The Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

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I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

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Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “The Fiction Class

  1. Hmmm. He certainly has trouble expressing his opinions, doesn’t he? I mean, let’s not hold back on what we really think … 🙂 As for the writing talent thing, I think that you probably have to have a certain amount of talent to be a writer, but I think the most successful writers aren’t necessarily the ones with the most talent. There are probably a lot of extremely talented writers out there working at some other job, with no-one knowing they can write. It seems that discipline and persistence are at least as important as talent, if not more so, when it comes to writing.

  2. After more than 20 years of trying to teach academic writing, I tell aspiring writers that I can teach them some of the tricks and show them some of the techniques, but that I can be more of a midwife to good writing than anything else.

    1. Perfect!
      and I was hoping you might be in the audience for this post! Because you are a fabulous writer and I’m sure a fabulous writing midwife. Thank you!!

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