April 2, 2015 by musehick
I read a lot today, and I have read a lot in the past week. It is true that it has been one character, but the differing approaches and different writers makes it an interesting study in how you approach the fiction that you write, how it strings together, and how the integrity of the character hangs together.
This is how I learn about writing and I think this would have to be the basis of any course I would write on the subject … which incidentally is something I have been devoting some serious thinking to.
The masters would have students that learned by copying, by imbibing the techniques of those that came before them. I have heard tell of writers who have typed out their favourite books in total to be the idea of how to create sentences in the way their heroes did. It is better than being talked at; that is not only tedious but too prescriptive. But I also read a book, I am not going to name it here, that tried so hard to avoid committing to any kind of rule making that it was like a diet of watery broth.
I have said before that I love the Actor’s Studio for its approach to teaching via interview (1 technique at least) which sidesteps being didactic while retaining its instructional core. Teaching is a hard thing to do, especially in an art form where there is so much variety and so many different techniques that seem apposite but all work, but it can be done. It am excited to meet the challenge.