Sunday, September 09, 2007

Susan Hill's writing course...

...has started!

An interesting first exercise looking at opening sentences will keep me busy this afternoon. Luckily, due to my shopaholic tendencies and serious charity shop habit, I have plenty of books in the house to peruse.

I am really looking forward to following this no pressure course, because I find I learn something new from every book on writing I read or course I take. Yet I also like the idea that Susan Hill is going to encourage her students to break the 'rules', because I, too, don't believe that writing is all about rules as such. What is taught on creative writing courses should be just guidance, not a recipe for creating books 'by numbers'.

For me, probably the best part about taking the Open University writing courses has been the interaction with other students and being able to receive constructive criticism. Of course you don't actually have to take a formal course to get that...just find a writer's group you feel comfortable with, whether in person or online, but above all find a group of people who will look at your work objectively and not just tell you what you want to hear. In some ways a formal course does add some objectivity and academic rigour to a process which is in so many ways subjective. But learning from longstanding, very successful authors must be one of the best ways to learn.

Three notable things:

1. Son 1 and I have just made a pact for the sake of his health. He will give up fizzy drinks if I give up chocolate. How am I going to survive?

2. I didn't get as much work done as I had hoped on Friday, but I'm not in a panic. Not yet, anyway.

3. I am becoming a BBC News 24 whore. More about that later.


Lane Mathias said...

3 notable things about post..

1) First writing exercise looks extremely interesting
2) Am also a news whore...but it can also be a tool for distraction
3) Give up chocolate....!!!!!????


rilly super said...

I had a look at the 'opening lines' exercise cathy. Wasn't there a magazine that ran a competition for re-writing famous opening lines so they failed completelym as in 'it was the best of times' (and it stops there), well, you get the idea. good luck with the course.

Unknown said...

First cathy thanks for the heads up on the course. Because of the move I had forgooten I had signed up!!!

Second good luck on giving up on chocolate......not sure i could do it but.......

Cathy said...

I know. I don't think I can give up chocolate. But I've got to set a good parental example...argh!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Boo hoo. I signed up for this course and have heard nothing. Par for the course (sorry) where I'm concerned. Hope you enjoy it.

Cathy said...

Graeme, I've left you a message on survivors, but just get yourself over to Susan Hill's blog and get stuck in. There is no formal notification...I believe she has about 900 people registered so we are not going to get personal attention, just pearls of wisdom hopefully!