Wednesday, July 19, 2006


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm working on creating a syllabus for an as-yet pretend class that I hope to someday teach. I would love to hear comments on what people think of this progression of topics. The class will be college-level fiction, and will include some at-home reading, a short lecture, an exercise on the topic, and then a workshop. Did I miss any important topics? Are there ones I should skip?

Week 1— Introductions, Spotlight on: Beginnings

Week 2—Spotlight on: Reading as a writer

Week 3—Spotlight on: Getting to know your characters

Week 4—Spotlight on: Point of view

Week 5—Spotlight on: Dialogue

Week 6—Spotlight on: Plot

Week 7—Spotlight on: Narrative voice

Week 8—Spotlight on: Creating suspense

Week 9—Spotlight on: Metaphors and similes

Week 10—Spotlight on: Endings

Week 11—Spotlight on: Self-editing

Week 12—Spotlight on: Ways to keep yourself motivated/connected to a writerly environment Best Blogger Tips


ian russell said...

I'm not a writer but I have talked to writers in the past and they mention (a lot) the distinction between ''show'' and ''tell''. did you ever get into this?


the storm appeared to worsen and as the small plane dipped towards the runway, John felt very afraid. At times like this he always had absurd thoughts, like comparing the storm to a car wash - for light aircraft! (tell)

His guts reeled as if in opposition to the plane's descent, his fingers biting into the seat in front as if possessed with demonic strength. Torrents lashed across the tiny windshield and the thunder crashed - so why the hell was he thinking of the car wash at a time like this?! (show)

just a thought in passing - you may have a handle on it already. :o)

TI said...

But, didn't you have a productive evening! Impressive! Your syllabus looks great. I think all writers, and especially beginning writers, have issues about staying with the process (you know, the Bird by Bird, shitty first draft, Artist's Way type stuff). Maybe you plan to address that in Week 1? There's a classic writing book by Dorothea Brand (Becoming a Writer) where she suggests that unless a writer can push past that stuff (the inner critic etc) all other teaching will be lost on her/him. I guess I'm saying that it would be good to devote some time to it. TI

Bug said...

THanks to you both. Great ideas. I will incoporate them!