I’ve been facilitating Creative Writing classes since 2013. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Creative Writing cannot be taught.
(a) I can preside professionally in a group setting, suggest better writing practice, encourage rewriting and editing, set deadlines and give informed feedback.
(b) No one can teach you to trust in what’s difficult.
(c) No one can bestow the tenacity to understand that good writing takes time and patience.
(d) Getting your story from original idea to the page is a deeply personal thing, an enterprise that is uniquely and individually yours.
2. There is no such a concept as beginner, intermediate and advanced – that’s for pony club, sheep dog trials and line dancing.
3. First lines and opening chapters should grab readers with urgency but they don’t have to overwhelm or take ten years to write.
4. Writing is work. Students who succeed have put their butts on seats often when it’s the last place their butts want to be. They don’t let WB (Writer’s block) anywhere near them, they dismiss him as a lame excuse, an easy distraction, those who succeed get the upper hand of him, conquer the blank page by not leaving the desk, not opening the sports pages, email or social media until they’ve written 500 words...before breakfast.
5. Humour is vital in writing, charming, reassuring and really difficult to get right. Some writers are naturally gifted with the comedic. Only some.
6. What doesn’t kill you gives you great raw material.
7. Aspiring writers need to read more. Amen.
8. Aspiring writers need to be more conscious of good grammar and punctuation: know your sentence types, hyphens, full stops, colons, semicolons, ellipses, parentheses, all of these are the nuts and bolts of language, the rules, all of which you can break but to break them you should know them.
9. Those who mercilessly kill their darlings go further. Sometimes you need cajones to just hit delete and start again.
10. Failure knocks on everyone’s door, rejections are par for the course. Keep them like farmers keep old machinery for spare parts.
TUTORIALS & WORKSHOPS
I do not believe writing can be taught, like a subject, like a craft.
I, however, can facilitate with professionalism my tutorials, Creative Writing Across the Genres for group workshops and individuals.
By providing an industrious environment, using my own experience, I enable output by fostering and encouraging participants, supported by good feedback and critical analysis.
1. Half day: 10.00 – 2.00 pm 6 – 8 participants
2. Full day: 10.30 – 4.30 8 – 10 participants
(a) Six week courses:
Wednesdays, October to April 7 – 9 pm 8 max.
(b) Private tuition
(d) Memoir writing.
(e) Proof reading and editing.
(f) Shadow Writing.
(g) Critical analysis and feedback.
(h) Wedding speeches.