Showing posts with the label teaching writing

Writer's Wednesday: What I'm learning while teaching

For the last few weeks I've been teaching a class on novel writing at the local senior-education non-profit. I started with a lot of ideas about what I should cover and how I should teach it, almost all of which I had to chuck the first day. Instead, my four students and I are wandering through different aspects of creating a story, the decisions that must be made about character, setting, plot, voice, narrative point of view, etc.  The result? A great excuse for me to delve more deeply into elements of my craft that I haven't thought about consciously, or haven't thought about enough. I get to talk about them with people who read a lot and write at least some. My neat and orderly progression through the stages of writing got dumped, but I, at least, am learning a lot! Here are some of the very relevant things I've been thinking about: Character . What does it take to make a character that readers will like, identify with, or at the least give a hoot about? How do you m

Writer's Wednesday: Teaching

It's time for this writer to check in with a progress report, and what I have to report is... less writing, more thinking. This state of affairs has been brought on by me having agreed to teach a class on novel writing at a local senior center. This in turn has forced me to do something I haven't done for a couple of decades: class prep. This turns out to be a good thing, on the whole. Yes, I'm using my writing time to prep for class. But what I'm really doing is thinking about aspects of creating a novel. This week, for example, I've been focused on character. For those of you with amazing memories, you may recall that character is exactly what has been giving me holy heck in the last novel, so this might be a good thing. At this point, I am realizing how much needs to be juggled in writing our characters: their voices. Their backstories. Their conflicts and motivations. Oh, yeah, and their physical descriptions, which I tend to more or less leave out, and is that