Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's up in my writing life

So I believe I mentioned in a previous post (maybe. I'm so behind on here WHO KNOWS.) that I'm taking a fiction-writing class this term. The only reason I've been writing ANYTHING this month is because I HAVE to for the class. Which is pathetic. But also encouraging, because it shows that I CAN write if I have a deadline and creative people poking my brain. ^_^

I don't really understand writing slumps. I mean, I love writing. I really do. So why do I sometimes (OFTEN) want to do just about ANYTHING besides write???? Is it because all my current projects are giving me way too much pressure? That sounds truthful as I type it. :P

But, wow, this post isn't supposed to be self-awareness catalyst. I want to blog about my class, darnit!!!!

Our teacher is really an interesting person. She's the kind of free-flowing, purple-vested, burkenstock-wearing hippie person that normally drives me BONKERS. You know, the smiley teacher that wants to be friends with everyone immediately and says things like "precious" and, well, "precious"? Maybe I'm the only who's bothered by nice people. LOL anyway, she did drive me bonkers for the first three weeks, but I suddenly realized this week that she has ceased to bother me really at all (and today we had a lecture about MEDITATION. Not that I have anything against meditation, but it was just what she WOULD do in a fiction-class.).
Our assignments are mostly 300-word "scenarios" with an assigned prompt, usually involving an emotion (such as love turning to suspicion, which is this week's) or a list of details we have to include (these are killers). I'm really enjoying the scenarios for the most part, though. I'm taking the opporchancity to practice writing stuff I normally don't do, like sci-fi, first-person, future tense, and zombies (I did it for you, Merc. I did it for you. lol.). The future tense and the zombies have been among the most fascinating.
We're also reading short stories by people like Flannery O'Connor (okay, mostly Flannery O'Connor) and a writing how-to book by the Gotham Writer's Workshop??? It's surprisingly good (by surprisingly I mean yes, I DID judge it by its cover). It has good essays by different people about important elements of craft (like plot, characters, description, etc).
Besides all that, we also have two full-length short stories due over the term. I've completed the rough of one.
This leads me to the best part of this class, and that is FEEDBACK. Just having the opportunity to work on our work with other people is great. The teacher gives us TONS of notes and suggestions on our turned-in work, especially the short stories, and we can get lots of verbal feedback if we opt to read ours aloud (I chickened out on the zombie-one. I'm pretty sure you have to have a Zombie Reading Voice, which takes years of training and a special diet.).
All the people in the class are CRAZY, too. It's so refreshing cuz everyone WANTS to be there, and there's no shy or reserved people, so we all discuss and bash and praise. :)

That's really all I have to say about that. :) I'm writing a ton of random fiction that I never otherwise would have, and it's given me plenty of great ideas and lessons for what I should include in future stuff. #win


Snazel said...

I'm so glad your teacher isn't annoying any more! And Hurrah for deadlines. :D

*general approval*

Merc said...

*bows and is pleased at the inclusion of zombies* B-)

A very interesting look at your class--thanks for sharing.