syllabus (2015_01_23 20_17_51 UTC)

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Writing Workshop Syllabus


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1 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 FLASH FICTION AND FABLE an experimental and experiential workshop Use Ctrl-click to follow link. Mail: tpitrethomaspitre.comSubjectWritingWorkshop eek One: Introduction to Flash Fiction Introductions: Your first name what you did in your former life or what you are doing now and a couple of reasons why you came to this workshop. Keep it very brief please. Omit titles and degrees. We are anxious to get to our writing. Workshop Guidelines: This is not a critique group. We write. We may write to a cue of some kind…a word a phrase or an image. We will write assigned exercises during the session and at home. For the majority of assignments during class and outside of class we will work solo. There may be some instances when I ask that you collaborate on a project. If you don’t already keep a journal start one TODAY. My favorite little journals are pocket-sized and are inexpensive. W

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2 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 I bought a useful little pilot’s pen that light to allow me to jot thoughts etc. on a bedside tablet. Amazon has them. When you are sitting in a coffee shop write down bits of dialog you overhear. Stan Mack used to draw cartoons and included the verbatim dialog he overheard. His book Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies was published in 1979. The Village Voice published many of his strips. Check him out. He adds the overheard dialog to his funky pen drawings. Time permitting we will share a lot of our writing and homework. In addition we may close read some pieces. Close reading is reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deeper comprehension. This video covers the topic of close reading. Take time at home to view it:

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3 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 We write for fun we write to find our “voice” and we write to improve our writing. Here is an exercise for “finding your voice” Optional: We write to play with words sounds feelings. We will experiment with different genres in order to discover learn practice and experiment. We will learn how important it is to use the right word…on paper or in a conversation. Slow down. No need to rush. There is no prize for speed. Throughout this syllabus I will add some tidbits that are fun to explore. They will be marked with the symbol: Remember reading is guaranteed to be one of the surest ways to improve your writing. Read eclectically. Re-writing is another guarantee of improvement. Write I ask that you provide copies of all your home assignments. Write your name clearly on the piece. All work will be treated confidentially and only used for my edification. If the opportunity presents itself I will ask your permission for reproduction rights for future classes or on my writing BLOG at It is assumed you grant all of us permission to read your work as a member of this workshop. My blog has been on line since Summer of 2008. If you are asked to read please do. Volunteers are appreciated and subtly rewarded. It is also assumed that all your work is original so it is prima facie evidence that your work is assumed copyright. Copyright laws give

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4 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 you protection from plagiarism as soon as your work is created even if you have not paid for official protection and even if you have not put a notice on the work. Copyright laws protect it. Your work is yours as soon as you write it. Natalie Goldberg see below writes: write from “first thoughts” keep your hand moving don’t cross out just get it on paper on listening writing is ninety percent listening the deeper you listen the better you write on using verbs verbs provide the energy of the sentence on overcoming doubts doubt is torture don’t listen to it—even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Some writers do not believe in “first thoughts.” I do because it gets the pen or the fingers moving. It is a kick-start. No one has to see your first draft. Hopefully your computer skills include: making copies of your documents in different formats emailing them in different formats and receiving emailed .doc text and .pdf files. A critique done by a helpful friend and/or writer can more quickly uncover any problems. The process of a critique alone will teach you a great deal. You might consider pairing with one other person to facilitate this process and possibly read your piece before you submit it for critique or publication. I use off line and on line tools to READ my text to me. Here are some useful links: Text to speech: You can paste text and save it as a sound file OR play it. Text Speech: can speak and convert the text to an MP3 sound file. texttospeechExample. mp3 Doubleclick on the image and the sound player you have will play the sound file. Time for a few exercises: Make a list of ten of your favorite words. Write five of your favorite sentences. They may be quotes. Anything.

