Thursday, 11 March 2010

Shocked And Embarrassed

Some of you might have read my post the other day, revealing my concerns over the creative writing group that i was thinking about attending. I said i wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Well, i was right to be worried. What happened, i could never have expected. I strolled into the library five minutes late, carrying my bag complete with script-in-progress and creative piece, and stood at the reception. "Hello, name's Daniel, i'm here for the creative writing group". Cool. The receptionist gave nothing away, not even a slight hesitation to inform me of what was about to come. "Ah ok", she says, "right this way, they're in a room in the back". Kushty, i thought, as i followed her through the library to the meeting room.

Oh shit. I should have seen this coming. A writing group at 10.30 on a wednesday morning. She opened the door, and i found myself confronted with a rather awkward situation, and one that i'd never like to enter unexpectedly again. A room full of women, conversation in full swing, including child pictures out of purses (ok that last bit was added on, there were no pictures). Not one male. Fourteen of them to be precise. Twelve of the lovely ladies were over sixty, and the other two were in their late twenties or early thirties. Now, don't get me wrong here. I didn't resent the situation. In fact, i'd say i was in my element. Old women love me (not like that). Every woman over forty i've ever met has told me i'm handsome like Clark Gable.

It was the initial shock of the situation, and their faces as i entered the room. "Ooops, are men allowed in?" i rapped, "Yes, of course, grab a chair" was the resounding answer. I could have turned around and left, or made some excuse to leave, but for some reason i stayed, and endured. They were all pleasent enough, and fortunately i sat next to two quite chatty specimens, and the whole event turned out to be quite productive. The thirty something whos name i've forgotten is actually a film studies teacher at a local secondary school and she's offered to read my finished screenplay. Result. It seems she's a fellow film enthusiast, but i'll have to wait until next time to find out more. The next meeting isn't until the 21st of April. Most of the women were only looking for a creative outlet for personal satisfaction or to waste some time.

The session consisted of three activities. Firstly, the lady who organised the whole session had made up a set of questions and handed them around the room. We had a free but organised conversation about each question. The questions were things like "What do you write?", "Where do you write?" and "What have you written?". After getting to know each other a bit, we moved on to activity two. Word association on paper. We chose a central word which could be a flower or vegetable, and then we had to branch off in six directions and list words that we linked to our central word. For those interested, my word was rose. Then, we had to create sentences using the words we had written down. One of mine was highlighted as one of the best, in all of its simplicity. It was "The sunflowers brought happiness to the insects of the garden". I tickled myself with "People were crying and cuddling as the plane fell from the sky". I can't remember anybody elses sentences but some were pretty good.

Our final activity was on character development. This is more like it. We had several categories, including hobbies, clothes, friends, habits and moods, which we had to pick up to five different things for. For example, Friends - Mr Ted, The Animals, No young people etc. It was quite fun and interesting. I created a completely wacky, eccentric man who owns an allotment. He shouts at everybody, and only likes celery. Before the next meeting, we have to write about a day in the life of our character. No idea how long it's supposed to be, but i'll probably write about a thousand words. Should be adequate. I plan on killing him before he harms a stick of celery.

You're probably surprised that i'm going back. I know i am, but why not?! It's something to do, it's productive, and they were all nice enough. Honestly though, i don't know what i was expecting from a wednesday morning writing group. It must have motivated me quite a bit though. I came home and added 30 pages to my script and re-drafted Act one.

Now i'm looking forward to my interview with Birkbeck next Wednesday! Getting nervous about it a little bit. I need to come up with some questions i can ask them, otherwise they'll think i'm retarded and uninterested. Any suggestions, let me know.

Thanks for reading about my exploits!

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