When: For 10 weeks starting Saturday October 8, 2022 at 11am to 1pm Eastern
Where: Online via Zoom
Level: Intermediate to advanced.
Materials: See below for required course texts
Week 1 (October 8) - Writing With Clarity, Some Basic Guidelines for working with words
Week 2 (October 15) - Sifting Through and Going Deeper with Existing Material
Week 3 (October 22) - Workshop I
Week 4 (October 29) - Dialogue in Comics
Week 5 (November 5) - Workshop II
Week 6 (November 12) - Editing large scripts and adaptations
Week 7 (November 19) - Pacing
(Note: Break November 26 for Thanksgiving)
Week 8 (December 3) - Workshop III
Week 9 (December 10) - Writing for Comics
Week 10 (December 17) - Q&A on Writing for Comics, How to Find Artists to Collaborate, Pitching Comics to Publishers, and other industry topics of interest
Calls will include live discussion and exercises.
Class videos, audios, chats and transcripts will be saved and archived
Course Texts Include:
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Maus by Art Spiegelman
City of Glass by David Mazzucchelli (Paul Auster adaptation)
Excerpts from writing books including: On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor, On Writing by Stephen King and others.
This course is intended for mid-level to experienced students who are interested in improving the clarity of the words in their story. By examining texts and analyzing how cartoonists have used the unique tools of comics to enhance narrative flow, dialogue and story pacing. All students will have the opportunity to workshop their comic script during sessions, with frequency depending on enrolment.
This course is less concerned with drawing ability, although image clarity and intentionality will be discussed.
By the end of the course, students will have a final draft of one or several comic scripts.
Q: Is your reading/writing course any good for those of us who draw/write or is it mainly geared towards writers?
A: It's good for any writer or artist wondering about the "words" of comics and storytelling. So if you are an artist using words in comics, or a writer without drawing skills, this would be a good place for you!
Q: Will there be exercises and assignments and feedback in your course? (Or 'only' reading, dissecting and discussing?)
Each week we read and discuss a section of one of the listed texts (I'll present a bit on what the focus is and we can have a dialogue around that theme.) We'll have an exercise in each class (any class that isn't a crit) that plays with the theme and work discussed--aka trying our hand at what we see.
Students will also be working on scripts outside of the in-class exercises that they can bring in for critique (depending on the number of students I think there would be three critique classes within the ten week class, with everyone in workshop reading each other's work.) It's a lot of reading BUT I think this is an excellent way to level-up your writing, by reading the work of your peers (so says the haggard, recent creative writing MFA grad...)
Q. Do we need to get the reading list to procure books before the class starts?
A: I am going to make all the excerpts available on the course page the week or two weeks or so prior to each discussion. That way students who can't get copies from the library or buy them can still look at the materials! But if you happen to have copies or prefer to have a book-shaped-object in hand, that is ok, too!
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