Writing Assignment

It’s the third week of my Master of Arts in  Writing course and I have started to think about what I’m going to do for the major assignment. The topic matter is really open – it has to be your original writing and about 2000 words, there are no other restrictions.

I find when the scope of the writing genre is so wide that it is hard to choose what genre to write in, let alone an idea for that genre. The first thing to do is think of your options – poetry, song writing, review writing, short story, novel chapter and many more. Be brutal when it comes to narrowing down your list. My list now consists of two genres – short story or novel chapter.

If I choose the novel chapter it will be one of the two novel manuscripts I already have in progress. Do I want my first chapter critiqued while I’m still working on the story? My other option is a short story which I would create from scratch. I’m excited about this because it means creating new work. Creating new work means fresh characters, new settings and new situations.

Exciting isn’t it?


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5 Responses to Writing Assignment

  1. Elaine says:

    I had the same tutor for all units and arranged with him from the start to write a novel. I wrote a new YA and it wasn’t complicated at all. I managed to incorporate a little poetry in the story and used the basic narrative structure I was given – using stream of conscience, internal monologue, themes etc. It made the story much more interesting. Really study the textbooks and have fun with it and you will be fine. Good Luck.

  2. I’d use one of the novels in progress for the same reason Elaine has given – it would be good to get direction on what you’ve done, especially since the first three chapters are so important. They’re also really tough to get right – I changed the first three chapters of my latest novel Rain about six times in six years – I was never happy with them, possibly because so much pressure is tied up in them! And this is another reason why the query process is so flawed – very few authors are able to nail the first three chapters and that’s what you must send through to agents.

    Good luck, Kelly – yes, it is exciting!


    • Kelly Hart says:

      Hi Leigh,

      The first three chapters are the hardest to write, but they are also the most enchanting. Where the story is fresh and exciting and the characters are making themselves known. For anyone having trouble with the first chapter I would suggest trying to get your hands on a copy of The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. It’s one of my favourite reference books.


  3. Elaine says:

    I used my masters to help me understand what I could improve in my writing, so I wrote almost half of novel in sections for each assignment. The feedback was great and helped me edit my other work as well. Good luck with your study. I hope it gives you the insight and understanding about your own work that mine gave me.

    • Kelly Hart says:

      Hi Elaine,

      It’s a great idea to use the masters to finish writing and polishing a novel manuscript. The problem I’m imagining with submitting different chapters in different units is that the feedback is so varied it ends up complicating the writing process.
      Did you have any problems with this? Did you get any feedback that opposed previous feedback for a different chapter?


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