I thought I’d post about this today while everything is still fresh in my mind.
Firstly, what an inspirational place! Admittedly, on arrival, my mind automatically jumped to the stories I could construct in this location. Stories of ghosts, phantoms, creepy people made of wallpaper, creatures living in the pipes, and of course, my old favourite, the undead.
When given a site-specific project to work on based on Gregynog, I had a million ideas of the above nature. Then Wyn placed some restrictions, which basically amounted to banning anything of the supernatural variety. Which is great.
Okay I admit it, that put my nose out of joint a little. I thought ‘Wyn! How could you!? This is the perfect place for ghosts!’
What I found with my group was, that actually, forcing us to take things in a more realistic direction turned out to be a lot more beneficial as a learning experience (and much more fun in the end!). We decided on a piece of promenade theatre and a drama, and this certainly took me out of my comfort zone. I’ve never actually attempted to write a drama, and I’ve never experienced promenade theatre either.
I learned that a piece doesn’t need a supernatural monster to create excitement, or an axe murderer to create tension. I also learned that drama isn’t ‘boring’. I’m kind of embarrassed to even write that that was part of my thinking about drama as a genre before as it’s pretty ignorant and a fairly uneducated opinion! It’s just that I’ve spent my whole life watching monsters, and anything without their inclusion just seemed dull to me. I’m delighted to have learned how unfounded that is as I feel I can now start branching out as a writer.
I was pleased with my feedback from Wyn about my Short, mostly because there was little criticism. I had a lot of constructive feedback in my first tutorial with Wyn, so had a lot to work on when redrafting but this time, not so much. I’m a huge fan of criticism, in fact, I’ve gone from dreading it to looking forward to knowing what I’m doing wrong so I can get on and fix it hastily!
In this particular tutorial, I realised that as well as taking Wyn’s criticisms on board I had also self edited and criticised the initial draft myself. Things feel like they’re finally clicking into place.
I had a tutorial with Stapes about my Major Project, and as always he gave me a lot to work on and think about. The thing I love about feedback from Stapes is how specific he is when he’s noting the problems. I feel like I have a lot to get my teeth into with my next draft, and that I’m able, with this guidance, to improve my work considerably.
Before we left today, Wyn asked us to discuss a ‘breakthrough’ moment in our writing. I found it really hard to think of one at first.
What I remembered though was redrafting my Major Project a few weeks ago using the feedback from my previous tutorials. I went through the list of changes suggested by my lecturers, then went through it two more times looking for the problems I thought they might flag up next time. I came across a lot actually; dialogue that was too clunky; unnecessary dialogue where there could have been action; lack of/too much description and pointlessly listed actions.
Whilst doing this, all of a sudden I realised that I was doing it – editing my work with a fresh view on it – all by myself. Up until this point I was dreading graduation because I couldn’t imagine ever writing something without the constant guidance of the lecturers. Moreover, the thought of actually submitting a script to anyone without Stapes, Ieuan, Wyn or Sian first critiquing it seemed like an impossibility!
I never thought I’d be able to go through my own work with the sort of objectivity that it so useful when the lecturers do it, and I’m a long way off being completely confident about it, but the fear that my work is total crap is starting to vanish now.
Hello Confidence, who would ever have thought I’d be friends with you one day?!