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INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING

 

‘I’d like to take a writing course and see where it leads’

 

Course: Introduction to creative writing

Format: one-to-one via email (see group coaching for Cape Town courses)

Duration: six modules over six weeks

Course fee: R3 000

Suitable for: Keen beginners, the out-of-practice who want to get back into writing, and those interested in exploring writing as a creative outlet.

Aim: To establish a regular writing habit, find a natural writing voice and improve your technique.

Overview: The course is introductory and wide ranging, encouraging experimentation with descriptive writing, memoir, flash fiction (a story in 150 - 250 words) and short poetry forms. It includes practical information about style, tone and grammar, as well as tips to help you craft and polish a piece of work.

What you get: Each week, for six consecutive weeks, you will receive an emailed document containing instruction on the week’s topics, a writing exercise and a short assignment for which you will receive detailed written feedback.

How it works: The first module will be delivered on receipt of payment for the full course. When the first assignment is submitted, I will return my comments within three days, along with the second module. Each subsequent module will be emailed as the previous module’s assignment is received.

Estimated time commitment: Working through each module should take an hour or so. You will also need to set aside two or three hours for each weekly assignment, as well as 15 minutes a day for your ongoing writing practice.

Course outline:

Week 1: Introduction, the art and the craft of writing, left brain/right brain, the power of words.

Week 2: Techniques and daily practice: Morning pages, silence, reading, dealing with the inner critic, tackling procrastination, using rapid free writing to push through blocks.

Week 3: Writing excursions, observation and the importance of sensory detail.

Week 4: Steps to better writing: Mapping, reading out loud, avoiding clichés and over writing, repetition, adverbs, active/passive voice, common mistakes, keeping work short and sharp.

Week 5: Drawing on material from your own life story.

Week 6: Poetry forms: haiku and pantoum.