This semester in the Great Smokies Writing Program, I'm offering something different. After hearing from various would-be students that they just didn't have the time to devote to critiquing others' writing as well as producing their own, I've come up with something painless and fun. It's a class called Wordplay: To Get you in the Mood . . . for Writing.
This is the brief description: When you're not ready to commit to a lengthy piece of writing but welcome the chance to discover or reignite the flame of creativity, Wordplay is for you. No take home assignments at all -- just brief in-class writing in response to a wildly varied series of prompts, adaptable to any ideas you may already have and all based on different ways to tell a story. Voice, imagery, mood, setting, dialogue -- we'll explore and discuss these and more, as well as inspiration, research, and process in its many manifestations. Who knows where this no-stress, no guilt workshop will lead you?
I plan to begin with a physical prompt -- a mysterious object concealed in a box which each person feels -- not to identify the object but to write about what it makes the writer think of. I got this idea from a psychology experiment I participated in when I was in college -- it's amazing how the sense of touch can lead one into free associating.
Later we'll explore the other senses -- look what the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea did for Proust.
And there will be of the prompts will be for scenes that reveal character -- a family holiday dinner, a brush with the supernatural/inexplicable, an argument with a friend, a conversation with a deceased relative . . .
And, as they say, many, many more.
If you're in the Asheville area and this sounds like something you'd enjoy, follow THIS LINK for more information (Go to Class schedule and scroll down.) Classes begin February 20 and meet every Tuesday for 10 weeks at the Riverlink offices in the Arts District, 6-8:30 .