Monday, 19 October 2009

A215 CD1

Well, I spent the morning in the library and it's a brilliant place to study. I listened to the second and third authors on CD1 of the course and found them so inspiring. When I was 78,000 words into the last novel I found I had made some serious errors in the multiple third person voices I was using. Basically, I should have included the main bad character's POV, probably first person, rather than trying to see him through other, less vivid characters. The third author describes how she writes a first draft intuitively, and doesn't worry about POV until the major rewrite. It was nice to find an author (Stevie Davies) who doesn't plan too much in advance until 2nd draft. I've been trying to plan and organise my novels with zero success - because I start with a character and see what happens, where they lead me. If I try and plot I go blank, I need to 'talk' to the characters.

I loved Andrew Greig's approach to the past, researching it, that is. He uses items and photos to immerse himself in what he calls 'sympathetic magic' on the CD, absorbing the past through osmosis as well as doing traditional research. So far, this course is so rich, I've worked through Chapters 1-14 and am enjoying going back, doing more versions of the exercises, building my poetry as well as writing short stories (I've written 12 since I got the Big Red Book in July. The only form I haven't enjoyed and found came fluently is the haiku (I haven't used the clustering that much,either). I'm working through the Stephen Fry book and reading Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing down the Bones'. I'm more than halfway through a notebook I now take everywhere, and I write every day. I must be turning into a writer...

I've ordered a book from each of the authors on CD 1 except Maggie Gee's (I really don't fancy her books much, I might have a look in the library).I'm reading much more widely than I did. I'm reading more critically than I did too,seeing more of the bones of the book, the choices that have been made to write it. I have a draft of a short story (though rather pedestrian plot) and am looking for other ideas. Back to 500 words a day habit, even if just blogging. Good discipline.

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