Do you long to write but don't know where to begin? Don't worry. If you long to write, you're already halfway there. This is a course which aims to shed light, not just on narrative, but on the whole creative process. Our Creative Writing Flying Start course helps you get those words from head to heart and onto page or screen. The first few exercises are designed to stimulate creativity and to get you into the writing habit. Above all this is about having fun, about letting your imagination fly.
* Lose some inhibitions about going public with your creative work
* Find out more about the creative process by offering comments on the work of others
* Learn some techniques for communicating emotion in your writing
* Practise putting into words your own precise observations of people and places
* Have a shot at writing a 1,000 word short story in which you'll be able to put on show all your newly-acquired skills!
I enjoyed the process of firing up my imagination to a brief. I enjoyed the camaraderie with the other students and I enjoyed reading the feedback on my own pieces and everyone else's. Basically I enjoyed everything about it! E. Rutherford
I enjoyed most the interaction with the tutor and with other students. The fact that there was a deadline certainly made me focus and enabled me to prioritise writing above some other tasks that would otherwise got in the way. I learnt an awful lot, not only from the notes and video, but also from my and the others’ written work – both the things that worked well and the things that did not quite work. H. Driscoll
This course is an excellent way to ‘test the water’ and discover if you enjoy this wonderful world of writing. I would like it to be at least twice as long! C. Harrison
Haydn was an excellent tutor. He obviously knows his stuff and he managed to give very constructive criticism. He was never harsh - but did point out clearly what could be improved and how. He came across as enthusiastic and interested C. Curtis
Where does writing begin? Staring at the blank page can be daunting. How do we keep the pen moving across the page? We’ll look at ways to silence the inner-critic and write through the scary part. We begin with ourselves: emotions, memories, experience. How can we feed this into our fiction writing?
Writing is about people. As writers, we need to understand what makes others tick. A character with a problem or goal to pursue is the starting point of all fiction. How do we create characters readers can believe in? We’ll think about observation: how to watch others with a writer’s eye; the importance of dialogue as a tool of character. We make the imaginative leap from ourselves to others, and see how to blend the two together.
The English language is a rich one. How can we use it to make our writing shine? In short fiction especially, every word should count. We look at ways to avoid cliché and lazy writing. We’ll think about imagery. We’ll learn how we can evoke
Here we look at how character makes plot. What is your character’s motivation? What does he/she want? What’s preventing him/her getting it? We see how this moves the story forward. We’ll also be thinking about story structures, and try writing our own short piece.
Haydn Middleton( Goodreads page here) has been an author for more than thirty years, and has lectured on and taught creative writing in Britain, the USA, Greece and Australia. His firm belief is that Flying Start's collaborative approach is the best way to encourage new writers to spread their wings. His own seven novels include The People in the Picture (described by Anthony Clockwork Orange Burgess as 'an astonishing fictional debut'), The Lie of The Land (reviewed in the Washington Post as 'a compelling story, brilliantly contrived'), and Grimm's Last Fairytale, which was a British Fantasy Society nomination for Best Novel and was translated into several languages. On the non-fiction front he has written over a hundred books for children on primarily historical subjects, as well as a number of historical and cultural works for British Foreign Office Publications.
Here's feedback from our course users.
Our courses are hosted on our own community site, The Word Cloud, which is a very friendly, intuitive and supportive writing community.
The tools and environment are very intuitive and easy to use: you won't have a problem. Each week, courses will include:
• A video introduction
• A written 'lecture'
• Interactive classroom discussion
• A writing exercise on the week's topic
• Feedback on your homework
All the course material can be accessed at any time of day or night. If you miss a few days, it will be easy to catch up. You are also warmly encouraged to interact with fellow-students - offer advice, give feedback and make friends. Find out more about how our courses work here.