Monday, May 11, 2009

CW wrap-up

I've finished my creative writing course, and have done so triumphantly. After a shaky start, I found myself improving week-by-week so that my last submission received a very positive accolade from the tutor. This thrills me, because I wasn't sure if I could do creative writing prior to starting this course. I know now, in my heart-of-hearts, that I can. I may not venture forward with creative fiction, but at least I'm now armed with some new writing tools, concepts, and greater confidence. Writing creative fiction, I've discovered, is a buzz actually. The bug has bit me and I may well indeed come back to it at some point in the future.

Here are the tutor's comments for my final submission:

"A powerful piece, which has strong underlying tension in spite of the apparent passivity of the scene. You have created a believable agent, and a prospective tenant who gives mixed messages with her dress sense juxtaposed with her decisiveness and cool possession of so much money. You have used a range of senses to enhance the characters and the setting. You build the scene so it increases pace as we reach the unexpected climax. Well done."

I wrote this as a send-off to the post-course forum:

Dear Cathie,

I’d like to say I feel it’s been worth my while doing this course and that it was worth the money spent. You see, while I’m interested in writing, I wasn’t too interested in exploring creative fiction in any depth. I’m more into reviews, analysis, diary & surreal writing. More of a, um, “teller”, in other words! ;) So I did the course to see “if I can do it”, ie, creative fiction, and to enhance my writing skills generally.

And now, after a bit of a shaky start to the course, I know in myself that “yes I can”! I listened to each module at least twice over, often taking notes during the second round of listens. I regret that I didn’t have the space to truly absorb myself in the modules, but I’ve realised that the information given in the modules had stuck with me so that each assignment I submitted seemed to be an improvement on the previous submission. I was right when my instincts were telling me that this course would be a “slow-burner”. For example, I had no idea about the ‘show don’t tell’ concept that you told me about after the first module, and even when reading about it initially I just couldn’t see myself doing it. It’s only now, after about 5 weeks, I can understand the concept better and I can see myself applying this concept or technique if I’m to continue with creative writing. I have the modules and the handouts. I plan on utilising them continuously.

I am thrilled with your appraisal of my submission for Week 5. This actually was my very first attempt at a piece of creative fiction, and I must say, I caught a buzz writing it and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. I made it up as I went along and the punch-line caters to my quirky, obtuse sense of humour. I can see room for some redrafting and edits. The point is, I don’t think I would’ve been able to write this had I not gone through each module. I’m thrilled at the possibilities of writing and I feel armed with a new confidence!

It’s been great reading everyone else’s work and your comments corresponding to our submissions. I don’t think I’ll continue on to level two at this stage, I feel I’ve only just begun to absorb the lessons of the past five weeks. And while I say I don’t wish to explore creative writing in any great depth, there is a part of me that wants to write great, masterful stories like Peter Carey’s ‘Crabs’. I think I have caught the bug of creative writing, yes!!! ☺

Best wishes, Ross

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