September 28, 2014, in Bel Air, MD
“The Just Write. Writers Conference brings in successful regional authors to work with
community writers of all levels and genres. You’ll learn and get advice from the pros,
the ones who have been there, written that! Five sessions with these established
writers will guide you through the process of beginning a project, editing your
work, or getting your book read. Jump start your writing this Fall!” — http://hcpl-justwrite.com/
Yesterday morning, I enjoyed a writing workshop titled “Elements of Fiction: Point of View Boot Camp” led by Jennifer Buxton https://writer.org/jenniferbuxton. Jennifer was skills-focused, and ran us through a number of creative activities to illustrate the various points of view that might be used in narration. Take any one event and tell it from the different perspectives of all involved. Consider proximity and distance, variations in knowledge, awareness, attention, intelligence, interest. How would an anthropologist describe the event? How would a priest? How would a child see things differently from an adult or an elder? What if you have several competing or divergent points of view? What if some points of view are unreliable? Changing the lens you’re looking through changes the story. Recommended: Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories http://www.amazon.com/Points-View-Revised-James-Mofferr/dp/0451628721 and The Art of Fiction http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Fiction-Notes-Writers/dp/0679734031
I’ve attended many workshops at the Writers Center in Bethesda, MD. http://www.writer.org/ , most recently, workshops focused on dialogue, point of view, and “how to write a page turner.” How do you capture the voices, accents, personalities, and quirks of characters inside of quotation marks? How do you tell a story through the consciousness and senses and perspective of one or several people? How do you get your reader so worked up or curious or irritated that s/he can’t wait to read the next sentence? Plenty of practical advice and creative options for writers, especially from this fellow, Amin Ahmad http://www.axahmad.com/ Highly recommended.
I will be facilitating two workshops for the Anne Arundel Community College Curriculum Transformation Project’s Diversity Institute tomorrow, May 23rd, from 11-12:30 and 1:30-3:00. Hope to see you there! More info at http://www.aacc.edu/ctp/aboutus.cfm
It’s that time of year again when college administrators ask students to complete “student opinion forms” for their courses — electronic surveys meant to assess a professor’s use of class time, expertise in the subject matter, grading practices, etc. These surveys attempt to quantify “opinion,” but there’s no more accurate assessment of the job I’ve done than to see the great big beaming smiles of pride on my students’ faces when they hand me their final exam essays describing what they have learned from the course and they tell me I was the toughest AND the best teacher they’ve ever had. Hugs, handshakes, and promises to stay in touch. I like that. It says it all.