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Twelve Questions

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

First published in 1939 but still compelling

Twelve Questions

This week saw the first formal meeting between George and I to review progress this week and give feedback on the exercises we have shared. We have revisited the ‘I Remember’ exercise from week two so we are both working on the same topics.

Giving and receiving feedback is a very positive experience if done well. I feel comfortable in sharing my work with George and respect his views and abilities. I get the impression he thinks similarly of me.

We have devised a list of twelve questions relating to topics/exercises which we shall be hoping to answer at each meeting. They are:

1. Why is it worth doing?

2. Have you completed the assignments?

3. Have you understood the assignments?

4. Have you understood the topic?

5. Does your work evoke an emotive response?

a. What response

b. How could the impact be increased?

6. What do you know now that you didn’t know before?

7. How has/will this affect the writing of your current WIP?

8. What parts of this topic have you found most difficult/easy/enjoyable/disliked?

9. Do you know why you found these parts so?

10. What do you need to do to ensure this learning is embedded?

11. What research was particularly useful?

12. How long did you spend on this study and the assignments/feedback?

These questions will doubtless evolve over time. Please feel free to make suggestions.

We have also agreed the format of the meetings we have and our writing assignments for next week. One of these I have completed, Writing Experiment 26 from

I have also completed an exercise from The Art of Character by David Corbett. He suggests ‘Go to a book of paintings or photographs and select a person depicted in one of the plates. Insert the character into a scene you’re working on, the less “arty” the better.’ He then suggests questions to ask yourself about how the scene has changed.

This is how Max Beckmann’s exotic wife, Quappi, has appeared in my tale of modern-day middle-class Londoners laid low. I might find it hard to let her go, she’s much more interesting than my protagonist!

Current Reading

‘Writing Fiction’ Burroway, Chapter 1/3

‘Reading Like a Writer’ Francine Prose Chapters 3

‘Fingersmith’ Sarah Waters to end

‘The Art of the Character’ David Corbett Chapters 2

‘The Big Sleep’ Raymond Chandler to page 120

‘The Golden Notebook’ Doris Lessing, Preface to 1972 Edition

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