Week 1: The Why of Writing
Why do people write? History is revealed to us largely through writing, which was always done with a purpose. We will explore some of the motivations and methods of writers in the past as we ask: What makes you want to write?
Week 2: Stepping up to the Challenge
If people are motivated to write, why don’t they just do to it? We will look at some of the common blocks that prevent us from getting words down on paper and consider the various methods that professional writers use to overcome inhibitions and doubts.
Week 3: Beginning That First Draft
A stable and durable house cannot be built without the right materials placed in the right way. Writers have evolved different methods for starting out with their first drafts. Some proceed carefully from detailed outlines, while others trust the Muse to move their fingers.
Week 4: The One True Craft: Editing
Some professional writers contend that the real craft of writing lies in editing – in reshaping paragraphs and polishing sentences until they glow with life. Working with an editor starts with oneself, the most critical and supportive ally you will encounter in mastering your craft.
Week 5: Finding and Owning Your Voice
Great writers have “voices” we immediately recognize. We will look at selected examples from Mark Twain and Alice Munro of successful writing to discover how style is obtained and developed. What’s unique about you? And how do you learn to express that through words?
Week 6: The Writerly Life
Serious writers endure many solitary hours confronting their limitations, and yet remain compelled. Whether your goal is writing a snappy blog post or a literary masterpiece, this overview of the writer’s vocation may help you decide whether a finely written piece is worth all the effort.
Who should take this course?
This course is for anyone who is interested in discovering the various elements that give confidence to writing and will appreciate a dynamic and interactive classroom environment.
Textbooks and learning materials
Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class.