Thursday, February 11, 2010

On getting stuck in writing fiction

Writer Suzy Spencer asked me to guest on her blog this week talking about getting stuck while working on a longer piece of fiction. This is a very appropriate discussion give my novella-in-a-semester graduate students at St. Edward's University officially began writing their books this week (I'm writing alongside them!). They'll log 4,000 words a week toward completing a 40,000-word draft in 10 weeks. The race is on!


jayiin mistaya said...

That's a fantastic idea for your class! Did you base that idea off of NaNoWriMo?

I'd love to hear out it all turns out!

Joe M. O'Connell said...

It's inspired by a class that was taught I think at American University. I heard a presentation about it at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference and knew I had to do it! The original teacher definitely was inspired by NaNoWriMo, so I guess the answer is yes. We even use Baty's book as a text. The difference is we do plan before writing.

jayiin mistaya said...

Actually, Baty doesn't discourage planning; he actually encourages quite bit of it - he just encourages you to write even if you don't have a plan.

What kind of planning are you doing with the class?

Joe M. O'Connell said...

We've done character work and tried to map out what the big plot points are on the way. I have them write a 4- 8-page plan, too.

They also create a vision board--photos and such that inspire them toward characters, place, etc.

Kathryn McHinion said...

Good for you and the class. Its truly inspiring. Keep it up!