Whether memoir, fiction, poetry, or essay, the challenge becomes bringing the reader along the arc of the story into an envisioned or recalled world. The conflicts, triumphs, and defeats that form the backbone of storytelling are richly enhanced when our inborn senses are evoked. We will discuss how being attentive in our everyday life can be helpful for describing important elements in our story. Topics for suggested reading will include mindfulness, works related to the senses, and references relevant to individual projects. Each session will begin with in-class writing centered on vision, sound, touch, taste, or smell—followed by an opportunity for students to share what they have recently written. This class will help advance a current project, stimulate a new idea, or simply bring a strong start to a blank notebook. Feedback comes from class discussion and from the instructor’s comments returned on writings you send to her by e-mail.
An innate element in human nature compels us to tell stories. And yet, every writer has experienced the wall—the overwhelming details of life, the fear of not having the precise words, and the fear that the precise words will alter one’s life in unexpected ways—these are the unwanted barriers that prevent us from sharing our stories. This class is designed to break through these barriers by providing the impetus for writers to pursue their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and imagination. By exploring the characteristics of a variety of genres, students will have the opportunity to perfect their unique voice and style. Each week participants will engage in reading and writing exercises designed to hone their skills. In addition, students will have the opportunity to share their stories in a receptive environment designed to produce writing confidence. Students will also receive written critiques from the instructor. (If available, please bring an example of your writing to the first session. A limited enrollment class)