Tag Archives: punctuation

Busy week on A363, Advanced Creative Writing

Should have been at the theatre in half an hour (remember, dick-a-dum-dum?), but since they haven’t phoned to say they’ve resold our tickets I guess there’ll be two empty seats.  Hope he doesn’t take it personally.

This has been a busy week on OU stuff.

TMA4 was returned on Monday, and not only was the EMA plan acceptable to the tutor, but it also shows up on the score record as 100%!  Such a shame it doesn’t count when aggregating the bottom line.  Mind you, the tutor did point out that I had bitten off quite a big challenge with the life-writing I want to do, but I think I’m up to it.

TMA5 whizzed off to the OU via that awful submit button yesterday.  Not due until next Thursday, but last night I cracked the thing that had been bugging me for weeks.  It was in the villanelle.  Although using the strict form the refrain gets repeated throughout the poem, I really really wanted to give it a subtle variation the final time it appears on the penultimate line.  Changing punctuation would have worked, and I changed it, changed it back, changed it again (get the picture?), but I wanted more than that.  At last, I found that simply swapping two words around did the trick and I suddenly felt this huge sense of relief.  So I wrapped it up and sent off my 105 lines.  Even if doing poetry turns out to be a huge mistook, I’ve absolutely enjoyed writing it, especially those foody sonnets!

Last night, I noticed a message on my student home page about transitional fees.  Apparently we have to indicate now, which qualification we are going for under the transitional arrangements.  Easy for me, because I’m now just one (but a big one) module away from my BA(Hons).  So I clicked confidently on the button to register, but the only choices open were BA or ‘Something Else’, no BA(Hons).  Now, the rule for the TFs is that they allow you to complete your undergraduate qualification under the existing fee structure (for me, £700 instead of £2500).  So now I’m wondering if the TFs only last until the ordinary degree is complete, and the Hons year isn’t covered.  Email sent, awaiting reply, biting fingernails.

A clear path to the A363 EMA, then!  TMA6 is the Mk2 plan, due in on 5th April, and the final EMA submission has to sent by 17th May.  I’m about halfway through and currently have brain block, but there’s loads of time and this is a piece of fictionalised family history I want to write for me, never mind the EMA, so all will be well.

Like I said, a busy week!



Filed under Creative Writing

A363 – Creative Writing, First Assignment In!

Wednesday was the deadline for the first writing assignment, which was fine.  I’d read, edited, cut, read, edited, cut, read again, edited again, cut again, just like you should.  So, I was ready to go!

Except that… in the early part of the week our tutor group began to post their stories up for a critique.  And they were all so, so fabulous.  Well, some were OK and others were outstanding.  So I read mine again.  Then again.  Oh, dear.

Not that it was that bad.  I had to work harder on the initial hook, as discussed last week, so I was happy with that.  I could see, though, that I needed to add some fizz.  Not a big problem, once I worked out how to do it, but the trouble is that with only a few hours to go before the deadline, I made a couple of daft mistakes.  Like mentioning someone’s name twice in the same sentence instead of putting ‘she’ the second time.  That bit reads so jerkily it could have been written in a canoe on the Atlantic  in a hurricane.

The other mistake, which may or may not turn out fine, was the final punctuation mark.  I pondered for hours over that.  Should it be a full stop?  An exclamation mark?  Maybe an ellipsis?  Full stops are so, er, final, don’t you think?  An exclamation mark would have worked, since the last two words were, effectively, the punch-line that brought the whole story to a close.  But I didn’t really want it to end.  There was so much more that could have happened, and I wanted the reader to wonder what might be next on the agenda.  So I used an ellipsis.   And still had a sleepless night wondering if it should have been something completely different.  Maybe a question mark?

Too late now, though.  It’s in.  My grade is in the lap of my incredibly talented and highly admired tutor (just in case he reads this, which is very unlikely!).

Hope we don’t have too long to wait for the result…

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing