Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a course, of course

I'm a student again! I have a student badge thing and everything.

I've started an evening class on a Monday at one of the universities here in London. The first session was yesterday.

I keep finding myself a little embarrassed when I tell people what the course is: it's a novel writing course.

I'm very used to writing shorter pieces, structured as a short article should be structured. I want to write soemthing longer, much longer. A novel perhaps. I've said for years that "I don't need no course to help me" but after not having written this so-called novel ever, I thought I should do what my friend Kate said and actually pitch up at one of these things.

The group at last night's session seemed really diverse and interesting ... and the course tutor is great, couldn't be more helpful in terms of my access needs too.

So, now I've got to think about writing. It looks as if the homework is going to get heavier and heavier over the 10 weeks of the course (yes folks, it takes just ten weeks to learn to be a novel writer ... the course doesn't claim that and I'm being ironic obviously). It's got an academic element to it which I like. And, by the very small sample of writing I've seen from other students on the class, it looks as if it could be really interesting as everyone seems quite on the ball.

So here I am. If you remember, I started writing this blog to get me writing! To overcome a bit of a writers block I was having. 'Do your worst' was a note to myself. It meant: just write anything, off the top of your head, don't doublecheck or spellcheck it. Just flipping write.

I've broken the rules a bit in that I have gone back and edited bits ... but not much.

So, here I am, at the start of an interesting new learning curve. I've got to get the writing juices juicing. This blog is my exercise pad (amongst other things). Let me see. How do I feel tonight ...

I feel alive. Like the agar jelly in the bottom of the petri dishes in the biology lab at school. That alive. Also nervous, nervous like Stuey off the Thorn Birds (circa 1983) when the wild boar began to run at him at the scene of the bush fires ... and he couldn't aim with his gun. And I feel a little bit righteous too, a self improvement drive that Gillian off 'you are what you eat' would think good if this was food I was talking about, not words.

Clearly I have the makings of quite a special writer.


Katie said...

Hi Damon mate, Welcome to my world of being a student!

Great news to hear that you are enjoying this writing course, It sounds great and hope that you benefit from it a lot.

Writing is a great way of letting your feelings and opinions out too, but don't be nervous as most of your class will be too, so enjoy it a lot, Damon. Anyway you're already experienced in some way by writing your editors Letters on Ouch don't forget!

I wish you all the luck in the world, Damon, this is a great opportunity for you, well done!

Charlesdawson said...

Good luck with the course, Damon. And just remember when, inevitably, you get criticism, that some people said Shakespeare and Dickens were lousy writers, too.

BloggingMone said...

Can't wait to read your first novel! I suppose it is a good idea to attend that course, especially because of the scientific bit you mentioned in your post. As Charles said there will be critisism, but if so, it is good to be in an environment which clearly and on a scientific base, can see the difference between just not liking a novel (or even worse, the person who wrote it) and the jusified critisism of, let's say, the lack of an overall structure, the missing clearitiy of your line of thoughts or other things. There is a difference between calling someone a lousy writer (which can unfortunately people put aff wrinting at all!) and proper critisism on someone's piece of art. I have been taking literature classes at university when I was a student and really enjoyed them. Keep us updated!

jfsouthpaw said...

I've really been enjoying reading what you write, Damon. It's not often I pick up a novel these days, but if your blog is anything to go by, I think I'd enjoy reading a book you would be happy publishing, too.

All the best.


circus girl swirl said...

Speaking of writing, "the best of times, worst of times," if it was you that saved me from myself over at your newest ouch column, thank you, thank you, thank you, Oh wonderful Wizard editor!
My name is Audrey, and I can't stop.
"You look like, the perfect fit. ...Girl in need, of a tourniquette. ...but can you, save me, c'mon and, save me..."
Song snippet from the Aimee Mann song Save Me.

Damon said...

jsouthpaw ... thanks v much, appreciated. I think I have a way to go when it comes to a big structured novel though.

Audrey - can I put that bit about "saving someone from themself" on my CV? Glad it helped in some way.

circus girl swirl said...

Heh heh,
What is a CV?

Damon said...

In America you call it a Resume, I believe.

circus girl swirl said...

I kind of thought that was maybe what a CV was but wasn't certain about it. Thanks for clueing me in. Smiles,