Eсенен уъркшоп по творческо писане, София, 1-5 ноември 2018
PLOT, CHARACTER & MUTANT BEARS: TOOLS FOR MAKING UNBORING STORIES
What makes a story interesting? What keeps us reading after the first paragraph? In this class, we will talk about plot, character, suspense, and elements of surprise that can keep the reader curious about what will happen next. We will talk about how stories are structured. What expectations do readers bring to a story? How can we both fulfill and overturn the reader's expectations? This class will be focused on in-class exercises that develop these skills and as well as discussion of student-written works. Whether you are a passionate writer or someone who is just becoming interested in literature, this class can help you to understand how narrative works across forms—in literature, in TV shows, and even in jokes. Students should arrive at the class ready to think, listen, write, and speak, contributing their own ideas to the class discussion. It will be a mix of individual writing, full-class discussion, as well as partner and small group work. We'll look, for example, at how the very first sentence of a novel like The Hunger Games carries the reader forward to show where the novel itself will end.
"MY ART AND PROFESSION IS TO LIVE." —Montaigne
In this class, we will approach non-fiction writing as a creative act. For me, as a high school student, essays were always a dull exercise whereas fiction-writing, art, and music all struck me as creative but in this class we'll see that by using the same openness of mind, we can approach the act of writing non-fiction with the same sense of experimentation and exploration. We'll also cover some practical basics: How to write a college application essay for US universities and expectations about academic writing in US schools, but our primary focus will be on how write about events from our own lives and even from history or the news in ways that allow us to approach them fresh and to see how acts of description and ways of forming connections or making arguments can themselves be creative acts. In the US, some of the most interesting literature of the last few years has been in the field of creative non-fiction and will look at examples from these writers as well as from non-fiction writers dealing with Bulgarian experience, such as Kapka Kassabova, journalist Dimiter Kenarov, and the Urban Detective podcast. This will be an interactive, writing-focused class. Students are expected to attend, ask questions, participate in discussions, tell their own stories, and to make their best effort on all writing projects. Students should arrive at the class ready to think, listen, write, and speak, contributing their own ideas to the class discussion. It will be a mix of individual writing, full-class discussion, as well as partner and small group work.
Ben Bush, Instructor