So it was only on Wednesday this week that the student website went live for my OU Module A215 Creative Writing. We finally were able to see the assignment questions for the TMAs and the final EMA which is worth half of the marks for the module *gulp*.
The EMA is where we get a chance to show how we have really developed as writers over the course and demonstrate the skills we’ve learnt in one or more of the forms taught (Fiction writing, Poetry and Life Writing). We’re encouraged to gather material and think about ideas for the EMA from early on in the course and build up a cache of characters, plot ideas and intriguing words & phrases that we can use for assignments.
One of the EMA options is to write a piece of fiction (either complete short story or the first couple of chapters from a potentially longer story) that’s 2500 words long. The choice of subject, themes, style and voice are yours with the caveat that it’s not what would be termed “Writing for Children” (which is a phrasing that crops up a few times and is irking me slightly) or journalism. Unless I discover previously hidden skills/love for poetry and life writing I am likely to want to choose the solely Fiction writing option for my EMA.
But is it too soon to have an idea in mind? I mean, a proper fledgling plot idea with a main character who is drawing my attention and a world that I want to plunge many hours into researching and developing. Hell I’m even referring to the story as #DragonBook (cos I’m a twittering weirdo) which of course kind of gives away what sort of book it is :P.
I had said to my dear friend and eager Alpha reader Jess that after I finished writing my current novel – which I haven’t completed yet because of PROCRASTINATION – I wanted to write a dragon book. Regardless of whatever else went on in this book I wanted there to be dragons because fucking dragons dammit! So now that I am doing this Creative Writing module I have the opportunity to write 2500 words of something that I want to write so why not the beginning of my Dragon Book? I mean I don’t exactly have to write the whole thing but if I get the first few chapters written and polish them to a submittable standard and outline where the rest will lead, along with researching and world-building I can always go back and write it properly when I’m done with the drafts of my other Fantasy novel (this will perhaps become a noticeable trend in my writing).
Am I jumping the gun though? Is it too soon to get fixed on an idea for what will be worth 50% of the marks for this module? Should I be keeping an open mind and just gather potential material like the Almighty Big Red Book suggests? I will be intrigued as to what my tutor or the other people doing A215 thinks about this issue and what my fellow students are planning to do, even if the EMA is waaay down at the far end of the tunnel.
Any other OU A215ers got any ideas a-brewing for the EMA already? I know some folk are cracking on with the first TMA and I have had a go freewriting (as I currently think I should do it) from one of the prompts but will have to try out all of them and see which produces the most intriguing nuggets. Do share any thoughts you may have on this subject, I’d really appreciate some additional views to offset my daily mental ping-pong war between “don’t write that it’ll be a fail, wait for the course to start” and “fuck it, WRITE THE DRAGON BOOK!”
Now I might go lie down before I fall asleep onto my keyboard