Fourth assignment for A363

For this assignment, I had to submit a plan. We could choose from either poetry, short story or the opening of a novel for our final exam-based assignment. I decided to submit a plan for the opening of a novel. The plan had to be submitted or you could not pass the module. The word count could not be more than 750 words.

When it was marked and returned, the tutor was reluctant for me to submit an opening of a novel, as this is not taught as part of the module. However, the proposal that I had submitted the tutor was intrigued to see where this might go. He admitted that a short story version of this would not do it justice. The genre of the proposal was fictional thriller. In addition, the three characters I presented who would appear in the story, the tutor liked. However, it was recommended two of the characters were similar and one may need to be altered for the story or dropped altogether. As the one male character offered more tension and suspense within the story.

In the feedback, it was suggested to read the opening of a few different thriller books. This was to see how the opening engaged the reader from the start. I would also need to consider the tone of the opening. Also, if I used first person, to remember to give the main character a strong and engaging voice. Although, I hadn’t decided the style of language to be used by the main character, I did have an idea that the main character would be polite in her daily life, compared to when she is angry.

When the tutor read the plan, he did like the idea for the opening but I had to remember to create tension and suspense with the possibility of another character finding out the main character’s secret.

Finally, I was pleased that the tutor liked my plan and it give me ideas that I hadn’t considered before. So, I will use the feedback to expand my story further.

Third assignment for A363

In this assignment, I had to critique a piece of work that had been put on the group forum and discuss the comments relating to the works that I had chosen. The one I had chosen was a ‘Possible idea.’

When discussing the work, I referred to group members as ‘commentator.’ Even though the tutor would know who commented on the work, I never mentioned the person’s name. However, the feedback I received revealed that I should have said the commentator’s name. Next, I went into a brief detail about the idea the student had shared. Again, it was advised there should have been a brief summary, so that the reader would have an idea of the work and its flavour. Furthermore, when I cited a comment in the bibliography, I cited the original student instead of the person who made the comment.

When reading at the original work and comments, I agreed with a commentator. There could have been more description of what the shop looked like. The feedback on this meant the tutor agreed this could be useful if the student planned to take the story further for a future assignment. In the same way, when I commented in the critique that the reader was left wanting more, the tutor also agreed with this. As the story was a good premise. In addition, when the student put more of the story on the forum, they mentioned things like ‘cassette tape’ giving us the reader, a certain feel to that period in time.

However, I did make silly mistakes, such as forgetting to indent the first line of the paragraph. I didn’t think this applied as it was a critique and not a story. Then, when I read the story again, I stated the student had swapped between past and present tense. Whereas, the tutor disagreed with my comment within my critique. Additionally, when I stated that working on the main character’s parents in which it had taken a darker tone. I had forgotten not only to give an example of the tone, but state whether it was an improvement or not. I also had forgotten to use terminology employed on the course.

As the story progressed and changes were made, the student had improved the story by creating tension which engaged the reader. And yet, when commenting how I felt for character’s mother as the tension grows, I didn’t elaborate on this by giving an example, which I should have done.

Finally, I found doing a critique of someone’s work very hard and the mark wasn’t as bad as it could have been. This is something I didn’t like doing as an assignment but I understand the reasoning behind it. So, if I had to do another critique, I would analyse it better and learn from the feedback given.

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.

My EMA

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.