I write novels. That is, long form suspense. 350 page thrillers. 60 chapter, inch-thick hardcovers. On occasion I also teach workshops: on crime writing, plot, and suspense. For several years I was a lecturer at the University of California, where, because I’m an attorney, I taught Legal Writing and Advanced Legal Research and Writing. I recently contributed an essay and writing exercise titled “Ratcheting up the Suspense” to Now Write! Mysteries, published by Penguin.
In other words, I know something about writing for the legal profession, and about crafting novels, and I’ve been paid to teach others the tricksy secrets of my trade, on a couple of continents.
But I don’t know it all. Hardly.
And all writing is not the same. Hardly.
This week I was asked to give a talk about my experience as a writer and then to offer a “practical session.” Because it was short notice, and for a short session, they suggested that I teach something simple. Poetry.