Classes

       
Katherine McCord

Class Title: Characters Are People
Instructor: Katherine McCord
Class Term: August 5-September 9, 2019
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Synopsis:

Hemingway said that characters aren't characters but people. He also used the metaphor of an iceberg to describe their stories, meaning we only see the tip while most remains below the surface. You will explore your character/person through a series of prose assignments so you can make your character grow as a person with real needs. This will allow you to compose stories about them and possibly include the work you produce for this class in current stories you are writing, your in-process-novel, etc.

Description:

The course will consist of lectures about elements of craft along with writing assignments which will help you understand your person's motivations by going beneath the tip of the iceberg.

Goals:

Understanding characters on a deep level.

Group Participation:

Yes

Methods:

Group emails, "reply all" and no other materials needed

Outline:

  • Week 1: Introductions, welcoming, lecture delivered by me concerning the details of the theory that characters are people. Students may respond to and discuss the lecture as needed; I will partake. By the end of the week, students will email their written assignment which for week 1 will be to complete a journal entry written by their characters and we will respond.
  • Week 2: Lecture delivered by me concerning how to respond to student work and how this can relay writing growth. Students may respond and discuss the lecture as needed; I will partake. By the end of the week, students will email their written assignment which will be to complete a description of their person's backpack, purse, briefcase, etc., and we will respond.
  • Week 3: Lecture delivered by me concerning action, how the emotion of their person is shown by action, and those actions are starting to be understood via these writing assignments. Students may respond and discuss the lecture as needed; I will partake. By the end of the week, students will email their written assignment which will be to complete a homework assignment, memo, note, etc., written by their character and we will respond.
  • Week 4: Lecture delivered by me concerning writing toward truth, heat, and the bottom dropping out. Students may respond and discuss the lecture as needed; I will partake. By the end of the week, students will email their written assignment which will be to describe in detail their character's most valued possession, and we will respond.
  • Week 5: Lecture delivered by me concerning the scale of revision, how that can change, and conclusions. Students may respond and discuss the lecture as needed; I will partake. By the end of the week, students will email their written assignment which will be to complete a detailed memory, in terms of how their characters remember it, and we will respond.

Time Commitment:

3 hours per week

Skill Level:

Beginning to Advanced understanding of Creative Writing and Word, Internet, and email, which they'll need to have access to.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $160. Non-SCN members: $200.

Instructor Bio

Katherine McCord has been published in nationally-recognized literary journals, such as AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW. She's published four books by selective presses, her last two books having won the Autumn House Open Book Award in Creative Nonfiction and a Hoffer Legacy Award.

Website: www.katherinemccord.com



Praise for Katherine's Classes

  • Interesting comments - very insightful - and Katherine McCord's response time was extraordinaire. —Joan C., Coeur d'Alene ID

  • A really different form of poetry. Exciting and challenging. Pushes you to think outside the box. —Kathryn S., Cary NC

  • Found poetry was relatively new to me before the course. I enjoyed the many possibilities, both literal and visual it offered. The option to utilize varied artistic skills made this class unique. Thanks. —Ariela Z., Ellsworth ME

  • The most helpful and invigorating instruction I've ever received. —Letishia W., Norman OK