Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ya Learn Something New

I was talked into taking a writing class called Starting the Novel. I never thought that I would ever sign up for such a course but…what the hell. I should start a novel and…again, what the hell.

My classmates lacked spark, but maybe it was because they were tired having come from work. It seems that I am the only one that does not have to leave for a job in the a.m. -- yet -- and that sucked when we had to go around introducing ourselves and tell a bit about what we do. Do? I do…lots of things but do I get paid for it? Anyway, when it was my turn I said rather too brightly that I am, um, um, busy looking for a job. Yes, that's right, that's what I am doing. And also that I am trying to write...something. There was interest. “What’s it about?” asked Michael. Ummm. Well, I muttered that it was still in planning stage but that it involved a woman who kept a weblog. Jeez. Total fiction, that story.

Then the instructor asked us what we do to get ourselves in writing mode, how do we write those first words. When it was my turn, I tried to be very honest and say that usually I need a title. Then I said that once I have a title, I can start that first paragraph. The instructor said something along the lines of that’s a good way to go. Well, a Richard then spoke up.

Richard *huffy*: Well, that might work with short stories but having a title for a novel right away? That’s not a good idea. I mean a novel is long. A short story is…short.

Alice: What are you saying…um…Dick?

Dick: I mean, it’s hard to think up titles. Hell, I think that it’s hard to think of first lines. You should just call it Draft One and at the end of the novel, then think of a title.

Alice: Are you working on something right now?

Dick *surprised*: Yes.

Alice: And you found it easy to begin writing?

Dick: Yes. After all, I learned in college from my writing instructor that all you needed to do to get into writing was to follow the bing, bang, bingo formula.

Alice: What?

Class: What?

Instructor: What?

Dick: Well, you think of something and then add detail to it. That’s bing. Then you think of something else to go into the middle and then add detail to it. That’s bang. And you think of the ending and…

Alice: I know. Add detail to it.

Dick: Yeah. And that’s bingo!

So now I’m thinking that I have eight weeks of class and I am fervently praying that we will not be binging, banging, and bingoing the whole time.

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