Broad Spectrum Writing
Tutor: Jan Napier
This course will provide a fun, safe, and social setting in which both entry level, and intermediate level writers, are able to advance their literary skills, learn, and interact in a positive and supportive environment. Subject to availability, guest speakers will be invited to share their literary experiences with students. Featured speakers will be local writers who are published professionals. Come with your stationery ready to write!
During Term One, teaching will be directed at such areas as correct grammatical usage in relationship to areas which commonly cause concern, or are not well understood by many students. These areas include the differentials between colons and semicolons, the Oxford comma, proper nouns, the conversational pause, and abstract nouns, to name a few. Other areas covered will include more on style, and using imagination in conjunction with literary disciplines, such as structuring, to achieve the best effects. There needs to be more happening than just a mess of ideas on the page with no commonality to link ideas into a cohesive whole. Characters in conflict, using the senses, and basic do’s and don’ts will also be addressed. Keeping a journal will be recommended.
During Term Two, teaching will be directed at areas such as observation of environment, incorporation of life experiences into narrative, believability, consistency of tone in narrative, show not tell, and simplicity of language to achieve best results. Lessons in character development and the basic principals of writing short stories, (separation, then integration beginning, middle, and no extraneous wordage) will also be examined. Broad principals of some of the simpler forms of poetry will be discussed and analysed, as will issues such as rhythm, rhyme, and metre. Students will also be encouraged to write to objects and photos. This is known as ekphrastic writing.
During Term Three, teaching will be directed at such areas as story sourcing, correct usage, and placement of dialogue within form constraints, genre fiction with exemplars, plus essential frame working of narrative. Students will also learn how placement and setting work in determining story direction, and plot veracity, via timelines, and foreshadowing techniques. Various types of poetic devices such as enjambment, and run on lines will be discussed and analysed. Also poetically speaking, the guiding principal of less is more will be expanded upon. Instruction upon how best to achieve the desired result will be given. Students will also learn about point of view in the first, second, and third person.
During Term Four, teaching will be directed at such areas as the always popular writing of memoirs, as well as relationships within form. This allows the reader understanding of, and access to the protagonists’ interaction with landscape, environment, motivation, plus other plot determining factors within the form. Protocols for submitting work for publication will be addressed in broad outline, whilst acknowledging that every publication has its own set of guidelines. Suggestions regarding magazines, zines, and journals of an appropriate level of suitability will be offered. Competition entry, and the likelihood of success in this field will be talked about, and statistics for competition entry given using recent submission numbers to major contests. Across the board revision of the year’s work concludes the course.