Monday 27 October 2008

Creative Writing Workshop

I had just two students turn up in my workshop today. They are in heir final year of a BA in English and Creative Writing. I only had work to give to one of them. The normal pattern is that two students out of four email work to me and the rest of the group each week. We all read before the meeting and then give the person who has submitted verbal and written feedback. However, we’ve been beset recently with having to change times and emails and their attachments not getting through.
The other student made some really useful comments. She has come on. I was quite pleased to hear her quoting some ideas from the module she did with me last year. Is there an inciting incident? Are there complications leading to a climax? Is there a structure in this? The work we were discussing is a section of a 30 minute sit-com script. I asked whether every piece of dialogue is either revealing character or pushing the plot forward. We also talked about editing processes. We did manage to fill the 50 minutes.
To think I used to do this as a hobby, often paying for the privilege. It is great, having a day job which pays you for doing things which writers do anyway. And we remind our students that in Reading (Writing?) Week, they are perfectly justified in watching television and reading … as long as they’re thinking about how the writers have grabbed and retained our interest.

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