Thursday, 12 May 2016

Back to School: Week 2

After such a great first week I returned to school eager to learn more.  The school café was shut this time so sadly no free coffee.  Luckily this wasn't a deal breaker for me.

Mike was keen to advise us that we may be joined by a student of his at Solent later in the course.  She is very keen to join a session and he feels we will learn from each other.  She has won awards for winning short story competitions on twitter.

We discussed mind mapping and Mike recommended Tony Buzan

We discussed some of our favourite authors:

Thomas Hardy: Far from the Madding Crowd
We discussed what you learn from the characters in Hardy's use of descriptive writing. What clues are used and what is implied by the characters actions and how we can let the reader work it out.

Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland
We discussed the possibility that the characters were based on people (namely parishioners) in his life that drove him mad.  It was possibly easier for him to make them into children's characters.

We also discussed the popularity of writing people as animals such as Beatrix Potter's 'Peter Rabbit' and AA Milne's 'Winnie the Pooh'.


Home work:

Read page section 15 of Stephen King's 'On Writing'.

Rewrite the scene in which Bill Sikes hangs in Oliver Twist.  Feel free to use elements of Dickens style to guide you. 

Here is my take on the scene:

Nancy shifted on her elbows as she took in the scene below.  She could hear the roar from the crowd.  There was a murderer on the loose.  Nancy could see their faces illuminated by torch fire, highlighting their very wrath and passion.  On they pressed, on, on, on from the front.  The surrounding houses were penetrated by the overspill of the current.  Faces in every window.  Men gripping the rooftops like insects clinging to a wall.  No space was wasted.  Every conceivable angle full – they were looking at her.  She could hear the shouts below and the front door forced at last.  Men mounted into her room and she watched as the faces left the windows to join the throng spewing onto the cobbles below.  At that instance she climbed out onto the window ledge.
‘Stay back or I’ll jump,’ she shrieked.
As the men inched closer to the window she yelled out in terror.  And then, as panic took hold she felt her feet fly out from under her.  No time to stop herself.  The crowd quivered with shock.

We must be ourselves.  You cannot replicate success.
All of our writing is valid and different.

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