Writers on Wednesday: Rohini Singh: Miss Felix’s Creative Writing Class

SOOP author Rohini Singh at her writing station.

SOOP author Rohini Singh at her writing station.

I entered Form 5 at the age of fifteen. My English teacher Miss Felix was tough. Sixteen out of twenty-five was a top mark in essay writing. I generally got thirteen out of twenty-five and never really fussed about it because this area held no special interest to me even though Miss Felix often complimented me about my style in writing.

During the second term in this class we were introduced to creative writing, which lasted about two months. Miss Felix told us that writing about things we know about produces more realistic and convincing stories. She also explained about the importance of plots, creating credible characters, and conflict. While emphasising using the five senses to provide emotions to what is being told, images involving sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch flashed across my mind. By the time she finished with her explanation a complete event had snapped into place from these images.

I felt like an unknown force broke loose inside of me. It was quite easy for me to create a story on any topic with a starting sentence. Even though Miss Felix outlined the importance of making a plan before writing, my entire story unfolded with little effort.

My marks moved up to sixteen for the next couple of assignments. When my marks reduced back to thirteen, Miss Felix said I could do better. I was disappointed. She then told us to read one another’s work for the rest of that class period. I noticed one of my classmates’ papers was marked sixteen, so I asked her for her paper to review. I became enraged after reading her story, knowing that I wrote a much better paper. I remember going to the back of the class and quarrelling while Miss Felix looked on with a smile. I did not say anything to her.

I put all of my heart and effort into the next assignment. I was speechless when the assignment was returned and I got twenty marks! I felt the force within me had been strengthened. Miss Felix explained that she wanted to see how far I could go, so she gave me a lesser mark to push me into excelling. After the creative writing class had ended, I continued writing short stories in my spare time.

Thank you, Miss Felix, for bringing out this talent in me. Your advice has assisted me with writing in different areas of my life, some of which involved writing technical and end-user manuals for software applications, as well as a range of reports and proposals. I even passed on some of your words of wisdom to others, hoping your advice would inspire them as it did me.

Writing is a constant learning process, and there is always room for improvement. With time and practice, writing styles become perfected, facts can be expressed explicitly, and descriptions blossom into bold and vivid images in the reader’s mind. We may learn formally through formal education, but we continue to grow outside the classroom every day.

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The Time Manipulator's SonAbout The Time Manipulator’s Son, now available for pre-order from Something or Other Publishing: Powerful aliens hide on an asteroid floating above the planet Chyspah. Fearing for her child’s life, a widow breaks the laws of her people and makes contact with the leader of the planet. Her actions kick off a long series of strange occurrences and unexpected discoveries that lead three boys to solve their parents’ mysteries as they’re caught in the midst of the royal family’s fall from power. Daniel experiences bizarre episodes of time travel, while Anomar learns he was adopted—and that his real parents belong to a species of aliens with supernatural powers.

With the reluctant help of their timid friend Benardo, the boys dig deeper to find the truths hidden in their own lives. What they learn will change everything they thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

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SOOP Author Rohini SinghAbout Rohini Singh: Rohini is an author of young adult science fiction from the small Caribbean island of Trinidad. Her debut book, The Time Manipulator’s Son, is available for pre-order from Something or Other Publishing now!


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