Saturday, October 27, 2012

Think again!
In a session exploring 'settings' we looked at the idea that a setting can spark ideas for several story lines in a variety of genres, so that, for example:

A cliff top in a high wind might be a setting for a historical tale of smuggles or wreckers.....
It could be a tragic drama of illicit lovers, each planning to make their meeting on the cliff top their last but being swept over the cliff to their deaths in each other's arms ....
It might be a setting for a chic lit style story of two dog walkers who pass each other daily with only a nod or a smile but who combine, in a storm to beat the elements and discover thy have both been secretly looking for an opportunity to get to know each other....

We started with some pictures and brainstormed the genre/style they evoked for us, then went on the descriptions. In the end we all chose one setting and wrote a short piece to share and discuss.

The next session began with a list of world leaders. The ideas we were exploring were:
 'a writer needs good general knowledge, or at least it helps' and
 'a writer needs to be aware of opinions; general, conflicting, opposing, subjective...'

We looked at a list of 20 leaders, had three minutes to write down which country they were associated with then another three minutes to decide whether they were 'good' or 'bad' leaders. Everyone was told that they should decide on their own criteria.
We compared and discussed our answers, thinking about whether we were describing them with hindsight and about how our own upbringing, prejudices and opinions might colour our views.

We then wrote a piece, thinking back to the idea of 'settings' from last week, choosing a period evoked by the list.
For example Lyn produced a very well written piece about post war London, inspired by Churchill.
Marc described a young man listening to a speaker campaigning against slavery and being impressed by the, as yet unknown, Abraham Lincoln.
Sue wrote about a twelve year old boy and his father waiting to see Lenin arrive by train, on his return to Russia from exile and the boy's child-like, honest disappointment at the unimpressive figure he saw compared to his father's starry eyed hero worship.

Coming up in the next two weeks are two sessions which feature the dynamism of language, how it evolves, changes grows, and a bit more 'general knowledge:
Eating our words and
Eponyms galore

We then have a 'half term break as there will be no session on 16 November 2012

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