Christopher Moore Home Page

The bulletin board is currently closed to new posts. Instead, why not check out Chris' Twitter and Facebook pages?


bbs.chrismoore.com Forum Index -> So You Wanna Be a Writer?

Any ideas about a writing workshop

  Author    Thread This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
Any ideas about a writing workshop  Reply with quote  

I'm speaking to a college class about my book and writing next Thursday, and I'm fine with that. It's going to be real loose and easy. (Kind of like the girls I used to date.) However, the only other times I have ever been on a college campus was to drink or beat up a guy who was stalking a friend of mine, so I'm already a little out of place. The thing is, after this one class thing I have been invited to run a workshop on writing and I have never even attended a workshop on writing. The extent of my "workshop" using the technique I used on my first book will likely be: "Think up some funny shit. Now, write it down." Somehow I feel like I'm going to need a bit more than that.

Has anyone here ever ran or attended a workshop on writing? Are there any do's and don't's? What kind of things have you seen? I feel like a hack who is about to be exposed for being a hack. Fortunately I never really aimed higher than "hack", but I would still like to bring something to the table for anyone who would attend this workshop.
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri May 20, 2005 9:42 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
 Reply with quote  

Hey Boota- God, that sounds familiar Smile I had a similar experience last year during Wordstock when I and another poet were called upon to run a scheduled workshop that had yet to find a facilitator.

How much time do you have to fill? An hour?

I would suggest picking an aspect of craft to focus on. The easiest and most fun seems to be talking about ways to generate material/ideas- and of course, you can always bloviate about writing theory, but thats not as engaging for the attendees, I think, particularly if they are young inexperienced writers.

What we did was spend only a few minutes talking about one example of our own work, where the idea came from and then moved into writing prompts, (which were then shared, but that tends to only be feasible with small groups, which we were lucky enough to have) then opened it up to questions and discussion (the theme was "The Personal is Poetical" which was nice and vague- and again, more relative to small groups)

If you choose to do prompts- there are a few different ones that seem to work well- the most frutiful being a "word/phrase list" prompt.

choose a few random words and phrases, usually five, and then give everyone some time to write something, anything that must incorporate the exact phrases.

Here's an example...




metal. Always metal
An intravenous pump
displayed for entrance
if you try to make it any better than this then I'll know you're putting me on
staggering against the wall
His wild yell as he
play cops and robbers?




An intravenous pump? fed jolt cola into Splangita's veins, making her buzz like a saw, trickle like a percolator and emit annoying beeps and buzzes like a pop singer's cell phone. Her friend Bernardandito, the doctor of good times, came in at the appropriate moment to take the tube out of her wrist and found her ass wagging in the air like a magic wand, displayed for entrance? though he knew it was a personal rule of hers that the orifice beneath the soft fabric of the soft cotton pants could be used for exits, only.

Not that he would be interested in taking advantage of her in the state she was in. It was likely that in an enthusiastic moment, she could crush a skull with her thighs.

Freed from the IV feed, she bounced off of the bed, exhibiting shaky legs syndrome as she said, "If you try to make it any better than this then I'll know you're putting me on." ?

"If I made it any better, Splangita, your heart would stop 2 minutes after the mixture hit your blood stream."

She punched him in the shoulder, meaning to be playful, and sent Bernardandito staggering against the wall. His wild yell as he? stubbed his toe against the wall caused her to feel remorse, but it was fleeting because of the drugs.

"My god, Bernardanditonomerous, what did you add?"

"Metal. Always metal?," he muttered through the dull throb of his poor jarred metatarsal. "Iron. Zinc. B vitamins, and for extra zing a little Cocain-yuh."

He had thought she would be pleased at his answer, but she was no longer listening.

"Let's play cops and robbers?! I'll be the robbers!" Splangita yelled as she dashed out of the room, daring Bernardandito to chase her.


Anyway- this engages the group and eats time, if you need it to, and connects them to process, plus it often generates hilarity which is always a plus -

I wouldn't be nervous about being out of your element either, a move from the academic to the practical will be hugely refreshing to them - I know it was for me when I was in school.

Damn- that was a long post....

I hope that helps!

latah!

Regina

Post Fri May 20, 2005 10:18 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

Thanks Regina. I like the idea of the word/phrase prompt. Sounds like a fun exercise. I've looked into a few other things and found some that sound like they might be interesting. I can play better once I know how much time I am given to work with. Probably an even better idea if I find out approximately how many people I might be dealing with. The class I'm talking to is 12 students, but as far as I know it won't be like a workshop. More like a Q&A with a little bit of a reading. I wasn't planning on reading much, but it's been requested, so I'm pulling out choice passages. I've been told that no topic is off limits and I don't have to censor any of my horrible foul language.

