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Creative Writing

Festival writers

By | 'Off the shelf', Creative Writing, creative writing workshop, Liz Cashdan, Off the Shelf Sheffield, Photography, Sheffield, Student Work, Weston Park Museum Sheffield

OCA tutor Liz Cashdan is leading a creative writing workshop on the theme of memory and memoir at Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words next month. OCA is one of the sponsors of the festival, which is celebrating its 25th year. The workshop takes place on the first day of the festival, Saturday 8 October.

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Getting inside the head of your characters

By | Creative Writing

So often students write in their commentaries that they switch from third person to first person so they can really be inside the head of their character. But that is not altogether a wise position to take up as an author.

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How can experts enrich your writing? Part 1

By | Creative Writing, We Are OCA

Writing novels can take you into strange territory. I see the beginning of a novel not only as the start of a journey into my own imagination, but as the start of an adventure into the outside world as well. I’ve learnt that in order to give a novel enough credibility to see it published you can’t guess at the contributions a policeman, coroner, school teacher, or governor would make as characters in a story. You have to go out there and find out exactly what their input to a story would be.

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Images and explanations

By | Creative Writing, We Are OCA

“Show don’t tell” is an old piece of advice which a lot of tutors use to get their students writing with power and effectiveness. It’s perhaps most important in writing poetry but it’s a useful idea to have in mind when you are writing prose fiction or script. Of course, many famous published writers break the rule, if it can be called a rule, but then the first rule of any art or craft is to be able to follow the rules before you start breaking them. The most commonly quoted example of the “Show don’t tell” advice is what Chekhov wrote to his brother in 1888: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

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Tips for writing good dialogue

By | BA Hons creative writing, Creative Writing, We Are OCA

For both prose writers and scriptwriters, the question of how to write good dialogue is an important one. Can we listen in on conversations by strangers, and get an ear for the natural ebb and flow of speech? Is it better to study films which are heavy in conversation? Or are novels a good place to see the everyday use of dialogue?

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