Monday, January 23, 2006

The Saddest Day of the Year?

Back after a week's teaching, talking writing or writing from 0700 sometimes through to 0200 and I'm drained, low, achey, you name it. I find it hard to believe I'll ever write another thing.

Hence I need to run two flash sessions tonight before I start believing it (we welcome visitors BTW)

The course began one evening with Dave and Michael, then at the end of the second full day, Nancy, Lexie, Fleur and Caroline arrived (interesting changes to the dynamics). Dave managed 3 full days after the evening, Michael four, and Fleur left the same time (on the Saturday morning). I mention this only to remind myself how many times the dynamic changed, affected by individual personality, gender mix, numbers, and the knowledge that X or Y or A&B were leaving shortly.

There were writing lessons in this alone.

In the middle we managed to visit the chapel, that may well, in a year or less's time be a home and a writing school.

Is anyone surprised I ended up in the pulpit?

Actually I declined thirteen offers before climbing up, and of course cameras appeared, but the whole setting is fascinating, the way the pulpit adds aura and presence, raised up, with a painted background to highlight the preacher. (My great grandfather was a deacon in the English Congregational Church, Senghennydd, Glamorgan

The course(s) were tough, long, emotional, intense, and we wrote more than we usually do. I managed a few articles, 3-4 poems and two flashes, one inspired by (more on that in a later blog).

We concentrated a lot on openings, voice, theme-music, intent, "shaping the reader" and so on. What was interesting was to put a lot of one individual's stories together, or stories from round the room and to note how often the voice chosen was "generic" and did nothing for the story, making the language work harder, the direct actual meanings work harder.

Dealing with this, breaking away is very hard, but one writer, "King Generic" produced a great piece second night, so different it was hard to believe it was from the same author.

We noted that some authors were locked into first-person or third, or mostly wrote "themselves" or had one single linguistic style. We can get away from all these "limiters" but it hurts.

More later


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