Fact or Fiction? You Decide!


I've just today started a free Open University course titled Start Writing Fiction. While I know I can write well, I've always wanted to write a novel but fear I lack the necessary imagination. I'm hoping this course will unleash the creative beast within me and have me writing, if not no entire novels, then at least some satisfactory short stories.

Anyway, the first exercise was two write two paragraphs, one containing three fictions and one fact, and one containing three facts and one fiction. Can you spot the fact and fictions in my efforts?

3 fictions, 1 fact:

I'm not a very adventurous person but one of the most exciting things I ever did was a parachute jump. The exhilaration I felt as I leapt from the plane took my breath away. It was scary, but not nearly as terrifying as the time I was kayaking down the Zambezi and a crocodile attacked my canoe. Within seconds the inflatable vessel had deflated, leaving me thrashing around in the water, not knowing whether or not the crocodile was hanging around waiting for his dinner. My fears were answered the second I felt its teeth rip into my arm. But I guess if I was to pick the most frightening thing that's ever happened to me, it would have to be the day I met the Queen.

3 facts, 1 fiction:

The girl handed over her CV with some trepidation. She knew she had a chequered work history, and she wasn't sure which of the rather mundane jobs she'd mentioned would be treated with the most derision. Would it be the part time job in the old people's home, loading the dishwashers after their evening meal? The paper round, where she collected the money from under her customers' doormats? The waitressing, curtailed after she threw soup in a diner's lap? Or her most recent job, stacking shelves in a small hardware store?


So which is the true fact in the first paragraph, and which is the work of fiction in the second?

If you want to join me on the course you'll find all the info here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/start-writing-fiction/


Updates on my 101 things list


Well I haven't crossed anything else off the list yet but I have made headway in a couple of things.

#56 Cook a soufflé, a fondant and beef Wellington. Two out of three can be crossed off, just the beef to go! I cook Steve a three course meal as a belated Valentines treat and did a Stilton soufflé and chocolate fondant. (I decided fillet beef was too expensive this week so did belly pork instead … Nom not!)

The soufflé was a big success … It took twice as long as the recipe said, and flopped slightly as I took it out of the oven, but the texture was interesting and the flavour was really good. ill definitely bake it again – and maybe even try different soufflés!

And the fondant …. Well, I had major technical issues as the whisk attachment kept falling off the electric hand blender and flying off across the kitchen, and the handle then fell off the balloon whisk .. I ended up doing it in the food processor, by which time the eggs had been sitting in hot water for ages and were probably cooked. So it was a bit of a disaster really, but I did bake a fondant pudding, and it tasted a lot better than it look!

#15: Write and publish my own book. Having started my book back in November I sat on it for a while, but decided to get it finished last week and wrote 10,000 words in a day! The weekend saw me tweaking the content and adding more, bringing the book up to a very respectable (for non-fiction) 33,000 words. Also organised a Facebook virtual launch, got a cover designed and put together a website. The book launches on Amazon on 6th April and I've got 4 pre-orders already!

#101 Change my name. Following my previous post I've actually decided that though I like the sound of Alison Cornelius it's not me, so I will be returning to my maiden name, Alison Thompson. The first use of it is on the cover of my book …