Monday, May 4, 2015
- Humblebragging - read and create yours on this doc
- Scriptwriting ideas - write a blog reflection on the ideas that stand out to you and what you feel comfortable incorporating into your work
- Submit a script here - just one scene, but use stage directions, unique characters, and have some type of conflict
Monday, April 20, 2015
- Paste some of your works into AnalyzeMyWriting. What do you notice? Write a short reflection about patterns you see as well as any surprises or things you want to work on. http://www.analyzemywriting.com/
- Read through the following rules at an actual (albeit very conservative) college. Create a unique place and without describing the place, create a set of rules for this place. Add them to this doc when you’re done
- Read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s top novels and work on this together
- Read Screenwriting tips
- Begin drafting a script of a scene --> Next week we'll focus on more technical details. For now, work on the idea of the scene, the characters, and what is going to happen. A rough draft will be due during next week's assignment.
Monday, April 13, 2015
- Please see email
Monday, March 23, 2015 (work due Friday)
- Congrats to Juliet, Chyna, and Lia for being selected to read at the Omni as part of the VA Festival of the Book! Our virtual class was well-represented and they did an amazing job!
- Read The Last Department” and on your blog, comment on Katia Ulysse's use of detail throughout, describing your favorite lines from the short story (it was edited by Edwidge Danticat). Then discuss the ending, including any of the following: use of detail/imagery, if it was expected, your opinion, the perfect ending, the pacing, etc. Email if you have any questions.
- Read "Say Yes! to Everything" on the creative process and write, on your blog, about which ideas you might steal as well as what your creative process is now.
- Write a piece and share in Google Docs - free choice
Monday, March 9, 2015 (work due Friday)
- Showing, not telling exercise - read through this and complete the exercise - post to either a Google Doc or your blog
- Provide detailed feedback to classmates based on writing pieces submitted this week - USE THIS FORM
- Complete a new piece - free choice - and share with me by Friday
Monday, March 2, 2015 (work due Friday)
- Maya Angelou news (just read - no reflection needed)
- Self-doubt - how does self-doubt play into your writing? Have you ever written anything you thought was brilliant, only to hate it later? What steps can you take to improve your confidence as a writer?
- Read Edwidge Danticat's "The Missing Peace" and write a reflection on your blog about it focusing on her use of detail and how she develops her characters - think about how Danticat shows you who her characters really are
- Emulationy exercise - take one of your favorite books and write a random page into a document. On your blog, reflect on the process - what did you notice about one of your favorite author's writing that you may not notice when reading them? What was this exercise like for you?
- Setting a scene exercise - Read this - then create a scene in the three parts described, and then combine the parts into a flash fiction piece
- Have a piece of writing shared with me by Friday morning - can be a poem, short story, or script
Monday, February 16, 2015
- "Giving Kindness" poetry contest - read through the guidelines and submit a piece by Friday, February 20 to me through Google Drive.
- Read Shel Silverstein's "The Missing Piece" - What is it about Silverstein's style, tone, and word choice make this story work or not work for you? As a writer, what are two ideas or techniques that you can take away from this piece? Post this to your blog.
- What is flash fiction? - read through those examples. Essentially, flash fiction is incredibly short fiction that must create a scene or scenes, have believable conflict, and some sort of conclusion in a short amount of time. It's a lot harder than it sounds. Create a piece of flash fiction (for this, let's keep the story under 500 words) and post it to your blog.
- Read through The typewriter series - The philosophy behind this is that the author writes poetry on random slips of paper with no editing. Create your own "typewriter" poem, that is, a poem to your blog that you just write and post - no editing, no second-guessing, just writing.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
- Read "Duende" and reflect on this on your blog. What is duende, how present do you think it is in your writing, and what can you do to bring it out more?
- Read "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" and answer the following question on your blog in two paragraphs - How does Gabriel Garcia Marquez use magical realism and how does it reveal new perspectives of reality?
- Workshop Festival contest pieces from last week
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
- Begin an entry for VA Festival of the Book contest. Click on the link to view the contest guidelines and requirements. You may submit work in either prose or poetry. Send a final piece by Friday so we can workshop them next week.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson on Change - Write reflection on blog about Emerson's ideas of change and how it relates to you as a writer
- Don't Share! - Read this, no reflection needed
Monday, January 12th, 2015
- "Thought" verbs advice <-- Read advice from Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, among other novels, on his avice on thought verbs and see what you can take of this and incorporate into your own writing
- "When the World Ends" <-- CNN CEO Ted Turner made a video that he wanted CNN to play when the world ended. This is that video. On your blog, write about the video you would want to show the world if the world was ending. Some more background here.
