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WSP 40 — Outdistancing Your Inner Critic: Write Fast to Find Your Creative Voice

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturdays
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Date(s): Mar 12—Mar 19
Duration: 2 days
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Mar 5
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $255
Format: On-campus course
Limit: Limit 21
Status: Open
One of the biggest challenges of writing is facing the blank page, and one of the most tried-and-true methods for outdistancing the inner critic—the voice that makes it hard to put down the first word—is writing quickly. Finding your voice means figuring out the best ways to encourage your first creative impulses before anything else takes over. In this two-day intensive course, we will take on a range of exercises designed to tap into your most fiction-worthy responses—the unplanned words that take you by surprise and carry you forward into ideas for a story or even a novel. We’ll take a look at brief excerpts from writers like Flannery O’Connor, George Saunders, and Kelly Link, and we’ll also work with writing prompts and timed writing exercises for small group feedback. These activities are designed to help launch you on the road to finding your voice and developing good creative habits. Along the way, we’ll talk briefly about what makes a good story, and discuss some of the basic elements of fiction writing, like character, conflict, etc. This workshop is for beginners interested in fiction writing of all kinds.

Angela Pneuman, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Angela Pneuman is the author of the novel Lay It on My Heart and the short story collection Home Remedies. Her fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Iowa Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and the Los Angeles Review. She is a contributor to Salon, The Believer, and The Rumpus. She received an MFA in writing from Indiana University and a PhD in English from the State University of New York at Albany.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks