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Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:51 am
by glorybee
Well, folks--

I started this whole "writing class" bit a few years ago, with a series of lessons on

1. literary terms

Then I did one on

2. poetry terms and forms

and one on

3. writing basics

and finally, a class on

4. the writing challenge criteria

I'd like to do another class, I think (probably starting this spring), but I need your input. What would you like to have lessons on?

Edited to add--I'm especially interested in ideas that work for a series of related lessons. Some of these ideas are good, but I don't think I could make a whole class of them. Also, be sure to check the previous threads of this forum; you may find that a class for that issue already exists.

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:51 pm
by swfdoc1
What about a series of lessons that is, in effect, a writers' critique group? You could start by posting one of your old Challenge entries and do a self-critique. You could point out certain things you were trying to accomplish with the piece and tell whether you think it worked well or not. You could point out particular techniques you used. The possibilities are endless. Did you have a hard time editing to length? Did you struggle with the opening? The ending? The title? Did it flow (comparatively) effortlessly? Was it a real struggle? Was there one critical change that made the piece so much better than the first draft? Is there a flaw that you see now that you missed when you submitted? Are you uncertain about the effectiveness of something? You could also ask us our opinion about thigns.

Then we could agree or disagree with your self-critique, ask questions about it, make suggestions, add our critiques, let you know that you helped a light bulb go off for us, answer the questions you posed. Again, the possible responses are endless. Plus, once it gets rolling everyone can interact, not just with your original self-critique, but with each others comments, too.

Then after the first week (or several) you could invite us to submit one of our old entries and our self-critique. Of course, you would only be able to use one of our entries per week, so volunteers could pre-submit to you and you could pick one—maybe first come, first served; maybe an entry that is especially strong; maybe one that has some element you especially want to interact with.. Then everyone else (with you as the teacher going first) could play our normal role.

One advantage of this is that you would have a ready made starting point each week (whether you were self-critiquing or critiquing one of us). If you didn’t get enough (or any) volunteers or if you wanted to demonstrate something in particular that week, you can use one of your old entries again.

Another advantage is that this series could be as long or short as you want. It’s not like the challenge entry criteria where you had 10 (is it 10?) items to cover. With this you can stop at any point. Or if it’s popular, continue it for a long time.

Another advantage is that it should be very interactive, since we could all interact with each other and with you.

I know this is different, but it’s the only idea I’ve had so far.

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:51 pm
by pheeweed
I love Steve's idea. I was thinking that one of the many helpful things about your classes is the feedback on the homework. Leading us all in doing that would be helpful in a lot of different ways.

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:06 pm
by OldManRivers
I would love a class on self-editing and rewrites.

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:04 pm
by glorybee
Thanks for these replies, folks! I'll definitely keep these in mind. Like I said, I definitely won't be ready to start a new class until April at the earliest--but I'll be pondering these ideas.

Any others?

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:08 am
by Ms. Barbie
How about "How not to write"? :)

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:17 am
by Verna
I think I'd like a series of classes on "Steps to Creativity."

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:36 pm
by pheeweed
What I really need is how to come up with a plot. I can get ideas about people and situations, but how do I put them into an interesting, coherent and complete story?

What about a new class?

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:53 pm
by punkin
Jan-- I'd like one on the correct ways of writing dialogue. I've looked for books on it but haven't found one with good explanations of it. Everyone can use a little bit of knowledge on that. After all, you use dialogue in a lot of things that you write about. Just a thought!

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:00 pm
by glorybee
You can find a lesson on dialogue in the archives of my classes.

Here it is.

What about a new class?

Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:50 pm
by punkin
Thanks Jan for giving me the information. I know for me in dialogue and in writing general I struggle with the idea of showing verses telling. Sometimes I have a hard knowing the difference of the two. I can't see it until someone else is reading it. Then and only then does the lightbulb go on.

I know many others struggle with this topic to. Maybe this would be a good one. Maybe you can show us what makes a good showing story verses what makes it a telling story. It would help to know how to relate to it. What things make it a good "showing" story. What do editors look for when writing something that shows.

I've seen many things in the adds for wanting a showing not telling story, but at the same time I know there are all shorts of stories. Things like telling. and a combination of them. Maybe that would be a good topic for you and for us.

If not then I'm out of suggestion! HAHA!

Thanks though.

new writing class

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:14 am
by huffy
just read this post and find all the ideas excellent:)


Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:22 pm
by Kid Denver
How about a class on reading. The depth that one reads relates to the depth that one writes; some believe. If creative writing is art, a class on interpreting what has been written could be important. The better we understand what we read will improve our writing. Some call it critical reading or reponsive reading. What was the author trying to say? What techniques were used? Appreciation breeds understanding; understanding improves our own skills.
In "The Miniser's Black Veil" by Hawthorne, why did the preacher wear a black veil over his face? What was he trying to teach his congregation? Sometimes knowing how to read opens our own eyes to new posibilities in our own writing. Life isn't what it appears, just like writing isn't always what it appears.
In all honesty, both the reader and writer create a literary work. How a reader responds to a story or poem will help determine its meaning. The more conscious we are of how and why we respond to works in particular ways, the more likely we are to be imaginatively engaged in our reading, and our own writing.
We as writers can create a feeling of sadness but we cannot enforce it. It's a two way street between author and reader. The better we read, the better we write; some believe:)
Just a thought,
Henry C.


Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:17 pm
by Encourager
Dear glorybee,

This is not a class request but I came by to say hello. I am new to FaithWriter's and have written three stories. So far I have not faired too well in the outcome of the challenges. I have received very nice feedback in the box from the other members and I love and need that. I get encouraged as well dropping a positive review, sowing a seed of encouragement to others. In fact, when I was feeling sorry for myself the first thing the Lord told me was to stop thinking of me and how I placed and start planting seeds of encouragement to other beginners who need it as well.

Another thing the Lord shared was to investigate the different types of forums. Then I bumped into your class. I am so thrilled :Dto have found you. I thought all I had to go on was the assessment in order to work on my weak areas and keep up the sronger ones.

Since I don't have a lot of time to actually sit and read on the computer, you actually help me stay fit. I excercise on my eliptical machine and I love to read while I'm doing it. I just started copying today since today is when I've found your wonderful class.

I can tell you are a discerning, encouraging, friendly teacher and minister, and steeped in character. You care about your students and I am so thrilled to know that my skills will be improved and look professional because of the way you teach. :bow

God bless you and thanks for ministering to me already.


Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:05 am
by lauren
Hi Jan,
My name is Lauren. I am a young writer and was originally attracted to FaithWriters after reading your work. It has been so enjoyable to learn from your lessons, and I am delighted to hear that you are continuing them.

What do you think about "Writing from Your Own Experiences"? I have heard that it is impossible to write about anything that you cannot pull out of your own head (i.e. You must write about something that you are familiar with and understand thoroughly.)

Thank you so much.