Creative Writing Course: Week 5

Holy moly I had a busy weekend!  Amongst the normal housey weekend chores, I went to photograph Peterborough Cathedral, helped press 150 litres of apple juice, took a trip to Huntingdon for brewing supplies and cleaned a large portion of my house.  Yes it was a very productive couple of days, but it meant that I didn’t get chance to write this here recap of the final week of my creative writing course.

To kick off the session I plucked up the courage to read the love letter I wrote to my bed, which seemed to go down well.  After this we moved straight onto our first task, a game similar to Call My Bluff.  Andy gave us each a piece of paper with a word and its true definition written on it, we had to add to this by writing two fictitious definitions.  Once that was completed we took turns to read out the word with the three definitions, the others had to guess/work out which was the actual definition.  Here’s my word and definitions:

SNOTTER

  • The nickname given by Aussie rules football players to the man or woman who tends to the playing field.
  • A piece of rope that attaches to the mast of a ship.
  • A type of rivet used for joining sheet metal to pieces of timber.

I’ll leave you to have a guess at which is the real definition and will stick the answer at the end of the post.  No Googling!

After we’d had a good chuckle at both the actual, and made up meanings of words (all of which I’ve forgotten and am regretting not writing down), Andy began to tell us a woeful tale about his friend Dave who’d been made redundant from Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Birmingham after it’s buyout by American chocolatier Hershey.  As it turns out, Dave had worked on the Finger Of Fudge production line which was being shut down, he was however able to pick up the very last Finger Of Fudge produced and had given it to Andy as a present.  Andy had decided that instead of keeping the precious bar for himself, he would make us work for it.  He tasked us with writing a reason why we should become the proud owner of said chocolatey treat, the winner would be decided by popular vote (we couldn’t vote for ourselves).

You don’t want to give me the last Fudge bar.  I’ll only eat it later.

Not very imaginative I know, I was a bit disappointed by my writing at this point, especially as the reverse psychology didn’t pay off.  What reason would you give to own the very last Fudge Bar?

As the evening drew to a close Andy handed out another stack of papers, this time containing statements, descriptions, quotes and a myriad of other snippets designed to inspire a story involving moral choice.  Of course, we were then tasked to write a short piece based on something from the lists that included moral choice.

I chose to use the following description:

In the novel Sophie’s Choice, a young Polish mother and her two children are taken to a concentration camp.  Upon arrival, she is forced to choose one child to live and one to die.  If she doesn’t choose, they both die.  Write a scene in which your character must choose between the lives of two loved ones.

It took my a while to start this one off, and true to form I barely got started.  I’ve never read, or seen Sophie’s choice and the idea seemed to be a good one for moral choice, Even though I didn’t get very far, I had the decision point laid out in my head and knew exactly what the young Polish mother (named Anna in my story) would do at the end, and why.

The darkened freight train carriage rocked gently from left to right as it made its way steadily through the night.  Dim lights flashed through the slatted peepholes high up on the wooden frame.  The air was stifling, heated by the mass of souls confined in the rolling wooden box, the stench of unwashed bodies filled the carriage.

Anna sat in a corner, one of the lucky few with the luxury of a wall to lean on.

Told you I didn’t get very far!  I have a tendency for not being particularly descriptive when setting the scene in my writing so I concentrated on doing so for this, sadly time got the better of me.  I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination for now, but may revisit the tale in days to come.

And that was that, 5 weeks of creative writing.  I truly hope it doesn’t end here for me, I’ve got loads of inspiring pieces of paper and of course #NaNoWriMo starting in November so I should have some writing to keep me occupied.

Before I leave you to your devices I will say a massive thank you to Andy Hawkins who presented the course incredibly well, I’ve learnt so much from it and had great fun doing it.  Go and check out Creaky Knee Stories to see what he’s all about!

Oh, one more thing.  A Snotter is a piece of rope that attaches to the mast of a ship!

Thanks for reading.

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