Second assignment for A363

In this assignment, I could either create a film, play or radio piece based on my first assignment. I looked over the options carefully but after mulling it over, I decided to go with the play. The stage play had to be 15 minutes in length, equal to 15 pages.

The way I tackled this was to gather all the speak from the story and put it into a document. Then, this gave me a total of 5 pages for my play. Considering, I had never written a play, this was very daunting.

So, I read through some plays to give me an idea on the layout, Also, the amount of description they use, so not only would it help the director and stage crew but allow the actors room to make the characters their own. Next, I read through the university material in what they expected in the script. I shared some of my work in the university forum in order to get feedback. This helped a great deal with shaping the play.

However, I found in writing this script that scenes were cut that were in the original story and some scenes were expanded on to give some characters a bigger role. More importantly, the story was able to keep most of the original essence without losing crucial storyline.

Consequently, when the tutor handed back the assignment, I received a better score than expected. Although, the feedback was mixed, it could have been worse. For example, I had a good description of the scene. This line was funny. Good use of a phone call to drop intriguing hints. On the other hand, there were comments like, the scene doesn’t move the action forward so you could have combined it with another scene. This direction is demanding but just about possible.

Finally, it was a demanding assignment but towards the end I found it enjoyable to do as I had attempted something, I never thought of doing. Having said that, would I do another play; well I’m still thinking on that.

First assignment for A363

Throughout the summer, I worked hard to improve my writing. So, when university started up again, I hoped that the hard work would pay off. The first assignment was either a total of 1500 words, in which we had to create a complete story or poetry. However, after attempting poetry last year, I chose prose, a complete story.

Next, the prompt which was chosen was ‘the hotel room’. It was up to us, as the writer, to choose the point of view, characters and so on. However, the word limit was a constraint at first but after many rewrites, the story was finished within the word limit.

In the first paragraph, it was suggested in the feedback, the street in which the character was on lacked description. ‘What did the street consist of?’, after re-reading the story, it was noticeable that there could have been more information on the street.

Also, the story had tension and given good detail to show the reader what period it was set. However, the hotel room had very vague detail. To elaborate, the room should’ve had a more distinctive feel to it. Perhaps, adding a sense of horror to it.

Furthermore, there was a part of the story which the character’s reaction was described when it should have been shown for the reader. Similarly, more detail could have been added to the reception in the hotel. Although, there were parts of the story that had unnecessary which could have been cut. If this had been noticed, then the other areas could have been expanded.

More importantly, the suspense could have carried on a little longer so that the reader wouldn’t know until the very end what was happening to the main character. Also, a story should not to end in a flashback but to bring it back to the present day so that the reader can see the resolution.

As a result, it has been shown by working on this assignment that there have been mistakes but also many improvements since the last module. This has meant an improved mark. Therefore, using the feedback given, this should improve the mark for the next assignment.


In the final exam-based assignment, I decided to go with a piece of fiction. This had a limit of 2500 words. The genre chosen for the EMA was thriller/horror.

During this assignment there were many drafts as it needed to be good in order to pass the module. Then, previous feedback was re-read from the TMA’s and notes were taken. Also, in the past I had mixed tenses, repeated words and had a lack of description and I wanted to get this assignment right.

Therefore, it was important to get everything right. The title of the story was ‘Writer’s Block.’ Many writers will suffer from this time to time so, I wanted to show what it can be like. The character who works from home for an advertising company, is trying to put a campaign together for a horror film. However, when the ideas are not flowing the character starts to have nightmares. After a few days in this situation she receives an advanced copy of the film. This in turn helps her to create ideas and put her presentation together.

Finally, due to this being an exam-based assignment, feedback was not given. However, I did pass the module with a good grade and I am now in my last year.

Due to being back at university, I hope to update my progress once a month.

My Fifth assignment

The prompt I had to chose from didn’t inspire me this time. So, I went with me own story. This had a limit of 2000 words. I decided to use the topic of domestic violence for this story however, it is all fiction.

Although, this is a piece of fiction, the story was based from the perpetrator’s point of view. It shows how he has picked a woman who he believes he can mould. Even though there was description in the piece, there were mistakes which had been overlooked in the editing process.

The story was switching tenses and it made it harder to follow. Also, silly mistakes were made for example, ‘He asks me’ at the end of a speech should have been ‘he asks me.’ The ‘h’ needed to be lower case and not a capital letter. A question mark was put in when an exclamation mark should have been there instead.

In one part of the story, the narrator sounds too naive and this wasn’t obvious until the feedback came in and I re-read the passage again. So, as practice I have been re-writing the story in order to fix the flaws and make myself more aware of the issues. However, halfway through the piece of fiction, it was said the story read well, as it portrays the narrator in a negative light. Although, in the second half of the story I was spelling things out rather than ‘showing’ the reader.

Even though the story was powerful, if I had shown more rather than tell then it would have been easier to read and less generic as it didn’t shed any new light on the characters. As I said before I am re-doing this piece in the hopes it can and will improve.

