Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Writing Class

All seemed to go well for our first writing class day on Sunday. Once we figured out if we should meet, (due to all the rain here in Colorado) and if so, when. We finally settled down in a lovely bookstore/coffee shop, Fireside.

We started out introducing ourselves and talked about our writing aspirations and what we have accomplished so far. Then we talked about some of the creative writing skills we would be touching on in the weeks that follow. 

I gave the homework of creating an outline and some ideas of making an outline more fun. It didn't have to be like the ones taught in school, more like a chart of what important scenes that were in each chapter and how to keep track of timelines and characters. 

For example, my first one was color coded. I bought a bulletin board and used a different colored marker to represent each character. I wrote out what they did in each chapter and boxed off each chapter separately. 

Now, we use an excel graph and I explained how we can keep track of each scene, chapter, and time on the left. Along the top is the names of the characters and in the cells underneath, we highlight what happens in each one of those scenes.

I then explained the importance of creating an outline they can put up on their wall. Once it is finished, they can see their entire book in front of them and look at the pacing and action/non-action of the book. 

We are meeting again this Sunday and I plan to go over what they came up with for their outline and discuss one of the creative writing skills. After that, we will talk about the synopsis of their book(s), so that I can see ahead of time where their story is going. 

I haven't decided what their homework will be, but I think I will have then send me 5 pages each and those of us with more writing experience will critique them and send them back so they can work on it.

I guess that's about it for now. I did enjoy the class and learning about the other people's writing experience. I look forward to getting to know them all better and seeing their progress. 

do any of you work with a critique partner or have you joined a writing group? What has helped you the most?

Until Friday, I hope your week is fantastic. Here in Colorado we are starting to dry up and now the real work begins for those who were in the flood's path. My thoughts and prayers are with them through this journey of starting over in a lot of ways.

Love, Lisa


  1. Hope you are all ok after the big floods!!

    1. Yes, our family is fine. Thanks for asking Chris! There are hundreds that are either homeless or without utilities and some have lost everything.

      Hey, I tried to post on your page the other day and it wouldn't let me. Did it finally go through?

    2. I didn't see that one I don't think Lisa - must have been gremlins. Glad to hear you did not all float away!

  2. Your outlining description reminds me of the writing program yWriter. I believe Scrivener also has tools for charting and graphing a story.

    1. Yeah, making it fun takes the drudgery out of it, plus it always helps to be consistent and see how to pace your story.