page or two in response to each.

I wrote about a young woman called Rose who is visiting her grandmother’s house but has been asked to stay in the ‘creepy’ room that all elderly relatives have!

Continue reading “The Little Room (assignment 3)”

Don’t Forget Me (assignment 2)

If you read my last post you’ll know that I’m studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Brunel. Each week for our Elements of Fiction module we are set a writing assignment.

Below is the brief we were given for week two:

Write a single paragraph that conveys the appearance and essential nature of a character.
Then…
Write a character sketch that includes a present day frame and flashback to five years before the action.  Anywhere between 1000-1200 words.

I wrote a piece of fiction about Jake, a young man with a longstanding health problem who receives a letter from his past self.

Continue reading “Don’t Forget Me (assignment 2)”

Creative Writing: The Novel

As a part of my MA at Brunel University, we are required to produce a piece of creative writing each week for our module, Elements of Fiction.

Our first assignment was to write 1200 words on an open topic that was voiced by two or more characters who were connected to each other within the story. I decided to explore something within the roman-à-clef genre. This is where a story is based on real people or events but with a change of name or location.

Continue reading “Creative Writing: The Novel”