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1000 Black Lines

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Creative Non-fiction Class

Tonight was my first class on the craft of writing and publishing creative non-fiction. The class is taught by Neal Thompson author of Light This Candle: The Life & Times of Alan Shepard, America's First Spaceman. Previously today, on my lunch break, I had traveled to Office Depot and purchased two new composition books for the class and looked forward to breaking in at least one of them. The chaos of work dissolved as I ate a double cheeseburger at a stoplight while waiting to drive downtown. The class started at 6 PM and Neal began by reading three published pieces that embodied the literary form of narrative non-fiction (or creative non-fiction). He read just enough to tease us to read further and then he moved onto the next selection. Neal illustrated that if you can hook the reader with a well-written introduction then the reader will want to read the rest of the story. In other words, offer the reader a reason to keep reading by providing a cliff-hanger moment in the story's openning paragragh. The rest of the class was spent with introductions. It is a small class but each member introduced him/herself, stated their purpose and goal for being part of the class and mentioned a non-fiction book they had recently read. The first in-class assignment was to write a short story about something that happened today. The class spent about five or ten minutes writing and then Neal ask each member to read what was written. Honestly, I can't think of a piece that was read which was poorly written. Everything read was a good start to a story. I look forward to next weeks class.

  1. Blogger woody | 9:55 PM, September 16, 2004 |  

    C'mon. Post what you wrote and let's see how good it really was. Maybe we can determine if you even need to go to the rest of the classes or just comp out.

  2. Blogger 1000 black lines | 8:10 PM, September 23, 2004 |  

    As you requested...

    Exercise 1: Write something that happened to you today (in 10 minutes)With a weekly budget of $35,000, a $200 invoice doesn't seem like a big deal. Sure, $200 here $200 there adds up. But this is an annual expense not a weekly expense. Thus the budget battle begins. My cup of coffee hasn't been sipped, slurped or otherwise consumed. I already prepare myself to angle the expense into the marketing budget, but I have to do it in a way that makes the other department think it was their idea. I'm making mental notes of who to rally and share the Photo.com subscription. I know my division only uses 20% of the product. Who can I ask to help shoulder this expense?

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