Creative Writing Blog Posts | The Open College of the Arts
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Creative Writing


What is conflict?

When talking about conflict in scriptwriting, we don’t simply refer to the central ‘battle’ between our main character and their antagonist force.  Conflict is also in the skilful crafting of contrasting sensorial elements, weaved into the scenes; it becomes a contrast of sounds, insertion of small elements of disturbance, use of light and shadows. 

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Writing a good reflective commentary

I recently a ran an online workshop on what a good RC might include, so for those of students who were unable to attend (and for those who did attend, but would like a refresher), here’s a summary of my suggestions.

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Virtual study event: Write where you are

In this workshop we’ll explore the places we inhabit most, the views we see every day, the map we create on our daily walks. We’ll read poems and prose about place and spaces, and pay homage to the ones that we feel both connected to and stuck in.

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OCA wellbeing: Photography

I’d started up an Instagram account a while back, but I’d fallen into posting very sporadically, going months without and not making much of a contribution. So I decided to try out the whole ‘post an image a day’ and use some hashtags to get the message out that although we were in lockdown, we were still here.

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Writing a good creative reading commentary

At Level 2 and 3, Creative Writing students are asked to research an author, writing movement or individual work(s) of literature that they’ve been reading during that unit, and that has resonated with them as a writer. Here are some suggestions for how to approach the CRC.

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OCA wellbeing: Volunteering

When I drop shopping off some people like to have a distant chat, just general stuff about the weather and how they are coping, while others are very regimented and want their shopping leaving at the end of the drive and they come and collect, everyone is dealing with this pandemic in their own way and has to do what they feel is right, I completely respect that.

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Burrowing into your writing –Close observation

One of my own methods of creating new ideas, new characters or new scenes for my stories, is to begin a regular, gentle, mindless activity (walking alone is my favourite) to allow those deep, deep insights to emerge. I can return from a walk, or from listening to a piece of music, with new scenes ready to be written, or new understanding about my character’s lives.

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OCA Wellbeing: A trip to the bibliotherapist

Imagine going to the doctor’s and coming out with a prescription – for a good book. It’s really not as daft as it may sound. And what’s more, the notion that our mental wellbeing can be improved by something other than pills is far from new.

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Inventing the truth and bargaining with the light

I don’t know how may of you managed to get to the Hay Festival via zoom but the three trips I took were well worth those (imagined) miles from Bristol to Hay on Wye across the Severn and then north; and am I in Herefordshire or Wales when I get there? It all depends. Makes me think of Philippe Sands’ East West Street  where he writes about Lvov, Lviv and Lemburg – all the same town. At least Hay is still called Hay whichever country it’s in. But it’s a good example of how slippery the truth of history and story-telling is.

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