Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Writing Class

For the past six weeks, I have been honing my craft -- in an actual classroom! That's right, I took a writing class called Writing the Young Adult Novel. What a perfect title?! It was at Story Studio Chicago and taught by the wonderful M. Molly Backes.

It is over now, which means it is time to reflect.

I learned a lot. 

And no, no, no, no. Do not be fooled to assume that I improved my grammar. That didn't happen. Alas, I fully believe that one either knows where to properly place their commas or they don't. And half of the time -- I don't.

However, this class taught me some applicable lessons that I did learn from. Most importantly, it taught me how to read more analytically and to write more thoughtfully.

I love to read (duh). And in general, I either like a book or I don't. I don't spend much time really wondering why. It is usually just this feeling in my gut. If the feeling is there, I like the book. If I never get the feeling, the book is not my favorite. Now, I have started analyzing where that feeling is coming from. It resonates in a strong voice. In well crafted tension. In a fantastic romantic interest (of course). In skilled dialogue. And in the painting of a scene.

These are all obvious elements that I assume innately I was noticing, but now when I read, I really think about them. And since it was a class about writing not reading, these are all elements that when I write, I have learned to think more purposefully about. Instead of spilling words onto a page with no order or eloquence, I write (at least try to write) with deliberate strokes instead of haphazard splatters. I guess you could say that I used to be a Jackson Pollack and now I am a Van Gogh. (Of course they were both extremely talented painters -- I by no means am comparing my writing talent to their painting talent. Merely an analogy.)

Aside from how much I learned, it also felt good to be out there. Working on my writing. Growing as a writer. It was fantastic to talk with people who also write or want to write YA novels. And overall, it was extremely non-intimidating. And best of all -- encouraging. 

It was a toe dip into the writing world, and I discovered that the water is warm and inviting. 

So...I am going to keep writing. Probably take more classes. Read books that make me think. And continue to do all of this, because I love to. And those are the things we should commit to. Those things that bring us happiness. I am happy. And -- I am committed.  

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post! And love seeing writers getting out there and indulging in our craft. I have come to the conclusion that my grammar and technical writing skills are poorly lacking and I dont' see that improving TOO much so I have to use my strengths to make up for the other stuff.


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