A couple things, as far as generating material, that I can talk about are a few techniques I have learned in order to organize ideas. After reading AG's timeline/plot point sketchbook method I adopted that and it works great. I could pass that on, with full credit going to where I learned it, of course. (Honestly, that is probably the most valuable piece of advice I've ever gotten about writing.) I talked to Shirley Jump, a romance writer who came to my local indie bookstore, and she had an interesting way to build characters. I could mention that, too. The work habits I developed on my own aren't well defined enough to be considered a "method". My way feels like when my grandma tried to teach me how to cook. "Put that in until it looks right," was most of what she said.

Whatever I decide to do, I want to make sure I make it fun. Thanks again.
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri May 20, 2005 2:27 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
 Reply with quote  

lol Sounds like Italian cooking Smile Hmmm, I wonder if Garlic Ink would work magic ?

Cool - It sounds like you have it worked out pretty well. Let us know how it goes!

Post Sat May 21, 2005 12:22 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

I'm starting to get a handle on what I want to do. Thanks for your input. I'll let you know how it goes. Smile
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Sat May 21, 2005 1:21 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
HRH Gracie



Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia
 Reply with quote  

I gave my students a picture from National Geographic and they had to write a SHORT story about one of the folks or animals in the picture.

I cut out lots of pictures so everyone had a different one.

They loved that.

Also, I gave my son for christmas one year, a little book "Grandpa remembers." There was a prompt for asking his grandfather a question everyday for a year. Would be real good prompts for sensory detail writings.

Post Mon May 23, 2005 10:35 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

I've been getting lots of feedback on this and it seems that it's split about half and half on whether to have the workshop do writing in session or not. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for that, I'll just have to play it by ear. HRH, thanks for the input. I'll keep that suggestion in mind when I'm trying to figure out what to do. I've been hearing that most writers will likely be more interested the "mechanics" and the business end. I guess I'll find out. Smile
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Tue May 24, 2005 11:00 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

The workshop(s) will happen at a later date. We couldn't find the time to get anything set yesterday. The lady who does the scheduling was extremely busy and we didn't get a chance to talk. I did speak to the creative writing class and that was a lot of fun. The professor gave me the whole hour and the class was very attentive during my reading and kept the discussion going with a series of great questions. The passage I selected was a fairly obnoxious one with a ton of vulgarity. It went over well, uncensored.

I have a bit more time to plan a workshop now, and that's good.

On the way home I stopped at a Borders bookstore at the Eastgate Crossing and I asked if they'd be interested in carrying my book. The manager said she'd gladly carry it. I've had good luck with Borders lately, but after the headache I initially had getting my book in stores I am still really surprised when I get anything but an emphatic "No!". (Sometimes followed by "Leave my store foul creature!") I was given a number to call and see about planning a signing at the store, so I'm going to pursue that as well.

It was a good trip.
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri May 27, 2005 7:37 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
 Reply with quote  

Hoorah! Congrats on the positive experience and getting your book into Borders!

Where can boardies get a copy?

Post Fri May 27, 2005 8:13 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

Thanks Regina!

The cheapest way to get my book is through www.authorhouse.com. My domain - www.mr-undesirable.com - was down for a while, but I think it's back up. If it is, it will take you right to my page on Authorhouse's site. There is a two page preview on there. On Amazon there is a search inside the book feature that will let you read the entire first section of chapter one.

It's also available, usually for order, anywhere that sells new books. I'm just getting some of the Borders stores to carry it around my area.
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri May 27, 2005 8:38 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
 Reply with quote  

Hey Boota,

it is also on Amazon. I found it today.

here is the link,
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1414038534/qid=1117217147/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-7005438-8056650?v=glance&s=books

I don't know how to shrink the link to you will have to deal with it.

BTW: You have some great reviews.
_________________
I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes. -HST

Post Fri May 27, 2005 11:09 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

Thanks FL. Smile

I'm very happy with the reviews I've gotten, on Amazon or otherwise. The people on Amazon really seemed to LOVE my book. The cool thing is that after I got their reviews I got to know Cornflaker and Indybookman. Bookman published his review from that site in an Indianapolis newspaper that he did book reviews for. I read the review and wrote him to thank him for taking the time to review my book. (And to argue some points in my own defense! LOL) After that we started an email correspondence and he ended up helping me make contacts in the bookstores in his area. After he wrote his review the rest of the people in his office took the review copy of my book and started passing it around and they all went nuts over it. They insisted that he write another column saying that he was unfair about some of his criticisms and just to say that it is a very funny book. And he did.
_________________
"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri May 27, 2005 9:06 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
  Display posts from previous:      
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.

Jump to:  


Last Thread | Next Thread  >

Forum Rules:
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 
Templates created by Vereor and Ken