Creative Writing Cafe – Term Three of Creative Writing Class – Lesson’s Two and Three

Two posts in one for you tonight you lucky lovelies as in the chaos of last weeks Author Interviews/short story projects/homework I didn’t get a chance to update (well publish – I actually found it in draft format) Lesson Two’s post.

So without further ado this is what went down last week….

WEDNESDAY 03rd OCTOBER 2012

Tonight’s lesson was a hoot! There seemed to be fewer of us in attendance than the first week, but it made for more cosy intimate surroundings and it was a nice number to sit and chat together.

This week, we all had to take it in turns to read out our bullet points for a plot outline that was semi-autobiographical. I particularly enjoy this part of the lesson as it is always great to see what other’s interpretation of the homework is and what ideas they come up with.

It also gave a little insight into people’s lives and learn things about them, making this session a bit extra special.

We had a laugh together at some of the stories and the elaborations that were being made (or not as some were genuine events that had occurred!)

Mine was loosely based on a call I had encountered within my work in a control room regarding a strange object in the sky. Although we threw about all sorts of ideas within the class as to what it could have been, I picked out the UFO option.

This lead to the discussion about my old obsession with UFOs and an April Fool that my dad played on me when I was younger.

I won’t give too much away though …you will have to wait til next read to see what i come up with….

WEDNESDAY 10th OCTOBER 2012

Luckily you don’t get to wait that long! Tonight’s class focused on the second part of the homework that we had been set in Lesson One and was where we got to hear everyone’s ideas strung together from their plotlines and read out their short story.

I really enjoy this part as I love hearing what other people have written and the direction they have taken; it’s great how we all get the same briefing and it’s amazing to hear what different creativity is borne out of this.

Please find below my effort:

Eyes On The Skies

The Eagle’s Hotel California rocked its way through the car stereo as we sailed through the streets of Nottingham. It was a bright summers evening, not a cloud in the sky and we were returning from a family visit to my grandma’s flat back to my other grandparent’s house, where we were staying for the week.

Dad was the designated driver, face impassive as he concentrated against the heavy evening traffic and through the raised voices of my two younger sisters that were squashed in beside me, arguing over a Barbie Doll. My mum sat quietly in the passenger seat staring ahead in a world of her own. I leaned away from the squabbling siblings, pressing my face against the cool sheet of glass window, gazing into the blue sky.

My eyes caught something glistening in the sunlight, high up where the light blue merges with the darker shade. I followed it curiously, the sun bouncing brightly off the object, preventing my young eyes from diagnosing and concluding that it was too big to be plane. At one point, it appeared to slow right down and hover; my heart did a handstand in fright and slowly keeled back over into its beat, “Have you seen that in the sky!” I exclaimed, pointing anxiously at the object.

My sisters stopped what was now a frantic struggle over the said Barbie doll, which was now in danger of decapitation, and leaned over me to catch a glimpse.

“I can’t see nothing,” announced Lori, the middle one who had self-diagnosed herself as having middle child syndrome. She squashed me further against the window as she used all her strength to lean against me, craning her neck.

“That’s a plane silly,” said the youngest, Sarah, so matter of factly and with a tone that insinuated I was the thickest person on the planet.

I turned my attention to my parents, “Mum! Dad! Can you see that in the sky? What is it?”

“Your dad’s driving, he can’t look,” was my mother’s curt reply. Dad said nothing for a while, before agreeing with Sarah, “It will just be a plane.”

I sunk back in my seat. I knew what I had seen and it was no plane.

Since the age of seven, I had had a morbid fascination with UFO’s. Ever since I was made to listen to Orson Well’s ‘War of The World’s at school, I had been terrified yet intrigued by the possibility of life on another planet. I remember that day so vividly; we sat on the rough classroom carpet, compressed against the tables and chairs and other pupils – and listened. Our topic was the solar system and the teacher thought it would be a great idea to listen to this as part of the studies.

How wrong she could have been. My imagination let loose at the words that cascaded from the player; mixed up with the images from the sleeve of the cassette tape and I had managed to freak myself out. I walked home from school with my friends and upon passing a play park, I will never forget turning around behind me imagining being chased by one of those spaceships. I ran home.

