Welcome letter to new students
Welcome to the Exploratory Writing Workshop
You're receiving this letter because you have expressed an interest in the Workshop. Because of that interest I'm including you in the upcoming class, the Exploratory Writing Workshop. If you decide, after looking around, that you would prefer not participating, that is OK. Simply let me know and I'll delete you from the class roster.
My name is Bob but most know me as Percy Goodfellow. I'll be your guide for the workshop.
Please read the Introduction Page as soon as possible. It provides basic information about the workshop.
The Exploratory Writing Workshop includes an Orientation day which allows us to get to know each other and introduce you to the workshop before getting too far along. Orientation will begin officially on Thursday 25 June 2020. "Lounge for Exploratory Writing Workshop "
PAY ATTENTION ALL RETURNING STUDENTS!!! The workshop often has students who've taken the workshop before. They can attest to the value it offers, but sometimes FORGET, that the course material can change from one cycle to the next. If you're a returning student don't assume you already understand the syllabus. Please read every lesson like you're taking the Workshop for the first time.
Here's how the schedule works. Please try and keep up. This workshop is as intensive for me as it is for you. Try and find time each day to work on your weekly assignment. Putting the vignettes off to the last minute or worse . . . falling a week or two behind adds to the difficulty. If you don't understand something drop me an email. Playing catch-up detracts from the experience. Don't wait until the official start date to begin. As soon as you get this letter, GO to the classroom and get started on the first Lesson!
Week One officially begins Thursday 25 June. (I know, I'm repeating myself) You have until Thursday (COB 2 July) to complete the first assignment. There is plenty of time if you don't procrastinate! When you finish Lesson 1 post your Favorite Author Chapter Template and Three Part Character Development Model. . This Model consists of "Kindred's" POV given the Example Provided. Thereafter that the weekly cycle runs from Thursday to Thursday. All the lessons are posted so you can read ahead. Over the weekend I'll get to reviewing your vignette and have the results to you NLT COB Monday.
The link below will take you to our Weekly Assignment Overview Page. You'll find all of our assignment due dates there as well as the prompts for each week's vignette and the checklist questions for what is to be included in each one. You might want to save this link as one of your favorites. You can go anytime you're unsure about what you're supposed to be working on for any given lesson. Do not for a moment assume that the overview page can be used as a substitute for going to the classroom and reading the Lessons, Lectures, Check lists and Practical Exercises.
The purpose of the orientation is to answer any last minute questions before the class officially starts. Please post a brief bio in the "Lounge for Exploratory Writing Workshop " and respond to the posts of your fellow students. I'll check into the Lounge Forum to respond and get to know you better.
In preparation for the course, I want you to either "Template" Chapter One from one of your favorite novels—or use the one I provide. As an example I have used Chapter One in George Martin's, Game of Thrones . Take a look at the link to my example and do the same thing with a novel of your choice or copy my component distribution example and paste (tape/staple) it to your workstation. Please post your work in bitem format. As you take the workshop I want you thinking about the components a good chapter contains as you write your vignette
The workshop provides an example of a Three Part Character Development Model for writing a novel. It follows a character driven rather than a plot driven story line. If you come into the class with characters and plot that are already well defined and mentally locked in cement, I can all but guarantee you'll find yourself trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.
Instead all you need to start off with is an idea for a central character. In Vignette One (Lesson 2) you begin by showing your Central Character (CC) operating in the story world, and giving the reader a Before Snapshot of this special person. Your first vignette is about your Central Character, the story world. Make sure you show what your CC looks like and what makes them tick. A good place to start is showing their Wants, Needs and Desires. In Vignette Two you show your CC drawn out of the placid setting of Vignette 1 and swept into an uptempo of changing events and circumstances. In Vignette Three you take your CC over the edge and into a Life Changing Event (LCE.) As an added benefit these first three vignettes become possible sketches for the first three chapters of your novel. Talk about unexpected benefits!
In the last three Lessons of the workshop you delve into Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three of your novel... In Phase 1 you don your operational hat and name the first ten chapters in your book.. You already have vignettes (sketches) for chapters one, two and three. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 are named but not developed in the workshop. You will write these later and they will set up the First Crisis in your novel which begins in Chapter 7. The vignette in Lesson 4, will describe your CC dealing with the Chapter 7 crisis. Chapters 8,9, and 10 cover the aftermath of the First Crisis and are likewise not developed in the workshop...you will write them at some later date, after the workshop is over. So in lesson 4, you'll plunk down in the middle of Phase 1. This will require that you stretch your thinking across the entirety of Chapters 1-10 but only write a vignette for Chapter 7. This is where the CC realizes the full extent of the crisis facing him or her. For Lessons Six and Seven you'll do the same thing. In the finale, Lesson 8 you'll be writing an outline.
The workshop will show how to shift gears between the Tactical and Operations mode in writing your novel. There isn't enough room in your bio processor (brain) to handle everything that goes into the process. Your Random Access Memory (The part that allows your mind to think) is only capable of processing about a chapter's worth of information. So you have to shift back and forth between the two modes until you have a chain of chapters, some key bullets for each, and transitions that will tie everything together. If you read the lessons they will show you how to do this. You can't just wing it, however talented you consider yourself to be. While you no doubt have a penchant for good writing, following your own light will not get you where you need to go. If you don't read the lessons and follow instructions, the next eight weeks will be more frustrating than necessary.
The first time through many students have difficulty getting socialized and figuring out how to navigate around. As soon as you can go to the classroom, and click on the first lesson. When that flashes on the screen note that there are no Lectures being shown. They will begin showing up in Lesson 2. The lectures provide supporting information just like a Professor would provide in a regular classroom. Pay particular attention to the prompts and checklists. Please read the lessons closely and provide a vignette that answers the mail . . . you know, one that responds to what the lesson is calling for. Don't wait around to get started. As soon as you get this letter, go to the classroom and begin Lesson One. The classroom is unlocked and the blackboard is empty! Have fun and don't be concerned about getting ahead.
I'm looking forward to working with you in The Exploratory Writing Workshop. I think it will be confidence building and informative. I do request that you send me an e-mail to acknowledge receipt of the Welcome Letter.
Percy Goodfellow - Workshop Instructor
Links to The Exploratory Writing Workshop
Welcome Letter - "Exploratory Writing Workshop Welcome"
Introduction - "Intro - Exploratory Writing Workshop "
Assignment Overview - "The Weekly Assignment Overview Page"
Lounge - "Lounge for Exploratory Writing Workshop "
Assignment Forum - "Classroom (Assignment Forum) of EWW"
Dictionary of Writing Terms "Dictionary of Terms"