Writing: not all words are the same, or easy to teach

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.

Bless ’em.

5 responses to “Writing: not all words are the same, or easy to teach

  1. “they suggested that I teach something simple. Poetry.”
    Haha. If only…

    I run a site where we invite novelists to teach workshops, and someone asked me recently why we didn’t do poetry, “like as a beginner class.”

  2. I read Now Write! Wow, there is a lot of s**t to know to write a story.

  3. Mmmhmmm. Simple. Just like writing novels or briefs. Yep.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s