Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Fiction module

Ouch. That was much harder work for me. I like the tutor enormously, but the cosy little group from Mondays has been added to by the second year part-timers from last year, who are an established group and a bit territorial. Lots of group dynamic stuff going on, shuffling roles. We had to do a writing exercise from a prompt which was very tricky anyway. I don't work that way, I usually do a free write, come up with a conflict of a point of tension and work from that. Being started with a first person perspective and a song was tricky. I did manage to read without stammering so that, at least, was good. Next week we are all taking in work to share and then we are on a schedule to bring more developed work to have workshopped. I volunteered to go early in the schedule, partly to get it over with and partly because I work better with feedback for structure, pace and voice rather than language. I don't need so much dissection of the actual language. Apart from my lacklustre piece, there was a genuinely creepy piece which I enjoyed immensely and a rather funny, snappy piece from another. Anyway, the exercise broke the ice.

These workshops are for two pieces of work over the semester, and reasonable big (2-4k). They can be any fiction from beginning of a novel to short story. The tutor suggested we would need 4000 words to write a short story but I love really short short stories so that might be a problem. If you hand in something really small, I wonder if it would get put under the microscope. I've got time to work something out.

A363 came on line today. Having done most of the work, it seems friendly and easy, though the standard of writing it has pulled out of me is better. It's so structured. I found the drama fascinating but difficult. I'm still wrestling with film. That strict structure is a bit of a  straitjacket too, but this way I have the freedom to use anything that wanders off into a bigger, better piece of work for the EMA (end of module assignment) or the MA. I shall put A363 comments and reflections on my other blog, except where they are general writing observations. I've received a lot of encouragement to do this year, for which I am really grateful. It's a lovely thing to be able to do, and for that I have to thank my family who have given up the most. (Suddenly I'm at the Oscars, dazzled by the lights. I shall try not to cry.) Anyway, now I have completely befuddled myself as to what I have to do when so I'm about to go out and get a proper diary to keep everything in order. The rest of my whole life is in my Mslexia diary. 


  1. Thank you for your wise words on my blog xx MTJAM

  2. Good luck with your MA! And thank you for coming by my blog. I've only recently started writing short stories - up until now I have always gone for novel-length ideas - but short stories are really satisfying and are great for keeping a toe in the writing waters until I can start my next novel.

  3. Very envious, completed the creative writing diploma, but can't afford the MA, as much as I'd like to do it. Interested to hear your comments about the structure of the course.

  4. Thank you Jayne, I love your fiction! As you say, short stories keep the fingers tapping and the ideas coming, but I find them harder than novels really! And Carole, I know I am very, very lucky that my family have put a lot of things on hold for me to be able to do this year. I'm finding it a challenge, but I will keep putting notes up on the blog.