Thursday, 18 March 2010

Sent off examples of work to University of Southampton

OK, that was yesterday, picking over a few bits of work (in a hurry) to send to Southampton for the MA application. I just want them to see some potential, something that can be nurtured and moulded into better writing. It's not the best material, I'm still working on my newest stuff, but I hope it will be well received.

At 67,300 on the book, flagging a bit as I'm not writing the big stuff, just some backstory and a few loose ends to tie up, then hopefully I can put it away for a few months to ferment or set or dry or whatever it does. Then I will be able to look at it as if it were written by someone else, and can hack away at it with impunity. I do want to play with it now, really, but I am taking Stephen King as an example and will get on with Borrowed Time instead.

Oh, and I need to put my final assignment for the OCA together - an extract from a novel with a commentary and a short synopsis. I was thinking about rewriting the beginning of the last novel (Silent Obsession) but think that actually, something based on this novel might be better. I shall miss the support and help I get from my tutor there, she is brilliant. If anyone's looking for an excellent course in writing, consider the Open College of the Arts. they have CATS pointed courses, you can study for a degree if you want to, and the OU allows some transferred credit.

I've just started the editing section with A215 and it's brilliant, making me look at my work from different angles. I think there's a really big difference between editing the whole story and looking at the language. In the past I have tried to do both at the same time, but it's a bit like trying to thin saplings in a forest leaf by leaf, you can't see the forest, the bigger picture. When I've done this section I'll be ready to play with the book again. I have learned loads from thrashing out a novel in so few weeks, it's kept its momentum and pace, and it's an outline on which to write a proper book, I think. I now know and understand the characters much better, and can write Emma's story with more conviction. Now I need to look at it from a reader's perspective, have I given them enough information to get into the story, draw them in?

I've been reading people's comments of Facebook and realised I have been really lucky with my tutor, and hope she does other courses! She draws ideas out of me, and is uncompromising on her criticism, constructive though it is. Although I'm getting good marks, I still get lots of ideas and the same level of advice as someone with less experience. But I don't think my marks will shine in the lifewriting, which will be a shame as I'm getting distinction grades up until now. But I'm very happy with the TMA05 piece and the ECA piece, so I'm not going to worry too much about it, just polish it up with section 5, and send it in. Enough distractions - I have to do my words!

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