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Class #1
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
So I went to my first novel writing class. Trying to decide whether to stay in it.

Here's the scoop:

Pros:
Really cool instructor.
Maaya from down the hall is in it.
Really diverse, talkative group of people.
Interesting readings for class.

Cons:
It's a workshop (this means I have to give people my work! I do not trust people!)
One psycho fangirl who is writing a book that is "My own interpretation of Christian Mythology"
Mostly people over 40

The instructor said that she would be happy to work with me individually instead of doing the workshop thing, so that would be cool.

She also offered to check out the undergrad writing courses to see if there's something similar being offered that's younger people.

We got the workshop readings for next week, and it looks, well, the one story I already started reading is crap.

I think I'm going to email the professor at Harvard and find out more about that class, Laurie is going to find out about the undergrad offerings for me. I am just not sure if it's worth my while to sit in a workshop course when I don't want anyone to read my stuff, and I'm wondering if there's something more appropriate for me to take, since what I really need is to learn the publishing stuff and theprocess stuff (which Laurie said is definitely part of the class)

Anyone have any advice?

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The pros far outway the cons, it looks to me.

If it focused on what I want to be learning, I would be totally for it. But I am not interested in workshopping, and it sounds like the class will be mainly that.

I discuss.
Workshops are problematic. You throw out an idea offhandedly and it's the basis for the next person's novel. People aren't really trustworthy. Is there a waiver for the class? There should be.
If you want a class that isn't a workshop, you should look for one. I don't reccomend settling for a classtype that will leave you inhibited or cautious about looking into what you came for. Similarly, I don't reccomend giving up on the idea. Maybe a workshop would be good for you. Who knows?
Just keep looking around and settle into a class whenever you feel a little more comfortable about it. Until then, keep your mind open to the idea of this workshop.

The workshop problem isn't me throwing out an idea offhandedly. It's that I need a class where I can work on my novel, and it's an idea that I have been planning out for over a year now. I'm pretty sure no one has ever written anything like it before, and I don't want someone else to write it first.

Well, generally... yeah. :p
If you're truly worried about it, I can only reccomend finding another class, geared more specificly to what you want. Because looking forever to find THIS class just wasn't enough work. :p

Eesh, if your classmates mostly suck, it's going to be a long semester, especially in a novel-oriented writing course. What's awful in chapter one will be god-awful by chapter three.

I don't know if you'll find a non-workshop, process-oriented course outside of a very comprehensive creative writing program. (Harvard might indeed have that, though I remember the Harvard writing courses that DBB took were workshop-based.)

Would the individual thing be entirely a tutorial, or more like auditing the class? Would you still have to read ChristXPilate fic?

it's not as bad as christxpilate. it's more like good ideas, badly executed. like it's a fairly straightforward coming of age story with way too much inner-monologue.

it would be more like auditing the class. it's not for credit, so i don't really need to read the crappy shit if i don't want.

You know, if it's not for credit, you could also just be completely honest about the crappy shit. It sounds like the class minus the workshop is actually pretty relevant. In any case, Class #2 is going to be a much better indicator of the road ahead, unless that's too late to decide.

The workshop might be worthwhile if you think you can get anything out of seeing what the teacher advises the other students and what they do. But if the teacher finds anything better you can switch.

Play it safe and sound them out first. Write a fake novel, distribute it to the class, and talk loudly about how you've already mentioned the idea offhandedly to a friend in the publishing industry and they were sure it would sell. Make it something obvious, like Jesus is reborn as a Martian and decides to conquer the earth and exterminate all life because he's sick of hearing about his second coming. Then you can just wait and see who rips you off and tries to publish it first, and you'll know not to distribute your real manuscript to them.

I think I need to start asking you for advice more often.

Just wait 'til you see what I like to tell people about potential financial investments.

hey, you stole my idea :(

Hm. I'd say not to do the class. Maybe there are some good parts but the workshop thing seems to be really bothering you- it would bother me, too. especially since you're doing such a new thing...- and I think your gut is leaning you to a no.

Hopefully you find a good equivalent, though!

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