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…

My Second assignment

The prompt I chose for my assignment was ‘what do you mean you are leaving?’ This story had a limit of 2200 words. I was excited about this assignment as I could expand on a story because of the word length. In the search for what to write, I went through a few ideas. Finally, I decided to use my personal experience of writing a novel and getting it published.

Looking at the feedback from the last assignment, I was determined to give more description within the story. When I had improved the description and senses, I received compliments such as ‘tangible and realistic’. It was also nice to see my dialogue had improved as I’d cut down on the use of “speech tags.” Such as, said, says or argued.

The setting in the story was good in parts but should include more observational detail, expanding the external world of the story. What I used well in the story was action and sensation. For example, ‘dry mouth; the pacing; the dash to the kitchen’. These are known as a “living moment”.

However, during this assignment I discovered from the feedback, I was shifting from present to past, which would not help the flow of the story. I also used clichés like ‘emotionally drained’ and ‘let the news sink in.’ Although, I disagreed with this because clichés are apart of the real world. When writing, sometimes using these everyday terms such as clichés can’t be helped. You want your character to come across as more real. I haven’t come across any person who doesn’t use a cliché every now and then. Although, I was starting to realise editing my work might involve more than just writing the story.

Finally, I did pass the assignment but looking back, I could have improved the story. This also was a hard lesson in taking on board critical feedback in order to achieve better.

Next week assignment three

Student Blog

Life as a student

In the first year of university, you study a wide-range of topics. As this helps you study, focus and develop your academic skills for writing. Although most students have a clear sense of what they want to do, some will decide on a different path for their studies.

In my first-year as a student my focus changed slightly. For example, I went from studying English literature to English language alongside creative writing. As I felt the language side would be more beneficial to me. Entering year two meant going into depth on my chosen subjects.

Concentrating on the subject creative writing, I will share my insight as a student.

My first assignment