Finally, I did pass the assignment but if mistakes had not been made then the score would have been higher. Editing seems to be my weakness and I will need to focus on this in order to have improvements on my marks.

Next week I will share the feedback I received which helped shape my finally assignment, EMA…

My Fourth assignment

The prompt I chose for my assignment was ‘a place to call home.’ This story had a limit of 1500 words.  This assignment had to be a piece of life writing. So, I took a memory and expanded it and turned it into a piece of fiction.

Looking at the feedback from the last assignment, it wouldn’t help here as it was in reference to poetry. Therefore, I glanced over the other feedback instead. The story had more description. Although, the it was shifting from first person to second person within the assignment.

In one paragraph, a word was being repeated in quick succession several times ‘big’. This made the scene busy and hard to follow. Therefore, if the editing had been done properly, it would have been spotted. Another word in the place of ‘big’ would have said the same thing but made it easier to follow.

Secondly, in another paragraph, the start had not been indented. The dialogue didn’t have a comma, at the end of the speech. For example, ‘I’ll race you.’ I replied. This should read ‘I’ll race you,’ I replied However, despite this, the feedback said this was an intriguing piece. It was rich in atmosphere and description. Although, a piece of life writing the characters had different names from any real person. The reason for this was that the memory from my life had taken a life of its own. However, this did not sit well with the tutor. This was an area I disagreed with because as a writer, it is up to you what names are used.

The type of story I was trying to achieve in this assignment did not come through in the way I had intended. The word limit for me was too restrictive for the story. In other words, if I had written something different it would have worked.

Finally, I did pass the assignment but this could have gone better. Above all, editing is a vital part of writing and so I will be focusing on this a lot more in future.

Next week assignment five…


Frozen in time.

You looked so beautiful, so proud,

so in love.

I don’t remember you from then.

I know you from another time.

We shared so much in the little time we had.

If there was a problem, I always came to you.

Now I can’t because you are gone.

Looking at your picture sometimes tears me in two.                                       

As I remember the good times,

the stories you read,

the songs you sang,

and the smiles you gave.

Then I remember you are no longer here.

But remember the love you shared

and that keeps me going.


I remember your number

and every once in a while, I pick up the phone,

then I remember you can’t answer. 

There is so much to tell you,

so much you have missed.

You are still in my heart and I think of you often,

I remember your birthday,

giving your card and present.

But now you are gone.

I hate not giving you a card and present.

I remember the birthday card I received, after you were gone.

It was like you knew

I needed one last reminder,                                       

to know that you were thinking of me.

That you loved me,

and to let me know that you’d always be there.

When we meet again,

we will laugh and cry,

but until then,

I look at the picture,

and remember the love you gave.

Take care up there

‘til we meet again.      

My third assignment

For this assignment I had to write a poem. I had been dreading this the most. The last attempt at a poem was in school and even back then I couldn’t write one. The prompt I chose for my poem was ‘a picture’. The poem had to be no more than 40 lines. However, if we wanted to do two or three poems this was fine but they had to be a total 40 lines.

When I looked through previous feedback, I was not sure how this would help this assignment. This was my first attempt at a poem as an adult. So, I took a picture of my grandparents’ and let the words flow. To say writing the poem wasn’t emotional, would be a lie. It felt very real and it went through many changes.

Finally, after working on the poem, it only had 28 lines. I kept looking at the picture for inspiration and it soon expanded to 40 lines. It was a continuous poem. However, referring back to the study guide for help, the poem would be easier to read if it was broken into stanzas.   

When the feedback came in, I had mixed feelings. I had used clichés in my opening, ‘frozen in time’. Although the sentiments were good, I could have conveyed them in a better way. However, I had used another cliché ‘Looking at your picture sometimes tears me in two’.

Therefore, it was suggested to make the experiences for the reader more vivid, it could have included names of stories and songs. For instance, I had given the reader visualisation when using the line ‘I pick up the phone’. A few other lines were good as it refers to something concrete within the poem. However, the poem did more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’. If I had gone through the poem a few more times, it would have been better.

Even though I did pass this assignment, I do agree with some of the feedback. I found writing this poem to be hard work and emotional. Although I love poetry, writing a poem is definitely not for me and writing something like this was out of my depth and made me uncomfortable. Finally, it was an interesting experience but an avenue I know is not for me.

Next week assignment four…

My first assignment

The prompt I chose for my assignment was ‘a bunch of keys’. This story had a limit of 750 words. However, during this assignment I found it difficult to incorporate everything in such a short amount of words. My story lacked senses in the initial description. For example, I forgot to include what the key might feel like or how much it would weigh.

In the editing process, I scanned for spelling and punctuation mistakes. However, I overlooked how the dialogue should be presented within the story.

The characters in this story came across as typical victim/villain type people. I should have given them complexity adding more depth.

I remember feeling very confined and under an extreme amount of pressure to write a story to a deadline. In which I made many mistakes. Although, given more time, I would have spotted these errors. Even though, it had a limited word count, I felt I was unable to give my best. Finally, I did pass the assignment. However, if I’d been given more time, I believe I would have achieved a better mark.

Next week assignment two…