Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Creative writing course

 

I love to write. Writing is another way of communicating and as I have no speech writing helps me to express myself and get my word across more.  As you may have seen me writing in my Blogs about my experiences of things, mainly of my experiences of having a Disability.  Some of my Blogs are my reviews of places.  Everyone and everything has a story behind them/it and it is good to tell your story as it helps people to understand you better and make them aware of things.  So, I write to help everyone to understand me and things.

 

I started writing when I was about 15.  It was when I got my 3rd Communication device which it allowed me to have access to a computer (see my AAC Journey Blog for more info). My first Blog that I wrote was about my life, my Disability and about my communication device.  It was a very short Blog as it was my first time writing, but I was very proud of it.  At the time I love watching Blue Peter, so I sent my Blog into Blue Peter and I got a Blue Peter badge for my Blog.

 

 

I did a lot of writing at school for English and then I came away from writing when I was at college and then I started working at Cerebral Palsy Scotland and I started to write Blogs for Cerebral Palsy Scotland which I really enjoyed doing.  In January 2020, I lost my job, then in March we went in to lockdown, that was when I got my teeth in to Blogging.  I started to write Blogs for TAG (The Advisory Group) in the first lockdown and have been writing ever since. 

 

Even although I have written a lot of Blogs over the years, I wanted to take my writing to the next level, just to see how far I could go and maybe get a   qualification in writing. So, I started to look in to creative writing courses.  Firstly, I looked in to a creative writing course with the open university but it wasn’t for me.  Then luckily enough I found another creative writing course through open study college which seemed better for me.

 

Open study college is an online college which you can study from anywhere that you want, and it lets you to get qualifications.   With open study college, it lets you study whenever without attending classes.  You are assigned to a tutor to support you and to mark your assessments.

When I discovered the course on open study college, I thought that it would be good for myself but the down side of it was it had a cost. I was lucky enough to get some funding by help from Enable Scotland. 

 

Once I got the funding through, I was excited to start, but at the same time I was worried if I couldn’t manage it, but I surprised myself!

 

The course had 6 units, with each unit I had to read through the material and then at end of each unit I did an assessment which I sent to my tutor to get marked.

 

In the first unit, I needed to do:

·    Identify and explain a variety of reasons for writing

·    Evaluate my experience of writing

·    Analyse my writing style

·    Identify and judge a time when to write

·    Develop a plan for creative writing

 

This was quite easy as I was used to writing about myself.  I enjoyed doing this unit and I passed it.

 

For the 2nd unit, I needed to:

·    Identify different types of genres associated with creative writing and explain these

·    Identify different types of sub-genres associated with creative writing and explain these

·    Summarise the meaning of ‘conflict’ within creative writing

·    Explain the term ‘critical analysis’ as it applies to creative writing

·    Recognise your reading preferences and critically compare the preferences of others

·    Explain the genre of life writing

·    Explain the sub-genre of a biography

·    Interpret how to plot a biography

This unit was a bit harder.  I felt like I was   out of my comfort zone but I managed it with help from the course material and I passed it.  I enjoyed learning about the different genres of creative writing like fiction and nonfiction.

 

For my 3rd unit, I needed to:

·    Apply my skills in writing in the first, second and third person

·    Explanation of the term ‘writing style’

·    Explain the nature and purpose of dialogue

·    Create a believable character and provide a character analysis

·    Summarise tips to aid writing and be able to put these into practice in a piece of written work

 

 This unit took me out of my comfort zone too, but I really enjoyed this unit. It let me explore my creative side of my writing.  I created a character which I never done before.  When I got my marks through for this unit, it said a merit. When I saw the word “merit” I didn’t know what it means so, I looked it up and it turns out a merit is more than a pass, so, I was very pleased with myself that I got a merit for this unit.

 

For my 4th unit, I needed to:

 

·    Critically compare different writing styles

·    Analyse the genre and elements of the short story

·    Demonstrate the skills needed to plot and write an excerpt from a short story, novel and life writing

·    Evaluate the importance of locations in a novel

·    Evaluate the skills needed to write a play

·    Critically analyse different script layouts

·    Demonstrate the ability to write a scene from a script for a stage play

·    Summarise the important points in editing and proof reading and be able to edit a piece of your own work

 

I liked doing this unit too, I liked learning how to write drama and writing a scene for a play. Again, this was out of my   comfort zone.  And also, I liked learning about editing and proof reading, this would help me in my future writing.  I got a pass for this unit too.

 

 

 

For my 5th unit I needed to:

 

·    Apply your skills in writing poems in several forms, for example, a sonnet, rhyming verse and free verse

·    Analyse the genre of writing for children

·    Apply your skills in writing a poem for children

·    Apply your skills in writing a short story for children

·    Summarise the requirements of non-fiction writing

·    Analyse journalism and be able to write a news story

 

I really enjoyed this unit, but when I saw this unit, it worried me because it had    poetry which I never done before.  Even although I have been writing for years, poetry seemed really difficult to me, but I surprised myself and managed to write a poem. Another reason I liked doing this unit was I got to learn a bit about journalism and wrote a news piece and wrote a children’s story that I really enjoyed doing. For this unit I got a merit which I was shock but proud!

 

For my 6th unit I needed to:

·    Produce a scene for a radio play, applying the required skills

·    Demonstrate the skills needed to write a short story or a poem for radio

·    Demonstrate the skills needed to write a script for TV

·    Explain how to write to meet the requirements of a brief

·    Summarise the structure of a radio feature

·    Apply your skills in preparation of a piece of work for submission to a publisher

I liked doing this unit too.  Again, it was out of my  comfort zone but I managed it.  In this unit I learned to write a radio play and plots for a television show.  I got a pass for this.

 

Overall I really enjoyed doing this course. I surprised myself what I can write and I could go out of my comfort zone with in my writing.

 

Like everything it had ups and downs.

 

The ups were: I had a tutor who I could email anytime when I needed help which it was good to have as I liked to make sure what I was doing when I wasn’t sure, I guess that is a part of learning.  The other upside of it was my reader. Even although I can read some words, I find it difficult when I have lots of reading, so my friend told me about this reader called Free Natural Reader, where you copy and paste text in to the reader and it reads the text out.  The reader helped me a lot throughout the course.

 

The down sides were: I found it challenging when I had to write a large amount of words like with my 1st unit needed to be 2000 words. This was quite difficult for me because when I write I don’t think of how many words that I am writing, but I did it. I learnt that if I did have a number of words, I needed to go in to more detail about the subject.

Another downside of the course was the timing.  Even although I could do the course anytime I want, I had just a year to compete the course, so I was a bit stressed that I wouldn’t compete it in the year. I use my head tracker for my writing, it is really tiring so I need time when I am writing. However, I managed to  compete the course before the year was up.

 

 

When I competed the course, I was very proud of myself and I was glad that I started the course.  I feel the course has made myself a better writer and it taught me that I can write anything if I put my mind to it.

 

Looking at the future, I don’t know what is next but I am quite keen going on to journalism or be a freelance writer, but who knows!

 

 

 

Written by Jill Clark

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