I mentioned that I am going to lead a creative writing class for adults; this is part of U3A, University of the 3rd Age, an organisation which believes in life long learning and has volunteer teachers/leaders on a variety of subjects, sharing their knowledge and love of it. It is nation-wide and the subjects on offer depend on the teachers/leaders available, so I would love to do an archaeology course, but none on offer round here! I only attend one U3A course at the moment, conversational French, but my husband goes to a jazz workshop and a painting class. There are also trips organised so this week we are off to London to see the Pompeii exhibition, later we are going out on the Somerset Levels (areas of low marshes in south Somerset) for the day, and in November we are going to Portsmouth to the Historic Dockyards there… going to view the Mary Rose, the Victory and the Warrior!
I am going to be leading a creative writing group, and this will be the first time I have taught adults, so it will be interesting for me… and I hope, interesting for them too! I am using a course I wrote for my young students when I was teaching 15-16yr olds, the ages might be different but the principles of creative writing are surely the same!
Here is the second part:
The next thing to think about is….
Think about your audience!
For a start, who are your readers? Adults, children, teachers, friends…? Be aware of them and how they may read your story and what they may read into your story… or perhaps not understand!
Your audience is not watching a play, film or TV programme. They only have your words there on the page. You have to give them all the information that they will need to understand, enjoy and want to read your story. So use lots of descriptive language.
They do not want to be baffled, bored or bemused.
Decide on the story line or action or series of events you are going to write about, and the order in which they are to be written (you can use flashbacks and other devices to make your story more interesting, intriguing or unusual) (Think plot)
Decide on your characters, not too many of them in a short story, imagine what they are like and what they look like and how each fit into the pattern of events .Are the characters in some sort of relationship with each other? (Think people)
Decide on who is telling the story, you, a single character, several characters, a detached observer (Think point of view – think POV)
Decide where your events are taking place in terms of a physical setting and in terms of when the action happened. (Think place)
Decide what events take place to carry the story and your readers along. (Think pace)
Remember the 4 P’s
Decide on your opening. Is there a description to set the scene? Is it an action packed beginning?
Is there a formula which will enable the reader to understand what sort of story it is, e.g., ‘Once upon a time…’
Decide on an ending which will satisfy your readers and tie up all the loose ends.