Okay – my University of Washington Popular Fiction course started last night. The class is broken into three quarters and she is going to use them to work on the beginning, the middle and the end of our books. We will write and critique in each class, and then work on rewrites after class as homework. We will have one on one time with her to discuss our novels as well. I liked the instructor. She had spunk and enthusiasm and seemed to know what she was talking about, she interjected lots of examples into the short lecture that weren’t about her own stories.
As our introduction to the class our instructor, author Pam Binder, had us each write our name, book title, genre, and a synopsis of our book on a 4×6 card. We then went around the room – introduced ourselves and talked about what we wrote on the card. This shit just got real. EEEEEEK! (sorry to be crass mom – love you).
Everyone in the class seemed to have a pretty decent idea of what they want to write about. I faked my way through my synopsis riffing on an idea that I’ve been mulling over – but after hearing everyone else’s ideas I started rethinking mine. It seemed so pedestrian. My idea was to write about a new college student who’s previous life had been lived as a famous pop star/actress – sort of a Hannah Montana – except more disguised so she can start a new. Nothing super natural or fantasy or sci-fi about it. I always assumed I’d write something paranormal and interesting. That is (mostly) what I like to read – but alas, every time I try to head down that path I chicken out because what I write seems so dorky.
Yes. I just used the word dorky.
Today I had coffee with a colleague who has recently published a book and has plans for 8 (!!) more. It was very inspirational. We talked about plot points, how to get started, how he manages his time, what lessons he’s learned already about what he learned after being published about nasty reviewers. We also talked about the importance of an ‘opening’ and hook for your book.
My homework for this week is to create an opening for my book. Which means I need to get serious about what I want to write. Bubblegum YA or something more fantasy/scifi adult… I would love to do the latter – I just am not sure I have the depth to get there. It has to be about 3 pages, double spaced, Times font, and with proper structure. Oh and, we can’t use an exclamation point the entire year! (that was a deserved ! for sure! Don’t you think?!). But ready….set… go. Need to just get rolling. AND decide.
Two people today recommended the same book to me “Ready Player One”. On the SAME day. Spooky. Read the synopsis. Looking forward to reading it once I finish my instructors romantic fantasy.
Also – I’m on a major Person of Interest tear. Have now watched 4 episodes this evening on demand and almost finished with season 1. This was a show recommended by my dad two years ago, and I finally have time to catch up and it is really fun to watch. And hey – Caviezel is a fellow Husky! (turns out we probably hung out in the same circles in school – one year difference, living about 4 houses away from each other).
One thing I like about our instructor (and the instructor from this summer) was that they use lots of TV and popular book references to make her points. She pointed out the opening and closing from Pretty Woman (and encouraged us to watch it again because we’d talk about it later in class). She talked about the incredible hooks in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And recommended The Originals to my friend to help him understand immortality and the fantasy genre. She’s batting 3 for 3 with me! 🙂
now I just have to get writing…