Writing 'n' Stuff

The Hedgehog goes to School


Today I began an online fiction writing course run by the Open University.

It’s only an eight week course, and it was free. Yes, FREE! So of course, I signed up for it!

Even though I have already started writing two different novels, I don’t have any journalistic training at all. And I think it shows. So I jumped at the chance to do this. Only one three-hour session a week. Do-able. And… did I say free?

So… as I haven’t made a blog entry for a while, (life/boredom/lack of inspiration) I thought I would try to blog at the end of each week’s session; it might be interesting to chart my ‘progress,’ she says, optimistically! 🙂

Well, here goes…


OU Fiction Writing Course – Week One.

Log on. Watch intro… blah blah blah di blah!

Introduce yourself… Here I am folks! Feel free to dismiss me as a middle-aged, boring, brain-dead mum!

Take notes… Uh-oh! Cramp!

Watch video… *thinks of shopping list while watching, drifts off… has to re-watch 3 times*

Small exercise… write 50-100 words including 1 fact, 3 fiction. Easy!!! (ummmm…)

Listen to published Authors talk about why they write… Ohh-kkkay!

Large exercise… write 200 word character sketch about 1 person from video. No problem!
*drifts off into complicated backstory, not using many of my ‘describing words‘ *FAIL*

Read excerpts from Orwell, and Heller… Why are all the bloomin’ letters jumping about on the screen?

Yay!!! Quiz… ooops, it’s about the excerpts. Go back and re-read. Properly.

Quiz complete… No points, prizes, or vodka given out. I’m a carrot-less donkey.

Compare characters from each exerpt… Yuk! This is too much like school!  Jemima Cricket is in my ear, “Wasn’t that the point??” Yeah, yeah, Jemima. *eye roll*

Improve your character sketch, using the methods you have learned from these two AuthorsWait, what?? Mummy!!!

How is everyone managing to fit their re-done pieces into those tiny, teensy little boxes??

And why are some people already getting comments from the course tutors?? Activate inferiority complex now.

End of first week…  Yay!!! Anyone for the pub? Oh… right…  :/



Summary of Things I have Learnt from Week One:

1. I am not as clever as I thought.

2. I am more of a writer than a learn-er.

3. I need to do this when everyone is out/asleep/deported.

4. I need a larger pot of coffee before I start. Plus the promise of Vodka later!

5. I LOVE being a student! (Roll on next Monday!) Emoji


Now… Where’s that Student bar…


8 thoughts on “The Hedgehog goes to School

  1. I can relate to absolutely everything you said in there — except for the vodka maybe — not my poison. The full time course I did was really hard going, and perhaps the hardest part of all was just getting back into study mode after so many years away. As you have found for yourself, your mind wanders all over the place — though maybe it did as a youngster too — the distractions were just a bit different such as — I wonder what that blonde boy’s name is — what shall I wear to the dance on Saturday — my Mum really gets up my nose with all her nagging…

    Anyway, stick to it — it’s free, and there may not be many, but there will be some lessons to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh hell, you’ve inspired me again. Several weeks ago,(actually around 2.5, but who’s counting) I began a Fiction Writing class (no, it was absolutely NOT free) at Gotham Writers in New York City. Nothing like diving head first into the uber-competitive waters. Well, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

    I’ve now had three, three-hour classes. Session 1: Character. Session: 2: Plot and Session 3: Point of View. All VERY valuable lessons for someone who has been told endlessly throughout her life what a good writer she is, and who has never attempted fiction before. And who has also never attempted to be trained as a writer. It’s effing hard. Really effing hard. I expected it wouldn’t be easy, but never expected this. Ah well, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

    This past Monday, I had to turn in a piece for critique by the class next week. I’d originally planned to submit something I’d worked on for hours, honed carefully. And then, on Sunday night, I decided I absolutely, positively had to rework it. With extensive dialog, so that I was showing and not telling. So I rewrote and, in the process, re-researched and submitted it on Monday, along with the homework assignment (write a scene of man against nature and don’t let the reader know who’s going to win until the end — if at all) and along with a critique of another classmates’ work. ::heavy sigh:: Have I mentioned it’s effing hard? Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

    So, seven weeks from now, I will have completed my first formal writing class. I will hopefully have something close to a short story; possibly the first part (central part?) of a novella. I will have learned how to turn in work for critique and, hopefully, how to avoid being terrified about being critiqued. I will have read a lot of good writing. I will hopefully have WRITTEN a lot of good writing. Who knows, maybe something ventured, something gained, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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