Year One Officially Over

Hey guys!

I finished my finals about 10 days ago but I just got my grades yesterday (B, A-, A-, A-, pretty good!). I’ve spent the last twoish weeks relaxing and catching up with video games and anime, but it’s pretty much time for me to kick myself back into gear and start working again…

But before I do that, I wanted to recap a bit on the year and what’s been going on.

So I’ve been going to UBCO to study creative writing. Had to take a second language, chose Japanese, am having fun but am also struggling to hell with it (guess which grade was Japanese, hah). I’ve been excelling with the creative writing side of things though, which I’m happy with.

A quick mention of all my classes. I’ve taken three Creative Writing classes (intro to fiction and drama, intro to poetry and creative non-fic, and second year writing popular fiction with an emphasis on writing young adult), an introduction to Anthropology, an English focused on narrative and writing essays, and two first-year Japanese.

I’m only briefly going to mention my endeavours with Anthropology here– I planned on writing a whole post about that but haven’t gotten around to it yet, so maybe if that’s something your interested in hearing about, keep and eye open for that. That said, a bit on anthropology… I decided to take it this last semester and probably will take more classes in the future, not really because I have a distinct interest in anthropology, but because culture is something I really want to ingrain into my novels because it’s important for character and worldbuilding. Plus theorycrafting and all that stuff is lots of fun.

I’ve probably mentioned it before but I really dislike English courses. Unfortunately, they are a heavy requirement for my major, so I’m kind of stuck with taking them. I don’t mind the reading or the discussions, but the essays are brutal. Honestly the writing itself I can handle, research is a bitch but I can do that too, I just really really hate the stupid citation styles that are used. They’re different for literally every class (and reasonably so, but still) and I hate it. Takes whatever bit of joy I have for writing essays and throws it right out the damn window. Ah, well… I’ll probably get used to it.

That said about essays, I was considering taking a minor in history but seeing as that’s my boyfriend’s major and all he does is write essays for those courses, I’m not so sure that’s what I want to do anymore. But my first history course isn’t until this summer, so we’ll see how I fare with that before I jump in either direction. Anyway, with that, I wandered off a little from what I was talking about.

Creative Writing was straight forward; Wrote some baller short stories my first semester (one that I’m going to try and get published this summer), started learning how to write poetry (still got a lot to learn but I’ve improved– I even did a reading in front of the class! I’ll talk about that sometime), tried and failed to write creative non-fiction (it’s fun just not my thing, I enjoy making shit up too much), and made some excellent progress on one of my novel works in progress, Desolace. I’m going to make some more detailed posts for these things individually later, I think, because there’s a lot I want to talk about in regards to that.

Then there’s Japanese. What a bitch. I really love the language, it’s just super hard. I’ve fallen off a bit with my practising and studying since the end of the semester, but I think I needed a break after all the effort I’ve put into it over the last eight months. I intend to continue studying Japanese over the summer and next year so I can still use it as my language credit for my degree, but I’ll talk about my plans in more detail later on since I’ve put a lot of thought into that and I’d love to share a bit.

AND, with all of that, I’ve earned 21 credits, which is 6 short of completing a full first year. I’m not too upset about that because I only took three classes for my first semester, as I was worried about becoming overwhelmed and doing really bad. But because three classes went well first semester I went up to four in the second semester, which also went well and gave me enough free time to not burn out on school. So next year I’ll likely end up taking four classes each semester. That’ll still leave me three credits short of advancing another year, but there are a couple classes I want to take that are offered over the summer, so at least for this year and next year I’ll be set to advance to second and third years with no problem (fourth year is a big fat unknown until I get to that point).

So yeah, summer classes. Those start on May 15th and I’m taking some less academic stuff that’ll keep me busy and still work toward my degree. I really don’t want to work full-time over the summer, so this gives me a perfect opportunity to do half and half. 🙂 But with three classes this summer and at least one next summer, I should be set to advance to second-year by the end of summer, and third-year by the end of next summer, assuming I stick to my plans and take a total of eight classes next winter and fall semesters.

