Creative Writing blog

Activity/Session One

All round senses recollection spray

-This is a divine, lavender spelling perfume

-Face value it represents a generic/everyday-use perfume for the ladies, however there is more that lays behind this circular bottle. The name of this object is the all round senses recollection spray. As humans majority of the time we are able to recollect an event or memory. Especially, when the memory holds significance. But even so, memories can be narrowed down to subjectivity. An individual may fail to give up facts if the memory is formed due to interpretation. Even an action as small as an individual paying attention to one detail over another during an event can distort how they retain information. A few sprays of this bottle will trigger an accurate recollection of a memory, allowing you to experience every sense when retrieving information.

The good deed plant

As for the person who owns this plant, this plant is a reflection of ones good deeds. Every-time the owner carries out a good deed, whether that is donating money, charity work, or sacrificing time for the benefit of someone else- the plant grows slightly. But on the other hand, if the owner is caught acting on evil- this includes causing harm to someone else. This harm will need to be caused intentionally, either emotionally or physically, directly or indirectly. For every evil action occurrence, the plant shrinks. This plant is a representation of where an individual stands morally. Therefore this plant can be perceived to be an effective method for a person who is working on becoming a better individual.

  • Reason for this exercise-
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Memory of Bereavement

This was sculpted by an artist to represent their last few moments with a loved one. The artist had recollected their last interaction with the loved one where he had noticed two distinct birds placed on a branch above them. The artist believed that these birds were sent for a reason and decided to replicate the birds in an artistic form. This was done in order to have a heart-warming reminder of this very day.

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The Cut off tree

  • A naturalistic representation of failure
  • Failure is of often a result of giving up
  • The cut off tree indicates that once an individual has made the the decision to give up- all form of progress that has been developed is instantly destroyed
  • Therefore, the cut off tree teaches the importance of perseverance. When an individual gives up, failure is always inevitable
  • However, if an individual chooses to at least continue trying, there is always the possibility of success, as a result the tree proceeds on growing
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The door bell scanner

  • This is a product that will be found in futuristic settings
  • Laser scans visitors to determine safety
  • Checks for sharp objects/ metal or anything that can be deemed harmful Additionally, anything found will be traced and reflected upon a screen inside the building
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An electric car charger

-An electric car charger

This could be interpreted as a symbol of maintenance

Cars can sometimes be perceived as a representation of luxury, power or even stability. Or, people are view cars as an indication of status.

However, just like any ‘good’ thing, it requires maintenance. A car still require care, attention, and investment plans even after it has been attained. The electric car charger can analogically be used to explain that energy (e.g. hard work, acknowledgement) needs to be consistently invested in the things we cherish in life in order to maintain them. This can range from our established relationships, career paths, or any form of goal.

Purpose of this exercise

Research

The Writing Process

Stage One of the Writing Process -The Pre-writing stage

The type of text you will be writing –Audience/Purpose

Before the reader essentially begins writing their text, it is important for the reader to establish a purpose for their writing and the target readership (demographic). For example, the writer may need to decide on the type and level of language they deem appropriate to engage with the right audience. if a writer is planning to start on a novel, the writer will need to establish the genre (.i.e. Romance, action, or fantasy). Also, the reader may need to think about what type of language they will incorporate, in order to follow the correct conventions of the chosen genre.

When writing a novel

If a writer is planning to start on a novel, the writer will need to establish the genre (.i.e. Romance, action, or fantasy). Also, the reader may need to think about what type of language they will incorporate, in order to follow the correct conventions of the chosen genre.

Why is this stage significant?

This stage is essentially all about planning, which is vital for a successful piece of writing. The pre-writing stage gives the writer the chance to plan and decide on particular direction they want to take their writing piece to. This stage being thoroughly completed, reduces the possibility of the writer collecting information that is either irrelevant, invalid or unsupportive of their work.

Research

Moreover, depending on the purpose of the text (e.g. a novel), the writer may need to gather as much information as possible in order to support the message/story the writer plans on conveying.

Stage two of the Writing Process – Drafting

This stage essentially focuses on taking the initial points and ideas , then putting them into perspective. In this stage, the writer may focus on what particular ‘order’ they plan to present their ideas in. Drafting gives the writer the opportunity to establish a structure. The writer may decide on present their work chronologically, by looking at a linear structure. However, alternatively the writer may decide on playing on the expectations of a reader and

Stage three of the Writing Process- Revising & Re-drafting

This stage consists of the repetitive cycle of reviewing the drafts and making changes to it. This stage may involve the the addition or the removal of ideas.

