Let's Help Each Other Out!

This is a place for creative writing teachers to share idea to be come better teachers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Your Writing and Your Teaching

     I used to worry that I'd talk my ideas out in my creative writing classes, but I've found that to be a false fear.  Working materials up for class actually gives me the chance to come up with new ideas that I might then apply to my writing.
     I got interested in emails as a form for fiction. We tried it out in class.  I ended up writing a story based on an email exchange--way back in the early 1990's.
     When you take on a new project in writing, as I did in writing my memoir Saving Sebastian, the new things I learned by writing the book, by taking a workshop, and by reading up on memoirs, I could then pass on to my students.  You ought to order and read Saving Sebastian if you have been attracted to the memoir form but as yet have not tried it out. It will give you good ideas on book design, subject section, and form--plus you will get to enjoy a heart rending but ultimately happy ending book.
    Saving Sebastian should give you some good ideas about teaching memoir in class. Everyday life is often dull.  You can't fictionalize in a memoir to make the book exciting. So how do you make memoir writing dramatic? My book will give you, and perhaps your students if you let them read it, some ideas.
    I still won't teach memoir, in either short or long forms, in a beginning creative writing class of undergraduates of about 19 years old.  Because a memoir is true, and they know everyone will be reading and commenting on their memoir pieces during workshops, I know many of them will be blocked and won't want to or won't be able to find dramatic material to write about.  The young ones, they need the cover of fiction--to claim, whether it is true of not--that what their classmates are reading is "made up."

No comments:

Post a Comment