Monday the “Storytelling Techniques” for writers online workshop starts for NEORWA — that’s North East Ohio Romance Writers of America for the acryonym challenged (and boy is that a mouthfull).
New workshops are always interesting–there’s always a moment of ‘what the hell was I thinking.’ Coupled with the certainty that I will not have enough material to fill a day, let alone several (that never happens, but it always seems all too possible). Add in a dash of wondering why I though I had something to say, and it’s the usual insecurities showing up. I’m convinced these are not just writer neuroses, but writers just happen to write about them (being writers and all). And its just that edge of fear–of performance–that makes it interesting.
I also happen to like teaching. But online classes are odd.
Face-to-face instruction leans heavily on an exchange of the excitment of ideas–on contact. Online that doesn’t exist–and wry humor can bite you on the ass in text form. But the storytelling technique has me excited–it’s something that I’m not sure all that many folks really think about, or study, or take apart. And it’s vital to a good story. Which leads me to my favorite part of workshops–I know I’m going to learn things.
It’s going to be a challenge to figure out what I think–and do. Plus I get the good excuse to look at some other storytellers to pull apart their stuff to see if I can find the ticking heart. Comes of too much of my youth doing jigsaw puzzles, I suspect, which is a useless but soothing hobby. I would have been happy in this life digging up shards of things and fitting them together–puzzles are great training for that. But its not bad to pull apart craft and fit it back together again. It keeps me interested.
I am interested in this workshop but have some specific questions as to how it is conducted. Is there back and forth feedback between instructor and student? Is there any inter-student interaction? There is a very informative outline of what is going to be covered on the Lowcountry RW’s site, but little as to how the course is conducted: do we actually get assignments and work on a WIP or is it mostly just lecture?
Thanks in advance.
All my workshops follow a similar format. I do lectures twice a week, with writing assignments once a week (usually on Thursday, so folks have the weekend to work on them). Writing assignments are optional, but I do think folks learn more by doing them. I recommend that folks do the writing assignments as exercises and not use specific WIP manuscripts — the idea is to learn the technique and then apply it to your work. Exercises help you grow your writing muscles. I do encourage a lot of questions — don’t always get them, but questions are always welcome.