Good writing features originality and attention to description and detail. In my classes, you learn to write "down" - "to plunge into the depth of a detail, extract its essence and allow this to permeate and vitalize the piece as a whole. Writing down makes the minutia of an imaginary world spring to life." Language situates us in our life by drenching our experience with what is vigorous and free. You learn a kind of deliberate seeingalive, aware, alertand a way to see from within, intuitively.
In order to write well and consistently, the relentless inner critic must be confronted and subdued, must be treated as an unwelcome interloper. Essential to the process of writing is that of turning the critic into an ally using compassion. You suspend judgement, learn to see errors as lessons, to trust what you know and to stay with the writing.
Our work together includes character delineation, voice, plot, dialogue and setting. What works? How can you make a character more believable? What language or setting creates drama or interest? I present examples from stories or poems to elucidate. Sometimes we respond to pictures or music. Exercises are sequential and build on the essentials of good writing: clear intention, unique point of view, consistency and powerful language.
For almost 40 years, I've guided my students to discover themselves through their stories and to express their unique voices. I teach my students to keep writing long after the class has ended, as a commitment to themselves, their distinctive voices and their spirit.