Writing the Strange: 6 Weeks, 6 Senses Virtual event, Virtual event
In this generative creative writing class, we will address two common pitfalls: abstraction and cliches. Using Mary Karr’s essay Sacred Carnality as a touchstone, students will alchemize abstraction by writing through the lens of one of the five senses each week: sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste. Then, we’ll level up by making those descriptions strange, transforming clichés into fresh and striking language. By defamiliarizing the five senses, students will evoke what some call the Sixth Sense: that intuitive feeling about the mood, atmosphere, psychology, or emotion of a person or place. We’ll invoke the weird and wonderful, magical, fantastic, uncanny, surreal, and even the supernatural.
In the first half of class, we will discuss works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that demonstrate both sacred carnality and defamiliarization. In the second half of class, students will practice these techniques in their own writing through prompts, and receive feedback in a supportive community. Students will have the option of creating a new piece, or bringing in an existing piece for revision and expansion. By the end of class, students will have generated work with a carnal strangeness that will seduce any reader.
This class is open to all genres and levels of writers, and will be held live on Zoom. Class size will be limited to 12.