Cat Rambo (catrambo) wrote,
Cat Rambo

Session 1 of the Summer Class

There's ten people signed up for the summer section of Writing F&SF. Four of them are from the spring section, so I can't use the usual cycle of lectures, heh, and am trying not to repeat myself while still going over the basics.

  • the first few paragraphs of stories and the implicit contracts with readers that they set up.
  • what makes a successful story, what elements a story (usually) needs to have (setting, characters, conflict, dialogue, beginning, end, hook. etc.
  • what a story needs in order to feel complete
  • timed writings and why they're a good habit
  • how genre sets up expectations
  • what a good story hook accomplishes

they wrote the three things they want to get out of the class:
  • good detailed tips on how to get published
  • writing experimentation on different topics and in different styles
  • good critiques are always welcome
  • more opportunities to critique/submit stories to be critiqued
  • more about structuring and pacing a short story
  • encouragement to write and push boundaries
  • improve ability to write plots
  • better use of character development
  • how to write believable but entertaining short stories
  • kick in the pants to get motivated/productive
  • honest but considerate critiques - suggestions, reasons why things don't work
  • momentum!
  • to write
  • to explore areas of my imagination
  • to meet the challenge of weekly writing assignments
  • kick in the pants, just that extreme motivation to keep writing until it becomes habit
  • feedback on my writing both to improve specific works and my general style
  • opportunity to flesh out parts of my novel simultaneously with class work
  • to finally put on paper at least one of the story ideas buzzing in my head
  • feedback to help me be a better writer or story teller
  • insight into what to do when the story is on paper
things they want to avoid
  • maybe fewer description-centered prompts and more action-based ones?
  • busy work or work with no productive outcome
  • blind encouragement if I am totally horrible
for next week they are:
  • reading "The Lodger at Wintertide" ( and "The Small Door" ( (both Fantasy Magazine publications) and thinking about what patterns the two stories share, as well as what their first few paragraphs set up
  • writing a 250-500 word piece describing a color to an alien who has never seen earth
  • finding a writer's blog that they find interesting and bringing in the link
Tags: teaching
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