I’m undertaking a Future Learn course called Start Writing Fiction. It actually started in January, but I’ve only just found it. The course involves some exercises, so I thought it would be useful to try them out and share my attempts here.

Write a paragraph (50 to 100 words) containing one fact and three fictitious elements.

You can write about yourself, about your interests, about history – about anything you like. Then try the reverse – write a paragraph containing three facts and one fictitious element. Red denotes fiction, blue fact.

Anne always felt she was beguiling, bewitching and intensely beautiful. It seeped through to her being from her innermost soul, this alarmingly distracting self-belief in her own intelligence at playing this game. If she had faults, she hid them well beneath a veil of talents and skills, crafts learned methodically and with purpose. She was born to be a queen. Whether she would become one was anyone’s guess.

What’s interesting about the fiction elements is that they could be true. Using a historical character (Anne Boleyn) we cannot be sure. We do/can not know what she always felt, nor about any self-belief.

She was the daughter of a powerful and ambitious nobleman, with much of her fate probably sealed from birth. Her older sister was already in great favour, as the yielding, soft, beautiful, compliant mistress of her king, conventionally pretty, beautiful even, lovely though lacking style and wit. Mary was always deeply envious of Anne.

As you can see, I’ve already hit my first problem in creative writing. I’m wishing to write about fact, not fiction. Struggling on…first hurdle!