Lately, I’ve been thinking about ideas and how they link into imagination and, ultimately, into the process we call ‘creativity’. It was kicked off when I bumped into an acquaintance who claimed that they had no (or few) ideas compared to others.
It’s a common question for writers: ‘Where do your ideas come from?’ The answer is, almost always, ‘Everywhere and anything’. In fact, it’s difficult to stop having ideas and the real problem is being able to focus on one (or a few) to turn them into a coherent work. There si just so much around us: all you have to do is look, touch, listen, taste… and wonder.
So what happens? Even if we struggle, we all read about where ‘ideas’ come from, how they arise, and how to feed them, but what are the processes around them? How can we have more ideas? How can we turn those ideas into something tangible?
Monday was my graduation ceremony for the MA in Writing (Distinction) from Birmingham City University. I was in two minds about attending but was persuaded to go and, in the end, was pleased I did so. The graduation ceremony itself was a very fitting and emotional completion to a long, sometimes physically painful, but often interesting and enjoyable process.
I’m delighted that ‘The Honey Killer’ is finally available on Kindle:
This was a book started as an MA project, a deliberate exploration into a different genre for me (hence the pseudonym) but one which I found quite useful. It traces the history of an assassin – an ethical assassin, but a killer, nonetheless – from his appalling childhood involving isolation, bullying and manipulation through to being a loner who knows how to do one thing only: kill in strange and unusual ways.
It is also a book about a platonic love, about worship of individuals who show kindness, and about reconciliation. The settings – London, Paris, Amsterdam adn the fictional village of Snoddington Beeches – are all based on my own experiences working here and in Europe. The history, from Operation Pied Piper (1939) onwards is as accurate as a work of creative fiction can be.
What’s interesting from a process perspective are the changes that were made after it was assessed for one of the MA modules. I’ve blogged about the realisation before and that the book was missing a character, but having added much more to the character (I’ll leave you to guess which one it was) the book took on a much more rounded form. It enabled an ending that reflected and completed much of the interaction throughout the historical components of the book (even the narrator’s ‘present’ is 1984).
Whatever teh experience and learning, for me, it’s wondeful to see something from the MA in print. 🙂
Woohoo! Finally, I have finished my MA at Birmingham. It has been a long journey and a lot of work, but I’m there and, by the look of things, I’ll be getting a distinction – which is wonderful, too. There is too much to say, so I’ve updated my MA Writing page with some comments and reflections. The long and the short of it is: if you are looking for an MA in Writing, seriously consider BCU.
The MA is coming to an end. I’ve had the last (excellent) tutorial and I am working on the three essays and the final submission. It’s a lot of work, of course, but I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Ironically, finishing the MA in Writing means I can focus on writing much more. 🙂
I know, it’s been a long time since the last post. That’s because of a whole range of real life issues, one of which was cutting open my hand due to this annoying nerve problem. It is an example of one of the hiccups that have to be factored into Pain Management: prioritisation. ‘I-want-to-write-a-post’ becomes ‘I-really-need-to’ and doesn’t quite make it into the ‘I-must’ category as it is pushed out by stories, essays and commentaries I am actually writing whilst in added pain.