Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Writing class recap: We start with spoilers
So the Yes I'm Writing a Contemporary Romance Novella class has started. 80 or so students have signed up, and over 20 have submitted assignment number 1.
I asked them to start by telling me the ending. Spoilers!
Why did I do that? Because the goal of the course is to help them finish something, and I wanted to see this early if they've thought that far ahead into their story. As much as possible, I haven't messed with a student's intended premise -- but I have been commenting on how they plan to write their endings. My main criteria: Is this ending worth the journey? If people paid for this book, or skipped TV/web time to read it, will they emerge happier?
This matters for the writer/student too, because of the commitment this class is going to require from them. Does that ending excite you enough to make you want to write toward it?
I've given comments for them to tweak their ending with this in mind. I found some endings too quiet (so I asked for drama), potentially predictable (so I asked for a different spin on it), and unnecessarily complicated (so I asked to simplify and focus on the romance). I also asked one too many times, to STOP KILLING MINOR CHARACTERS TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER OR KEEP THEM APART.
I have a theory why that trope kept coming up, but that's for a longer post maybe.
Next up: Our first face-to-face class on February 17, where we will discuss the assignment, and move on to outlining. And, if there's time, how to write "kilig."