Today, I began facilitating the first of a series of eight Creative Writing classes. I must admit that I felt like I fell into the whole thing by accident. I didn't allow myself to believe that they were going to happen, because I thought that no-one would come. Imagine my pleasure and surprise to read about them in the local paper (once again) and then be told yesterday that the classes were actually over-subscribed by participants!
So today we set off down the writing road, beginning at the beginning - with basic CW techniques of clustering and freewriting, to free up the mind and imagination and then ending with homework of creating a character and then 'taking them for a walk.' Next week we'll get stuck into critiquing techniques and how to improve writing through criticism.
It's fantastic to be at the other end of a period of learning, where I'm now translating all the learning into facilitating other people's writing development. There were times when I was in the midst of the Literature degree, when I wondered what the hell I was doing it for.
How I smiled inwardly today as a class participant advocated for a plot first, character second, type of approach. Rather than get tied in knots, I cited Henry James as an example of an author with a character in search of a novel: The Portrait of a Lady, as opposed to an author with a novel plot in search of characters: Wilkie Collins and The Woman in White. It brought back many memories of the same conversation on the OU conferences and I must say that it is nice to know now, what all that study and endless essay writing was for. Ginnie Woolf - eat your heart out :)