What’s been happening in my English Classes


I’ve started posting When The Moons And Mirrors Rise on Wattpad. I aim to post it fortnightly, but things have been a bit chaotic lately in general (at home, at school, and in my head :/) and I haven’t been typing it up to be able to post. I have exciting news: we’re doing a creative writing module in my English class at the moment, and in English extension we’re looking at Gothic literature which I’m finding super interesting despite it being an unusual genre for my normal.

Gothic literature

In my English Extension class we’ve been looking at Gothic conventions and devices, texts, and poems. Last year I read Frankenstein and enjoyed it once I got going (the lockdown messed up my reading habits), so I wasn’t as apprehensive as I might have otherwise been because it’s out of my usual genre range. So far, we’ve looked at Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Raven’, and I thought they were really cool. We’re (meant to be) reading ‘Dracula’, and it’s been good so far although I worry how, hmm, odd, shall I say, it might get just going off the little extract on the blurb. But I do think it’ll be interesting.

For our assignment we have to write a Gothic story of 1200-1500 words, and we can utilise, experiment with, challenge, and/or subvert characteristics of Gothic literature, and we have until early next term. We also need to write a reflection. I looked again at what we need to do the other day, and decided I was definitely going to start it sooner rather than later so I can work through it and have more time to figure out how to write well in this style. I’ve started planning things I want to incorporate (by the way, I’m a planster at best, I don’t normally write out my thoughts about what I want in a story before I begin it), and picked out a few things I’m going to subvert/challenge because I’m more comfortable and familiar with that — one thing being that I plan to have the main characters be all female, which goes against Gothic conventions of having very few female characters, all of which tend to be weak and victims of horrible acts committed by the villain. I also plan to mix a bit of fantasy elements in, because obviously I’m familiar with that genre and style of writing and it means I have a little more to work with that I know what I’m doing with — but it will still be a clearly Gothic piece.


In my English Advanced class we’ve been working through the module ‘reading to write’, and looking at a few excerpts from various texts and a couple of shorter texts and thinking about what style they are written in and why. We’ve generally been focusing on setting and how the setting of a story is a character in itself, and also on developing characters in a story that only lasts for a 15-minute time frame — an ‘explode-a-moment’ piece. My teacher had written one for her year 12s when they had to write one for one of their modules, and she got us to write our own too. I’ve been having a lot of fun in my English classes because we’re finally doing interesting things and working on creative writing skills. I wrote my explode-a-moment about a character called Aphelion, who I’ve written about before but only in very short snippets and she didn’t have a name before this — more on her and those stories in a minute.

For our assignment we have to write a 900-1000 word explode-a-moment story, and a reflection. We got a stimulus of a drawing of a tree in a spiral-bound notebook with a dark background. I’m focusing on the contrast of the white pages and the unlit background. Also, for this story I have done no planning other than deciding how to interpret the stimulus and who my character is — that’s my normal process, rather than what I’m doing with my Gothic story.


Remember last year when I talked about how I’d been writing a couple of extremely short stories in Elven? Well, most of them felt like they were about the same character. I’ve named her now, since I used her in my English work. I haven’t written anything about her since last year but an explode-a-moment seemed like exactly the sort of thing I’d been writing in Elven, so I decided to use that character — and finally give her the very pretty name of Aphelion (which is the point in a celestial body’s orbit where it is the furthest away from its sun). Nothing I’ve written about her has come in a chronological order, it all comes when I have an idea for a particular setting or emotion or aspect of her life. In the case of my schoolwork, the piece was about her and one of her friends watching the stars come out after dusk and just thinking about family, the past, the future, and life in general. In terms of chronology, it is at a later point in time than anything else about her so far.

An obscurely related (at first) point: I love building cool things in minecraft, I find it pretty calming and also a way to be creative. My brother found a bunch of amazing mods and as soon as he installs them on my computer I’m going to start a world that functions somewhat like a cottagecore daydream and partly a roleplay of Aphelion’s life. I’m also going to try to keep writing about her, and I’ll post the stories in written order because that makes more sense to me than chronological since I don’t have everything about Aphelion and her world figured out yet, and when I write other pieces information from those parts of her amalgamated story could spoil earlier things. Much like in the Redwall series, I think it’s better to read in publishing order rather than chronological order. Also, I do normally work chronologically, it’s just that I started this by accident and really liked it. It also means I can start and leave off wherever and whenever I want to, which will be good for minecrafting.


Alright. That’s a longer post than usual, but I do hope you liked it.  Please let me know what you think of what I wrote about and also if you’re looking forward to exploring Aphelion’s character and world with me, which I’ll try to post on Wattpad regularly 🙂

Enjoy your day!

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