Creative Writing Course: Week 1

I’ve wanted to write stuff for a while now, but I’ve never really known how to start.  So when a prospectus for a local adult learning college was shoved through my door, presenting me with the opportunity to sign up to a Creative Writing course, I jumped at the chance.  Last Wednesday, I attended the first of 5 weekly sessions.

I enjoyed myself writing various bits of nonsense but couldn’t help thinking it’d add to the fun if I actually posted some of the things I’m writing for the world to see.  And hey, it’ll give me a bit more of an incentive to write more if I’m sharing it right?!

So without further ado, here’s the unedited scribblings from my first lesson…

The first task was simple, “write down as many fairy tales/characters, nursery rhymes/characters, cartoon characters etc. as possible in 3 minutes (I didn’t get very many):

  • Humpty Dumpty
  • Hansel & Gretel
  • The Simpsons
  • The Griffin Family
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Futurama Cast
  • Tinkerbell
  • Rapunzel
  • Cinderella
  • Three Little Pigs

The second task was to take 3 characters from that list that wouldn’t normally interact, and write a new fairy tale about them, in 10 minutes.  The fairy tale should have an intro, a problem and a solution to the problem.  I picked Bender from Futurama, Cinderella, and the Woodsman from Red Riding Hood:

Once upon a time, in a land far away (seriously, another galaxy kind of far away), there lived a princess, as is often the case in these kinds of tale.

There’s no real need to tell you about this princess, she had a fairly well known history involving sisters, pumpkins, and mice.  What you should know is that she is currently trying to enjoy an evening stroll through the woods behind her rather extravagant castle.

The Princess wasn’t getting on too well, her glass slippers were getting stuck in the mud…

OK, so I didn’t finish that one, and reading it back I’ve discovered a major tense flaw but the basic idea was that Cinderella, whilst strolling through the woods, discovers Bender, who has somehow been teleported into Cinderella’s wood and fused with a tree.  After much biting of shiny metal ass, the Woodsman would free Bender by chopping him out.  Most of him anyway.

After that little exercise, we were tasked with “interviewing” three other course attendees, we each had 3 minutes to ask questions.  After finding out the deepest, darkest secrets of other folk in the room, our objective was to create a character, using the some of the traits we’d discovered from our fellow students.

Franco is a guitarist in a successful heavy metal band called Slaymore.  They’ve been touring the world for 6 months after the release of their seventh studio album.

Response for the album has been positive, fans love the newly infused medieval influence used for the new offering.

Franco is becoming tired of the music though and after seeing the world he is becoming more and more interested in politics.  He has enrolled on a 3 year degree course to learn more…

I easily could have fleshed this guy out more, I was getting quite into it once the 10 minute timer was up.  After some rather nervous reading out loud, we’d all heard each of the other characters created in the class and were asked to pick one of those heard and write a scene using them, and our own character.  I picked the character Rex Rexon, a wild west, gunslinging, bounty hunter:

Franco could feel his wrists bound to some sort of wooden beam.  He knew he was sitting on the floor but didn’t know where or how he got there.  The last he knew, he was on stage in Prague with Slaymore on the last night of their world tour.  He was in pain, his right leg was searing and he could feel something warm oozing down his shin.

“Wakey wakey, rise and shine boy”.  The chill of a gun barrel whipping across his cheek accompanied the gravely American drawl.

Reeling from the impact, Franco opened his eyes…

Yeah, I didn’t finish this one either, but at least it’s got a bit of mystery.  I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, except for my idea that Franco had been teleported back in time.  I must have had teleportation on the mind that evening!

So that was that.  An enjoyable two hours spent scribbling, talking and chuckling!  We even got set homework, I haven’t done it yet (a certain crime based video game got in the way of that), but keep your eyes peeled for another post later this week.  Hopefully tomorrow.


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