On Writing

Paws and Prose: Creative Stories

As some of you know, I study Creative Writing at the University of Derby and I’m in my final year. Yay! I still don’t know if my degree will say Creative Writing, which was the name of the course when I signed up, or Creative and Professional Writing, which was the course name in my second year. But, as you can imagine, it involves writing stories.

It’s been a great experience, and I love my course and my lectures. I’ve managed to deal with problems along the way and passed all my modules at this point.

I thought I’d let you know what I am currently doing for my degree.

This semester, I am on three modules:

  • Focus on Genre Fiction
  • Creative Practice Professional Development (CP5)
  • Independent Study

Genre Fiction

I love these modules, Genre Fiction gets me out of my comfort zone and I have to say, I do groan when we are told to write a story in a genre I only watch, not read. My first week I was told to write a story that was either in the cowboy genre, detective or a mixture of both. I think I’ve only ever seen two cowboy movies, and one of them was a flop (hint: starred Jonny Depp) and the only detective stories I was familiar with were from Film noir.

Never the less, I gave it a go along with the other genres – metafiction, ‘the random’, and Sci-fi and this week, it is a ghost story.

Since the Metafiction class, I have had a story in mind. I take an existing character of mine but focus primarily on her thoughts as she discovers that everything that has happened to her, everyone she has lost, is because of her author.

She loses her adoptive mother to cancer, loses her husband at sea and is forced into a lifestyle that she has been trying to run away from as a child so when she finds out that it is all because of  ‘Author,’ she is outraged. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out. However, I’ve read a lot of bad dystopian stories lately, I might try my hand at one.

Creative Practice Professional Development

For my CP5 class, we covered several topics too. My favourite one so far is child’s writing, where you look at how a child writes: their lack of grammar and spelling; how they use narrative to tell stories; the vocabulary they use – and use it in your own story.

So for this module, I am thinking of writing a story set in the future. Technology has taken over, but not in the same way as stories like iRobot or the Matrix. People just depend on it. Where my character is set, no one knows how to read or write because they use technology to do that for them. Need to send a letter? just tell the computer what you want it to say.

My protagonist is a child herself, but relatively wise. Children in her world have to work for a living and so she has aged quicker than children in the present. She finds this old, abandoned box that was once a time capsule in some dirt. Inside is a letter from a child but she cannot read it. She is curious as to what it says so she sets out to find out what it could contain.

Independent Study

My final coursework is for my independent study, which is the Creative Writing way of saying a dissertation.  I am doing a screenplay surrounding the industrial revolution in Birmingham, and have some amazing books to read for research material.

I don’t know what my character is going to go through yet, but I know he works in chandlery at a time when mass production is becoming more and more common. I love the idea of him working in a chandlery, it seems to fit him.

So those are my ideas. What do you think?

Thanks for Listening

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12 responses to “Paws and Prose: Creative Stories”

  1. I think you have great ideas! Creative writing is the most fun to me. Allowing yourself to be creative and come up with characters ans story lines can be a very “in the moment” process. If only more of our daily activities could be like this!

  2. Really appreciable the article and your ideas are all awesome because your protagonist is child itself from where all creativity and thinking starts. And that’s great that you are studying creative writing and you too have passion about that. Good luck, bye. See u soon. 🙂
    By the way awesome blog – Reading for the last 20min I think, keep up this good work.

  3. I imagine your degree will be “Creative and Professional Writing”, but in the end, for creative writing does the degree name really matter? (The “professional” part also seems to be helpful if you need to find work outside writing, such as editing or working for a writing staff somewhere.) Ultimately, it’s more about the skills you learn. To which end, I like that they made you study genre fiction. It broadens your perspective, even if it isn’t what you write. I never had the chance myself. We only read and wrote lit in the classes I took (as an English major, not only creative writing), but I AM a genre writer. Still, I learned from it and transferred those skills over to my preferred form.

    • No, the name doesn’t matter 😉 I was just curious as to what it would be though. Genre fiction turned out to be my favourite module last semester, I’m glad I chose it as one of my modules because I feel it really helped with my writing

  4. I think the idea for your child in the future sounds really interesting. I’m interested to see how that turns out in future updates! It makes me think of a class where we had to write a short story using only one syllable words. It was hard, but was an interesting way to stretch out of your comfort zone. Great post!

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