We learn by teaching. Looking at the craft of novel writing – creating strong openings, great characters, plotting out storylines, sketching scenes – with students in my George Brown College course this winter really brought these fundamentals home to me. I had to sit down and give some serious left-brain thought to these various topics in the days leading up to each class. And that made me think of my own writing, and how I could improve it.
Novel Writing II – How to Develop Your Novel ended this week after a good 12 weeks. It proved to be a bit more work than I’d anticipated because I didn’t design the lessons until I was able to gauge the students’ writing level. As it turned out, the seven adults in the class ranged all over the map in writing proficiency. I’m not referring to their writing talent, just that some had more practice in writing than others. Writing skills can be honed with hard work and discipline so the students who were less proficient in this course may well go on to become successful writers in coming years.
And if their keenness was any indication, they will all go far. Most of them arrived well before the class started, eager to get to work. Half of our class time was spent workshopping their novels-in-progress, and they emailed pages to read before the class. They were eager for feedback and they got it, with astute critiques from their classmates.
For the next 12 days I can take a breather Novel Writing II starts up again on Tuesday April 12 and runs every week through June 28.