2011 Retrospective

What a curious year in writing 2011 has been. I had already started the Open University course A363 in October 2011 but on New Year’s Eve I still had the bulk of the assignments ahead of me. So, just past midnight on New Year’s Day, I vowed that 2011 would be year where I would get something published. The only caveat I added was that self-publishing didn’t count.

2011s writing began with a new medium for me, a film script that was an adaptation of my own work. Writing the film script was a great experience, seeing where the differences were to writing prose or comics, both in terms of limitations and strengths. Writing and adaptation was also valuable that lent more respect to the difficult task writers have of adapting works from one medium to another. It was a successful process and my marks reflected it.

After a couple of critiques and outlines, the next fiction assignment was a piece of prose that proved to be my Waterloo. Signs was an urban horror tale that I quite liked, as did my reviewers, but the tutor marking it loathed passionately. Once more the marks reflected this and my grade average plummeted.

The final piece of writing for the OU was a radio play that, depending on which draft you were looking at, was called either Judicial Algorithms or The Trial. Again, I enjoyed writing the script and the marks were good but not enough to recover from my genre misstep with Signs. And so I was done with the Open University. I considered continuing on, doing English Language or Literature modules now that I had exhausted their supply of Creative Writing courses. In the end I decided against it, I wanted to spend my time writing, not learning the theory of writing.

So clearly I did absolutely no writing at all for the next three months.

This came to an end when I was in a face one morning. Frustrated with my the dearth of fictional writings, I decided to at the very least jot down a paragraph of prose. A paragraph became a page, which became a chapter and all of a sudden I was starting a novel. Trust me, I was as shocked as anyone, probably more. Sadly, balance was restored to the universe when I couldn’t keep the momentum going past a couple of months. But I will return to the novel, which had the working title of Angels.

The next piece of writing I did was not fiction, but an analysis of fiction, meta-fiction and magic. This was Parallel Words, which was published by Bleeding Cool. At first I didn’t count this as ‘published’ but after some persuasion from friends I decided to let this count. New Year’s Goal: Achieved!

Following on from this I wrote a ten minute short film script which got some good feedback. I intend to do some experimentation with filming this as a short, but I’m also working this out into a longer script as the short works quite well as a prequel to a longer story. This will be what I will endeavour to work on in the New Year.

Christmas Eve was a big day for me for a slightly different reason: I at last told my parents that I was writing. It sounds ridiculous, but I never told them because I feared they would ridicule me for wasting my time, but they thankfully didn’t. They didn’t ask to read anything either, but I’ll settle for the small victories.

So, writing goal for 2012? Again, get something published, but not self-published and not on a website. Wish me luck!

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