- "Under the Stairs" <-- This is a great poem on the memories a place can evoke. The specific and sensory details bring this poem to life. In Google Docs or on your blog, write a poem (at least three stanzas) or a memoir piece about a specific place. Make sure your piece has specific and sensory details that will bring your story to life.
- Writing resolutions - On your blog, what are your writing resolutions for 2015? What goals are you setting for yourself as a writer as we enter the third quarter and a brand new year?
Monday, December 8th, 2014
- Midterm exam schedule
- Selection from Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life
- In your blog, discuss Tobias Wolff's style and what worked in this selection
- Create your own holiday - In your blog, design your own holiday. Explain why it should be a holiday and what the celebration of it would entail. This will be a part of a collaborative project with other classes. Email if you have any questions. Please post both by Friday.
Monday, December 1st, 2014
- Read "The Other Miller" by Tobias Wolff and pay attention to the amount of detail he used and how the detail affected the story. Also pay attention to the idea of reality and how Wolff plays with this.
- Create a writing piece that relies heavily on details and distorting the reader's sense of reality. Share this with me on Google Docs by Friday, December 5th.
- Your midterm is 20% of your total grade. It'll involve creating a writing piece as a short story and poetry and examining the similarities and differences between the two pieces. There will also be a reading where you will analyze the writer's style and elements of the story. Please stop by if you have any questions.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
- For this module we'll be focusing on memoir, which is non-fiction writing. There are two non-fiction pieces you will submit for this module, one being an exercise and the other being a memoir piece about any event in your life. Be sure to use vivid detail and to not just tell your story, but to use your details and dialogue to give the readers an authentic feel of what you are writing about. Both pieces will be due Tuesday, November 25th.
- Read Something Isn't Right" by Augusten Burroughs
- David Sedaris reading
- Assignment #1 - Oops - an exercise in embarrassment - Write about an embarrassing moment you've experienced
- Assignment #2 - Choose any event in your life to write about, large or small. Use the guidelines stated above when writing.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
- Complete all parts of "Dream Piece" parts one and two on Canvas
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
- Overcoming writer's block
- Blog entry - Do you experience writer's block and how do you overcome it?
- Poetry contest - send a poem through Google Drive to me by next Tuesday, 10/28
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
- 1. List-making
- Create a list - You can either post this straight to your blog or you can share it with me in Google Drive if you'd like to edit it first
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
- Some background on Flannery O'Connor
- Flannery O'Connor - "The River"
- Blog entry - Discuss the theme of faith and how O'Connor shows it using examples from the story
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
- Daily writing prompts - sign up if interested - it's a great way to
- Ernest Hemingway quote - “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say." - You don't have to do anything with this quote, but I wanted you to read it and think about it. It's one of my favorite quotes.
- Show, Don't Tell - For 10 minutes, write about an emotion without using any words that describe emotions. Instead, use details to show how a person is feeling, not telling. The Write Practice compares showing vs. telling to be going to see a movie instead of hearing from your friend about her date. For this exercise, you want to SHOW and not tell. Please post this exercise to your blog when you finish.
Monday, September 22nd, 2014
- What is Point of View (POV)? - read through this
- Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" - think about how the first person POV works here and how this story would be different from another POV
- Some background info on Sherman Alexie if you're interested
- On your blog, post a paragraph from something you have written in the past. Then rewrite that piece using a different point of view in that same entry. After that, discuss how the change in POV affected your story and which POV you felt was more effective.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014
- Read interview w/ James Salter
- On your blog, what is at least one tip or technique you can use from James Salter?
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
- Read "Last Night" by James Salter and post a reaction to your blog focusing on how Salter used description and dialogue to enhance his story.
- Share a writing piece with me by Wednesday, September 17th.
Thursday, September 11th, 2014
- "Four of a Kind" - Write a reaction to this with an emphasis on how the author uses his voice and style to convey meaning and evoke emotion from his readers.
- Have a story or poem shared with me by Friday for our first virtual workshop next week
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
- Please sign up for a blog at Edublogs and post info here (if you do it on your own). If you already have another blog and want to use that, you can. If you don't have another blog already, we'll use Edublogs.
- Complete any work not completed from Thursday's agenda. My share email is email@example.com
Thursday, September 5th, 2014
- Student questionnaire
- Warm-up: What are your thoughts on this quote? How does this affect your writing. This is something you can write in Google Docs and post it to your blog later, of if you already have a blog, can post it straight there. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD
- Begin a writing piece (short story, poem, or non-fiction) that you will be able to share virtually with your classmates by next Thursday, 9/11
- Please see me in A201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions