How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women

screenshot-2016-11-23-10-54-21An online course I took this fall through the University of Iowa International Writing Program  let me  exchange ideas on a global scale with professors and other writers.

The five-week course was How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women.

A video, reading and writing assignments, and optional readings were provided with each assignment. I worked at my own pace. Here is a peek into what I learned:

Assignment #1:

Voice and Identity: I wrote a new piece based on a childhood about finding out my family would be moving from Vine Street in Webb City, MO. This was the most difficult piece. Until this piece, I hadn’t written from a child’s point of view.

Assignment #2:

Desire and Point of View:  I took an old, unpublished short story and revised it. I concentrated on the main character’s big and little Ds, his desires and how that influenced the conflict.

Assignment #3:

Immersion: I concentrated on world building. I took a half-done historical manuscript, “Boston Mountains” with a twist and honed the sensory elements in a couple of scenes where some characters were above ground in the 1800s, but the main character was below, lost in a cave subculture.

Assignment #4:

Cast and Plot: I took a fairly new scene I wrote for my current in-progress manuscript, “Another Kind of Hero” and revised an interrogation scene by changing the characters to an all female cast.

Assignment #5:

Narrative Experimentation:

I chose “Boston Mountains” again to play around with sequence and fragmentation. I don’t like reading fiction that uses this technique, but it was fun to play with the form, especially because there were already some futuristic components in some of the scenes.

I recommend the course. It is free and will be offered again soon.


Lynn Hesse

3 thoughts on “How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women

  1. Hi Lynn,

    I love your blog! Keep up the good work. I also got a lot of insight from your last one about being a cop….too sad. But I didn’t take time to email.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Warmly, Lanie

    1. Lately, I keep meeting Lynns. Happy to meet you online. I was named after my grandfather, Charles Lynn Tharp. He was a miner in Webb City Missouri, a Pentecostal minister, and loved the ladies. Who are you named after?

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