I’ve been having a lot of moments of “I don’t wanna.” This isn’t good for a writer who needs to get a novel written. I find all kinds of things to do EXCEPT for writing. And I know I am struggling with my current Work In Progress.
So, I signed up for an online Plotting Boot Camp. The class was cheap, because I’m cheap, but the instructor is well-known and many of my writer friends seem to vouch for her. And two weeks in, I do feel like I’m learning a few things.
I am one of those people who learns best by doing, by experiencing, by hands-on. I can read every wonderful book about plotting and writing conflict and determining goals and motivations for my characters, but if I don’t have some sort of exercise to do to go along with it, with feedback, then I’m just not going to grasp the concept. I was that learner in college that did way better, and had more fun, in labs than in lectures. That hands-on thing is important. It is the same if I’m learning a new craft, so why not with writing, too? After all, it’s a craft as well.
I am, of course behind on my homework, but the course is somewhat self-paced, so I have some leeway. I have a busy life, with a full time job plus side work, being a virtual single mom to a troubled 14 year old (my husband is working out of town for the foreseeable future), and dealing with a death in the family and my mother’s roller coaster of grief. But despite all of that I feel really compelled to do this homework and get the feedback I so desperately need. Each week contains two lessons, and two sets of homework. I will be finishing this week’s set either today or tomorrow. The agenda for the class is:
- Trope, themes, loglines, and premise
- Character roles
- Character descriptions
- Character conflicts
- Story arc
Have you taken a writing class lately? What did you like about it? Was it useful to you? Tell me about it in the comments!