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5 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Weave your sentences into two or three paragraphs as you create a short descriptive piece that relates an event or anecdote. If you need some words here is a link to a site that will give you from one to eight random words. It is also useful for generating CUES for impromptu writing. generator/randomwords/8 If you change the last character in the link before you paste it in the address line of your browser to a 7 you can generate seven random words and so on. Sometimes the “right” word or the word that’s on the tip of your tongue is absent. Use this tool for help: Flash fiction FF is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the written piece. Some markets for flash fiction impose limits as low as one-hundred words on the piece referred to as a “drabble” while others consider stories as long as one-thousand words as flash fiction. The purpose of the drabble is brevity testing the authors ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space. Wikipedia Wikipedia Drabble Wikipedia Drabble. N. p. 2014. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. Lately I have been experimenting with ONE SENTENCE pieces: I remember her touch on my soapy head in the big iron tub. See the web site that publishes one-sentence poems:

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6 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Another FF piece – The Italian Grill 76 words Written in 3 rd person. They had worked together for two years in the hot cramped kitchen. The chef-patron was hell on wheels and treated his brigade with disrespect and a cruel hand. That day the staff led by the sous chef had decided something needed to be done. Supper that day was somber. The chef was nowhere to be seen. A regular diner signaled Charles the maître d over to her table. One of her cutlets had a tattoo. Do not let these examples scare you. I write my share of up-beat things too. –tp. Other names for flash fiction include: sudden fiction micro fiction micro-story short short hint fiction postcard fiction prosetry and short-short story. You can write as much as you want on an envelope and that will be the extent of your full flash-fiction piece. This could be demonstrated with an envelope and text pasted on it or you could write on it then scan it and print it to show others what it looks like. I like the conciseness of this and think it is a good idea. It came to me in a dream. Another example: BREAK FAST 330+ words Sarah carefully constructs my egg and cheese muffin muffin well done two three times a week. She works silently diligently caringly -- toasting re-toasting the muffins before she wraps them tightly in crinkly wax

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7 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 papers and places them in paper bag folds over the top neatly and takes my dollar bills and some change. It is not a fair trade. I can watch her cook assemble my order take my cash and answer the intercom to take other orders. I inquired civilly and came to know that she is a single mother of two. A boy one and a girl five. She hasnt missed a day of work for years. Never sick never tardy. Today all alone until her shift partner arrives she seemed a little lonely and smaller still in the big kitchen filled with shiny stainless steel forms and surfaces. The juice machine bubbles away the milk machine letting a few drops fall into the waste tray and the espresso machine releasing a little steam. The grill smokes from a few pieces of bacon crumb or is it a scrap of egg Her skin is clean and clear and her pink ears stand out like little shells stuck on her head. She wears her hair in a ponytail. Her ponytail wrap is all business. A big red rubber band. I noticed today that her arms are long and lean from holding and feeding babies and reaching over the hot grill to fry my eggs. The veins show through her arms from her wrists to her upper arms. Her forearms are discolored from burns from the black iron plates covering the gas burners. I left her a thousand dollar tip this morning at the drive- through window. I stuffed ten one-hundred dollar bills in the jar and drove off just after she gave me a milk bone for my dog. I didnt say anything and will deny everything the next time Im in for an egg and cheese muffin muffin well done.

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8 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Here is another piece of flash fiction. It was one of my first attempts at the form. BIG GOONEY HANDS 731 words Bill had big hands. He worked on the pork line at the Cargill meat processing plant in Iowa. It took him a long time to get used to the pork line. He told his wife that the insides of pigs looked a lot like the insides of people. It upset him but he got used to it after a few months. His wife Mimi was a tiny thing. They sat right next to each other in his big blue Oldsmobile. She would cuddle up next to him her head just visible over the door - Bills head in contact with the roof of the Olds. They would go to the diner on Thursday nights for a steak and curly fries at Myrnas Cafe. Sometimes Bill would have two pork chops on a stick – a house specialty. Bills big hands were always moving at work cutting the pork bellies open or lopping off the ears on the line. He kept his two knives razor sharp with a steel. For seven hours a day Bill stripped meat from bone or filled blue plastic crates with pig ears headed for Chinese markets and pet food companies. After dinner Bill and Mimi would go home to watch TV and play with their dog Buster. Bills fingers would almost touch the floor when he sat on the couch. Buster would lick the big puffy fingers still smelling of pork and fat. Sometimes Mimi would bring Bill a tub of warm sudsy water with some Epsom salts so he could soak his aching hands. They ached from handling the heavy knives and the chilled meat for so many hours day after day. If it were Friday Bill would go to the little corner of the

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9 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 bedroom where he had his workbench. Hed put on his magnifying visor and take the little box off the shelf. Inside the tiny figures of Bill Mimi Buster and some of their friends and family. All carved from cow horn he would collect in the beef department of the company during his lunch hour. The largest of the figures Bill was only a half-inch high. Bills big gooney hands were visible on the carving if you looked real close with the visor. Mimi was amazed at how realistic the figures were and how they had so much detail – right down to the little mole she had on her chin and the rabies tag that Buster had hanging from his collar. Bill made his own tools out of discarded and broken dental tools that Dr. Lange saved for him. Bill was meticulous. He kept his workbench as tidy and clean as Dr. Langes. It was his way of having some order control and neatness unlike his job on the line. No one else in the family ever saw Bills carvings. Over the years his collection had grown to forty figures including Buster and the feral cat that lived under the porch. Everything fit into a box the size of a cigarette pack lined with cotton wool and kept on the shelf near his table. Bill would work for a couple of hours every night before taking his bath and climbing into the bright yellow wrought-iron bed with Mimi. She would massage his hands and sometimes rub them with olive oil that she warmed on the wood stove. If they made love that night Bill would talk a while then turn on his side and tell Mimi about what he carved that night. Tonight sleepy from his big meal and lovemaking he told Mimi that he was having a little trouble with one of the carvings. It was the figure of Mrs. Lovettes daughter Emma that lived across the road. Bill had put a little too much pressure on his carving tool this time and had broken one of the tiny arms. He was upset but would try to mend it the next evening.

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10 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 In the morning as Bill was climbing into the cab of his pickup he saw Emma walking to the school bus. She had a bandage on her hand and her arm was in a sling. He asked her what had happened. She told him she was practicing her cheerleading last night and she fell from the top of a pyramid that the other girls had formed for a new routine. Her arm was broken. It was a clean break. Pub. Flash Fiction World Norwich England January 2013. Ideophones. Ideophones are evocative. Here is a list. Wisp shaggy bulbous twinkle bling angst janky. Do you have some suggestions to add  More in English: boing the sound of a spring being released  boom the sound of an explosion  bang the sound of a gunshot  bling-bling glitter sparkle  pitter-patter the sound of rain drops  swish the sound of swift movement  splish-splash the sound of water splashing  ta-daa the sound of a fanfare  thud the sound of something heavy falling on the ground  tick-tock the sound of time passing  twinkle the glow of something sparkling or shiny This session is to further introduce workshop members to the flash fiction genre-- what it is how it is and why it is. Participants will learn a bit of history on the form by consulting the web start with HISTORY

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11 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 on Wikipedia at: We will learn who some of the outstanding writers are in this genre. Look this up at home and read the article on Wikipedia. Bring any questions with you next session. Participants will read selected material will work on a story analysis and will begin writing stories from suggested exercises examples and cues. I think that most or many of my “poems” are flash fiction pieces. Editors writing on the topic have said this. Prose poems only of course not rhyme pieces. Do you have one of your own poems which may lend itself to one of our writing exercises If so please include a copy of the original poem with the piece you turn in. st exercise: Write a flash piece from the perspective of a child or teen. It does not have to be first person. Also the character can be an older child.Try to capture the feelings thoughts and voice of the character. Get inside the head of someone younger and give them something challenging to deal with. Alter their usual day-to-day life with something that really affects them. Source material Check this out at home. Find more source material by exploring the BLOGs of some younger people. HINT: Avoid clichés idioms and overuse of adverbs Cross them out on your draft and use other words or omit them altogether. This is a link to a prize-winning student newspaper at Homestead High School in Cupertino California. My high school pal Nick taught journalism here. You may detect some “teen voices” in this publication. Homework: Option 1 Read some flash fiction from your personal list or resource of suggested readings/authors and then write a flash story. I have listed some below. 1

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12 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Cue: Under a bench in a park lay a duffel bag with an old photo a CD player a flash drive and candle inside. Who owns these items and what do they mean to this character and how did they end up in the park Often I will use one of my photographs as a cue or prompt. Let the image below be a prompt for one of your exercises. Try NOT to mention Christmas. Option 2: Write a shaggy dog story . Here is a one I wrote and published on line in 2001: A young intern was working in the emergency room one evening as his supervising physician pulled him aside. He was chastised for treating an attractive young woman that sat on a tube of super glue before he treated an old man that burned himself on the hand while cooking. The intern argued his case but lost the argument and his job. He had not

