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Nina


Only Artists

Although all the artists have fascinating things to say, as a creative writer I prick up my ears when writers are talking, to see if I can pick up any tips, or just have that moment where you think…yes, that’s so true!

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Hatching characters

They remind me now of this prototype protagonist, who has been newly hatched from the egg of my mind with no idea of what their world might hold for them…because I haven’t thought that world entirely through yet!

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In conversation with OCA student: Gigi Pillai

OCA tutor Nina Milton in conversation with student Gigi about her Foundation in Creative Writing course experience.

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Learning from the experts; David Mitchell

Always keep an eye open for advice from pre-eminent writers like David Mitchell. They often have hit on ideas, devices and techniques that helped them get from an initial thought to an acclaimed book. By tapping into their ingenuity, you can only further your own writing.

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The Hogarth Project: Re-examining The Bard.

In 2012, it was relaunched by Penguin, with a similar but specific mission; to publish reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s plays in the modern novel form. Some of the most acclaimed and popular novelists of our time have been commissioned to write for the project and so far, six have delivered – Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Tracy Chevalier, Edward St Aubyn, Anne Tyler and Margaret Atwood.

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From OCA student to published author – one student’s experience.

“Take your writing seriously. If you don’t, no one else will. Don’t try to do a perfect first draft. You should see mine – they’re pathetic. Writing is re-writing.”

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Finding a writing soul-mate

My favourite writing resource even has a name…Gail. Yours should have a name too…Jim or Hilary or Sue. Because, in my opinion, the best resource a writer can have is a writing soul-mate.

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Torturing a poem

Poetry is in fact, enchantment, that it has the form it does because that very form casts a spell, and that when they thought they were bothered and bewildered, they were, in fact, being bewitched, and if they let themselves accept the enchantment and enjoy it they would eventually understand much more about the poem.

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Making the most of a drama in the shower

Writing students do sometimes get confused about building tension, confusing it with conflict. Although these two aspects of writing both fiction and drama have links, and can be present at the same time, they are not the same.

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Clearing up your info dumps

Dumping of rubbish can be almost as much of an issue in creative writing as it is in the countryside. Keep your writing broom to hand, so that, once you spot the dumps you can clean them up promptly – but not too promptly.

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