University. Did I initially choose the right course? No. I changed my mind seconds before I was due to enrol. That was the right choice and I don’t regret it.
I wish I could say that my current course, Creative and Professional Writing (formally Creative Writing) was my initial choice but it wasn’t. Originally, I was going to study Film & TV alongside Creative Writing, but I changed my mind moments before I went into the library to enrol.
What changed my mind? To answer that I would need to answer what appealed to me about Derby in the first place.
It has two screenwriting modules and I want to have a career in screenwriting. Any university that didn’t offer a screenwriting module was immediately off my list (along with London and Universities that had a rubbish website). I did my A-levels in Film Studies, Media Studies and English Literature and Language and so I felt a joint honours degree in Creative Writing and Film or Media would be ideal for me. Originally I wanted to combine Creative Writing and Media as I preferred media as a whole over Film studies at college but that wasn’t compatible, so I opted for Creative Writing and Film & TV studies.
I then went to the open days and I noticed that both subjects I spoke to referred to Screen Writing as a single honours module. I asked both subjects and they said I could do it as a joint honours student. However, when I got to enrollment it became clear that it was for single honours only. This meant I had two options, become a single honours student for Film and TV, or become a single honours student for Creative Writing. I’ll be honest, I chose creative writing because while I had never been to the modules for Film and TV, the modules looked boring. I wasn’t sure whether I could sit another 12 weeks of being told about moving image, I had enough of that in the two years of A-level film studies and three years of Media Studies. The other modules didn’t sound interesting either. I was really only interested in Europian Cinema.
I’ll be honest, I chose creative writing because while I had never been to the modules for Film and TV, the modules looked boring. I wasn’t sure whether I could sit another 12 weeks of being told about moving image, I had enough of that in the two years of A-level film studies and three years of Media Studies. The other modules didn’t sound interesting either. I was really only interested in Europian Cinema for the Film and TV. On top of that, the Creative Writing open day was much stronger.
When I looked at the modules for Creative Writing, and it was a completely different story. The modules all sounded interesting, except reputation which I had enough of in my three years as an English Student along with my other A-levels, but it was a price worth paying. After a discussion with the Creative Writing Team, I switched from joint honours to single honours five minutes before I officially enrolled, and I can say I do not regret it for a single second. I chose right.
I was wrong about the Representation module though. It was not boring. The Creative Writing team made the topic seem new and allowed us to look into representation our own way. I don’t think there is a single module I have taken that I can say I hated in my first year but I can definitely name my two favourites. Audience and Research: Storytelling and Writer’s Toolbox, introduction.
The best thing is that the Creative Writing course does leak into both film studies and media studies. In the second year, you are taught to interview, to make magazines, have the option to write screen plays and/or radio plays along with researching a topic of your own choosing.
My topic was pirates for a novel I want to write, we visited Matlock, Derbyshire’s Record office and there was an old letter addressing piracy which was helpful. You can also choose your own group topic for the magazine, our group’s topic was Disability.
For first-year students on this course, it is recommended that you get the Creative Writing Handbook by Linda Anderson.
You can buy it with your Blackwells E-voucher