E of F week three: The Little Room

Week three of Elements of Fiction had us discussing two novels with a heavy focus on location (Death in Venice by Thomas Mann and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy) which prompted the following assignment:

  • You are standing on a train platform. There is a board displaying trains. They are all going to different places. Each of those places is somewhere you have been, or lived, somewhere you remember.
  • List these places. And the people associated with them, that you remember. And the incidents.
  • Describe it from overhead, and from on the ground, in summary, across seasons until you reach the moment of time in which the story is set.
  • Asterix half a dozen. Write a page or two in response to each.

I wrote about a young woman called Rose who is visiting her grandmother’s house but has been asked to stay in the ‘creepy’ room – you know, the one that all elderly relatives have!

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E of F week two: Don’t Forget Me

Week two of our Elements of Fiction module involved a lecture on creating characters and discussing two novels, Dexter is Dead by Jeff Lindsay, and Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell. Both deal with character identity and involve killing them off.

We gave/received feedback on submitted work from the previous week and were then presented with the below brief:

Write a single paragraph that conveys the appearance and essential nature of a character. Then follow it up with a character sketch that includes a present day frame and flashback to five years before the action. Anywhere between 1000-1200 words.

I wrote a piece of fiction about Jake, a young man with a longstanding health problem who receives a letter from his past self.

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E of F week one: Missing

Last year I completed my MA in Creative Writing as Brunel University.

Elements of Fiction (E of F) was one of two modules during the first term (Autumn 2016). E of F involved attending an hours lecture every Wednesday followed by a two hour seminar group. We were tasked with reading two set novels each week within a specific genre, that we would then discuss in group – similar to a book club. Along with the reading, we were also set the task of producing a short piece of creative writing each week, that we would gain feedback on after discussing the novels.

Prior to our first seminar we were asked to read The Girls by Emma Cline, and The Mare by Mary Gaitskill. The Girls is told with flashbacks and The Mare is written from the perspectives of multiple characters. This led to our first assignment: write 1200 words on an open topic voiced by two or more characters who are connected to each other within the story.

I wrote something within the roman-à-clef genre. This is where a story is based on real people or events but with slight alterations and a change of name or location. If you love your cat as much as I loved my Rufus, grab the Kleenex.

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Creative Writing: The Novel

As a part of my MA at Brunel University, we are required to produce a piece of creative writing each week for our module, Elements of Fiction.

Our first assignment was to write 1200 words on an open topic that was voiced by two or more characters who were connected to each other within the story. I decided to explore something within the roman-à-clef genre. This is where a story is based on real people or events but with a change of name or location.

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