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13 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 learned that a burn on the hand is worse than glue on the tush. Go ahead and write a short piece that puts a twist on one or more of the following sayings or idioms. Refer to list below. You may use your own of course: A Blessing In Disguise: A Chip On Your/His/Her Shoulder: A Dime A Dozen: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: A Leopard Cant Change His Spots: A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned: A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Actions Speak Louder Than Words: All Bark And No Bite: All Greek to me: At The Drop Of A Hat: Option 3. Often things you read strike you in such a way that they can be impetus for a story or an anecdote. In Italy they play concerts to the trees in the forest that supplies the wood for the violin makers. Do you have something in your journal that is waiting for you Selected writers of flash fiction: Hemingway Malamud Cheever Paley Oates Updike Donald Barthelme Ray Bradbury Peter Taylor Raymond Carver Author from Port Angeles.

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14 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Consult Google and Amazon Books for other authors. Look for examples on line. My favorite story about Hemingway is how he used to brag that he could write a story with just six words and then he backed it up by actually doing it. "For sale: baby shoes never worn." eek Two Topics: Introduction to the Limerick and A Matter of Simplicity Today for a bit of fun we will read and write some limericks. Limericks were first referred to as NONSENSE VERSE 1851. A limerick is a form of poetry five-lines with a strict rhyme scheme AABBA which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The first second and fifth lines are usually longer than the third and fourth. Edward Lear was famous for his limericks. Check him out on line. Listen to some of them read here: lear/4868/there-was-an-old-person-of-dean/ A few of my limericks written for a friend’s web site in mid-2007: A careless café cook in our town sneezes and wipes on her gown. When she dropped the toast and the large pork roast she laughed and served it face down. A comely pole dancer from PA moved and gyrated in a way that an accident occurred. The details are blurred W

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15 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 but the club closed early that day. A older lap dancer from Sequim employed her artificial limb in a way so unique do I dare take a peek and I shall but the light is too dim. Again a different form of writing forces you to adhere to certain conventions be mindful of word choice have fun and be inventive. My apologies to those of you that find this crude and distasteful. Mind you I did not include the most obscene of my ‘lims. This session will discuss the concept of simplicity in creating short- short fiction. We will explore simple stories to discover how so much power can be contained in such a small space as a short-short story. I have included some helpful links for you here: is a link to the Rhyme Zone site for finding rhymes. You can find synonyms and antonyms here:

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16 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Lastly a chart of proof reading symbols: Try the REVERSE dictionary. Read the story Blind Man by Kate Chopin. chopin.html It is only 775 words. Next read Kate Emery’s Course in flash fiction. Start on page 4 where she analyzes Kate Chopin’s piece then read the remainder. It’s on my site at: http://sequim- Expires September 2018. Here is an example of one of my pieces that was originally a short poem. It is very simple and I made an effort to find the right words and to be as concise as I could while still telling my story.

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17 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 A Sign 309 words The madman chalked red X’s on the sidewalks of the houses if he suspected or had evidence that people there were unkind to each other or their dogs. When he was a young man he studied hobo signs chalked on railroad cars mailboxes fences buildings in barnyards and in towns he probed. Signs that said “doubtful” “mean dog” “be ready to defend yourself” “dirty jail” or “nothing doing here” sent him away or might draw him closer to investigate. He was a harvest hobo following the crops in the West. Once beaten senseless and left to die in a Fresno alley. They laughed when they punched and kicked him stealing his knapsack and his kit. The beating injured his brain. He was never the same. He lost all inhibitions and good judgment. He couldn’t remember what rows to pick when he picked grapes in Visalia and oranges in Porterville. He lost track of time and had to write everything down. He made little sketches so he could find his way back to his box under the railroad bridge. At night he played his harmonica until he dropped into dreams of his days as a boy or his job with the city. He dreamt of the beautiful woman that gave him a whole pie when he begged for food at her door. He dreamt of the old black man that looked into his eyes for a long time before tears came. The old man saw himself in his eyes. He saw a man with even less than himself and it was more than he could endure. The hobo impressed the dirt path in front of the man’s simple cottage with a new mark – a mark never seen before. It was an austere eye a large tear in both corners made with polished pebbles and shells he carried in his pack. _____