Why is this stage important?

For effective writing, it is important for the writer to evaluate each draft. Re-drafting gives the writer the opportunity to assess the type of language they have used and to improve their piece by perhaps switching the form of language they have used in order to communicate certain ideas better.

Structure in writing

Session TwoOutlining your story

YouTube link- (4) Outline My Book With Me! 📗 – YouTube

Think about how you are going to structure your story?

novel structure example

During the stages of pre-writing and drafting, the writer will need to plan how they want to structure the outline of the plot. When planning the structure of the plot, the writer need to take into consideration three main parts. These parts are the conflict, the climax and the resolution. These parts should embody the five structure elements: The opener, the climax,

Decision making on the type of structure the writer wants to present their novel in

  1. One story structure a writer may use is the Dean Koontz’s classic story structure

This structure is suitable for writers searching for a simple baseline for their story.

Firstly, the writer will need to determine the worst scenario for their main protagonist can find themselves in. However, the scenario may vary depending on the genre the writer choses to write about.

For example- In a horror/thriller story, the worst scenario would most likely be the ultimate death of a character. Whether that would be the main protagonist, or a character that is connected to the main protagonist.

Another example- Within a romantic story, the worst dilemma that may pop up could be the possibility of a love triangle. Maybe, the decisions of a character romantically could lead to emotional strain.

Secondly – A series of issues that hinder the progress of the main protagonist

The writer will need to list each hinderance to the main protagonist’s progress in the story. This step of the structure is all about stating how the writer is going to make life difficult for the character. Each problem should logically lead to another.

Thirdly – The peak of hopelessness

This part should indicate the build up to a final predicament that is showcased in a manner that is beyond repair.

A novelist by the name of Angela Hunt labels this part as the “bleakest moment.”

Finally- The Ending,

The protagonist is presented either succeeding against the odds, or failing against the odds.

The five structure elements that will need to be taken into consideration when outlining your story

  1. The opener

2. An event/Incident that changes everything

A writer typically explores this structure element by using an opponent as a catalyst that motivates a character (generally the main protagonist) to act in a specific manner.

3. The cycle problematic occurrences that builds tension

4. Climax

This structure element brings the reader/ audience a sense of hopelessness. This could be through presenting a scenario when the character ultimately fails at a mission.

5. The ending

The ending can be represented in many forms, for example the writer may decide on

(This is where you could incorporate the McGuffin)

2. The second story structure a writer may use is the In Medias Res structure

This is when the writer presents a scene that hints to the reader that they are in the middle of something.

The McGuffin

In creative fiction, writers have been manipulating their story plots for an extended period of time using what is known as a McGuffin. A McGuffin is often referred to an object, device or could even be an event that influences the driven intentions of a character or may significantly divert the direction of the plot. However, the object as the McGuffin itself is irrelevant.

Dramatic text study

Chosen text- Noughts and Crosses – By Malorie Blackman

Highlighted contexts- Historical and Political

Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Part1 of Noughts & Crosses Trilogy):  Amazon.co.uk: Blackman, Malorie: 9780552555708: Books

The Noughts and Crosses book created a significant and powerful impact on the readers due to its highlighted historical and political context. Blackman attempted on challenging her readers by – she had earlier mentioned in an interview – “…playing with peoples’ perceptions of the society presented in the story.

Synopsis/Plot

Who are the characters?

Persephone (Sephy) Hadley – Main protagonist

  • Daughter of very powerful and wealthy man – Kamal Hadley (Politician)
  • A Cross

Callum Mcgregor

A nought

Best friends with Sephy Hadley and later om becomes her love interest

Has two older siblings- One sister who goes by the name of Lynette and a brother who goes by the name of Jude Mcgregor

Jude Mcgregor

Jude is Callum’s older brother which also means he is also a Nought

He quitted his education once he discovered that his Nought mother was fired by Jasmine Hadley (Sephy’s Mother). He is presented to hold great resentment towards the Crosses and often refers to them degradingly as “daggers”.

