Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Welcome to WIP

Hi everyone, this is going to be the blog for the Writing in Practice courses from now on. Remember that stories you post here can be read by anyone, so take that into account if you have intentions of publishing anything in print in future (as this may constitute prior publication).
Right now I am setting up last year's stories in book form as JUDE has kindly offered to sponsor a publication. Anyone who took the course last year can send me the stuff here.
here is the course outline for anyone who would like to take it next semester.

Writing in Practice
Optional Course for Autumn Semester (2/4)
Department of English, Jadavpur University
Dr Rimi B. Chatterjee

Maximum intake: 20 students

Course outline: This course is designed to give students the basic technical and stylistic skills necessary to write creative prose. It will use insights from critical theory but focus on the craft of writing and the art of evoking reader response. Students will develop their innate creativity through writing exercises and performance and become acquainted with the basics of writing professionally. They will be evaluated on the artistic quality, originality, and polish of their works. As endterm evaluation there will be four one-hour-long sessions of presentations (five per session) open to the entire department in the final week of the course, and a final written examination. Evaluation will be 5+5 (classwork) 10 (midterm examination), 10 + 10 + 10 (end of term presentation and written examination).

The topics covered will be as follows:

Week 1: Basics of writing and editing creative work.
Week 2: Creating a character: back story
Week 3: The basics of plot.
Week 4: The basics of dialogue.
Week 5: Practice on the above: students write a story from an assortment of plot elements which they must weave together credibly using the techniques they have learned. They will be marked on 5 for this.
Week 6: Critique session for the stories: editing
Week 7: Editing, fixing and changing fiction. Practice session for midterm.
Midterm: To be evaluated on 10 marks.
Week 8: The anxiety of influence: how to fight it. Exercises in boosting originality.
Week 9: The ethics of using personal incidents and information in fiction. Confessional fiction, autobiographical fiction. Exercises in fictionalizing reality.
Week 10: Advanced editing: tact and register. Exercises on style and taste. Students will be started off on writing their final evaluated works. All pieces must be no more than 2000 words and no less than 1200 words.
Week 11: Writing for the stage. Practice.
Week 12: Practice on the above. Students will write short skits to be marked on 5 marks.
Week 13: Revision and practice. One short session on the career structure of writing professionally.
Week 14: Public performance of students’ works: readings open to the entire department. Each student will get a ten minute slot. To be evaluated as 20 mark practical: 10 for presentation and 10 for text.
End term: written examination of 10 marks.
Total marks 50.

Plagiarism will result in the automatic failure of a student. There will be no appeal or excuses. Translating from other languages will count as plagiarism for the purposes of this course. We will be checking.