Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Creative writing - Evaluation

Evaluation of Creative Writing workshop                                                Lisa Whitaker
This was very much a step into the unknown, as I have not written much, other than reports and exams, since leaving school.  I have always loved reading and this love has been reawakened sharing books with my children.  My eleven-year-old son is a voracious reader and this has benefitted his education.  The children’s writers I enjoy include Michael Morpurgo, Stephanie Meyers and Roald Dahl.  In fact, Oli and I often share books and discuss them after.  So whilst the ‘writing’ is scary and I have never been one to read literary classics, I do appreciate a good read.
I found the pace of the first two days with Garry quite relentless and tiring however on reflection I can see the benefits of this approach.  There was no time to procrastinate.  Something I did a lot of (as well as lots of Graphic Design work) in between sessions.
In terms of the synergy between the workshop and Graphic Design I believe:
·         It will help with storyboarding for animation and Moving image
·         More imaginative use of descriptive words and phrases
·         Character and theme development – the iceberg – making things believable
·         Making the familiar strange and the strange familiar
·         Using writing and poems in research for inspiration
·         Apply to Contextual studies
The biggest stumbling block after the two days was getting started.  Writing the notes up was a big wall between me and the story.  The lifeline was Garry had recommended to write about something that made us passionate or angry.  I had always wondered how my Gran had really felt who had Alzheimer’s towards the end of her life.  I had a romantic notion about this so decided to explore this idea.  As with any project the research was key and also the fact it was a ‘short’ story.  Early on I decided the main character Mary would be child-like at the beginning but later it would be revealed she had dementia.
I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing this story.  Char made the third day stimulating and interesting.  Despite not having to read my story out, I still found myself shaking as it was read out.  On reflection I think writing is more personal and exposes you in a way that other art does not.  I found listening to the story out loud useful as I could really hear where I was ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’.  Also I was as pleased as punch to get positive feedback and also for the story to be interpreted the way I had set out i.e. introducing a young girl.  The ‘show not tell’ feedback was also useful. 
With regard to listening to the rest of the group, I found myself really thinking about what we had learned over the two days and how each writer had applied it in their work.  I was fascinated how each piece of work was so different and each had strengths and qualities that we could learn from.
Overall, a challenging, inspiring and thought provoking few days! Thank-you!

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