Would you pay to learn how to write fiction? I have and I’ve been enjoying it like [insert cliché here].
Apart from wild fantasies about getting published the moment the course ends, the best thing about it is that it forces you to write. As everyone knows from the infinite amount of blogs written by people bemoaning the fact that they wish they could sit down and write, actually producing a piece of writing seems to be the hardest part about writing.
In class we get set writing exercises that last between 7-10 minutes and we have to read out what we’ve written. In cases like this it is the fear of not having anything to read out that wins over the fear that what I have written is total bollocks. Now I would not suggest that comparative fear should be a motivator for getting things done, but it helps.
Over the last six weeks the course has covered the basics of story writing, and now over the next few weeks I would like to share some of the exercises with you. I’m only going to share the ones that received positive feedback or a polite titter from the class; I’m not a complete sucker for punishment.
So this week is first lines:
“A first line intriguing enough to propel you onto the second line, third line.” This might have been said by the tutor.
There are a few contenders but I will just give you two that I wrote; one that was written in class and the other for homework. I don’t know if the pressure had anything to do with the quality of the line produced. In class we were given this (and this) story from Japan. The one for homework could be anything.
So for the Japanese story I had:
He had done this before and knew exactly how to elicit conversation.
For my homework I read out:
It was five weeks before I offered to make tea for my new colleagues, but when I did I got a round of applause.
On the whole I was pleased with these lines, and so if anyone would like to contribute their own, please do in the comments section below. We might even do a competition for the one we like the most.
Next week I’ll show you what I did for Style.