Going to Writing School

typing

Found at typinglounge.com – No image credit given

So I signed up for a writing class called The Art and Craft of Writing led by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright. You can find out more about her books at Amazon.

The class will last throughout the month of November, I suppose to coincide with National Novel Writing Month or “NaNoWriMo” (though we won’t be writing a novel).

There’s a private, dedicated Facebook page for the class, as well as a discussion list where students can communicate with each other and Jagi.

We’ve been teamed up in small groups of writers who are attracted to similar genres (in my case, science fiction and fantasy). We receive an assignment each week, and after we respond to the assignment, we share it with our other group members. We make suggestions on each other’s work, edit our own work accordingly, and then turn it in to Jagi.

Oh, one of the group members doesn’t have Word, so we’re collaborating using Google Docs, which is an interesting experience, since it’s totally new to me.

I have no idea what happens after that, because we’re still in the middle of the first assignment.

Given that I paid for the privilege of participating in this class, I suppose I shouldn’t reveal the details about each lesson and such, lest I tip my hand relative to Jagi’s intellectual property.

I’m writing this to say that writing isn’t just about writing in isolation. I participate in a number of online writing challenges, not only to pit my skills against a set of constraints, but to interact with other writers and mine their experience.

In this case, I’ve gone a step further, and am opening myself up to criticism (not all criticism is bad) from my peers and my instructor.

I’ve been paid as a technical editor before, so I know what it’s like to look over someone’s work and to respond. Having had each of my (non-fiction) books scrutinized by six different editors, I know the best and the worst ways to comment on another author’s content.

So far, the other group members and I seem to be getting along well, but then, we’ve just “met” each other.

I might comment on my experience as the class proceeds. So far I’m having a lot of fun taking portions of some of my pre-existing stories and reworking them for the first assignment.

Unfortunately, I haven’t slept well these past three nights, so my brain feels like it’s full of cotton candy and iron filings. I’m hoping to catch up on my rest (at least at night) this weekend.

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10 thoughts on “Going to Writing School

  1. This sounds exciting! So many people think writing is a task that is done and honed in isolation but the truth is that writing workshops and classes can be of huge benefit. I took a Creative Writing class in my undergraduate years at college and that class helped me immensely with understanding how to accept and give feedback, as well as simply hone my basic grammar and syntax. I hope you gain a lot of insight from this writing class & get to catch up on some sleep, James!

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  2. I hope you enjoy your course and that the feedback you receive will be constructive and helpful. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about the course’s value as you progress through it this month.

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