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I stress that a good story doesn’t need to “look pretty”; I am seeking creative and interesting content.We also discuss how to critique writing, and that it involves positive, constructive comments about the writing and not about the writer.On the first day of class I give the students all the printed materials for the class.
When I ring a bell, I ask then to pass their story to another student and add to the story.
We continue this rotation until everyone has written on each story.
On Day 3, we discuss point of view such as objective, first person, third person, and omniscient.
We then do an activity; students write a short story or re-write a familiar story from a different point of view, such as write from the view of your dog or a fly on the wall or a button on your shirt.
I also ask each student to fill out a note card and write anything else they want me to know about them such as “I am shy and don’t like to read aloud”, or “My parents wanted me to take this class, but I didn’t really want to.” We then discuss class rules such as the prohibition of grossness or violence or cuss words in their writing.
And, after the first year, I added another rule; students who choose to use the classroom computers be allowed text only, no graphics, no fancy fonts or colors.
The exercise we do on Day One has been very successful as an icebreaker.
I ask students to write for five minutes; I keep a list of ideas in case the students need a jump start on their writing.
Professionally, I have written numerous articles that have been published in various therapy journals.
Additionally, I have an accounting degree and love the world of business and have taught entrepreneuring classes to both adults and children.