Tuesday, 31 January 2012

OCA Part 5 Project 2 Ex 1 Part 2

Poor old Stephen......

He discovers that his wife Emma is having an affair with a single dad she met on the school runs. He discovers this when he comes home late (as usual) one night and there is a note from Emma on the kitchen table. She says how tired and worn out she feels. That she feels neglected and sought attention from somewhere else. She apologises and says she's going away for a while, to get her head straight and decide what she wants to do. She'll be staying with HIS parents in Spain. Stephen is more angry than heartbroken and when the au pair quits the following morning, he suddenly realises that he'll be doing the school run. Perhaps that's not so bad, he can try to find out which one of the dads has been sleeping with his wife and punch him!

So, poor Stephen has now found himself in the position of being carer for 5 children he doesn't even know. How will he cope? How quickly can he find another au pair? What about the business? And of course, will Emma come back, if he changes his way? ;o)

Really enjoyed doing this one, and it just goes to show, if you create a character, then apply a 'What if?' you can end up with a whole story :o)

OCA Part 5 Project 2 Ex 1 Part 1

This exercise was to use a character I've created and apply a 'What if?'

The character I have chosen is one I created recently:

Stephen Saunders:
Owns a cider making business in Kent. It's been a family business since the early 1800's and he's very proud of it. Married to Emma, they have 5 children aged from 18 months up to 10 years. Stephen spends as little time as possible at home, preferring the company of his apples. He has a very hands on approach to business and can often be found in the orchards. Emma complained that he was no help around the house so he got her an au pair. Standing 6 foot 4 in bare feet, he is heavily built (overweight Emma says) with a receding hair line. He looks his age, 43, and his hair is greeting at the sides. Large brown bushy eyebrows that he plucks, over deep set hazel eyes, he is not the most attractive of men, but seems to get a lot of attention from the ladies. Always dressed smartly, he is Mr Charm personified, and even old Gertie the tea lady blushes when she hands him his morning tea and biscuits. He has 2 sisters, who take no interest in the business and 5 years ago his parents moved to Spain to enjoy their retirement, leaving him in charge. In his spare time he plays golf and once a month takes his BMW for a spin round the track at Brands Hatch. He has a fiery temper, and is very strict with his children. He likes to get his own way and must always be right, especially at home. Often spending time in London, repping, he has been known to use lap dancing clubs and prostitutes. He always pays with cash so that nothing shows up on the company credit card bill. He justifies this as being ok because it's just sex.

My What If? Choices:
1. What if my character was forced in a different direction?
2. What if their circumstances suddenly changed?
3. What if someone - their boss, their spouse - was cheating on them?
4. What if they lost something - job, handbag, child?

Well, the one that's crying out to me is that his wife could be cheating on him with a single dad she met on the school runs ;o)

*goes off to make some notes*

Sunday, 22 January 2012

OCA Part 5 Project 1 Ex 1

This exercise is all about inspiration, taking 2 ideas from my notebook, and combining the 2 to form a short story.

I chose the notes I'd made from watching a woman interviewed on This Morning, talking about being stalked and applied the 'what if' question. I combined that with a writing prompt 'saying goodbye' and came up with a short story about a woman who is stalking another woman. She ends up causing the death of the woman she's stalking and then at the funeral, commits suicide at the grave.

A dark little tale written in first person, that I thoroughly enjoyed writing ;o)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

OCA Assignment 4

I submitted my 4th Assignment this morning. Not really that happy with it to be honest.

This is my Reflective Commentary that went with it:

I’ve found this assignment quite difficult. I prefer to write in 3rd person
(as opposed to 1st) and I’m finding it hard to develop my voice in this POV. I
have tried to write in 1st person, but I struggle. I used a prompt
for this story, having the year and a locked room suggested to me. I now wish I
hadn’t continued with the story, not gone along the lines of the prompt. I
don’t like it and I didn’t connect with it. I think that comes across and I
learnt a very valuable lesson. Don’t write about something you’re not really
interested in. It’s good to experiment and be challenged, but, sometimes it doesn’t
work and the piece you produce is rubbish.

The exercises in this section have been difficult too. I don’t naturally use
metaphors and similes, which I know I should bedoing on a regular basis,
but I just don’t seem to be able to think of onesthat aren’t clich├ęs. I also have a huge
problem with constantly starting my sentences/paragraphs with he or she. I’m
not too sure how to get out of that, using past tense (apart from using a
character’s name). I’ve been thinking that perhaps, I should use present tense instead.

I’ve been doing my blog daily, which has helped me keep track of what I’m
doing with my writing, the things I’m learning and research. I’ve also joined a Writing Class/Group which I attend once a week. That has been brilliant, and I’ve had to read my
work out, which was very scary, but I’m glad I did it and got good feedback. I’ve
also been doing daily prompts using Judy Reeves A Writers Book Of Days, which
has been challenging, but great fun.

I’m a bit down on my writing at the moment, but determined to finish this course.

The short story i wrote was about a girl of 25 living with her husband and his mother in a house in 1914. There is a room with a locked door. Her husband isnt bothered about the locked room but she is...and one day, she finds out whats in it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

OCA Part 4 Project 5 Ex 2

Cliches *groan*

I am the queen of Cliche lol..... I really need to come up with alternatives to the sad, old, tired description I tend to use lol. For example:

Pitch Black would be much better if written as Bible Black (Dylan Thomas)

I chose to use an extract from my Nano novel, where the MC Christine is describing the meal her husband Tim took her out for. Food is a very powerful image to describe.

OCA Part 4 Project 5 Ex 1

Practicing Imagery:

Ok, metaphors and similes I should definitely be using more of. I went through some pieces of my work and drew comparisons (and distinctions) between things.

An interesting exercise that has made me more aware of my weaknesses.

OCA Part 4 Project 4 Ex 5

Searching for authorial comments in my work. Hmmmmm, I tend to do this quite a lot, and is very 'tell' not showing. I think I'm learning to be more aware of it now, well.....I hope I am lol