I’ve been brooding again over how to teach writing, and how not to teach it, and a possibility occurs to me.
I like to teach by mimesis—by doing something, showing how it’s done, and saying “You can do this too, if you want.” It’s a very unfashionable approach to teaching these days, and we could have a long conversation sometime about the number of people in today’s America whose life seems to revolve around finding some gimmick to tell other people what to do—usually, of course, telling them to do something they’re not doing themselves. (Gay-bashing fundamentalist preachers with boyfriends on the side, and social justice warriors screaming hate speech at people who use hate speech, I’m looking at you...)
Would it be at all helpful to the aspiring authors among my readership if I were to write a novel right out here in public?
I’ve done online novels before, one scene at a time—my novels Star’s Reach and Retrotopia came into being that way—but I’m thinking of something even more transparent: here’s a scene; here’s my notes on how it came together and why I made the choices I did; well, that didn’t really work, did it, so let’s revise it, and so on. If that’s something that people would find helpful as well as entertaining, I can make a start next month.
Oh, and there’s a catch. (You knew there would be a catch, didn’t you?)
If I’m going to do this, I’m going to challenge my readers to write their own novels as I write mine. In public or in private, take your pick, but one of the points of the project is encouraging you to do the same thing, and why not now?
Let me know. Interested?