Tuesdays, we discuss the art of crafting long fiction (because we are critiquing the chapters of our novels) so the first part is a lecture and the second half is saved for workshopping classmates’ work. Our instructor discussed the myriad ways an author can choose to start his/her chapters in a novel. While he discussed the possibilities, I wrote down notes for my story, already mixing up my flow for my novel. If anything, every time I walk into class, my brain whirs with information, absorbing and instantly applying those techniques to my work. Can you tell I’m still excited about this experience after my third week? Continue reading
Posted in MFA, Musings, Writing
Tagged brains, invisible cities, italo calvino, learning, long fiction, mfa program, national novel writing month, six memos, university of san francisco, usf, workshop, Writing, writing class, writing workshop
This week challenged my brain. Challenged my sensibilities. Most importantly, challenged my abilities as a writer and thinker.
In my workshop class, we critiqued a short story and discussed the techniques of craft and also, the themes weaved in that fine braid of storytelling and writing. I found myself struggling, but only briefly, because this is what I signed up for. I didn’t sign up to be entertained and/or talked at; I signed up to be pushed so I could think, flex my brain muscles, and dig deeper and further about the work at hand. After our class, I vowed to be focused and present in class instead of taking in information.
In my seminar class, I made the mistake of having a brief drink with classmates prior to class so I was utterly useless. Never doing that again. The first half of class, I kept trying to focus and I had to use the bathroom, so badly. After our break, I was able to concentrate and actually participate. Once the fog of the wine had cleared, I realized I hadn’t ever had the pleasure of discussing works of art at length like this in a classroom setting that demanded my attention this way. I sleptwalked through my Craft of Reading class because I couldn’t see past the writing (my opinion stopped my thinking) therefore, I didn’t participate as much. I have to remember that our instructor is also learning from us as well. He’ll be seeing these works of fiction in different ways based on our discussions in class. The nerdy student in me that wants to do my homework and haphazardly participates in class has to give up that story; she needs to step it the frak up.
Other than lots of inner reflection, I made time for myself and made sure to schedule completion of readings on time. I’m on the right track for now but ya know, life happens. I have to be ready for anything.
Until next week!