Straight away my parents knew something was up; I had managed to wind myself up so much that hysterical sobs escaped from my chest as I ran off to bed. When my parents scuttled in, it got worse. My mum was trying to soothe me as my dad proudly produced a vinyl record from behind his back, “Do you mean this?” he smiled.

My eyes bulged and panic swept me, “It’s-it’s in the house?!” I stammered. From that moment on I teased myself by occasionally pulling the vinyl out the cupboard to look at the pictures, freaking myself out, and my eyes remained firmly on the skies.

The morning after said UFO sighting, I skipped into my grandma’s kitchen, my encounter forgotten, and soothing sounds of Radio 2 coming from the stereo. As my grandma fixed up my breakfast, my dad put down his paper that he was reading at the kitchen table, “you know that object you saw last night?”

Fear returned with a pounding as if I had just been rammed by a bull. All I could manage was a slow nod.

“Well, it was on the news before that it’s landed, at Wollaton Park.”

I froze. My mouth had dried to that of the bottom of a desert lake, one I wanted to pool with my tears.

“They have it surrounded,” my dad continued, “The army and their tanks are guarding it. They are saying nothing has come out yet, but they say it’s only a matter of time.”

All sorts of images swirled around my mind; from what this spaceship looked like to the armoured grey and green army tanks to what lay deep inside this UFO.

I don’t think my dad could take the look of sheer panic on my face any longer as his face crumpled into a smile and he laughed, “April Fools Day!”

I slumped relieved onto the chair opposite him, as my grandma placed my breakfast in front of me. She just smiled and went back to the dishes.

As I shovelled a mouth full of corn flakes in, the news broadcaster came onto the radio.

“An Unidentified Flying Object has landed at Wollaton Hall, the army currently have it surrounded…” my eyes shot up from my breakfast to my dad’s face. Only this time, it was his turn for his eyes to be the size of saucers,…. to be full of panic….

 Lessons Learnt Tonight

* Avoid clichés (this seems to rear its head every term)

* OCD – one of the classmates described one of her character’s as having this and a discussion ensued over that annoying situation where you leave your house and your mind pipes up ‘did you lock the door/blow the candle out/turn straighteners off? One solution of this was to take pictures of things like this that you do on autopilot so you can look at them and reassure yourself that you did indeed turn those straighteners off….

Homework

* First person writing: I did this/I did that

* Describing another character written in the first person by your character

* Description to reveal as much about the character as it does about the person they are talking about

* Emotional response in the first person to reveal a character trait such as jealousy/in love

* Minimum 500 words

I am super excited about this homework! I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/santarosa/30049586/”>SantaRosa OLD SKOOL</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamie-uk/554260961/”>Jamie Durrant</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/6786598301/”>Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickscully/3724653625/”>Rick Scully</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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Comments

  1. Dear Gemma,

    I love this, especially as an aspiring writer who has written her first book, and is now working on her draft, this is so helpful, I am also in a writer’s group now, and well along with our wonderful team #GoTeamPIF and #WLC, I have to say this is been so insightful!

    Syl Stein

    • Gemma Wilford says:

      Thanks for stopping by Sylvia, I love our new support group it has been fantastic to connect with like minded people. It’s fab to hear you are part of a writer’s group too; I enjoy the push it gives me to get out my comfort zone 🙂

      • ssteinwriting says:

        Dear Gemma,

        your most welcome, and yes I agree our new support group is so great! and yes I also like connecting with like minded people. Yes, that is why I love being in a Writer’s group because it definitely pushes one as writer to get out of our comfort zone and just write!

        thanks again,

        Syl

  2. Dear Gemma,

    Thanks for sharing your writing class with us. And thanks, too, for writing about your out-of-this-world imaginings as a child…or were they imaginings? Good luck with your next class assignment.

    Michaelene
    http://www.michaelenemcelroy.com

    • Gemma Wilford says:

      Haha thanks Michaelene, I think I would pass out if they turned out to be real! The whole April Fool and War of The Worlds has scarred me for life! Trying to use these dauting experiences to my advantage in my writing in adulthood…

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