Thursday, 3 March 2011

I am so lost with this course

I’ve come to a painful crossroads. I did have a really good idea what to do for the dissertation. I was just going to put together a big chunk of Borrowed Time and refine it into a good piece. BUT then I handed in chapters 1 and 2 for the advanced fiction assignment.
  •  A. I didn’t get the highest mark I’m capable of.
  • B. I’m terminally stuck at chapter 13 anyway.
  • C. Marcus Sedgwick made a lot of sense on Wednesday talking about planning.
The truth is I’ve written loads this semester. Half of it is poetry, half is children’s fiction. I had a good look at Borrowed Time and I know what’s wrong with it. I started it last January. My writing has moved on a lot, but Borrowed Time has inherited the weaknesses it had from the first draft. It also started out as YA, maybe began to look more adult then squeaked back to children’s. It’s got some identity issues. It’s started in the wrong place. The pace is very uneven. I need distance from it. I need to write something completely different. This is a bit of a challenge because I haven’t got that much time and I am over committed already time-wise. So I’m hoping to plan a new novel, perhaps for children. As well as TMA05 which for non-OU people is 100 lines of structured poetry: either sestinas, pantoums, sonnets or villanelles. I have two assignments for the MA to worry about. I seem to keep up with reading and writing for poetry and fantastic fiction but completely new writing is more of a challenge. 
I’m spending a bit of time reading more Sedgwick books and Garth Nix for children’s fantasy and I do seem to find ideas. Meanwhile I thought I could play around with Sadie from a younger reader’s POV, maybe about 12 upwards. I’m a bit lost with it at the moment to be honest.


  1. Sorry to hear you are so up against it. If I can read something and help at all, please ask.

  2. oh boy. Let's try to get together for a moan.... I mean a planning session!

  3. There were several things going on for me as I read this. The first - I sympathise. What a remarkable woman you are for taking all of this on. The second - maybe you don't have to write the novel you think you have to write and have been writing.Or at least, maybe you don't have to write it now. The novel that I had to write got shelved, possibly because I no longer NEEDED to write it. It might be resurrected one day, and I may want to rewrite it, but the NEED has gone. Which is why I'm so concerned about this idea of 'your story' for next week.

    If it's any consolation, probably not, I haven't come across anybody yet who has been pleased with the mark they got. We all got some kind of a kick in the butt. Just means we have to up our game. How?!? Tried so hard. Blub!

  4. Hi Carole, so maybe I'll have to get my head around children's books after all, after all these years of reading them! Would it really be OK to send a small sample for you to look at, tell me if I'm on the right track? I know how busy you are!

    Downith, it would be very helpful to brainstorm, maybe find something resembling a plot and a plan rather than being hijacked by my characters again!

    And Boz, thank you for the support. I wasn't pleased with the mark but I don't (on sober reflection) disagree with it. You're right, I love these characters but maybe I just need to start afresh. And Marcus Sedgwick did inspire me to plan. No, I'm really not going to write a story for next week, I'm treating that as a suggestion for the PP not an instruction. There have to be some safe boundaries. I wonder if other people will feel the same?

  5. I'm willing to help in whatever way I can, I have had a great deal of poetry published too, if that is any help to you. Carole.

  6. Thank you Carole, I'd love to send you some stuff after the weekend for your opinion, if that's OK?