Cooking on gas

I feel as though today has been productive.

My books arrived today, from the bookbinders.  I have had my novels Classmates and Gap Year professionally bound (five copies of each), and have to say I am over the moon with the result.  OK, they aren’t quite published yet, but from a distance they look like real proper grown-up hardback books!  The work was not cheap, but was well worth every penny.

My coursework has gone well today too.  I temporarily abandoned the ‘write 500 words in the voice of a character’ task which was stumping me yesterday and moved on to the next one.  In fact I’ve completed two, much more inspiring activities today.

The first asked us to pick up a newspaper, choose one news item and write 50 words (which is not much at all really) as though from the point of view of someone involved in the story.

For the second exercise we are asked to keep an ongoing note of our concerns in life – hopes, fears and interests – which could potentially form themes for future stories.  I have noted down quite a lot so far, and it is proving very cathartic.

The idea of these varied tasks is to look at the different inspiration sources used by authors.  Sometimes a news story might act as a trigger (as the wedding of Britain’s oldest couple did for me, when I came up with A Civil Wedding last year); sometimes an object; sometimes word association; sometimes simply a line or image.  Each method will not suit every writer.  The maxim “what works for you, works” is very much a theme of this course.

Taking the pressure off myself about completing yesterday’s task also seems to have helped.  I think, without trying today, that I may have thought of a suitably unusual character to write about.

I’m thinking of uploading a few of my OU course bits to this site, in a section of their own to set them apart from my other short stories.  Watch this space.

I am currently buzzing with adrenalin, in a way I haven’t done for probably months.  I am beginning to think I was right: that enrolling on this course could prove to be one of the best things I have ever done.

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1 Comment

  1. Josh Maxwell said,

    October 27, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!


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