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Thursday, 15 December 2011

End of Semester 1

As you know I went back to University in September. Somehow it's now December, and I've just handed in my final assessed piece of work for 2011 (a 5 minute screenplay which I based on one of my sort stories).

So what have I learned since September? I've discovered that I enjoy writing in mediums outside of my usual short stories and novel attempts. I've found a love of writing for stage, and a new respect for people who not only write poetry but are good at it.

One thing that has annoyed me about the course so far is that the tutors insist on evidence of drafting with each creative piece we submit. That's fine, but they insist on at least three stages of drafting, each of which show substantial changes to the piece. That doesn't match up with the way I work; particularly with the screenplay I've just completed, where most of the drafting had been done when I wrote Snowglobe nearly a year ago. All I've been doing is transposing the descriptive elements of the story into stage direction, playing with the structure a little to make it work as a film rather than a story, and chopping down the dialogue. That doesn't take three drafts.

I can see this being an issue next semester, when we tackle short stories. I've written short stories for years, and particularly this year when I've been attempting Write 1 Sub 1 I've learned how to draft a story very quickly; most of the stories I've written this year have come out as almost the complete article initially, with one brutal edit tightening them up that takes into account feedback from the fine folks at MancSpecFic if I happen to send the story to them. I'm not sure how that's going to work when I have to show at least three drafts of my stories next year - what I do know is that I don't want to sit and fabricate drafts for an hour, as I've just done with this screenplay. That seems counterproductive.

Next post will no doubt be some time after Christmas, a sort of my-writing-year-in-numbers post. that's if Skyrim doesn't steal my soul first.

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