Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Class Is In Session

Tonight I'm starting an intense 7 week writing course offered by a local published author where she will be teaching us how she writes. The class is small, just 6 students, so we will get some excellent one on one training. I love HTTS and I'm learning many ideas in that class, but I learn better in a classroom environment than reading a book.

We have been assigned a critique partner. Each week we will have assignments, and we will exchange the assignment with our partner and critique each other. I hope the teacher will also offer some critiques. This is another chance for me to practice writing, giving critique, receiving critique and applying critique.

Now, I don’t think this author has any sort of magic pixie dust that she can sprinkle on me and magically my writing will improve. I do think she’s been vetted. She’s been through the course and pass all the markers. She's climbed the mountain I so desperately want to climb. I've been told that if you want to accomplish something, find someone who has accomplished what you want to accomplish and learn everything you can from them. That’s what I see this as.

Between this, How to Think Sideways, and the books on writing I’ve read (Bird By Bird, Writing Fiction for Dummies, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years), the myriad of blogs I’ve read on writing,  I’ve accumulated a ton of head knowledge about writing. Dave Ramsey always says that personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% doing it. It seems to me writing is similar. You can learn a lot about writing, and good gravy there’s a lot of information out there. It’s time now to put all that head knowledge to work with pen to page or finger to key.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Laurie Tom said...

If she's a good teacher (some writers are good writers, but not necessarily good teachers), the class should be immensely helpful. My own writing kicked up a notch after attending workshops taught by a local YA author in my area.

He's not a household name, but he was very insightful about what works and what increases tension in a story.

Ted said...

She's not a household name either, but the first session was very informative and the group is small. We are doing weekly writing exercises and getting critiqued. I'm excited to see how much I can improve.