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18 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Creative thinkers are expected to introduce NEW ideas. The degree to which an idea is considered new or unique is directly related to how unexpected it is in a given context. It is not so easy to come up with a unique idea through an act of will or intense concentration: the mind tends to revert to its old patterned and in-the-box thinking. Here is an idea that may enhance your writing pursuit. Comedian actor and writer Tina Fey has Four Rules of Improv that resonate with both business and funny people: · The first rule of improvisation is to AGREE. · The second rule of improv is to not only say YES say YES AND. · The next rule is MAKE STATEMENTS. · THERE ARE NO MISTAKES only OPPORTUNITIES. The rules can also apply to improvisational writing. Tina Fey sat down with James Lipton from the actors studio: Improvisational comedians are among the most quick-witted of entertainers. Paula Poundstone is an example. Watching this video of one of the best comedians and improvisational comics is homework. Randomness has long been used to jumpstart creativity in many areas beyond writing. In his creative thinking seminars Edward De Bono instructed business executives to randomly select a word from the dictionary and try to establish some meaningful link between it and the problem or topic at issue. This strategy is meant to promote "Lateral Thinking” where the "train of thought" is derailed from its linear well-traveled

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19 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 route to make new connections between concepts or things that were previously unrelated. Let’s use a list of random words and choose two or three of them to weave into a short piece. Here is a list of 50 random words generated with a random number generator on my PC. Pick a word from each column and use the words in a short story. eek Three: The Fable A fable is a fictitious story intended to instruct some truth or to amuse. A fable is a succinct story in prose or verse that features animals mythical creatures forces of nature etc. Famous fabulists include Thurber Orwell and Kafka. W

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20 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 A fable differs from a parable. A parable excludes animals plants inanimate objects and forces of nature Two of the most well known fables are The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and The Grasshopper. The Ant and the Grasshopper On one fine summers day in a field a Grasshopper was hopping about in a musical mood. An ant passed by bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. The grasshopper invited the ant to sit for a chat with him. However the ant refused saying that "I’m storing up food for winter.” "Why don’t you do the same" asked the ant to the grasshopper. "Pooh Why bother about winter" said the Grasshopper we have got enough food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. Finally when winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger while it saw the ants distributing corn and grain from their storage. Then the Grasshopper understood that…It is best to prepare for the days of necessity. Exercise: Write a fable. Have one character an animal bug or fish and the other a human. Remember a fable instructs or amuses. After we take our break please read a few of your lines to the group. Try to write a Twisted Fable. Make up your own version of a moral to provide as your ending for your piece. I wrote one this morning while exercising my dog in the park. It ended “…and so he avoided cruelty to stuffed animals.”

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21 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Homework: Write a second fable. Choose your own “actors” characters. eek Four: Flash or Fable Choose your favorite form. Is it Flash or Fable Share your reason for your choice. Read one of your fables and one of your flash fiction pieces. Time permitting we will take time to discuss your work. If you like something about someone’s work say what you liked. How did it make you feel What would you like more of in their work Here are some words from Sharon Poppen writer and teacher: She tells her readers “Next week we’ll cover the techniques of critiquing with a focus on the following. Did you hook me Did you give me a puzzle to solve or stir an emotion in me Did you develop a character that made me love/hate him/her Will I believe the situation Did I sigh or groan with emotion when I read ‘The End’.” Reacting to Critiques Who to ask for critiques. As a rule don’t ask family or close friends. You put both of you in a difficult or awkward position. An exception is what I asked you to do in the workshop. If they don’t like what you have written they feel awkward about telling you so. If they liked it you will wonder if love clouded their reaction. Find a writer’s group of like-minded folks either locally or on-line. The on-line writer’s groups are usually the most honest. The only connection you have with them is the written word and they are usually brutally honest. In my case a private one-too-one meeting with a writer and poet Patty Kinney I respected was one of the most W

