Kick Off (and Kick Up) Your Creativity: 6-Week Writing Class with Dana Meachen Rau
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April 4, 2018 • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, repeating until May 9, 2018
UPDATE: This writing class has been moved up three weeks. The original dates were March 14 – April 18; the class will now run every Wednesday evening from April 4 – May 9.
Sometimes it’s hard for aspiring writers, or even seasoned writers, to get started. But there is no better way to get creative juices flowing than to push up our sleeves, experiment with words, and be fearless. In this workshop, we will turn down the volume on our inner critics and rethink the writing process as a chance to explore. Through writing games and exercises, we will tap into a sense of discovery that will benefit students in all their creative writing pursuits. No previous experience necessary. All skill levels welcome.
Outline of Classes
CLASS ONE: Introduction, Metaphor and Synesthesia
We will discuss the intent of the class—to encourage a creative exploration of ideas without the pressure of “getting it right.” We will discuss some basic brain science about the analytical and creative sides of our brains, and how we can turn off the judgmental part and explore the uncensored artistic side to mine for ideas. Here we’ll also tap into metaphor and the role synesthesia (the combination of senses) can play to get our brains to create new pathways for unique descriptions. This will underscore the cardinal rule of writing going forward: “Show, Don’t Tell.”
CLASS TWO: Rhythm, Sound, Structure, and Poetry
This class will focus on the rhythm, sound, and structure of words, not their meaning.
We will define unfamiliar words based on their sounds and shapes, “translate” a poem from another language, and discuss how names can tell us a lot about a character. We will also talk about the economy of words, limit ourselves structurally, play with freeverse, and create new poems from existing text.
CLASS THREE: Discovering Character Through Setting
While the writer has the power to create any character he or she wishes, the best characters lead the way. We will discuss how closely character is linked to setting. By observing what a character does in a specific space, we can discover his or her inner feelings and desires. We will engage in a three-part activity of map-making, meditation, and writing.
CLASS FOUR: What is Story?
Story (with a capital S) is a narrative of inner and outer events that moves through time and involves change. We will discuss what makes something a story as opposed to just a description or scenario. We will discuss how story starts with character—what a character wants, why they want it, what stands in their way, and what they are willing to do to get it. Staying authentic to that character then helps us as writers determine the other aspects of Story: plot, structure, tone, and voice.
CLASS FIVE: Dialogue, Subtext, and Emotion
We will talk about emotion as the driving force of every story and how we can reflect emotion in writing without having to actually name the emotions. We’ll discuss subtext—and how even though characters are talking to each other, they are often hiding (consciously or subconsciously) what they mean. We will analyze how the objects or physical things in a character’s space can reflect how they feel.
CLASS SIX: Flash Fiction
Flash fiction is short bursts of story, some as short as a sentence, some a few hundred words. Together, and independently, we’ll use the skills we’ve collected so far to write shorts bursts of story, making every word count toward defining characters, creating conflict, and finding resolution.
Dana Meachen Rau is an author, artist, and editor. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Art History from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont.
During her almost twenty years working as a freelancer, she has published more than 300 books in a variety of genres and age levels, such as early readers, picture books, biographies, and nonfiction. Some of her awards and recognition include: Association for Library Services to Children Notable Children’s Books of 2014; Bank Street Best Books of 2014; Booklist Top 10 Early Literacy Series of 2009; and Science Books and Film Magazine Best Books of 2005 and 2009. In 2011, she received the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism’s Art Fellowship Grant, and she is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Class size is limited, so sign up now by clicking HERE!