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What I learned in writing class today

Narrative urgency: when your first sentence makes your reader want the second sentence, and your second sentence makes them want the third, and so on to the end.

It's brilliant, despite having been buried in THE MOST ANNOYING WRITING CLASS IN THE WORLD OMG, taught by an autodidact with pretensions of expertise because he writes a fairly prominent blog and has a novel coming out soon. And people like me sign up and pay good money to take his class. So, define "credentials", right? Anyway, someone who irritates me as much as this guy does probably has a lot to teach me.



He has assigned us grammar texts. I am already a crazed grammaring fascist--in more than one language. I don't play that game anymore. Oh, and he doesn't like capslock or slang or text speak or exclamation marks. It's like he's never heard of the internet.

Let me ask you this: would you speak to five strangers, for ten minutes each, about your passion for writing? No, me neither. But he assigned that as part of our homework for the week. So I said, "Not gonna happen" and he gave me shit about my "attitude" and I said, "What is this, junior high?" and I thought, Honey I'm twice your age (HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNET???@!?!?!?!!?) and was heading into "get off my lawn" territory in my mind when he said that all writing should be "funny and/or fun" and I started losing my shit for brand new reasons, because WTELF??

About an hour later someone in the class backed him into a corner on that patently absurd statement, and he expanded the meaning of "fun" to include, basically, whatever the fuck he wants it to mean in the moment--inspirational, uplifting, redemptive, instructive, meaningful, useful. So, all writing should be "funny and/or worth reading by some unknowable standard that you as the writer can only define for yourself."

You know, that advice actually...doesn't suck. Just smite me now.

He also told us to practice "jam-session" writing--freeform un-self-edited page-filling--for at least an hour every day this week. I got excited because, hey, I can do that.

Then he said we have to keep the vomiting focused on a single topic (of our choice), and we have to turn it in. So when I do a type-as-you-go shamanic journey to discover the key conflict in the Teen Wolf/Grimm crossover fic I'm currently working on, I guess he gets to see the resulting word-spew.

Oh well. It'll serve him right if I include knotting.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.

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