The Historical Context

Regarding the historical context, this novel is perceived by readers to represent a mirrored version of our own history. The term ‘Crosses’ represents darker skinned people (who are dominant), and the term ‘Noughts’ is used to represent people who are lighter skinned. The Noughts are deemed as the underclass. Blackman reflects a time in history where racial segregation was at its peak. And, this occurred amongst many institutions such as schools, jobs and hospitals.

This novel presents an alternate world were the crosses (The Africans) are the ones who have power over the Noughts (The Europeans).

The History of Pangea

What is the conflict?

There are many sub conflict issues in this novel. however the ultimate conflict in this story is the concept of the forbidden love between the two main characters from different racial backgrounds in a world of segregation.

While confronting historical as well as political issues, Blackman explores countless amounts of themes and ideas in her novel. These ideas range from: class, violence, friendships & relationships and familial conflict. Blackman expresses a domino effect, by creatively demonstrating the negative influence that chosen time of the text had on the success of a relationship. In other words, Blackman has portrayed to her readers that factors such as the historical time and the standard political laws can completely change the nature of interpersonal relationships.

Is there a McGuffin?

No, there isn’t a clear McGuffin

Character Profiles

Once an outline of a story has been established, it is important to move onto what brings the outlined story to life. The characters. This gives the writer a clear perspective on how they may want to develop their characters though out their journey. Having a variety amongst the character profiles creates an interesting dynamic that keeps the reader attached.

This is done by highlighting different aspects of each character such as:

-Personality traits

-Inpersonal relationships

-Emotional growth/Journey

(Session 3&4)– Beginnings/Openings

Effective ways of opening a novel

  • The set up – The writer may want to flip the narrative and not follow the traditional linear structure. Therefore, this would be done by setting a scene up that indicates that something is going to happen in the future.
  • A blogger by the name of Darcy Pattinson showcases an example of this opening

  • Dialogue – writers may start their novels by presenting an on-going scene. Starting a chapter with speech, highlighting an intriguing conversation motivates the reader to continue reading on and discover the driving factor of the conversation.
  • Altogether, this engages the reader by playing on their curiosity

An in M

Text Study 1

Author:

An example of this is evident in the novel ‘Paradise’ that is written by the author Toni Morrison 1997. The novel begins with the phase- “They shoot the white girl first”. The first sentence is direct and dramatic which may lead the reader with very little information described about what is going on. This already puts the reader in a position to feel apprehensive about what they have ‘thrown’ themselves into. Perhaps from the fear of the unknown, this may motivate the reader to proceed their reading to ‘discover’ what had lead up to such a dramatic opening

Paradise By Toni Morrison

Text study 2

Name : A Place of Secrets

Author: Rachel Hore

A Place of Secrets: Amazon.co.uk: Rachel Hore: 9781847391421: Books

Opening “The night it all begins. Jude has the dream again. She is stumbling through a dark forest, lost and crying for her Mother. She always wakes before the end so she never knows whether she finds her, but it is very vivid. She feels the loamy earth, hear twigs crack under her feet and smells the rich woody fragrances that are always strongest at night when the trees are breathing”.

The Opening line – ‘The night it all begins’ Hore has created atmosphere that is not only mysterious but also foreshadows to the reader that something is going to happen. “It all begins” informs the reader that the writer has backtracked in time in order to narrate each step towards an unknown event. This can build suspense for the reader, resulting in the build up in curiosity.

Hore describes the presented dream by paying attention to the protagonist’s every sense. This is from smell, feel and vision. The involvement of detail allows the reader to create a more accurate as well as realistic visualisation of what is happening in the story. The descriptive language draws the reader and allows them to create a mental picture. Therefore, as the reader continues to read, they subconsciously to add new components to their mental picture, which further engages them.

My Writer’s notebook

My short story nameThe Land of Secrets

My Dystopian Fiction Longs for a Better World ‹ Literary Hub

What is the McGuffin in my story?

The notebook

Small Notebook Companion, Lined | Manufactum

A notebook found that reveals that there is a connection between the character Jerome, to Sienna’s family.

How does this McGuffin change the direction of the story?

It changes the main protagonist (Sienna) views and attitude towards a character (Jerome). Because of this, the McGuffin even reunites the two characters. Sienna eventually realises that Jerome’s character may even become beneficial to her in ending her haunting dreams and anxiety.

