Memories Are Made Of This – Part 4

Hello and welcome (back) to my Edge Hill memories series, focusing on my three years studying English and Creative Writing. Yes it has been the best three years of my life, but if you’re thinking about coming here then you’ll want to know more about the ins and outs, so I hope you enjoy!

Today I’m looking at Scriptwriting, which is the main reason I went to Edge Hill in the first place (so far I’ve looked at the Literature, Fiction and Poetry parts of my course, hope you enjoyed them too!). I remember when I first arrived, I had no idea how to even format a script, but true to the Edge Hill way, I was supported right from the off. We were given advice by the tutors, extremely handy handouts and even got pointed in the direction of industry-specific software from giants such as the BBC. This kind of approach, I feel, really is at the cutting edge. It really gives you the tools, tells you how to use them and then lets you practise, even showing you ways from the start that you could impress employers.

My first memory of scripts at Edge Hill was bringing my first short film in to a seminar to be looked over and workshopped by my peers. They were too nice about it, so the tutor came along with a red pen and scribbled alllll over it. After he went away from our table they started saying ‘wow, he was harsh,’ but I didn’t think so at all. He put me on the right path from day one, made sure that I stayed that way throughout the course and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Another great memory (there are almost too many to choose from, believe me!) has come at the end of the course in the form of the module known as ‘The Writers’ Workshop’. It’s not specifically dedicated just to scriptwriters, it’s actually down to each student to choose what they’d like to work on. The idea is that you’re working towards a larger piece of work that you’ll be able to present to employers as a kind of calling card. It differs from other modules in that there’s a bigger focus on the writers’ community and constructive criticism from your classmates. It’s been a great experience (hard work but well worth it!) and all the students can be proud that they’ve helped not only themselves but others too.

I think that’s a fitting tribute to the uni as a whole; it really is a great way to get ahead personally, but there are so many opportunities to get involved with others as well. Edge Hill is not only going to educate you and improve your chances of gettng your dream job, but the community you’ll be a part of will also be part of the reward.

The Forefront

Today I thought I’d blog a bit more about my poetry classes, being fairly controversial as they are at the minute. I don’t mean controversial in a bad way, but they are dividing opinions amongst me and my friends, so I thought I’d let applicants know what they may be letting themselves in for!

The module I’m studying has been titled ‘Experimental Writing’ by the tutors, and it certainly does have a feel of alchemy about it. It essentially deals with multi-sensory approaches to poetry (for the mind, the ear and the eye). I’m sure we’ve all been brought up on the kind of poetry that rhymes and conforms to a certain metre (Sonnets being a classic example of people counting out syllables), so when you learn in the first year that ‘to rhyme is a crime’ and making the metre regular is a waste of time, it’s a bit shocking. This module goes ten steps beyond that, believe me!

An alphabet-structured poem using associative cognitive methods of writing sounds interesting. A poem involving two different words (‘like’ and ‘attracts’) placed in a certain way around the page is bizarre. Poems inspired by the five vowels, including Monty Python-esque screeching in their performance are unsettling. This is a small sample of what we have covered in one lesson. That gives you a flavour of what we look at, and you might be like some of the students who say ‘that’s definitely no poetry’. You could be like some of the others who say ‘there’s method in that madness’. You might even be like me, you can see the pros and cons and aren’t really sure what poetry is anymore (not that I’m sure I’ve ever really put my finger on it!).

But in this kind of confusion, in this place that is so far out of our comfort zones, there is a rich diversity of new possibilities for writers. Right or wrong as our opinions may be (if there is such a thing in this case), the potential is immense, and I think that if you want to come to Edge Hill, you have to be prepared to walk the untrodden paths, get a little lost in it all but be safe in the knowledge that your hard work is going to produce breathtaking results in the end.

P.S. The poem featured at the top of the page is the one that’s currently on our module handbook, Bob Cobbing’s ‘Square Poem’.

Newness

Mendaliv's Example ScreenplayHappy New Year everybody! Here’s hoping you have a lucky year and also make your own luck as much as possible.

I’m a strong believer in making your own luck. The harder you work, the more luck you deserve and, often, the more luck you get. This year Edge Hill is giving Creative Writing and Media students a fantastic chance to make their own luck. Basically, if we want to we can write a ten-minute short script which will get handed over to the Media department. If any of the students there like the look of it, they can make it into a film.

It’s my dream to write for the screen, and this is an absolutely fantastic opportunity. Not only is it great fun, but if by some lucky chance my script is made into a film and noticed by someone in the business… Well, I guess I’ll have to start dreaming some even bigger and better dreams!