Reflections on Assignment 5

Writing Skills is completed. Assignment 5 is sent and I eagerly await my tutor’s feedback. I feel much better about this assignment because I gave myself enough time to develop a story. I took notice of the assignments statement: step beyond most of the experiments and projects you have tried out so far, and move into a new territory where your emotions are hard at work behind the writing. Assignment 5 was a conscious decision to write from first-person perspective. All of my assignments up to this point have been written in third-person which is clearly my comfort zone. The challenge was writing a story in the voice of a sixteen-year-old girl.

For me, this assignment started to kick in from Project 5: Structure. I found the section on archetypal structures helpful in understanding the matrix of a story. I admit that until then I hadn’t really thought about novels or stories as an archetypal structure, but now that I have I’m beginning to understand the importance of it. From exercise 1 in project 5 The Changing of Eliza Frewe was born. I liked the idea of the rags to riches archetype where my character becomes opposed by this structure enough to create conflict.

I started to write the story before I read my tutor’s recommendation of The Fault in our Stars by John Green; it was purely coincidental that my character was also sixteen. On writing The Changing of Eliza Frewe, the way my teenage daughter speaks and uses the filler word like was evident in how I wanted Eliza’s voice to appear on the page. When I re-drafted the story I omitted the filler word, as I didn’t think it read well within the sentence structure. However, after reading The Fault in our Stars I decided against that and put the word like back in.

From this point I worked backwards and started to map my plotline using the clustering technique, and from my old notebook I took a discarded plotline and character and began mapping different conflicts and ‘what ifs’. There I was able to develop a beginning, middle and ending. This changed many times – endings seem more problematic to me than beginnings. I read the section on endings more than half a dozen times I think!

In all, this assignment had taken me out of my comfort zone but I’m glad that it did. I liked the challenge of voicing a sixteen year old girl along with her array of emotions. It remains to be seen if I succeeded in this challenge, I will know soon enough but for now I feel like totally gr8 its dun…



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