Outline/PLOT of my story (Summarisation)

Background story

This story is stems from rivals within a secret dystopian world. Sienna as the main protagonist comes from a loving adopted family and attends University in the UK. She, however does not have any recollection of her early life. She is unaware that she is the biological daughter of a secret agent in an unknown village in south America called Misonya. Sienna’s Mother (Larzira) as an agent spied on the government for information supporting their suspected corruption.  Sienna was sent away to Europe when she was a few months old due to her life being in danger, once her mother was informed that her true identity had been discovered. Larzira and Sienna’s grandfather (King of Misonya) faked their deaths with the help of an ally (David Atwa) in order to go into hiding.  

As years past, the government are enlightened in very important information – the existence of Sienna. The daughter of the unforgotten secret agent. The agent who betrayed them.  With the fuel of vengeance, they send individuals to hunt the daughter down only vaguely knowing her where abouts. David Atwa trains his oldest son Jerome, who he assigns him with a mission. To move overseas in order to protect Sienna. 

University – present  

Opening/Beginning

Now Sienna is attending university, information about her existence has now been leaked.  Jerome enrols as a student with the intention to keep an eye on Sienna.  Sienna embraces her everyday student life until she encounters Jerome. Things begin to change. Jerome engages with Sienna’s friendship group but there is someone off about him, he’s almost aloof and mysterious. Questions and suspicions rise during intimate talks between Sienna and her best friend.  

As friendships grow, Sienna warms up to Jerome which leads to Jerome show concerns about her personal relationships, romantic ones in particular. But things take a turn after a study session when Sienna mistakenly takes Jerome’s notepad home. Disturbance unfolds when Sienna discovers a series of diagrams with her name and other unrecognisable ones attached to it. This leads to a painful confrontation regarding that Jerome is unable to tell her the truth. As a result of this, Sienna dismisses him as a creep which tarnishes their relationship and jeopardizes his plan.  

Sienna’s best friend tries to make sense of the situation while Sienna distances herself from Jerome and questions Sienna on what precisely those diagrams consisted of. This angers Sienna since she sees it as being irrelevant, however feeds into it when she examines the diagrams in her own time. Gradually, Sienna notices the diagrams resemble a form of family tree. She begins to piece it all together, suspecting the ultimate answer.. Jerome is connected to Sienna’s family. Her real family.  

During a series of harmful events, Jerome contemplates his mission and contacts his father. Conversations occur where Jerome insists that the only way of protecting Sienna effectively, is her being aware that she is being protected. Atwa repressing his hesitance, sides with his son.  

Conclusion/Cliff-hanger

This film concludes in unexpected cliff hanger as Rose (Sienna’s best friend) is kidnapped and suspected to be sent to Misonya as leverage.  This rages Sienna with despair, guilt and sickening worry, consequently demanding Jerome to take her back. Back home. To fight her fight, to fight for a friend.. To meet her Mother.  

What is the Conflict within my story?

Sienna as the main protagonist is being hunted down as a form of revenge which could potentially lead to her death due to the actions of her biological Mother. However, she has no recollection of her biological mother other than from her vivid dreams which occasionally leads to panic attacks.

Jerome is a trained champion who is sent to Sienna’s whereabouts on a secret mission to protect from the antagonists. However, the challenge is to carry out this mission without her awareness. This becomes more difficult throughout the story as certain events arises.

Chosen Story structure(decision making)

Dean Koontz’s Classic Structure -This is the structure I am going to be using for my novel due to it being a short story. This structure provides a narrative that allows a writer to present story to a reader with clear and evident beginning, middle and end but still engages a reader. Writing a short story may restrict the writer from using a more complex story structure, as the writer may not have the written space to include all components.

Who are the characters?

