Hello again, my pretties. Class 2.2 of Working Around with Prose is now posted. In it, I use the topic of "pre-writing" as an excuse to dispense all sorts of advice about your project. Pre-writing is like research; a lot of it never makes it into the first draft, but you have to do it all in order to find that one piece-of-gold idea or detail that DOES make it in.
After that, I laid down some ways of thinking about the opening paragraphs of your project. It's important. It should introduce readers to your protagonist, and give a sense of how the protagonist's flaw(s) is (are) totally their life.
All this and more awaits you at:
(note that you have to copy & paste that link into your browser; it's not live. Weebly, while wonderful, wants money for the privilege of including a live link.
Gentle reader, in the most recent installment of "Wording Around with Prose" (Week 2, Class 1) our hero talks about, well, heroes -- specifically, the need for them to have a want, a need, and a flaw. And that the hero is the character who transforms the most by the end of the story. But before that, I offer some tips on doing research -- into the genre that you are writing (Hint: look at some how-to books specific to that genre, and read widely in the genre), and also into the stuff going on within the story itself.
Week 1, Class 2 of Wording Around with Prose is available at Wording Around on Facebook.
In this talk, I hold forth on the importance of holding your writing time precious; if you don't, others won't either. It's a decision you need to come to. Then there's a bit of talk about alternatives to a chronological narration. The resource I recommend is Jack Hodgson's book "A Passion for Narrative" -- a bit dated, but fantastic advice on writing craft, and the assignment is can be summed up in ten words: gather all the material for your project in one place.
I started teaching the free online course on writing prose on Monday. To see the video, go to Wording Around's Facebook page, and click on "Videos". The most recent video is the first one on the left.
In this one, I introduce the course a bit, then talk about what stops people from writing, and what gets us writing in the first point. Then some nitty-gritty on point of view. Give a good resource for people starting a big project (NaNoWriMo's "NaNo 101" guide -- it's free online), and a Freefall writing exercise.
Next class, Thursday night. Gonna talk a bit more about starting projects, and dive deeper into storytelling techniques that work well in prose.
Join author and teacher Kathy Mac online for seven weeks of advice and inspiration on writing effective creative prose
Some of what she says may be familiar, some of it may be new to you, and if you hang around long enough, probably some will scald your ears as you race to your keyboard to comment on just how wrongheaded it is.
The focus is on any sort of prose: fiction, short or long, creative nonfiction (memoir, travel-writing, long-form journalism). But much of what she covers are concerns and skills that transfer to other genres if, for example, you are more focused on scripts or poetry, especially narrative poetry.
When and How and Where
Duration: From Monday April 6 until Thursday May 21
Frequency: 2 twenty-minute lectorials* every week
(*Lectorial: less formal than a lecture, less interactive than a tutorial)
When: Live: Monday and Thursday evenings, 7:30pm Atlantic time
Canned: If you can’t make the live feed, video of the lectorials will be available any time on the Facebook page
Where: The Wording Around page on Facebook; these will be live videos. Look on the left margin for the word “Video”. A red “Live” box beside it means the lectorial is started. Click on the word, or the video feed in your Facebook page.
To see a video on what the course will entail, go to:
Thank you once again for having me. I'm going on vacation. I'm taking the Domanski copies Mr. Tyler Haché recommended me. Hopefully I'll finish Persona 5 before class starts in four weeks. Thanks again to Tyler, Eddie Dust, Charlotte Simmons, and Heather Clark for lending their time and poetry to our blog, and for giving me a whole bunch of good stuff to take in (not pictured: Black Beauty, Tales of the City (2019), Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, "Iron and the Soul," some sad sad music courtesy of Mr. Dust, Stations of the Left Hand, and Earthly Pages). And even though we couldn't work out something for Drue MacPherson and Ruby Poulette, thanks to them for coming out to STU back in March for their participation in the 2019 Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference.
Be seeing you.
- Jamie Kitts, Managing Editor May 2018 - August 2019
As the ACPA Editors, we wish to keep you up to date with new entries and exciting poetry news.