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Tag Archives: literary techniques
I’ve just posted the latest round of classes, October through December, and wanted to call out a couple of highlights.
I’m in the process of planning my next round of classes, and I’d like some input.
People have requested something to take after the Writing F&SF Stories class, and I’ve been thinking about a masterclass/workshop. This would rely primarily on workshopping stories from students and would only be open to advanced students.
A metaphor that I was exposed to at Clarion West (now nearly a decade ago) still works beautifully for me, and it’s one I use when teaching: the idea of the writer’s toolbox.
In my mind’s eye, it’s a big red metal tool chest, small enough to be carried around, large enough that you wouldn’t want to HAVE to carry it around all the time. Inside, drawers lift out to reveal neatly packed devices and tools, each in their own padded slot.
There’s a blade capable of lopping off awkward paragraphs, and sharper, tinier words designed for work at the sentence level, trimming beginnings till they catch a reader like a fish hook and pull them into the story. There’s a box of punctuation marks, with a special slot for the semicolons. There’s the intricate device of an unreliable narrator, calculated to wobble like a gyroscope yet still remain true to the story’s course. There’s a set of filters, each one a specific point of view, each letting you cast a section in a different light. And a layer of ornamental gadgetry: epigraphs and scraps of poetry. And a valuable gimlet, capable of drilling down to a character’s motivation: the question, “What does s/he WANT?”
Right now I’m running a special on the online Writing F&SF Stories class that’s starting this Saturday, December 1. It is six Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30 AM PST. I’m also offering an early sign-up rate on January and February classes. Pay by December 15 and get the early rate. It’s been fun planning this round and trying to come up with some new and interesting stuff as well as repeating the successful classes. So here’s the list: Writing F&SF Short Stories, Editing 101, Flash Fiction Workshop, Literary Techniques in Speculative Fiction, Building an Online Presence for Writers, First Pages Workshop, (new class) The Art of the Book Review, and (new class) What You Need to Need About Electronic Publishing.
Want more details about the classes? You can find descriptions, dates, and costs on the Upcoming Classes page, where you can also sign-up to be on the mailing list!