And this is what I got out of Creative Writing...
Enrichment, for those of you who don’t know, is what our college do to keep the teachers happy. It’s basically a way of keeping them in their class rooms and supervising teenagers, but without them actually teaching anything. And the great thing is, if the teenager doesn’t want to be there, then they can arse off home and not lose their EMA bonus and the teacher doesn’t have to put up with the little shit. It’s a win-win-win situation really. Apparently Enrichment is meant to “enrich” us in some kind of subject area we wouldn’t normally study, or further enrich us in one we do, or maybe it’s to keep us off the streets of Norfolk...? In other words, they’re extra activities we don’t have to do on a Wednesday afternoon.
This year, seeing as I needed to find something to jazz up my personal statement for uni and music enrichment was a bit of a fail last year, I decided to juggle my time between doing some photography (as my As teacher wasn’t too happy I dropped it at A2), Music Tech. coursework and Creative Writing. Considering I want to venture into journalism once I eventually manage to escape education, I proposed that involving myself in some form of writing activity may be quite useful.
It was one of those days where you wake to find an invitation from a clear blue sky peaking under the bedroom blind, convincing you that today would be a pleasant day; only once you step outside, the wind grabs like a surprise tickle from behind and you realise there’s no point in going anywhere without a coat, or you’ll freeze your tits off. Unfortunately the only view I had from the class room window right now was a brick wall, and therefore no distraction from the set of questions about to be forced upon me.
What’s your name? An interesting fact... And what do you write?
Ok, I could answer the first, I was pretty confident with that one. An interesting fact? I’d just use my usual one: I met Ralf Little - it normally sparks some interest. But what do I write? The general consensus was teen fiction, with a dash of romance, fantasy and a little si-fi added for good measure. In some cases, these were being morphed into novels. I’ve never written anything resembling teen fiction or romance, fantasy or si-fi, let alone contemplated writing novel. The truth is I have rarely written any type of story in my free time. I write reviews and do bits and pieces on just general observations, keeping an online blog, but apart from that I’ve never exactly sat down and thought “Yep, today I am going to write the next Twilight”.
That was another problem. I’ve never touched a copy of Twilight in my whole life. I’ve never seen the films. My friends and I generally try to avoid the whole thing like the plague. I’m a BBC 3 Being Human person myself. I prefer a little more reality. I like the idea that the characters could be normal people in the normal world and you’d never know unless you stumbled upon one on a full moon, then you’d be fucked. I like my vampires to be hot and Irish, not sparkly with a dodgy fake American accent. Revealing this, I could tell, would not make me many friends in this room.
And that leads me onto another issue. I’ve never actually read a “teen fiction” novel, so to be quite frank I wouldn’t know what to expect in it. I’m not much of a romantic, more of a realist, and as far as si-fi goes, I watched the first Star Wars film to be released and quite enjoy Lego Star Wars for Nintendo DS. I have, however, read the whole of the Harry Potter series, so that’s fantasy covered. But I still didn’t really want to reveal that my favourite book is In Cold Blood, a non-fiction novel by Truman Capote, and if I had to choose a favourite author, I’d pick Roald Dahl (I cannot begin to explain how badly I have always wanted to move objects with the power of my mind, just like Matilda).
I’m not too great at finishing books either. Most books I do read are biographies about some kind of music figure, and the last book I did actually finish was a collection of short stories inspired by The Smiths.
I was beginning to wonder what I was actually doing here.
I had to think quickly. Saying I reviewed JLS and McFly wasn’t exactly going to make me the coolest person at the table, it definitely wasn’t half as impressive or creative as writing a novel. My creative writing coursework had had pretty good feedback though. When in doubt, bring the humour out.
“So Jess, what do you like writing?”
“I like writing coursework.”
This literally was one of those moments where you fall to your knees, praying that the world would just swallow you up, right there, right now. Why on earth had I said that?! I guess it is just human nature to hide fears with something that comforts us, mine being stupid dry humour.
But that is how I prefer to write, that is what I learnt from my first Creative Writing session. I can’t do the emotive “teen fiction” descriptions. Well, I could if I tried, but it isn’t me. I like to be daft, pull out the funnies (yep, got that off Shrek. It has disappointingly become one of my phrases) when I can, make observations about life, our culture and society. I guess that’s why I am pulled towards the field of journalism rather than becoming a fictional writer. Maybe I will however, make an attempt to write a short story or two, but for now I will end with what I did manage to produce in Creative Writing.
Using the opening line: he was determined not to reveal... and the words ‘faith’, ‘reverse’ ‘cringed’ and ‘worldly.’
‘He was determined not to reveal to her how much he could not stand this band. Every note made him cringe. It was like having some kind of elf sitting in his ears, tickling with their sharp little nails. “Have a little faith, you’ll love them.” She’d promised. It was the point where she had described the music as ‘worldly’ that he knew he should have put the car into reverse.’
‘A summer without friends is like a garden without trees. You just can’t branch out from your bedroom door’
Hot, Irish Vampire. (John Mitchell, Being Human, played by Aidan Turner).
Sparkly, not quite as good as Mitchell, Vampire, played by the dude from Harry Potter.