My Writing Process – Blog Relay

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I know I’ve already done a blog post similar to this, but my friend Alex asked me to join in with this blog relay thing. His entry can be found here, and it’s definitely worth a read! So, here goes:

1. What are you working on?

As a Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies student, it may seem pretty surprising that most of my writing revolves around journalism. I spend a lot of time writing articles for The Knowledge, the official student newspaper of Plymouth University. I kind of fell into this at the beginning of this year, as I was asked to write an article about being a direct-entry student. As I have now graduated from Plymouth University, I’ll be very sad to stop writing for The Knowledge, but I’m hoping my new university will have something similar that I can get involved with! I also recently became a Staff Writer intern at ReadWave, and so I try to write an article every week. (I’m also attempting to keep on top of this blog!) Visit Plymouth is also starting a new blog in order to promote this beautiful city – I’m hoping to get involved with it soon. On top of all of this, I still try do get some creative writing done. I’ve been accepted onto a Creative Writing MA at Anglia Ruskin University, and so this summer will be spent brushing up on my knowledge, and attempting to put pen to paper more often. I currently have two projects that I’ve been working on for about a year, one of which was the sample I sent to Anglia Ruskin when I was applying for the course. It’s a fantasy, with the tentative title of The Lion’s Skin, which revolves around a young girl with extraordinary, hidden powers, and the journey she must take to discover them. The Great Way Round, the second project, is a historical fiction, set in the late 1800’s. A young girl working in a big house must suddenly escape after a tragedy, and so she is sent down to Polperro in Cornwall to create a new life for herself, and her unborn child.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

This is a difficult one. With the historical fiction, I like to think that the sudden twists and secrets would make it stand out within the genre. I’ve based the journey of moving from London to Cornwall on my own experiences (which admittedly happened much later, and without as much drama!), and so I hope this will make it original enough. I try to write my articles with a clear, original voice, and this is what I hope makes them so appealing, and stand out from the others. My articles are also usually based on things that are interesting and/or important to me, which I think is very important. I need to have an interest in the subject in order to write about it.

3. Why do you write what you do?

Well, just like everything else in my life, I don’t tend to stick to one theme. I’m interested in many different things, and so I try to bring that diversity to my writing. In short, I tend to just write whatever I feel like writing. If something in particular has grabbed my attention – be it a book, something someone said, a news story – and I feel compelled enough to register my opinion on it, then I’ll do so. I’m hoping the Creative Writing MA will help me hone my skills, and actually finish a creative piece of work. The ultimate dream is to be published, and have people enjoy my stories as much as I’ve enjoyed hundreds of others.

4. How does your writing process work?

I tend to just sit down and write. I do the same for essays, and get told that it isn’t a very good way of doing it, but I seem to achieve good enough grades, so it can’t be that bad! If an idea pops into my head, usually while I’m daydreaming, then I just like to get it down, either on paper or on my laptop. Sometimes I can sit for hours and keep writing – other times I just make a few notes. If I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I like to take a walk to the park down the road from my house, sit in the sun (if I’m lucky!) and just relax. I’ll take a notebook and a pen, in case anything occurs to me, and the book I’m currently reading. The park has a beautiful view of the sea, and it’s my favourite place to just sit, and watch the world go by. Writing articles is somewhat easier than writing stories. The same process applies – I just sit down and write – but the editing process usually consists of bringing it down to the required number of words. Prior to this, I’ll be thinking about the article for a while, coming back to it while doing other things, and shaping the sentences in my mind, before I get the chance to get my laptop out and start writing it up.

Thanks again to Alex for bringing this to my attention! It’s been fascinating reading back through all of the blogs. I’m passing it on to Jon Cooper and Sian Powell. Jon is a British-born New Zealander now living in Belgium, who describes himself as a passionate writer, and is currently writing what will become his first full novel. I’ve read parts of it, and I think he’s extremely talented. His blog can be found here. Sian is a Cornish maid studying history in Cardiff. She describes her blog as “a big mess of everything”, and writes “tiny little stories that aren’t really stories”. Some of these can be found on her blog, which I found very entertaining.

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