It’s Been A While…

I talk about my first week of my writing course and then I shut off. Apologies for that. In fact, I completed the six-week course just this Wednesday last. I’m glad I did it, in spite of putting my stories out there and allowing myself to be criticised by people who wouldn’t volunteer their own work. I don’t wish to sound bitter, but it annoyed me a little bit.

More detail on my course coming soon, but I should announce that I have been accepted to study my MA in Digital Journalism (formerly Journalism). Very happy!

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Beginners to Writing Fiction – Week One

I started my Creative Writing course this day last week. I love to be early so I was third to arrive into a class of about twenty. I was also told that I’m the first name on the role list, so I must’ve been the first to sign up. It’s mostly female-oriented, with two males.

We began our class by introducing ourselves and stating what we would like to achieve from this course. Everyone had a different goal. Mine was to learn to write without jumping ahead to what I consider to be “the best part” of the story. Our teacher suggested that I write the ending first and work from there. I had more goals but I would’ve kept the class there all night had I stated them. One particular one is to gain the confidence to share my work. We have the option of reading our stories to the class every week, beginning this evening and I am determined to do it at every opportunity. I also need to learn to accept constructive criticism.

For me, when I receive constructive criticism, I really beat myself up. It’s a case of “I should’ve known that” or “of course, how could I have missed that?” I need to simply accept every bit of criticism as a chance to improve. Giving constructive criticism is another challenge. We are encouraged to comment on each other’s work and I really don’t want to criticise my classmates’ stories for the simple reason: who am I to talk?

After our introductions, we did a bit of free writing and then made a list of twenty plus items that we are interested in. We had to be as specific as possible, for example, I wrote that I am interested in forbidden romances, but I still think that is too vague. For our first assignment outside of class we were to pick three of these items and write a 500 word story based around them. I’ve done the story but I will be honest: I wrote the story and then picked out the themes! In my defence, they were on my list.

Hopefully my story is received well, but I know I should hope for suggestions on how to improve it. Let’s hope I can handle it!