Friday, July 22, 2011

Potential sour grapes and the beauty of writing

I might be committing a blogging faux pas, we'll see...

I recently blogged about dealing with my first writerly rejection. In the grand scheme of life, I have accepted this and am already thinking of ways to improve my application for next fall's course consideration.

All that being said, please allow me a very minor sour grapes moment. When leafing through the course catalogue for the local writing center where I had applied to teach my 2-day NaNoWriMo course, I noticed they offer a relatively similar class. My concern is NOT with the class; the teacher is likely well-respected, published, and has taught this class many times before. The writing center is smart to keep going with a tried and trusted model.

But the class is offered two ways: online in a 12-week format ($500+) or a two-day intensive ($180+).

I would've been happy to lead a section over the course of two Saturdays for free, just to introduce people to the world of NaNo and to get some experience leading a group discussion under my belt.

Five hundred dollars for a 12-week online course blows my mind and makes it immediately out of the question. Sadly, I wonder how many other people will be unable to take advantage of the online courses for the same reason. Until I have more funds, I will continue to take a few Saturday classes and meet with my crit group.

Speaking of my crit group, we met last night. Instead of having sections to swap for review, we used the time to write.

That's right. Pure. Writing.

It was heavenly.

And as a result, I have this three-pronged giant of a story twirling around in my head. The scope is SO out of reach but right now, this is okay. It's allowed to be wild and unruly. Hopefully, a few more hours of dreaming, brainstorming, and mapping out possible What if scenarios will help coax the real plot to life. But for now, I'm dumping everything into the funnel. Kidnappings. Fuel needs. Space. Land. Medications. Double crosses. Hope. Family. Faith. Bartering. New technology. Old ways. Lotteries. Rations. Tablets. Restricted areas. Bunkers. Adventure.

There's more to come, I can feel it in my head. But that's a taste of everything that came out last night in only ninety minutes of dedicated writing. Imagine the possibilities if I did that every day...

You tell me: was that sour grapes of me? I don't think it was, but you never know... And when starting a new story idea, do you throw everything and the kitchen sink into your brainstorm in hopes of finding something that sticks?


  1. I don't think it's sour grapes - maybe fermented wine. :) It does seem quite pricey. My crit group has 12-week sessions for $150.

    For brainstorming, I do the same thing you do. Everything goes into the "funnel," so I don't limit myself. You never know what hidden connections you'll find!

    I make lots of notes, character sketches and plot points, but I don't tend to write seriously on it until things shake out a little from that initial mad rush. :)

    Good luck on the new project!

  2. Wow that sounds way overpriced! Not sour grapes, just careful with funds?

  3. I don't think it's sour grapes, just an acknowledgement that you wanted to help people regardless of their pocketbook. Wow, that's expensive. The kind of money I'd only consider paying for a workshop with a great, like Maass for James Scott bell. the kind of money lots of people couldn't come up with no matter who was teaching.

    You mentioned that you've been taking classes as you can and working with your crit group. Have you tried reading any books on writing by Donald Maass or James Scott Bell (my two favorites)?

  4. Phew, thanks everyone. After reading Nathan Bransford's blog from yesterday I was even more worried I was going to be lit up for unprofessionalism...

    I hope the $500 is good, for the sake of those who can afford to give it a whirl.

    @Margo--Actually, I have a Maass book upstairs, along with pdf worksheets from The Writer magazine. Truth be told, I'm a bit scared to sit down and really take a look, but I suppose my book can only be improved!


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