12.01.2006

Paper Coach : Teach Yourself to Write Fiction

Phase:1, Month:3, Week:1

TEXTBOOKS
Cameron, Julia. The Right to Write: An Invitation...
Phillips, Larry W. Ernest Hemingway on Writing
Shertzer, Margaret. The Elements of Grammar


DISCUSSION
I'm temporarily abandoning the standard format for these progress posts, because some things I've learned call for a significant change to the course. Lately, at the gym, I've been listening to Michael A. Stackpole's TSFPN.com podcasts of "The Secrets" (www.stormwolf.com). These are wonderful instructionals and very practical guides to writing from a genre writer whom I admire (not to mention he's published 30+ novels and hit the best seller list).

There's a newsletter also (to which I've recently subscribed), and I expect it to be even better than the podcasts. I highly recommend both the podcasts and newsletter.

That said, an important point Stackpole makes in The Secrets reached out and slapped me in the face. In essence he insisted aspiring writers must start writing and not look back, especially not to edit. Once finished -- and only once finished -- go back to edit, etc. It's a little more involved than that, but I'm not going to rehash Michael's point, here. Suffice it to say I agree.

This course needs an explicit point at which to start writing -- and not look back. It should start early, be balanced against the other workbook and writing exercises, and run the length of the course. By the time a person finishes this course, they should also have written their first novel.

I implied this in the course materials, but didn't make it (a) explicit or (b) a focus. Going forward it will be. Expect to see an update in The Course guide by early next week.

Enjoy the holidays!

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