A Good Place to Die
A Good Place to Die: six week creative writing course led by writer and academic, Jacqueline Yallop
How do we imagine the place where we’ll die? How can stories help us create this sense of place? This course gives participants the chance to write stories based around their favourite places. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar; we’re just looking for stories that come from the heart and imagination. Below is an outline of the themes for each week.
Week 1: Writing place
What’s special about places? How can we write about places that mean something to us – or that we’re curious about? In the opening week, we’ll begin to gather words, ideas and examples to help us explore ideas of place, both physical and emotional.
Week 2: Remembering favourite places.
This week we’ll explore a bit more about what it is that makes particular places special to us. We’ll work on using memory to stimulate writing. Participants will be asked to bring a photograph or souvenir to help with this week’s writing.
Week 3: Imagining unique places.
Real places can be magical – but imagined places can be even more distinctive and powerful. This week we will step into our imaginations, creating our own places and the characters that inhabit them. Participants can bring examples from their favourite books, films or paintings to help create imagined worlds.
Week 4: How places make us feel.
This week we’ll be developing our characters and looking at how places can evoke powerful emotions to drive our stories – fear, love, curiosity, delight… We’ll be reading crime scenes, ghost scenes, romantic scenes and thinking about ways in which we can capture feelings in our writing. Participants will be asked to describe a place where they’ve felt a strong emotion to kickstart the writing this week.
Week 5: A time and a place.
This week we explore the endurance of natural and manmade landscapes, the timelessness of special places. Developing our writing on place and our work with characters, we’ll be exploring ways of using time in our storytelling to connect with ideas of permanence and passing.
Week 6: A Good Place to Die
Drawing on the writing we’ve done, the ideas discussed and the words we’ve collected, we’ll turn our attention to a good place to die, using our writing to express some of our hopes and fears. We’ll attempt to capture this special final place and write it into our stories.
At the end of the course, participants will have the opportunity to share their writing, if they’d like to, on the website and continue to develop their stories with feedback from their colleagues.