Rewriting Class! Registration Wrapping Up…

Here are some notes on a fresh, new class, Rewriting: A Toolbox That Works, I’ll be leading at U of T SCS this summer (starts July 6, Wednesdays, 6-9 PM, 8 weeks).

I’ve been in the arts education world for awhile. But it has always struck me as odd that there aren’t learning environments where writers can deepen their work through re-writing. God knows, the initial inspiration is thrilling—but then what?

Rewriting is, for me, is a bit like peeling an onion.Over time and by poking around I learn more and more about what I’ve written. By engaging with the material in a focused way, the material teaches me what it needs to be the most potent, resonant and effective.

For example, I recently had a breakthrough with the novel I’m working on through the RadioHead song, The Bends. But, my approach has taught me to notice Repetition, Tempo, Duration, Shape, Space, The Weather, Gesture—all sorts of ways to enter material and craft something fresh. Voice and authenticity can be cagey animals. It’s taught me that is not so far from Hamlet. That newspaper headlines today can help me to understand Walter Benjamin’s exile 70 years ago.

To these ends, I pitched Rewriting: A Toolbox That Works. It’s mainly for those who’ve got a first draft or anticipate having to rewrite at some point.

While I haven’t finished the course outline yet, here’s a Course Description and a rough week-to-week outline. I’ve put main discipline from which I am drawing in parens. There will be some interaction with Social Media in the class’s pedagogy so regular access to the Internet is recommended.

You’ve got that first draft. You’ve written a novel, short story, screenplay, essay, article or poem. But, you’ve hit a wall. Now take your writing further by deepening your engagement with craft. Equip your writing tool box with fresh approaches to structure, content and voice. These will serve you well in the all-important rewriting process. This class offers a variety of interdisciplinary tools & techniques (from literature, visual art, theatre, music, film, reportage, testimony, etc.) to transition from idea to final draft.

Eight Weeks (6 July-24 August, 2011; 630—9p, Wednesdays)

Typically, I will introduce a topic, model its possible use and then we will apply it to our own work. This is a workshop environment, not a lecture seminar. There will be some theory (NB: I’m a theory hound-dog but this is not a theory class). We will either sign-up to present work for all of us to engage with, work on our own pieces in class or a combination of the two. That said, be prepared to work with your material in-class.

Week 1: Viewpoints: organic points of awareness (Dance & Theatre)

Week 2: Repetition, Imitation & Monads (Theatre & Philosophy)

Week 3: Setting & Architecture (Architecture & Meteorology)

Week 4: Tempo, Rhythm & Music (Dance, Social Media, Literature, Film & Pop Music)

Week 5: The Story and the story (Film, Visual Art, Journalism & Propaganda)

Week 6: The Body & The Gesture (Physiology, Theatre)

Week 7: Trace & Myth (Neuroscience, Chaos Theory, Lit Crit, Psycholanalysis)

Week 8: TBD

So, you’ve got a leg up. As of today, I haven’t even given the dept. this outline. But you can tell, I hope, where I’m headed. Come on over and take the class—no matter where you are with a novel, short story, poem, one-person show, screenplay, play, speech, essay or article.

~ by Thom on June 28, 2011.

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