Author Topic: Attending a creative writing class/group  (Read 273 times)

thecuriousorange

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Attending a creative writing class/group
« on: February 06, 2019, 10:25:49 AM »
Anyone done this in actual real life? I attended one for the first time last night. About 15 of us crammed into a room in a community arts centre and we were given 20 minutes to write something (poem/story/ramblings) on a set topic, before each reading it aloud. The group was quite fun and supportive and I think I'll be back. We all went to the pub after and the socialising side is largely what appealed.

Have you found groups like this useful? Are you too scared? Have they legitimately improved your writing? Share your good and bad experiences here! What I wrote was a load of shit but nobody took the piss and it's all just a bit of fun really.

Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 11:11:24 AM »
Went to one once. Wrote a poem about the plight of the kingfisher. It was so powerful everyone wept, then cheered, then they all hoist me up on their shoulders and carried me to the palace where I was appointed Poet Laureate on the spot.

Had to give it up after six weeks on account of my bad back.

Pdine

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Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 11:56:51 AM »
I attended one once also. I was hungover and had unwisely decided to go cold turkey in an attempt to kick the heroin addiction, so I confess I wasn't in the most bonhomous of moods. We were supposed to write on the topic of Pride and so I spun a yarn based around Gay Pride during the height of the Aids epidemic, making particular reference to gay orphans with Aids. Unfortunately the story was so miserable that three people killed themselves on the spot, including the group leader. The rest are in Bethlam Royal Hospital, if they haven't escaped.

thecuriousorange

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Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 10:05:32 PM »
I guess I put this in the wrong sub forum. These replies were funny, but does anyone have real experiences they'd like to share?

Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 04:58:08 AM »
I did a whole degree in it. Great fun. Everyone was crap, including me. Many of the stories were so hilariously godawful I still recall them with joy.

We spent a huge amount of time focusing on plot and theme and character. That was all fun, but it was also a waste of time, because no one was able to put a proper sentence together, or explain the differences between lie / lay / laid / lain,  let alone begin wrangling with that complex philosophical stuff.

In my opinion, the best way for a beginner to improve their writing (in any form) is to study basic copyediting. By that I mean being conscious of every word you write and having a good reason for each one. There are some very good exercises about this on Wikipedia - here's one.

Pdine

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Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 07:17:28 AM »
Apologies for the gag response (reflex?) I have been to a few of these, and hung around with aspirant writers in other contexts too. My impression is that nearly everyone is pretentious, verbose and dull. Actually that's not fair: the people are lovely but their writing is p, v & d. When someone is genuinely good it's obvious, and discourages the rest of us no end.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 09:06:44 AM »
Went to AA, and me and the rest of the lads got good and trashed in the church basement after as per bloody usual! Great fun as always.

Woke up in a writing class a few hours later, they use the same room I suppose. Seemed alright. Not my cup of tea really.

Re: Attending a creative writing class/group
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 09:51:29 AM »
attended one for a couple of months while i was at uni, in an attempt to accrue course credits without having to write essays. the high/low point was listening to a woman in her early 70s read a piece she'd written about the erotic adventures of a casino croupier amidst the sexual upheaval of 1960s London. during the feedback section afterwards, it became uncomfortably apparent that the story was heavily based on her own experiences at the time.