1. Davylove21
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    Davylove21 Member

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    To those who have studied Creative Writing

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Davylove21, Sep 12, 2009.

    I'm starting Creative Writing at The University of Winchester on Wednesday week and I was just wondering if anyone can shed some light on what I'll actually be learning? I never had a chance to go to open days etc, I just picked it based on the fact that I would love to do it.

    So yeah, any light on how they actually go about teaching the subject? I know that there is a lot of emphasis on critiquing which I'm looking forward to.

    Thanks peeps!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Everything depends on the intructor. The Writing and Experience course I took in collegewas bloody useless. All the instructors did was tell us that we were expected to bring in at least one page (!) for each session, then they would ask for volunteers to read their writing before the class. No one was required to read to the class, comments were restricted to compliments, and there were no directed writing assignments.

    On top of that, the course was pass fail. It was taught by a PAIR of instructors, and was pretty much a guaranteed pass if you showed up for classes.

    It existed only to fulfill a freshman Humanities requirement at a prominent engineering university.
     
  3. Davylove21
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    Davylove21 Member

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    Oh dear! I've done some digging on the instructors, there are about 8 it looks like spread out between the faculty of arts. They're all published authors in one way or another and one of them apparently wrote material with John Cleese and Graham Chapman and was in The Life of Brian.

    I do hope it's quite pro-actively taught. I want deadlines! I haven't written anything in months but once I saw the writing competition I immediately began working on a short, I find it incredibly helpful to have a goal to work to.
     
  4. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I took it two years ago, my experience was different than that of my friend.

    My Instructor, focused on "brain storming" techniques, heavy critiquing, and she was big on working in groups...which I hated. We did a lot of writing. I can't emphasise that enough. I had to write some poetry, there was journalistic writing, fictional character development. I had something due for every scheduled class. There was some required reading, covering literary theory, various genera types, and such. That was my experience.

    My friend had a better experience, her instructor took them out on field trips and they wrote mostly from inspiration. She only had one paper due a week. They did a lot of critiquing, and reading too. But they were free to write whatever they wanted.

    I think it could have a lot to do with your instructor and what they're focus is on.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It does depend on the teacher. But the main advantage of these classes (the only one that everyone can agree on) is that it gives you some disciplin and helps you work within deadlines before you start working with publishers.
     
  6. Davylove21
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    Davylove21 Member

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    I know it will be worth the time (and massive debt) to study. I just want to get my teeth stuck in now and do some writing!

    I always thought of it as a nationalised type of thing, but I'm glad to learn that it isn't. Nothing worse than learning what someone in an office somewhere thinks you ought to. Had enough of that with I.T. last year.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was the problem with my high school writing class. It was designed by the ministry of education, since we do have a province-wide curriculum.
     
  8. Davylove21
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    Davylove21 Member

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    Aggravating isn't it?! I studied I.T. Practitioners in Software Development last year at college (High School for Americans(I think)) and we HAD to learn about things like P.C. maintenance and the logistics of selling things online. It was very frustrating.

    We all knew how to dust a P.C. just like I assume everyone will know how to hold a pen when I study Creative Writing. I just hope some thing are taken as read.
     
  9. p.sawyer
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    p.sawyer Member

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    i don't think it depends so much on who is teaching you, but rather how you like to be taught and what you want to gain from the classes.

    i studied creative writing as part of a joint honours degree with psychology so i only did a limited number of modules, therefore i can't shed light on it in its' entirety. but don't be put off when i tell you that i actually left and swapped to do a full psychology degree. that was more to do with the psychology aspect, and the fact that in order for me to get a career out of psychology i needed to do a full degree. my passion is writing and i would have loved to have carried on but at the time i needed to be practical and realistic. i will always write, but for me i don't see it so much as a career, but as a kind of place i can go to escape the reality of the world with its deadlines, stress, paychecks, etc. i feared i might have come to view writing as a chore if anyone ever considered me good enough to be published.

    anyway, back to the point. my creative writing class i used to have on a wednesday morning was like a therapy session to me. it was wonderful.

    we had a piece due each week which we workshopped in groups. i'm the kind of person that has a huge wall up pretty much all the time apart from when i write, so those people really came to mean a lot to me. i wrote about things i never would have dreamed of talking to anyone about. it's hard to explain because there's a lot more to the experience i had, not without its difficulties and hard times, but it really opened me up.​
     

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