A folder for the writing exercises I am doing as part of the writing seminar I'm attending this academic year. Some of them are quaint enough to warrant the start of stories; others are pants, for the deliberate lack of the inner editor.
I am not a Creative Writing major.
For starters, in England we don't have majors and minors, we have specific, choose-before-year-one degree courses, and, depending on the university, ones which are very rigid in what sub-degrees, or modules one is allowed to take. Anyway, that's not my point.
I am not a Creative Writing student. I'm not even an English or Literature student. I study Psychology and Philosophy - please, don't gasp like that; I'm kind of sick of that reaction - which is, despite what some might think, a very logic- and science-oriented course.
By dint of being bipartite, or 'joint honours', I have very few - and by that I mean no - optional modules outside of my fields of study. Psychology has accreditation-compulsory modules, and, whilst Philosophy's choices are entirely optional for me, I must use up the remainder of my credits with this intriguing half of the degree. You can't take my philosophy from me.
Alas, this means my writing is purely free-time writing, a position in which I do occasionally regret finding myself. I want to write. I want to delve into the symbolism, tropes, setting, and style involved in writing a book readers will love. I may not be interested in the analysis of books past, but I'd love to learn more of the way we see books to-come.
I am an author in mente.
When I started university last year, we had no creative writing society, due to lack of interest (doesn't seem plausible, does it?), and I gritted my teeth and bore it. I found internet creative outlooks, such as a group of writers who published an anthology together. Later, however, as in the summer term, and just when I'd already booked my time away, the society began again. Dash it all!
I was lucky to have time for it this year, but I trundle along to the society meetings most Tuesdays, where we discuss and experiment with quick-thinking writing in a variety of prompts and styles. In weeks where I write scant nothings to the tune of love, I appreciate the two hours given exclusively to writing. And free, non-judgemental writing. I'm sure many of you on Protag know how tough-skinned one must be in this writing industry, so a feeling of odd freedom germinates from having little structure and little direct feedback.
It was through a society event that I learnt of an actual anyone-can-turn-up, non-accredited weekly seminar run by the published crime fiction author Morag Joss. Look her up. She's awesome.
In these seminars, we cover topics about the creation and growth of our own fiction, and, like in the society meetings, but with more focus, we are set prompts from which we scribe paragraphs, vignettes, scenes, and poems to read aloud, regardless of quality. Two hours later, I leave with at least a page of my notebook filled with the most random of written pictures.
You see, in the society, we are given free reign; in the seminar, we are asked to work to the prompt. And work I try!
I'm not going to make anything of these tidbits. Most aren't even in my primary genres (fantasy, mostly of the alt-history kind nowadays; and mystery), and some I can't love as an author who weekly prunes her work with an eventual eye to publication. On the other hand, I refuse to write them and then leave them to the dark corners of my physical notebooks. That's not how I operate. The action is almost immoral!
As such, I present to you...Writing Exercises '14-'15. It's so awesome, it needs no more grandiose a name! Be warned, though, these are (mostly) unedited and crafted in rough amusement. I'm not presenting a story-book, only a place for memories of the sessions.
You never know - one day, we might be inspired to make something more of these openings.