Elements of Writing



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THE FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING (LLA 0099): You don’t have to be a Hemingway or Stephen King to be a good, fundamental writer. This skill is necessary in every profession. Your instructor will sketch out basic standards that will help you be a better communicator. In addition, you will also learn how to meld “flair” with “just the facts” copy. 

PUTTING ACTION INTO WORDS (LLA 0358): How many times do writers hear, “Show, don’t tell” when their work is critiqued? This workshop focuses on one often-overlooked way to accomplish that. Borrowing from the actor’s perspective, students will explore the connection between what characters do and what they feel, and the words the writer chooses to convey both. The workshop is for fiction writers who are or intend to be published. It uses classroom reading and discussion of written scenes, from published works and the students’ own works, as well as improv and other theatre techniques that apply to fiction writing. By the end of this course, students should know how to clearly and powerfully convey characters’ emotional states through descriptions of physical action. Through scene analysis and improv exercises, students will learn how to make the most of gestures, facial expressions and bits of business to let readers inside their characters’ hearts and heads.

WORD PROCESSING FOR WRITERS (LLA 0107): Microsoft Word is the word processing software of choice for most published authors. But preparing your manuscript for publication involves using many Word features that authors need but most office workers don’t use. Styles, table of contents and index creation, font management and sophisticated layout controls are just a few. You will learn the functions needed to design a book, either from scratch or using templates, and export acceptable files to print-on-demand publishing services. This is an intermediate Word class; you should already be a Word user. This class is a requirement for our Continuing Education Writing Digital Badge.

WRITING INSPIRED BY ART (LLA 0119): Write creatively, inspired by the masterpieces of Impressionism! You will express your impressions as you experience them, transcending rules of grammar, logic and order. You will be amazed at the writing that flows from your pen. Learn techniques to improve writing creativity and gain a new understanding of Impressionism. Featured Impressionists include Munch, Monet, Pissarro, Seurat, van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir. Develop writing confidence and techniques to overcome writer’s block. In this cross-disciplinary course, you will do writing exercises inspired by each featured artist.

WRITING WORKSHOP: DIALOGUE (LLA 0356): Whether written or spoken, effective dialogue springs from a character’s driving need to speak. This workshop brings an actor’s perspective to writing dialogue in fiction. Through the question of “why these words now,” students will learn what works on the page, what doesn’t, and how to craft dialogue that pulls the reader deeper into the story. The workshop is intended for fiction writers who are or intend to be published. It uses classroom discussion of written scenes from novels and short stories in multiple genres, and focuses on techniques students can use to clear clutter and achieve clarity in their own fiction writing. By the end of the course, students should know how to analyze written scenes, develop a fuller understanding of how dialogue works in fiction, and have acquired useful tools for polishing dialogue in their own work.