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22 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 beneficial writing experiences I’ve had. We met once a week. During the week I sent my “coach” some poems and stories. They liked it The critiquer Yes it is a word. says ‘I love it’. Nice but does it help you to know what worked or didn’t You can’t dictate how you’ll be critiqued but make sure any feedback you give to an author reveals what worked what didn’t and why. They didn’t like it. If they were specific as to why decide if it was just a problem of prejudice or wrong genre for the reader. If not evaluate their comments and see if their suggestions or objections would improve the piece. It’s hard to hear negative comments about your story but good constructive criticism is vital to bringing your story up to the best possible level. Having said that keep in mind that it is your story your voice. You decide what to use and what to toss. Here are questions that should be addressed. What hooked the reader and why What phrasing or action made the character come alive Was the situation believable Did the plot drag in spots or was the pacing a compliment to the action Was there author intrusion with a lot of telling or was the reader given word pictures to see what was happening. Show don’t tell. Read this essay about SHOWING vs. TELLING. rules/why-show-dont-tell-is-the-great-lie-of-writing-workshops How did you feel when you read the last line of the piece Did you want more Would you read this author again

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23 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Suggested reading list: All available from Amazon Books. Look for used copies. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew Paperback Ursula K. Le Guin Author Try the library for this one. It’s very pricey on Amazon. Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way Paperback Georgia Heard Author Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Shambhala Library Hardcover Natalie Goldberg 5 th Coffee BLOG. My BLOG. On line since August 2008. W eek Five: Haiku Haiku is often inspired by an element of nature a moment of beauty or a poignant experience. Haiku poetry was originally developed by Japanese poets and the form was adapted to English and other languages by poets in other countries.

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24 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 A haiku poem consists of three lines with the first and last line having 5 moras and the middle line having 7. A mora is a sound unit much like a syllable but is not identical to it. Syllables are used as moras. Haiku form: 3 lines 1 st line 5 syllables 2 nd line 7 syllables 3 rd line 5 syllables again The following are typical of haiku:  They may focus on nature.  A “season word” such as “snow” which tells the reader what time of year it is.  A division somewhere in the poem which focuses first on one thing than on another. The relationship between these two parts is sometimes surprising.  Instead of saying how a scene makes him or her feel the poet shows the details that caused that emotion. If the sight of an empty winter sky made the poet feel lonely describing that sky can give the same feeling to the reader. The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson has this to say about writing Haiku: Write two lines about something beautiful in nature. You can use the pictures below to give you ideas. Don’t worry about counting syllables yet.

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25 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Write a third line that is a complete surprise that is about something completely different from the first two lines. Look at the three lines together. Does the combination of these two seemingly unrelated parts suggest any surprising relationships Does it give you any interesting ideas Now rewrite the poem using the 5-syllable 7-syllable 5-syllable format and experimenting with the new ideas or perspectives that have occurred to you A couple of my Haiku: The Spring morning sun filling cups of red blossoms. Mind overflowing.

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26 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 The rough rock bowl is full filled by the new rain for birds. paints water silver. Dried stalks of rhubarb turn brittle in the summer. Born again next year. The sparrows come back to say thank you for their home. Their houses await them. In Spring the barn burned. I now have a better view. Of far blue mountains. The strong bowstring sang. My arrow will find its home As I drink my tea. Today I feel strong. Equal to birds in the tree Pebbles underfoot. The young lady sitting next to me at lunch wrote this down for me after we got in a conversation about Haiku.: Haiku Haikus are easy But sometimes they don’t make sense Refrigerator

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27 All work unless otherwise credited is Copyright 2011-18 T. Pitre Sequim WA. Rev 4 8/26/2016 Why do we practice writing Haiku in this workshop Discussion. W eek Six: Writing critiques evaluations re-discovery etc. Writing in the present moment by Darin Hammond Professional Writer Blogger The most important thought is that you must write in the present moment to be successful. What I mean is that you must free yourself of all thoughts of the past and future and just write. No thinking of the future or past success or failure. Enjoy and be at one with the act of writing and you will be fulfilled and successful. Some activities that will help in this include meditation deep breathing free writing brainstorming reflecting journaling and outlining. Focus on the positive and eliminate the negative. You can do this. You have done it before and you will again. You are great and possess all you need to write remarkable pieces. Find your confidence and cling to it. Write write write.

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