Saturday, 12 October 2013

Steep Learning Curve

The main source of my distraction this past couple of weeks has been about trying to appear vaguely intelligent as I get to know my Creative Writing MA group...
I think enthusiasm is good but, I think, there's a thin line between that and garrulous hyper-friendly which *can* be off putting so I am trying to be calm ... BUT I am SO excited to be a 'real' student studying on a 'real' campus, even if it is only for three hours one evening a week :@
Mostly we have been studying the research methods of creative writers. The Professor's main area of interest is Poetics which is (VERY basically) what writers write about writing. We have explored two key areas of research for writing: content and form. Although the two are intertwined, for the purposes of our learning we've been urged to think about them separately. My main activity of research for content is (what I like to call) 'legitimate' snooping. It's research, and therefore *technically* science which makes it legitimate? Fun anyway! Research for form, which is really what concerns our studies, is about all the formal decisions we make about our writing - whether we're going to write a poem or a short story or a novel, point of view, narrative structure. Ultimately these formal choices will, I think, determine how we shape the content on the page.
It's making my head hurt a little bit but I read an article about Melvin Brag writing a novel based on his mum's life and he talked about the only way he felt he could get to the truth was through fiction; basically discussing the formal decisions he made. This helped me to contextualise some of the more theoretical stuff we've been reading. There's an assignment on this and I already have some ideas. Interestingly the tutor reminded us it's 'just an assignment', publication is seen as much more important. This, in the context of a former student having just secured a SIX figure deal, is very encouraging!
Importantly, I feel comfortable in th group. There's eight of us and a good mix of males/females, young/older, with an eclectic mix of interests in terms of genre. All very positive ... Although I KNOW I'm going to be nervous when it comes to presenting pieces for workshop ;0



9 comments:

  1. GET YOU!!! sounding like a real interlektual after only a few weeks! hahahaha. So glad you're enjoyin g the course and finding it stimulating. Your enthusiasm comes across so clearly. Keep on enjoyi ng it.. and remember, many writers did OK without an MA....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! *peers over horn rimmed spectacles*
      You're absolutely right, of course. MANY writers do absolutely brilliantly without an MA. I think I'll benefit from the structure though ... I need the deadlines. I won't like them but I need them ;)
      Thanks honey xx

      Delete
  2. Mrs T - this sounds fascinating - I'm not sure I quite understand (more to do with my learning than your teaching!) but I look forward to learning more. I'm quite envious of this adventure you're on, perhaps something I will add to my life to do list!

    I'm so glad that you're loving it and like the people too. Definitely the right choice then, I seem to recall you being rather uncertain about it way back when you first applied...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pooky, I'm not sure I completely understand myself but what would be the point of going if I did?!!
      As you say, definitely the right thing for me ... Though perhaps my enthusiasm will be checked by lurking deadlines?!!
      Thanks lovely xx

      Delete
    2. Hmmm deadlines, I find the best way is simply to ignore them and carry on merrily with other things and then PANIC LIKE BILLIO (this from she who is working to rather a tight PhD writing deadline but choosing to write poor poetry instead :)

      Delete
    3. Pooky, I love that writing poetry (which I am really enjoying reading) is your displacement activity! What's your PhD subject area?

      Delete
  3. It seems my response never appeared here!

    I have finally finished the first draft of my thesis. Hurrah! My PhD is about eating disorders within the school setting and specifically the role that school staff can play in early intervention. It's been hugely interesting and my results are great which is a bonus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SORRY Pooky, I'm having 'issues' with the technology ;(
      Your research sounds so interesting and really useful too. AND I'm excited to have another Doctor friend ;)

      Delete
  4. I will insist on being called Doctor all the time...

    I am keen to hear more about your course. Time to get blogging please Mrs T!

    ReplyDelete