Anyway, I think this turned into a big ramble, but it’s one am and I just felt like writing something. Will be posting regularly again!

~Erynn

 

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The Different Writing Genres

So I mentioned in my last post that there are several types of writing genres (outside of fiction genres,  such as fantasy and the like) and that I’m currently working on deciding what else I want to write besides fiction.

I’m going to detail what the other genres are and what they do, and maybe laying everything out will help me make a decision. And, maybe even you’ll learn something.

So let’s see. There’s fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, drama/ playwriting, poetry, music/ lyric writing, and comic/ graphic novel writing. I’m sure there are others, but those are the one ones I care about right now so we’ll pretend the rest doesn’t exist.

Fiction is pretty straight forward. Made up shit in a variety of sub-genres, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do because no one cares about the rules of this genre and they’re broken all the time.

Non-fiction I suppose is factual shit. No bullshitting allowed. This is pretty important to the genre, but otherwise there’s a lot that can be written about. Memoirs, essays, articles, etc on whatever topic, as long as it’s true. Creative non-fiction and non-fiction are really closely aligned, the creative option just isn’t so bland and can take some pretty interesting forms, as I have learned recently.

Screenwriting is writing a script for a movie, short film, TV series, or whatever kind of video you could make. Screenwriting can be either fiction or non-fiction.  I’ve never tried screenwriting before because I wasn’t ever really interested in it, but last semester I had to write a play script (a little different but still similar) for an assignment and I kind of piqued my interest. I’ll talk more about that further down.

Drama or playwriting is like screenwriting, but generally for a live performance, not something recorded. At least that’s my understanding of it. I don’t really care for this because I feel like you need to be good at choreography in order to be good at playwriting and that seems like a lot more work than I’m interested in.

Next there’s poetry. Usually cryptic, flowery language regarding a theme or topic and together everything represents a whole image or little story. There are many different types of poetry, and because of the common use of improper sentence structures a lot is left up to the interpretation of the reader. Poetry can be beautiful, visual, emotional, educational, or even all of the above. I really don’t give a shit about most poetry but lately I’ve come to appreciate it a little more, mostly through my attempts to write it.

Music and lyric writing is similar to poetry, but with a singsong spin. Generally songs have an overall theme and are written in a way where the vocal glow of the words is pretty important. Usually the writer had an idea of how the music will sound, or the lyrics and song are written at the same time and tweaked at the same time so they complement each other.

Graphic novel and comic writing is really similar to screenwriting because you rely on visuals to tell part of the story. Essentially what you are writing is a script because 90% of it is usually dialogue, that is, language spoken by your characters. The big difference between screenwriting and graphic novel writing (besides the fact that it’s a physical medium) is that there are opportunities to get inside your characters head, which are usually absent in screenwriting unless one of the characters is the narrator.

Alright, so now that I’ve kinda outlined the genres that I think matter, let’s narrow it down to the ones I’ve at least got some interest in. Those would be fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, poetry, and graphic novels. I’d love to be able to write music but I’m a little musically challenged so u don’t think it’s something I can manage right now.

Fiction is an obvious choice–I love making shit up, so this is something I’ll always be writing. No reason to stop, really. Creative non-fiction is a recent interest of mine, from one of the creative writing classes I’m currently taking I’ve learned that it can actually be quite enjoyable to take boring shit and make it interesting. So this is something I’d like to experiment with further.

Poetry and screenwriting are kind of in the same boat; I’ve learned just enough about them to want to pursue more knowledge on how to write them, and then maybe from there I’ll be able to figure out if any of them are something I want to write seriously.

Graphic novels are a little different, though. You don’t necessarily need to know how to draw to write them–lots of writers pair up with artists and work on these together–but I feel like knowing how gives you a lot more room to experiment and practice. So that’s what I’m doing right now (learning how to draw) so I can play around with this genre for a bit.

So deciding on another genre is still a work in progress, but no one said I only had to pick two. I’m going to stick with poetry for now and see what happens in the future as I get the chance to experiment with the others.

~Erynn