NEW SPRING 2020 CLASSES

Need a break from the corona virus stay-at-home blues? What better time than this to get some writing done. If you’re looking for a class to help you make progress on your writing projects I’m teaching three this spring that you might consider. The first class, UW Continuum Fiction: Character, will be taught using Zoom conferencing and can be accessed remotely from any location with an internet connection. The second class, Spring Advanced Writing: Voice, Language, and Rewriting, is scheduled for a later start, April 21, and will be held at the Phinney Neighborhood Center if they are able to open their rooms. If not, the advanced class will also be taught using Zoom or Google, until it’s safe to return to the room, which the PNA hopes will be late April. The third class, UW Continuum The Art of Writing is for anyone interested in creative writing and will also be taught entirely using Zoom. See below for details and how to register.

  1. FICTION WRITING: CHARACTER

UW Continuum Thursday Night Spring 2020

WRI FIC 103A Reg #: 182311

 

Instructor: Scott Driscoll

Phone: 206-782-8587

Location: UW Seattle Campus (Spring 2020 will be held on Zoom)

Meets: Thurs 4/2/2020 – 6/4/2020, 6-9 PM

Email: sdriscol@uw.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The spring class will focus on “character” and “scene.”  We will begin by reducing character to a value mobilized by a “desire” to seek a “goal.” We will next make a comparison between the kind of archetypal characters that frequent some genre fiction to characters drawn from the author’s life, from the news, from history, and so on. We’ll spend time walking characters through dramatized scenes with an eye to using staging details to reveal the characters’ inner worlds.  Finally, we will talk about “reversals” and how they evolve differently in literary stories versus in popular fiction genres and we’ll consider how to use scene to design story structure.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS  

Story by Robert McKee, ISBN: 9780060391683; Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarisa Pinkola Estes, ISBN: 978034596815; The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, ISBN: 9781932907360; Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose, ISBN: 9780060777050; A Man Called Ove a novel by Frederik Backman, ISBN: 9781476738024; and Best American Short Stories 2018, ISBN: 9780544582941.

 

EVALUATION AND GRADING:

Students earn 3 continuing education units for this course if they complete the course assignments, participate in workshopping, and attend a minimum of 8 out of 10 class sessions.  Attendance at all 10 sessions is recommended.

Texts are available for purchase at the University Bookstore.

HOW TO REGISTER:

To register, go to the UW Continuum web page for writing classes, https://www.pce.uw.edu/courses/fiction-writing-craft and scroll to the bottom.

 

2. Spring 2020 ADVANCED WRITING: VOICE, LANGUAGE, and REVISION

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

In literary as well as stand-out popular fiction, writers use language to do more than service plot. Successful writers spend time gathering words and will put a high value on deploying the accurate names of things and emotions and ephemeral effects. According to Italo Calvino, every writer should strive for precision in their use of language, or what he calls, “exactitude.” Still, stories do have to get told. This class will start with a look at language at the level of word, sentence, and paragraph. We will next go through a series of revision exercises aimed at discovering how character yearnings and inner worlds can be revealed using a mix of author and character voice to select just the right surface details, gestures, and atmospheric effects. Finally, we will look at best practices for revision, the roll-your-sleeves-up kind of work that takes your manuscript beyond inspiration and pushes it toward becoming a novel or story or essay worthy of submission.

This quarter you’ll have the chance to workshop up to about 50 pages. Class sessions will be about an even mix of craft discussions and workshopping. There is no requirement that you work on a novel. Stories and creative nonfiction and memoirs are acceptable as well.

Required spring texts: 1) Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose, Harper Perennial 2006, ISBN: 9780060777050; 2) The Writer’s Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long, second edition, University of New Mexico Press, 2018, ISBN: 9780826360052; 3) From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler, Grove Press, 2005, ISBN: 9780802142573; 4) The Last Draft by Sandra Scofield, Penguin Books, 2017, ISBN: 9780143131359; 5) There There, a novel by Tommy Orange, Knopf, 2018, ISBN: 9780525520375; 6) The Cold Dish, a novel by Craig Johnson, Penguin, 2006 paperback edition, ISBN: 9780143123170; and 7) Best American Short Stories 2018, edited by Roxane Gay, Mariner Books, 9780544582941.

Class meets: 10 Tuesdays, 7-9:30 p.m., April 21, 2020 through June 23, 2020.                                   

Where?: On-line using a Zoom url or Google group; when available we will meet at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Room 3, Building A (Blue Building main floor).  Call (206) 783-2244 for directions.

Cost: $490

HOW TO REGISTER:

To reserve a spot in the Phinney Neighborhood Center Spring Advanced Writing course, please mail a deposit of $50 to Scott Driscoll, 7716 Dayton Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103.  The deposit will be deducted from the course fee.  Early sign-up is encouraged.  Please send me an email at sdriscol@uw.edu to confirm that you are planning to sign up.

 

 

3. THE ART OF WRITING

UW Continuum Wednesday Night Spring 2020

WRI 100 A Reg #: 182320

 

Instructor: Scott Driscoll

Phone: 206-782-8587

Location: UW Seattle Campus (Spring 2020 will be held on Zoom)

Meets: Wed 4/1/2020 – 6/3/2020, 6-9 PM

Email: sdriscol@uw.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This class will explore the art of writing, starting with a look at what makes for good writing in any form and how to write from life. We will go from there to looking at: how to generate images and manage details to create a strong sense of realism; questions of voice, point of view, and word choice; how to write a creative nonfiction essay; how to write a story; how to present character; how to dramatize character in scene and get best use of dialogue; how to understand and control for style; and culminating in best revision practices. This course is designed for writers of creative nonfiction, including memoir and personal essays, as well as fiction (models drawn from stories rather than novels). Suitable for all levels. Emphasis will be on quality of writing more than on the particular demands of a given genre.

REQUIRED TEXTS 

What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, the 2010 Third Edition by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter, ISBN: 9780205616886; Imaginative Writing: The Elements of  Craft by Janet Burroway, Longman 2003, ISBN: 0321081919; Tell it Slant, by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, McGraw Hill, 2012, ISBN: 9780071781770; and Steering the Craft 2nd edition, by Ursula Le Guin, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2015, ISBN: 9780544611610.

EVALUATION AND GRADING:

Students earn 3 continuing education units for this course if they complete the course assignments, participate in workshopping, and attend a minimum of 8 out of 10 class sessions.  Attendance at all 10 sessions is recommended.

Texts are available for purchase at the University Bookstore.

HOW TO REGISTER:

To register, go to the UW Continuum web page for writing classes, https://www.pce.uw.edu/courses/ and search for The Art of Writing.

 

 

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