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?
Our workshop moved differently than other workshops I’ve had. Instead of zooming in and everything that worked and needed polishing, we zoned in on perspective for both pieces that night. Perhaps because both of these narratives’ focused mostly on POV was a huge reason why we discussed this aspect but I found that useful and productive. We had already written letters to the authors anyway so why nitpick in front of the class. It’s about the author’s work at the end of the day, not what everyone else thought needed work.
I was prepared and sober this time! Win! The novel, Invisible Cities, a dense read for me and others, I’m sure prompted a somewhat lively discussion regarding structure, intent, and weavings of Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millenium in the mix. I honestly felt like I should have had at least two weeks to study both but alas, I only had one. What did I learn here? Calvino’s purpose for this novel was to discuss how humans interacted with the world through his character, Marco Polo, descriptions of each city. He flipped the structure, used variety with each chapter and in using conversations between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, he used them as a way for the reader to identify or have a dialogue with the writer. Calvino’s a clever writer and I can see why our instructor chose this work and why his work is still read presently.
Insights overall? My brain is re-calibrating with each class, each thought, each reading to form a strong writer with better writing habits and a stronger understanding of my intention with my work.
See ya next week!
P.S. So many social outings I had to turn down for schoolwork. How can I connect with my cohort when I’m working 5 days a week and the only time I have for school work is the weekend (when they’re hanging out)? Time management. Still a bummer though. 😦
But future outings?