My character Profiles

Character Profiles  

Name appearance Relationships Characteristics Role  
Sienna  -Beautiful/dainty (Similar to Mother)  Age:18-21 In a relationship with (  Daughter of the  Queen  Larzira -Observant -Smart/intelligent  -Curious -Outspoken -Non-chalant  -Sarcastic -Witty   Main protagonist Student  
Larzira -Physically fit   – (Age 45) Mother to Sienna  -Strong -Confident  -Articulate -Intelligent -tactical    (deceased -fake) Secret Agent (Assigned by King Rovoro)- King of Misonya 
Jerome  -Physically fit   Age 22-24 Son of David Atwa Mysterious- -direct -charming  Assigned spy/ detective   Student  
Isaiah  -Averagely built   Age: 18-21 Boyfriend to Sienna  -possessive  -insecure  -obnoxious  -Rude -Jealous   Student 
Liah Small/petite   Age: Late 30’s  Sister to Larzira -Soft Spoken  -Manipulative/sly -Nurturing  -lady like -Academically smart (Mathematics) Engineer/geochemsit   Hidden accomplice    (government) 
Rose  -Averagely built Sienna’s best friend  -Cheery -Thoughtful -Hyper (Party Friend) Student  
David Atwa -Averagely built -Middle aged  Ally to Larzira -Easy Going -Stern -Assertive  -High in emotional intelligence Ally to Larzira   -Administrative Assistant for government  
King Rovoro Age: 60’s -Large Father of Larzira -Distinctive Deep/muffled voice  -patient/calm  Protective  Wise  King of Misonya   Deceased –fake  

Refining the Opening of My Story & Feedback

Task – Opening of my story – First 100 words

The new guy. He approached with a stern, assertive trance. His eyes steadily on me, the usual coolness I was known to always possess, escaped immediately.  

“Sienna-Oya Soliki isn’t?” he asked.  

“Yeah, I go by the name of Sienna though” His face was unreadable.  Which was ironic considering the eyes were known to be he windows to the soul.  But through his eyes, I saw nothing. A black hole.  I shifted my weight in discomfort. He drew one arm towards me; it took a second too long to comprehend what was happening.  

“Jerome” He murmured.  I shook his hand.

Peer Feedback

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Evaluation

Sense of Mystery

My peer picked on the use of short sentences and proceeded on to mention how it added an effective flow to my story. Additionally,

The use of imagery

My peer had mentioned in their feedback that they liked the use of description used to portray certain characters. In this case, the character Jerome. They recognised the use of the metaphor “a black hole” in order to potentially foreshadow and present the possibility of Jerome’s character being evil.

Session Four – Endings

Text study 1

Name- A Place of Secrets

Author: Rachel Hore

Ending “By the time the daylight dwindled, “Maman” was the only word she could remember and when, half conscious, she staggered down a grassy bank and fell into a muddy lane, that too was forgotten. As if a dream come vibration of thudding hooves, the likely chunk of harness and a man’s cry. Them strong arms, sweep her up, the man says “what have we here” and another life begins.”

The writer has strategically presented the introduction to a new character in the last paragraph in the book to completely change the direction of the story and provides an unpredicted ending. The lack of identity attached to the new character due to references such as : “A mans cry” or “Them strong arms” leaves the reader in a questioning state, but is gently guided onto the next phase of the story-line.

Task- Refining the Ending of My Story – Last 100 words

“You know something about me” She took an intentional step forward, her eyes not leaving me once. There was a hint of plead in her eyes. “And you’re not telling me”.  

I shoved past her and began opening up the door.  

‘Jerome’ She let out one last time. My heart sank at the hopelessness in her voice. But I had to do what was right. The less she knew the better… 

SIENNA 

Jerome slammed the door. In my face.  

Aggrieved, I turned to look across the road at my best friend in her car to see if she also witnessed the violation. The car was at the same place I left it. But Rose herself was gone. 

Peer Feedback

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Evaluation

Use of different perspectives

My peer pointed out the effective use of writing from different perspectives. My peer highlighted writing in this style was a good way of engaging with the reader as it encouraged the reader to understand each character better.

The use of a cliff hanger

My peer also noticed the use of a cliff hanger at the end of my story and how it provided a dramatic end to my story. The lack of clarity was an effective way of raising speculation and uncertainty for them as a reader. Lastly, my peer stated just from how the beginning and ending were presented, it gave them the impression of a well-written story.

Reference/Bibliography

Novel structure/The writing Process

website: Novel Structure: Create One That Works [+Checklist] – Squibler

website: The Writing Process | 5 Steps with Examples & Tips (scribbr.com)

website: 7 Story Structures Any Writer Can Use (jerryjenkins.com)

Opening techniques for Novel Writing

website:10 Winning Ways to Open Your Novel – Kobo Writing Life

Chosen text study

website: Review: Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman – The Literary Edit (thelitedit.com)

YouTube Sources:

YouTube source 1 –(4) Outline My Book With Me! 📗 – YouTube– By Youtuber – Abbie Emmons

YouTube source 2-(3) Hitchcock Presents: The MacGuffin – YouTube

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