Course Title: Characters and Conflict
Start Date: 3rd March 2020
Course Ends: 31st March 2020
This five week creative writing course will take place on Tuesday evenings (7.30pm to 9.30pm) at 23 Damselfly Rd, Ipswich, IP3 9TS.
The ideal participant is someone who has had some previous writing experience and is keen to hone their craft through a range of fun, interactive activities.
There will also be opportunities to share work and receive feedback on your story ideas.
Character Creation – 3rd March
Meet the rest of the group, go through the group guidelines and discuss how to give and receive constructive feedback on creative writing.
With the help of pictures and objects, we’ll start to build up a cast of characters. We’ll then set these characters in conflict with one another to create engaging scenarios.
By the end of the session everyone should have written the beginning of a short scene or character based poem.
To this first session you can bring ideas for stories and/or extracts of poems or prose. To ensure that we have enough time for everyone to share, make sure that the total word count is not more than two hundred and fifty words. (If possible bring five copies of your work as it makes discussion easier).
Diary (Find your Character’s Voice) – 10th March
Bring a description of a character you have created, either the one from last week, someone new or someone from your previous writing This should be between fifty and one hundred words. If possible, bring five copies.
First we’ll revise the feedback guidelines and then we’ll share work according to our own preference. (Some people prefer to have only positive feedback, some choose to receive constructive criticism).
We’ll read our pieces and then, to develop your characters further, you’ll be working in pairs to ask and answer questions about them.
After reading and discussing examples of fictional diaries such as Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend and Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller, you’ll be writing diary entries for your own characters.
Making and Breaking the Rules – 17th March
Please bring a one hundred word diary entry. It could be a new piece or an edited version of last week’s piece.
Also bring a novel in which you think there are some good examples of dialogue.
After we’ve shared our work, we’ll be looking at a tip sheet plus a written example of how to weave description and dialogue effectively. We’ll also discuss the drawbacks of ‘writing by the rules’ and consider whether or not our chosen book uses the standard conventions.
In pairs you’ll be writing arguments in the style of the game ‘Consequences’ to explore writing dramatically. Possible scenarios include: failed mugging, a couple arguing about the washing up and two children in a haunted house (one wants to leave, one wants to stay).
You’ll then experiment with adding speech tags (he said/she said), movements and setting descriptions.
Dynamic Dialogue – 24th March
Please bring between one and two hundred words of a piece that includes dialogue. This could be written by you or another author.
After sharing work, we’ll consider how to use different speech patterns and accents in order to give our characters distinct voices.
We’ll also read an example of what I believe to be poorly written dialogue and, working in pairs, we will edit and/or rewrite it.
Work Share and Future Plans – 31st March
Everyone will have the opportunity to share a piece of work with the group. Ideally this should be between one hundred and one thousand words and demonstrate some of the techniques we have covered over the previous four weeks.
There will also be a few mini writing challenges and a snappy sentence competition.
Costs and Payment Methods
The course costs £50 and your place is guaranteed from the day I receive payment.
Payments can be paid in cash, by bank transfer or by cheque.
To pay by bank transfer, send me a text and I’ll message back my bank details: 07943 068 033
To pay by cheque, send £50 payable to ‘Mai Black’ to 23 DamselflyRd, Ipswich, IP3 9TS. Make sure that you email me to let me know when your cheque has been posted.
Cash can be dropped off at my home address in an envelope with your name attached.
Sorry, I can’t offer refunds unless the course is cancelled in which case full payment will be returned to you.
To ask any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively phone 07943 068033